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Skills & Training

Virtual Production training


Virtual production (VP) is revolutionising the way stories are told, enabling filmmakers and content creators to push boundaries and deliver visually captivating experiences to audiences worldwide.

The swift and substantial expansion of virtual production usage globally and the creation of Studio Ulster, a £72m, large-scale studio complex in Belfast due to open in 2024 that integrates virtual production with traditional film, animation, games and broadcast has generated a surge in the need for skilled crew members in Northern Ireland proficient in Virtual Production capabilities.

Northern Ireland Screen is running a skills development scheme for virtual production between September 2023 and March 2024. The scheme provides training opportunities in the core skills, knowledge and understanding required for VP technical setups, and key on-set roles and activities.

The virtual production training is funded by Northern Ireland Screen, delivered by the Ulster Screen Academy at Ulster University and open to those already working in the screen and content industries.

How to apply: Applications for the subsidised spaces are currently open, please complete an application form

 

Virtual Production Course Programme

COURSE 10 – VIRTUAL PRODUCTION FOR CINEMATOGRAPHERS, DIRECTORS AND CREW

Course schedule:  Postponed until further notice.

Course description:  This immersive two-day training event, held on an active physical/virtual set will empower filmmakers to harness the power of the latest Virtual Production techniques. Through engaging presentations and discussions with industry experts from the art department, lighting department, cinematography, and directing fields, participants will gain first hand insights into the opportunities and strengths of this revolutionary technology.  They will also be exposed to its challenges and learn effective strategies to overcome them.

Suitable for Directors, Cinematographers, Art Department, Lighting, Camera Operators/Camera crew seeking to expand their skill set and embrace Virtual Production techniques.

 

COURSE 9 – USING PLATES FOR VIRTUAL PRODUCTION – CAR PROCESS

Course schedule:  27-28th March 2024

Course description: Working closely with a world leading VFX company this 3-day course will be a hands on practical workshop on the development, creation and delivery of 2D Video playback for Virtual Production solution such as car process. The course will explore what is needed to create VFX plates, the technology considerations, the type of equipment required and the creation process. The second stage of the course will explore stitching and creation of rectilinear imagery and combining multiple camera sources to create a 360-video file. Lastly, this file will be taken into a VP ICVFX workflow and stage to understand playback processes in virtual production using the latest playback solutions in Virtual Production.

Suitable for those camera crew, VFX creators and those with a good understanding of production technical workflows.

 

COURSE  8 –VIRTUAL PRODUCTION FOR BROADCASTERS 

Course schedule: 19- 20th March or 21-22nd March 2024

Course description: This course will focus on the use cases of virtual and extended reality studios for broadcast/television production and will include demonstrations of an industry software pipeline for virtual set design and demonstrate what is involved in building virtual environments for use in light entertainment, studio-based entertainment and factual programme making. This course will also explore the potential to connect virtual studios to existing lighting rigs and the types of programme formats that work best for the technology as well as XR and the new Disguise broadcast system.

Suitable for production professionals interested in creating new content and new formats employing virtual production techniques for studio-based television.

 

COURSE 7 – BRAINBAR / VOLUME CONTROL 101 – On Set Virtual Production operations

Course schedule: 27-28th January 2024

Course description: This technical in-depth Virtual Production course will explore the role and responsibilities of Brainbar/Volume Control stage operations. Attendees will learn how to operate a LED wall/ Volume and what to expect onset during a professional shoot. Covering topics such as, Art Department collaboration, virtual set delivery, 3D optimisation and adapting to real-time on set changes to virtual environments, version control, plate playback and metadata changes.

Suitable for those with a technical background and interest in using Unreal Engine / Virtual Production. or those with a background in 3D software, Unreal Engine, virtual set design, and related disciplines such as VFX, games and animation who want to know more about virtual production and working on-set in virtual production studios in the role of technical artist or VP operator.

 

COURSE 6 – INTRODUCTION TO UNREAL ENGINE FOR VIRTUAL PRODUCTION 

Course schedule: 15-19th January 2024

Course description: This comprehensive 5-day training course will introduce you to Unreal Engine and how to use its powerful tools in the world of Virtual Production. You will gain a broad understanding of the VP workflow, from pre-production to post-production, and learn how to use Unreal Engine to create immersive and realistic virtual environments. This is a hands-on course delivered in person at the Ulster Screen Academy.

