Florida-based Full Sail University announced their plan to build a state-of-the-art virtual production studio on its 210+ acre campus located in Winter Park. The virtual production studio’s use of Unreal Engine (originally used to create real-time 3D environments for games), live event production, and various aspects of filmmaking, artfully demonstrates the intersections between innovative storytelling, visual artistry and next-gen technology that are so deeply ingrained within the education at Full Sail.
Unlike traditional film sets, virtual production utilizes various software packages allowing users to marry both computer graphics and live-action footage in real-time. This advancement gives content creators and contributors from various locations the ability to create and render digital environments, while onsite cast members are physically located in the studio working on set.
Through a combination of tracking and real-time rendering abilities, this latest addition to the university’s campus will allow for immersive virtual environments (ranging from iconic landmarks to interplanetary landscapes, and more) to be created serving as scenic backdrops for film, TV and additional production projects.
“As companies move to increasingly adopt virtual and augmented reality technology, Full Sail University continues to prove itself a national frontrunner by providing businesses with the talent necessary to drive innovation. With this new studio, Full Sail sets the stage to position its students to meet the future demand for content and applications developed specifically for virtual reality technologies. Full Sail’s studios, labs and educational programs contribute to the strength of Orlando’s world-renowned Modeling, Simulation and Training (MS&T) ecosystem and reinforce our region’s growing reputation as a leading technology and innovation hub. Beyond preparing high-skilled talent to meet the needs of our nation’s most innovative companies, Full Sail’s critical investment in our region’s digital infrastructure will act as a beacon for attracting, hosting and fostering the growth of professional productions right here in Orlando,” said Orlando economic partnership president and CEO Tim Giuliani.
“We knew this was the next logical step in our 40+ year investment in technology. One of the most unique aspects of our new facility will be its 18 feet straight center section allowing us to accommodate game engine environments, as well as high resolution video environments, providing expanded creative use. This singular feature change will give the Full Sail virtual production studio more accurate and cleaner visual representation for the camera. Virtual production is where the industry is headed, and we are proud to bring the future of the entertainment industry to our students today,” said Full Sail University education director of visual arts Rick Ramsey.
Utilizing Brompton processors and with 410 tiles on the ground, 90 tiles across its ceiling, and 2.8mm-pixel pitch, the facility features a 40 feet wide and 16 feet high LED wall (comprised of APG’s hyper pixel LEDs) and will be one of the most technologically advanced virtual production studios on any college or university campus in the nation. This new facility will allow students to collaborate across multiple degree programs providing real-world experience with current trends and technology found in the entertainment industry, in addition to hosting professional projects and productions.
Full Sail is dedicating over $3 million of direct capital investment to the creation of the on-campus virtual production studio and supporting spaces and efforts. The investment in the new facility positively impacts the technology offerings to students and allows for additional project-based learning opportunities to be built within the curriculum across several areas of study.
While the virtual production studio will be utilized by Full Sail’s school of television & film, due to the university’s unique and wide range of degree program offerings, students within the gaming and art degree programs are uniquely positioned to begin creating content and environments, while numerous additional degree programs at the university can benefit from these facilities as well.
These programs include:
• Computer Animation Bachelors
• Digital Cinematography Bachelors
• Film Bachelors
• Film Production Master of Fine Arts
• Game Art Bachelors
• Game Design Bachelors
• Game Design Masters
• Game Development Bachelors
• Show Production Bachelors
• Simulation & Visualization Bachelors
Further updates will be shared on the university’s official website. The formal opening of the studio is scheduled in 2022.