VFS Animation Program Introduces Industry-Level Performance Capture to Curriculum

Vancouver Film School’s (VFS) 3D Animation & Visual Effects program has announced that it is launching a new performance-capture course, developed by VFS’s Senior Instructor for Embodied Process, Charles Douglas, and 3D Animation & Visual Effects Instructor, Arthur Gonzales — reportedly making it the first animation school to include performance capture in its curriculum.

This course has officially launched, preparing students with industry-grade motion capture studio experience through the in-house partnership with Beyond Capture Studios, that will enable them to work on AAA game projects once they graduate. Performance Capture will also be incorporated into VFS’s Acting curriculum.

“While other film schools may also invest in performance capture technologies for their curriculum, VFS is unique in that it aligns its curriculum closely with a state-of-the-art mocap facility that is purposed primarily to provide professional service to the industry,” explained Gonzales. “Establishing performance capture for the 3D Animation and Visual Effects program has been a highly collaborated initiative and we couldn’t be more proud to offer our students the opportunity to work in a production environment alongside industry professionals, and the opportunity to augment the produced data that bring animated CG characters to life.”

According to the school, which already sends animation & VFX  alumni out to work on groundbreaking and award-winning projects around the world, this semester-long practical course marks VFS as the first animation school to include performance capture in its curriculum, giving students a chance to explore current capture technologies, exchange with guests at the forefront of the industry, develop their skill for the medium. Students will end the term with a shoot at Beyond Capture Studios, where even before this new curriculum, approximately 15% of shoots were student projects.

VFS’s relationship to industry allows the school to adapt to industry feedback and roll out new learning opportunities. Beyond Capture Studios offers students real-world experience within their 32,000 cu. ft. motion-capture facility onsite at VFS. There has since been over $2.5 million invested into the on-campus studio — equipping the studio with leading-edge technology. Instructors at the forefront of this emerging global industry will lead classes with their performance-capture expertise.

“Beyond has always been extremely proud of our partnership with Vancouver Film School and we’re equally excited to work alongside even more future industry leaders through this ground-breaking addition to the animation curriculum,” stated Graham Qually, President and CEO, Beyond Capture Studios.

Motion capture was established as a core technology in the global gaming industry, with an estimated global market share of 170 billion dollars — more than film, music and the top five most expensive sporting leagues on Earth combined. As capture technology has progressed, the creative industries have witnessed the birth of a 21st century medium: ‘performance capture’.

“The performance-capture volume is a key arena for 21st century creators. It’s an exciting space that brings together people, language, and practices from many disciplines,” said Douglas. “Learning how to contribute positively within this ecosystem is an invaluable competency for VFS graduates. I look forward to continuing to support this exciting new piece of the 3D Animation & Visual Effects curriculum — it’s always a joy to work with the wonderful Beyond Capture Studios and Instructor Arthur Gonzales.”

Vancouver Film School offers 15 production-oriented programs in film, animation, video game production, VR/AR development, motion and interactive design, programming, art/production foundation, and more. With a student body of 47% international students from over 75 countries, VFS is consistently named one of the leading film schools in the world and was recently ranked the #1 Game Design School in Canada by The Princeton Review.

Learn more at vfs.edu.

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