Supported by an Epic Games MegaGrant co-written by David Long, MAGIC Center director, and Shaun Foster, program director of 3D Digital Design, RIT developed an inventive curriculum focused on an emerging filmmaking method. The multi-departmental project brought 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 seen in Disney's The Mandalorian and Marvel's Avengers films.
"Virtual production is 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."
RIT has collaborated with THE THIRD FLOOR (TTF), an award-winning visualization studio, PRG, a global leader in entertainment and event tech solutions, and Optic Sky Productions, a local commercial and digital experience advertising company, on virtual production work. A project like a video for RIT’s Electric Vehicle Team has the appearance it was created inside a Hollywood film studio or a production stage in New York City. But it was produced in MAGIC Spell Studios' soundstage, equipped with massive LED wall displays and a conglomerate of professional artists and students from 3D digital design, film and animation, motion picture science and engineering working together to leverage the groundbreaking technology.
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.