2024 Q1 RVPA Newsletter

Fieldtrip to KPIX San Francisco (CBS News)

Diablo Valley College Professor of Film Production Sahra Bhimji, recently orchestrated an enriching experience for her Virtual Production class as they embarked on a visit to KPIX San Francisco. Sahra expressed her excitement, stating, “Yesterday, I got to bring my Virtual Production to KPIX San Francisco (CBS News) to see their new virtual production set up and get a tour from their creative director, Jack Poorman.” The visit provided students with a firsthand look at how virtual production is revolutionizing television news, allowing them to interact with professionals including meteorologists, news anchors, and camera operators. A highlight of the trip was witnessing themselves on the “real-time” weather set and map, offering a captivating glimpse into the future of broadcast media.

Ohlone College Unveils State-of-the-Art Green Screen Studio

In a significant leap forward for hands-on education, Ohlone College has recently unveiled its latest addition – a colossal green screen studio measuring an impressive 24’7” by 21’. This development is set to revolutionize the way students in the Digital Arts and Interactive Design Department engage with Virtual Production, Lighting and Layout, and Motion Graphics.

Monica Cappiello, Assistant Professor in the Digital Arts and Interactive Design Department, played a pivotal role in bringing this innovative studio to life. Her expertise and dedication have been instrumental in shaping the curriculum, ensuring students receive a comprehensive education in utilizing green screens for creative digital projects.

VP Info Session & Tech Talk

In an electrifying session hosted by the RVPA, industry leaders Rebecca Perry and Evan Cervantes of Lux Machina took center stage to illuminate the burgeoning realm of virtual production and its vast array of industry roles.

The agenda for the day was brimming with excitement, featuring in-depth discussions on the pioneering techniques reshaping the entertainment landscape. Guest speakers Rebecca Perry and Evan Cervantes shared insights garnered from their experiences at the forefront of technological innovation.

SMPTE Meeting at Goal Line 2024

Goal Line Studios hosted my Virtual Production 1 class, along with other faculty and students from the RVPA. I brought 24 students to the event, offering them their first exposure to a real LED volume. The studio’s collaboration was impressive, as they invited students to submit Unreal files for projection on the wall. The Disguise operator worked closely with the students to optimize and prepare the files for display.

During the visit, Goal Line Studios orchestrated a demonstration of virtual production in action. Two actors, a production designer, and a director showcased how to shoot a live-action scene using the LED wall. Following the demo, students engaged in a Q&A session with the professionals, delving into the technical aspects of virtual production. A tour of the facilities, featuring Oakland Raiders and John Madden memorabilia, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the panels and media servers, concluded the event.

RVPA Internship Program

The RVPA internship program that is being funded by the California Film Commission in partnership with Foundation for California Community Colleges is thriving. Under the leadership of technical lead Kevin Leeper and our Interns Justin Mead and Azimuth Wright. We have been hard at work on exciting projects and developing studio standards for Virtual Production that work for small to mid-scale educational environments.

  • We are currently talking with Goal Line Studios to develop informational videos – for both RVPA and Goal Line to better explain and highlight what Virtual Production consists of, who can utilize it, how it can be cost effective and more efficient to its user base.
  • We are working out details to place the RVPA interns in a large volume VP studio and get them ready to enter the industry with hands on experience.
  • We have been talking with several other industry partners that are interested in VP and invite anyone interested to join us. Some of the current topics we are working on include, research and development, curriculum development, maximizing problem solving mindset, and simplifying the technological complexities of VP.
  • New camera tracker! We are excited to add the Vive Mars CamTrack and FIZTrack to our studio! The Vive mars tracker will be a great addition to the RVPA learnings and open new trajectories for academy partners, some of the use cases include a portable VP studio for events and conventions, small to intermediate scale VP studios, scalable with more cameras for larger VP studios.
  • FIZTrack data allowing for real-time zoom focus and iris changes in Engine. The Vive Mars Lens calibration tool and lens files are a huge time saver for set up and more accurate than our in-house calibration method. This is part of our effort to explore standardized systems that work well in educational environments and are cost effective.
  • Motion Capture
  • New Camera Tracking
  • Video Screen Projects
  • N-display
  • Color and Lighting
  • Retargeting and Rigging solutions.
  • The new retargeting method is a massive difference in speed efficiency and quality, we have been getting great results. This is an example of standardization of complex tasks simplified! Great for education, prioritizing creativity, and exploration.
  • We are working with the rigging tools that continue to be enhanced in UE5.4, the process is intuitive and fast, rigging and animating in UE is getting better and better.
  • Nanite tessellation
  • Integrated 3D scanning
  • Motion Matching
  • DMX lighting control
  • Rendering with Movie Render Graph Config

BCC VP & VFX Student Ninette Tan Just Accepted A Pixar Technical Artist Internship This Summer

Ninette is a returning career changer – started off work life as a registered nurse – after deciding to change direction she took some online classes and found herself drawn to technical Art field taking rigging and coding classes online before joining the Berkeley city college family and signing up for Animation and virtual production certificates.

Ninette says “I found BCC because I was looking for good local and remote 3D animation programs that focused on film and game development certification. I was actually really impressed with the catalog of classes and how comprehensive it is.” She has been proactive in building her new pathway – getting involved with Women in Animation – as a mentee in the Mentorship Circle — Exploring Careers in Writing Code for Movies. Interned at the Houdini school and a mentorship last Summer at the Academy software foundation.

Now she gets to add another feather to her cap and was accepted as an intern this summer at Pixar as an animation technician . She is one of those people who cares about her peers and is passionate about her work.

Ninette’s story is a great example of how continuous learning, networking, and perseverance can lead to exciting opportunities in a new career field. It’s clear that she has a bright future ahead of her, and I’m sure she will continue to excel and achieve even more in her chosen field.

WASTC Winter Conference 2024

Topic: Bridging the Future in Regional Virtual Production
The RVPA Winter Conference 2024 was an electrifying convergence of minds, ideas, and technological innovation under the overarching theme, “It’s The Human Network.” As we transitioned from years of virtual conferences, this event celebrated the power of personal connections and collaboration in ICT education.

“We spotlighted the collaborative Regional Virtual Production Academy, a partnership among six Bay Area colleges reshaping education. Our emphasis on equity led discussions on community colleges leading high-tech industry research and fostering impactful industry partnerships. Thanks, Richard Grotegut, for fostering a dialogue that reshapes norms in education and industry integration.” Joann Denning

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