Suitable for those already working in the industry with related digital skills, such as but not limited to 3D design workflows, world building, those working in Unity currently, graduates with cognate skills, 3D artists, those working in games and or in animation and VFX professionals wanting to use Unreal Engine.

 

COURSE 5 – STEPPING IN TO VIRTUAL PRODUCTION

Course schedule: 9-12th January 2024

Course description: This course brings together world leading experts, facilitators, and executives from leading international production companies (Netflix, Amazon Prime Studios, Sky, Framesync and others) to give a detailed understanding of what Virtual Production is, what is involved, what it costs and how to start working in this area. This in person course will be held at the Ulster University and involves workshops on an in-camera visual effects stage, technology demonstrations, use case studies and industry masterclasses.

Suitable for decision makers, executive producers and directors, creative directors and heads of departments in the film and broadcast sector locally.

 

COURSE 4 – VIRTUAL PRODUCTION FOR CINEMATOGRAPHERS, DIRECTORS AND CREW

Course schedule: 18-19th December 2023

Course description:  This immersive two-day training event, held on an active physical/virtual set will empower filmmakers to harness the power of the latest Virtual Production techniques. Through engaging presentations and discussions with industry experts from the art department, lighting department, cinematography, and directing fields, participants will gain first hand insights into the opportunities and strengths of this revolutionary technology.  They will also be exposed to its challenges and learn effective strategies to overcome them.

Suitable for Directors, Cinematographers, Art Department, Lighting, Camera Operators/Camera crew seeking to expand their skill set and embrace Virtual Production techniques.

 

COURSE 3 – VOLUME CONTROL / BRAINBAR 101: VIRTUAL ART DEPARTMENT ON SET AND IN PRE-PRODUCTION 

Course schedule:  14-15th October 2023

Course description:  This technical in-depth Virtual Production course will explore the role and responsibilities of Brainbar/Volume Control stage operations. Attendees will learn how to operate a LED wall/ Volume and what to expect onset during a professional shoot. Covering topics such as, Art Department collaboration, virtual set delivery, 3D optimisation and adapting to real-time on set changes to virtual environments, version control, plate playback and metadata changes.

Suitable for those with a technical background and interest in using Unreal Engine / Virtual Production. or those with a background in 3D software, Unreal Engine, virtual set design, and related disciplines such as VFX, games and animation who want to know more about virtual production and working on-set in virtual production studios in the role of technical artist or VP operator.

 

COURSE 2 – STEPPING INTO VIRTUAL PRODUCTION: FOUR- DAY DEEP DIVE

Course schedule:      Part 1 – 25th – 26th September 2023 Part 2 – 2nd – 3rd October 2023

Course description: This course brings together world leading experts, facilitators, and executives from leading international production companies (Netflix, Amazon Prime Studios, Sky, Framesync and others) to give a detailed understanding of what virtual production is, what is involved, what it costs and how to start working in this area. This in person course will be held at the Ulster University and involves workshops on an in-camera visual effects stage, technology demonstrations, use case studies and industry masterclasses.

Suitable for decision makers, executive producers and directors, creative directors and heads of departments in the film and broadcast sector locally.

 

COURSE 1 – INTRODUCTION TO UNREAL ENGINE FOR VIRTUAL PRODUCTION: FIVE-DAY 101

Course Schedule: 11th -15th September 2023

Course description: This course brings together world leading experts, facilitators, and executives from leading international production companies (Netflix, Amazon Prime Studios, Sky, Framesync and others) to give a detailed understanding of what virtual production is, what is involved, what it costs and how to start working in this area. This in person course will be held at the Ulster Screen Academy and involves workshops on an in-camera visual effects stage, technology demonstrations, use case studies and industry masterclasses.

Suitable for those already working in the industry with related digital skills, such as but not limited to 3D design workflows, world building, those working in Unity currently, graduates with cognate skills, 3D artists, those working in games and or in animation and VFX professionals wanting to use Unreal Engine.

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