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Course content

The landscape of visual effects is changing at a lightning speed. The technological advances over the last decade have brought us fast communication links that are enabling global, cloud-based and remote workflow, opening the possibilities of a looser, more flexible network of artists based in different countries creatively collaborating on visual effects projects. This, combined with the ever increasing demand for both film and video content means that there is a growing need not just for VFX artists but also VFX producers, post-production coordinators and project managers that have a deep understanding of the whole workflow in the creation of visual effects and the post-production in general.

Ravensbourne’s course reflects these changes and follows Skillset guidance on the entry skills required to meet VFX industry’s needs that encompass not only specialised industry skills but also soft skills required for a successful career in the VFX and post-production industry be it in the creative or project management spectrum.

In addition six modules in the form of group tutorials are given on the whole process in the creation of VFX including pre-production meetings, VFX acquisition, scheduling, budgeting, organisation and shoot supervision. These modules also place VFX in the wider context of post-production and give an overview of the post-production workflow from brief to delivery that includes transcoding, editing and deliverables.

Ravensbourne gives students access to all the necessary equipment, including cameras, the use of green screen studios with complete lighting rigs and the relevant software.

Students will have the opportunity to visit a major post-production facility through Ravensbourne’s many industry partnerships. Entrants are likely to have previously studied arts, media, public relations, marketing, editing, post-production, motion graphics or 3D animation at undergraduate level.

Course structure

1. Technology Issues – Within the Technology Issues unit, students will engage with 3 5-week project cycles that will allow them to explore CG, compositing and finishing. These units are structured to encourage students to engage collaboratively with fellow students.

2. Business and Innovation – Taught during the term prior to the Major Project Unit this unit helps students develop and understanding of business and innovative practices in the creative industries. It supports visual effects students in turning their ideas and skills into viable market propositions and long term business plans.

3. Research Process – This unit provides the grounding for research and development skills needed for students’ individual projects.

4. Concept and Prototyping – allows students to further develop their skills, to identify a specialist area related to visual effects and to pursue a single line of inquiry, idea or theory embedded in visual effects and research and develop (investigate, challenge and test) the concept.

5. Major project - The Major Project represents the culmination of students’ investigation and the final stage of the research strategy. This is a substantial piece of self-managed work that is underpinned by advanced practice-based methodologies and processes.

Programme Aims

All postgraduate courses at Ravensbourne provide students with the opportunity to develop advanced skills in the conceptualisation and practical realisation of innovative creative projects in their discipline area and provide them with the entrepreneurial skills to realise their commercial potential. These courses share the following common aims:

- to develop advanced creative practitioners with the potential to originate, innovate or influence practice in their discipline area;

- to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the core principles and technology underpinning their creative project and the theoretical frameworks within which to locate it;

- to underpin students’ creative practice with the entrepreneurial skills and business awareness necessary to turn concepts into commercially viable realities;

- to develop students’ skills in independent learning, self-reflection and research skills necessary to sustain advanced creative practice and scholarship;

- to offer a stimulating environment for postgraduate students which is both supportive and flexible in relation to their learning needs and a creative space in which to incubate their ideas.

Visit the Visual Effects (MA) page on the Ravensbourne website for more details!

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