June 20, 2024


Science It Works

Full Sail University Taking Real-World Film Education to the Next Level

The modern film industry has continuously experienced steady growth since the kinetoscope was successfully demonstrated in the 19th century. Today, the new and seasoned talent found within the cinematography industry is showcased annually at the Oscars – noted as the biggest night for the film industry.

The 94th annual Academy Awards was an event to remember, as it showcased the credited work of 119 Full Sail University graduates on 29 Oscar-nominated projects across 18 categories. Full Sail University, an award-winning educational institution focusing on entertainment media and emerging technologies, has a long history of graduates regularly being credited on Oscar-nominated and winning projects, and this iteration was no different. This year alone, over 35 alumni were credited on eight Oscar-winning projects, serving in various roles including Score Technical Consultant, Technical Animation Supervisor, and Lead Compositor: DNEG and in categories and on projects including Best Production Design, Dune, Best Animated Feature, Encanto, Best Original Song, “No Time To Die” and more. 

Through undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs like Digital Cinematography Bachelor of Science, Film Bachelor of Science, Computer Animation Bachelor of Science, Show Production Bachelor of Science, and Film Production Master of Fine Arts, Full Sail University has been able to strengthen the talent pipeline for the film industry. 

Most recently, during the university’s annual Hall of Fame Week – a weeklong event to celebrate the accomplishments of Full Sail alumni – Full Sail University opened doors to its first ever virtual production studio, Studio V1: Virtual Production. The on-campus facility is one of the first, one of the largest, and one of the most technologically advanced on any college or university campus in the nation. 

The ribbon cutting for Studio V1

Equipped with many features including Brompton processors, 410 tiles on the ground, 90 tiles across the ceiling, and 2.8mm pixel pitch, as well as a 40 ft wide and 16 ft high LED wall (comprised of APG’s hyper pixel LEDs), Full Sail University’s over $3 Million of direct capital investment for the development of Studio V1: Virtual Production will educate students across 10 different degree programs. These degree programs include: 

Computer Animation Bachelors

Digital Cinematography Bachelors

Film Bachelors

Film Production MFA 

Game Art Bachelors 

Game Design Bachelors

Game Design Masters

Game Development Bachelors

Show Production Bachelors

Simulation & Visualization Bachelors

Full Sail University is uniquely positioned to educate across the multiple disciplines needed in the virtual production industry. Rather than having to create new degree program offerings, the university was able to seamlessly integrate the new addition of Studio V1: Virtual Production into current students’ education. Through a robust education team that keeps its finger on the pulse of industry standards, and Full Sail University’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which advises on curriculum, students within all the university’s entertainment media and emerging technologies degree programs are learning using the current practices and technologies found within their respective industry. 

Just two short months after opening its doors, students across the various degree programs have been able to utilize Studio V1: Virtual Production to aid in the production of four external feature films. Through additions like Studio V1: Virtual Production, Full Sail University continues to bring real-world learning opportunities to the classroom. 

As many are learning, there is great intersectionality found within the virtual production sphere. It allows technologists, filmmakers, and artists alike to work alongside one another to accomplish a united goal of transporting film and television viewers to another world. 

Within the industry, there are an endless number of professional roles that can be taken. Everything from the more traditional roles of director, writer, producer, and set designer, to the more virtual production-specific roles. Although not extensive, below is a list of four professional roles that can be explored by those looking to
learn more about the evolving virtual production film industry and the opportunities within it. 

Engine Operator – Those who take on the role of engine operator maintain and operate the real-time engine within a virtual production environment. 

Video Engineer – Those who take on the role of video engineer are highly skilled at maintaining and routing video signals. 

Environment Artist – Those who take on the role of an environment artists have a strong knowledge of 3D application and a good sense of scale.  

Data Manager – Those who take on the role of data manager have a strong foundational knowledge of software development and other computer-centric sources. 

Full Sail University’s hands-on, project-based approach to education is centered on real-world industry experience and creative problem-solving. The opening of the new facility, Studio V1: Virtual Production is a great example of that real-world approach to education in action.  

Main image: Studio V1