At DATA at Roosevelt, the line between hard reality and virtual reality has become almost indistinguishable thanks to the new Virtual Production and Visualization Volume Space. The acquisition of equipment, software, and the construction of a giant curved Cyclorama green screen were made possible by teacher and grant applicant, Paul Fritz.
The Visualization Production Volume Space brings together various curriculum pathways, such as film production, 3D animation, and game design classes. This innovative technology enables students to plan, design both real and virtual sets, shoot in virtual and real-world environments, and render out vrtual production videos.
The possibilities of this technology are endless. Imagine an actor being shot in the green screen studio and simultaneously appearing in a fully digital world, just like in video games or Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.” Thanks to the multiple camera setup and real or virtual lighting, it looks like the person is really in the virtual world or even an augmented video of a real scene. It’s mind-blowing!
Andrew Gouge, a senior student, took us on a tour of a virtual scene of a carnival/amusement park that he created last year for a game, and it was impressive. He demonstrated that he can key in a digital villain or a real actor into his virtual world, and the software takes care of lighting, building shadows and reflections of the villain on the virtual water. You can sense the students’ excitement about the capabilities of the production studio. All of this was made possible by a NEEF grant for $42,688 and dedicated teachers like Paul Fritz, who go above and beyond the standard curriculum to prepare their students for high-tech, specialized careers.