Supported by by a $275,000 MegaGrant from Epic Games co-written by David Long, MAGIC Center director, Shaun Foster, program director of 3D Digital Design, RIT is developing an inventive curriculum focused on an emerging filmmaking method. The multi-departmental project is bringing virtual production — a field blending filmmaking, computational photography and real-time game engine rendering to produce in-camera visual effects — directly to students and faculty. RIT is among only a few universities in the world working in virtual production, a technique recently used in Disney's "The Mandalorian."
"Virtual production is absolutely the future of effects-heavy filmmaking and graphically engaging filmmaking, and we're teaching students at RIT how to do this," Long said. "When they graduate, they're going to be among a select few who know how to this stuff. They're going to be in immediate demand."
For the project, RIT is collaborating with THE THIRD FLOOR (TTF), an award-winning visualization studio co-founded by Chris Edwards ’97 (Film and Video Production), and PRG, a global leader in entertainment and event tech solutions. TTF experts are delivering guest lectures and directly training faculty while PRG is the project’s partner for hardware and equipment, which includes newly installed LED panel walls in MAGIC Spell Studios that create in-camera imagery behind actors.
RIT is a fitting place for this innovative marriage of art and technology.
"The mix of artistic talent and our engineering talent we have here at RIT is the perfect mix and it's the reason why it's happening here," Long said.