Computer animation and digital effect techniques used by Hollywood movie-makers are being offered in a new course which could strengthen Hong Kong's status in the film industry. City University's (CityU) School of Continuing and Professional Education is launching the certificate course in computer animation and digital effects in collaboration with the Centre for Digital Media which carries out research and training for the industry. The course at CityU's School of Creative Media is the first comprehensive computer animation and digital effects course in Asia and has attracted 4,000 applications from prospective students. 'We believe the movie and media industry still has promising prospects, so the course is designed to respond to the industry's demand to train a talented pool of people for the industry,' Professor Edmond Ko Inq-ming, vice- president (education) at CityU, said. Victor Wong Wang-tat, director of Menfond Electronic Art and Computer Design Company, said the local development of computer animation and digital effects was strong with standards comparable to those in Hollywood. 'Hong Kong has great potential to develop as a regional centre of computer animation and digital effects as its manpower has higher creativity and efficiency in productivity,' he said. Students will work on professional-standard equipment and software to create computer animation for television, video and other media outlets. The course opens next month with a choice of a six- month full-time, or one-year part-time evening class.