SINGAPORE — Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s (www.np.edu.sg) School of Film & Media Studies (FMS) has unveiled an immersive on-campus space called the M:idea Playground, as well as announced a series of strategic partnerships geared towards equipping students with virtual production and immersive storytelling skills.
According to a projection by Fortune Business Insights, the global virtual production market is set to expand to US$7.19 billion by 2029. Locally, the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) has announced a S$5 million fund to support the adoption of virtual production as part of Singapore’s push to transform the creative process of storytelling.
Every year, more than 200 FMS students will stand to benefit from the new M:idea Playground and curriculum offerings. From 2024, all Year 2 students from the Diploma in Media Post-Production (MPP) will undergo virtual production training as part of its core curriculum. Final-year students from the Film, Sound & Video and Mass Communication diplomas will also have the opportunity to work on virtual production projects for their capstone module. Notably, the launch of these curriculum offerings will round off the suite of multi-platform skills that FMS students gain during their course of study.
To meet the rising interest and demand of adult learners in acquiring virtual production skills, FMS will also run, for the second time, its Virtual Events Production short course in July. The three-day program will equip learners with the planning and execution know-how to incorporate virtual production in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry.
The newly launched M:idea Playground is a dedicated, on-campus experimental space. Other than virtual production, FMS students will be able to use the space to explore AR/VR and livestreaming projects; stage live events and performances using large-format projection mapping techniques; and create digital art. The facility will also foster collaboration among students from the different courses.
FMS is collaborating with Singapore-based multi-studio hub, Aux Media Group, which has played a significant role in co-developing and co-assessing the virtual production module and capstone projects. In 2022, under the guidance of Aux Media Group, a group of MPP and FSV final-year students produced and directed a short film entitled “Wastelanders” using virtual production technologies. It also saw the inaugural batch of FMS students embarking on enriching internships at Aux Media Group.
NP is also partnering with Pixotope, an international technology company specializing in the development of mixed reality content. Through this partnership, students will have access to Pixotope software tools and solutions for creating immersive and interactive content. Students will be able to use the flagship product of Pixotope, a realtime 3D graphics engine that enables the creation of high-quality AR and VR experiences for a variety of platforms. With the potential to seamlessly integrate real and virtual elements using advanced camera tracking and rendering technologies, its technology allows viewers to enjoy a more immersive viewing experience.
“We are honoured to partner with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to continue our global expansion of the Pixotope Education Program,” says Andrew Tan, vice president, APAC, at Pixotope. “By combining our powerful tools and network of industry experts with NP's comprehensive curriculum and dedicated faculty, students will embark on a transformative journey, acquiring the technical proficiencies and artistic vision to thrive in this rapidly evolving industry. As Pixotope is committed to increase the accessibility to virtual production, this collaboration is timely. We are excited to nurture the next generation of virtual production talent by equipping them with the tools to create immersive content that pushes the boundary of possibility.”
Another partner, The Star Performing Arts Centre, will provide their expertise as a venue provider to fuel the integration between art and technology through technical theatre, an art form that integrates different elements such as lighting, sound, props and costumes. Through this collaboration, students will have access to a large-scale external venue where they can marry digital technologies and live performance to stage immersive performances.