ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA — Rising Sun Pictures (rsp.com.au) is expanding its visual effects educational program, operated in partnership with the University of South Australia. RSP will now offer a Graduate Certificate in Dynamic Effects and Lighting, modeled after its successful Graduate Certificate in Composting and Tracking. It is also adding to its menu of short courses covering 3D modeling, compositing and other subjects.
To accommodate the increase in students and class offerings, RSP has built two new classroom facilities, adjacent to its main studio and equipped with the latest computer hardware, industry standard software, projection systems and related technology. The new classroom space was designed to accommodate further growth in the educational program, and has the flexibility to serve large and small student groups.
RSP’s educational program is unique in Australia in providing students an opportunity to train under industry professionals in a working visual effects studio. Launched in 2014, the program has provided intensive, practical training to dozens of graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom have gone on to jobs at RSP and other visual effects studios in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
“There is nothing like it,” says Rising Sun Pictures manager for training and education, Anna Hodge. “Our focus is on building the local visual effects workforce by providing students with skills that make them employable. We want them to be confident with the right tools and skills required for global employment.”
RSP’s Graduate Certificate programs involve 12 weeks of intensive training with students taking four 4.5 unit courses simultaneously. Instructors include senior artists from the studio’s staff and classes are taught in a real-world work environment with students expected to meet industry standards and deadlines. Students are immersed in and have an opportunity to observe how a world class studio operates. They also receive career advice and job placement assistance.
The new Graduate Certificate in Dynamic Effects and Lighting was developed in response to student requests and industry demand. Students work with Houdini software and learn techniques such as particle based simulations (explosions, water, clouds) and procedurally-generated environments (cities, beaches, forests). All phases of the production of such effects are covered from concept and design through final delivery.
“Good dynamic effects artists are always in demand in the industry,” says Hodge. “There is a strong increase in more complex effects work in movies so talent scouts are always on the lookout for effects artists of all levels.”