If you’re thinking of studying a degree in Digital Technology, there has never been a more exciting time to start. Studying a course in Visual Effects or Film Production is a fantastic way to gain insight into the rapidly evolving digital world. Learn how virtual reality and the use of previsualisation is changing the way films are going to be made in the future.
In this blog, we look into the industry today and the exciting careers that lie ahead within Visual Effects and Film.
The industry today
Currently the top 10 highest grossing movies of all time all use an immense amount of visual effects. Some of these include Avengers: End Game, Avatar, Star Wars and Black Panther. (Business Insider, 2019).
Releases of new technology such as The Anyma performance capture system creates unconstrained, markerless facial performance capture which has allowed filmmakers to use cameras to create an augmented-reality view. The use of green screens continues to be a popular way to use visual effects and CGI.
You will have the chance to use industry standard equipment throughout your degree. Our Vicon motion capture studio has one of the largest fixed green screen studios in the UK. You will also have the opportunity to use a Milo motion control system and a variety of camera and lighting equipment. This will prepare you for when you begin a career in industry.
Careers with a Visual Effects degree
The BSc (Hons) Visual Effects course will prepare you for a range of exciting roles ensuing graduation. Our students have secured jobs at companies like MPC, Cinesite and Yamination; working in VR, AR, Animation, Games and Visualisations. With this degree you can become an Animator, Compositor, FX, lighting, Modelling, Rigging or Texture Artist. Or start in good entry level positions as a Matchmover or Production Coordinator.
As an animator you will produce images using drawings, models and specialist software to create moving images on screen. You can work with stop-frame, 2D and 3D model-making or more commonly used at present, computer-generated animation. This will involve using a range of technical software as well as having the ability to draw and model. A combination of creativity and technical skills is required in order for you to tell a story or provide information in a visual form. You can work for both in-team production and clients. On our Visual Effects course you will work on 3D computer animation and production, as well as producing 3d computer animations.
Rigging or Texture Artist:
Interested in bringing an animation to life? As a Rigger Artist you will create digital skeletons for 3D computer-generated characters. Your job role will involve creating movement and emotions for an animated character, such as how a person’s face and mouth move when they speak or run. You will work together with animators to ensure the characters seem as lifelike as possible. On the ‘Rigging for animation’ module you will develop technical skills in skinning, weighting and control rigs, as well as plan and produce a variety of rigs.
If you are looking to get your foot into industry when you complete your degree, being a Matchmover may be the route for you. Matchmoving involves working with a live-action production crew to consider composition, framing and camera angles of Visual Effect shots. The Visual Effects course allows you to explore lens distortion and develop onset visual effects skills.
Careers with a Digital Film Production degree
If you are interested in the fundamentals of film making and production, then our BSc (Hons) Digital Film Production degree is for you. From narrative to camera testing, you will gain technical knowledge and practical production experience. Our students have gone on to work with companies such as Ashfields, Christopher Smith and Creative Video. You’ll have a range of career options from Filmmaker to Director, TV/Video Producer to Editor and Runner to Lighting Technician.
Our Film Production Technology graduate Tayyib Mahmood landed his dream job role straight out of University. He was able to gain experience on working in different departments as well as working on a film set and learning industry standard skills as a crew member.
Tayyib used what he had learnt and applied it to his CV, allowing him to land a job on Bond film ‘No Time to Die’. He was able to work on a Hollywood blockbuster film as his first graduate job!
Recently a group of third year Film Production Technology students, produced a film titled ‘Black Bear’ which follows ‘Riley’ through his trials and tribulations living with OCD. The film is now part of 15 festivals, including in England, America, Romania, Turkey, Australia and Italy and has won five awards.
Since then Black Bear has been nominated for six awards at Birmingham Film Festival including Best short film, best editing and best cinematography. The students used the skills learnt from the course, particularly video production, audio and video technology and visual design to ensure it was produced professionally.
The rate of technological development is so incredibly fast and exciting that the future may be hard to imagine.
One thing is for sure, though: the only way is up. It’s no surprise that tech companies are amongst the most valuable in the stock market globally. Advancements in virtual stages, CGI and visual effects mean that in the next few decades filmmakers will continue to push the boundaries of film technology and career opportunities will continue to increase.
Being part of the technological movement is one of the most valuable things you can do, and studying a course related to it will only become more beneficial as time goes on and the industry progresses.