VANCOUVER, CANADA — During a recent visit to the Vancouver Film School (www.vfs.edu), Canada's post-secondary entertainment arts institution, Post editors had a chance to see first-hand how students were using the 775 HP Z420 workstations (www.hp.com/zworkstations) powered with AMD FirePro W7000 professional graphics (www.amd.com) that had been installed throughout the campus for its animation, film, game design, programming, digital design and foundation programs. VFS uses an estimated 300 HP Z420 workstations throughout classrooms in its Animation & Visual Effects department alone.
"VFS students need reliable technological means to create. The computers they use are just that: dependable, fast and current to the standards of a very demanding CG environment," says Vanessa Jacobsen, interim head, Animation and Visual Effects, Vancouver Film School. "It is imperative that our students have the confidence to create using a wide variety of software on a workstation that can handle it. In fact, our students’ success relies on using the same tools that professionals at the top of their game are using."
The HP Z420 includes up to eight processing cores using Intel’s Xeon processor E5-1600 v2 and E5-2600 v2 product families, providing up to 64GBs of ECC memory and up to 12TBs of high-speed storage. The enhanced HP Z420 workstation provides high levels of performance and expandability in an accessible tool-free mini-tower form factor and features AMD FirePro W7000 professional graphics.
While on-site, Post also had the opportunity to tour the entire 72,000 square-foot film production campus that had just been completed, which had been announced earlier this year. Designed by award-winning interior designer David Hepworth, the new facility adjoins the VFS Animation & Visual Effects campus unveiled in August 2013. According to VFS, these two campuses represent the largest dedicated film and animation teaching center (115,000 square feet) in Canada.
The campus design features nine independent shooting studios, a 280-degree greenscreen studio, multiple screening theatres, Avid post production facilities, a full props department, a complete and contemporary film production resource inventory, and a high-speed fibre network for every student’s desktop.