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Minister Paul Fletcher To Address Digital Futures Summit: Virtual Production

Image courtesy of disguise

The Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, has been confirmed to address AFTRS’ inaugural Digital Futures Summit, which will focus on the opportunities that virtual production presents to the Australian screen and broadcast industries.

Digital Futures Summit: Virtual Production will be held online from 4.30 pm to 9.30 pm this Thursday 14 October (AEDT).

Minister Fletcher will announce government funding for a new Virtual Production Studio at the AFTRS building in Sydney. This facility will support industry-partnered training, degrees, and a space for research and innovation in virtual production.

Minister Fletcher said AFTRS’s new virtual production studio is an exciting initiative, that will assist to maintain Australia’s position as a world-class destination for screen production and digital games development.

“The Morrison Government is proud to support the Australian Film Television and Radio School with more than $100,000 in funding to build their state-of-the-art virtual production studio, which will upskill and prepare the next generation of talent within Australia’s screen industry,” Minister Fletcher said.

The Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP

The Universal Studio Group and Matchbox Pictures have also provided a significant initial investment to AFTRS to support a Virtual Production training program for Australian crew, managers and heads of department. This investment will contribute to curriculum development and a series of scholarships supporting places. The partnership aims to graduate over 250 highly skilled Australians each year, equipping the industry with the technical, creative, management and business capacity it needs to capitalise on the domestic and international production opportunities created by this new technology.

AFTRS has launched the Digital Futures Summit series to bring together Australian and international screen and broadcast industry leaders with educators and government in discussions on collaborating, adapting and capitalising on technological changes. The series will explore how technology has shaped, and will continue to shape, the future of work, education, training and creative opportunities across the industry.

Sessions and speakers at the first summit in the series, Digital Futures Summit: Virtual Production, include –

Industry Partnered Education and Research: Flinders University, NIDA and AFTRS. AI, automation and mechanisation have already made huge changes to industries around the world. In the creative sector, the scope of impact can be clearly seen through a post-pandemic lens: the proliferation of technology-based solutions such as virtual production and the virtual workplace to enable continuity of work, and re-invention of future work.

The State of Play in Virtual Production in Australia: Virtual production uses a suite of tools to mix live-action footage and computer graphics in real-time. This session will look at the many facets of virtual production, from motion-capture and real-time animation, previs and techvis, asset creation and integration, and LED walls with cinematography, and how Australian screen content creators are currently utilising this technology. Representatives from Light ADL, Industrial Light & Magic and FIKA Entertainment will share their experiences.

Introduction to LED Screen Technology for Virtual Production: Demo and speakers from disguise studios in London will lead a technical demonstration that will demystify an LED wall virtual production workflow through a walk-through of a live LED wall stage and the different tools involved to shoot on a virtual production set using disguise, as well as skills needed throughout the pipeline.

Virtual Productions Case Studies: An exclusive first look into Australian virtual production in action from development and budgeting to post. Case studies include the television series Home and Away. Contributors include Dreamscreen Australia, Spectre Studios, Cutting Edge and Big Picture (NEP Group).

Asset Creation and Locations: Pre, Shoot and Post: This session will illustrate how digital assets are important in pre-production, on-set and post-production. Panel members will discuss a range of processes involved in creating assets for virtual production, including location scouting and scanning, creating digital environments, full-body volumetric capture, previsualisation and live-broadcast. Panel members include representatives from Myriad Studios, Last Pixel and Girraphic.

The Future of Virtual Production: This forward-facing discussion with industry leaders and innovators in virtual production will focus on skills development, creative potential and business opportunities for local screen practitioners. Panel members include WETA Digital, Heretic Foundation, FX PHD, EPIC Games and FIKA Entertainment.

Live Q&As will be included in each session.

Learn more about AFTRS’ Digital Futures Summit here.