Computer Graphics World

Edition 2 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 58 of 67

e d i t i o n 2 , 2 0 2 0 c g w 5 7 those cutting-edge resources and strategic partners to our Architecture students to po- sition them as leaders in this virtual model of professional practice," says Cissell. Academy of Art University Academy of Art is but one of the many institutions that swily responded to address the pandemic issue this past spring by locking down its San Francisco campus and moving classes online and virtually. It may seem like such a drastic shi in learning environments, but the truth is that it was a transition that required no fanfare on the school's part because it was an environment already set up and functioning in place. The university's online education program, established in 2002, allows its students and faculty to carry on as normal in their classes, albeit with certain modifications. Make no mistake, our online courses are designed to be just as rigorous and comprehensive as those taken on campus, says Catherine Tate, director of the School of Animation and Visual Effects. "It will require just as much effort and commitment to make the grade. To put it simply, our students haven't missed a beat.... It's a challenge that puts a lot of systems to the test, but it's a challenge that we've long been prepared to ensure our students' education is not interrupted," she adds. For instance, the school's Spring Show was held virtually this year and was a success. For now, Academy of Art University will continue to offer its remote and virtual classes for the Fall 2020 semester. Howev- er, the school will be opening its labs and workshops for studio course homework along with its residence halls and dorms. "We will be taking precautions to protect our campus community by utilizing virtual class- es for lecture, demo, and critique (which we feel is an unnecessary group risk to perform in-person), and allow students to reserve facility time for on-site labs, studios, and workshops," says Tate. In addition, Academy of Art has been forced to accelerate the StudioX process, a student-run, faculty-mentored experi- ence that emulates a real-world animation and VFX production environment where students work with real clients, on real films and games, with real deadlines – and real problems to solve. The situation also is enabling the school to offer more flexibility and options to online and on-site students, including face-to-face contact via Zoom with instructors and other students, Tate notes. School of Visual Arts School of Visual Arts (SVA) suspended in-person classes beginning Wednesday, March 11, and began remote learning on Monday, March 16. "In the midst of this global health crisis, it was critical for us to continue on with the semester so that stu- dents' progress towards their degrees went uninterrupted," says Jimmy Calhoun, chair of Computer Art, Computer Animation, and Visual Effects. SVA, like every single free-standing, accredited college of art and design, made the best of it via Zoom and the school's on- line learning platform, Canvas. Once remote learning began, the school used RemotePC to provide students with remote access to the facility. In addition, many soware companies graciously provided the stu- dents at SVA with licenses for the remain- der of the semester. "We're very grateful for how generously and quickly they provided support," says Calhoun. Calhoun also applauds the dedication of SVA's faculty to unwaveringly deliv- er their course content, even for studio disciplines, and who will continue to meet and engage with students virtually until restrictions are lied. The Fall 2020 semester at SVA is sched- uled to run September 28 through Decem- ber 22, spanning 12 weeks, with extended class durations. The spring 2021 semester is scheduled to start on the previously estab- lished date of January 11, and is to run for the full 15 weeks. Upon reopening, SVA will follow govern- ment guidelines and best practices in higher education for social distancing, which could include some or all of the following measures: limiting class size, wearing masks while inside campus buildings, and limiting the size of campus functions and activities in accor- dance with state and local requirements. Rising Sun Pictures There was minimal disruption to the courses and the curriculum when COVID-19 hit at Rising Sun Pictures Education in Australia. It took some time to pivot, but the time lost to set up the new classrooms was added to the end of the course, plus a few extra weeks; submission deadlines were extended also. "Students were still able to receive the experience they expected, which was incredible given the circumstances," says Anna Hodge, training & education manag- er, Rising Sun Pictures. "With protocols put in place, students said they felt safe at- tending classes during the pandemic. They also enjoyed the amendments that were made to the course due to social distanc- ing, and were grateful for the experience and opportunity." RSP wrapped up the semester with students presenting their work in the RSP theater to key artists. Pre-COVID, the FX & Lighting and Compositing & Tracking stu- dents viewed one another's presentations together. However, with restrictions placed on room numbers, the groups were split into two separate sessions. Zoom was set up so the students in the other session could still watch the presentations, albeit from another room. Two weeks aer the students complet- ed scheduled classes, RSP invited other local visual effects companies to come and view the students' work and provide individual feedback. According to Hodge, the students valued the networking experi- ence and appreciated the feedback about their projects. Already, she has received follow-up emails from employers making queries about the graduates. LA Film School The Los Angeles Film School was able to maintain its graduation ceremonies earlier this year, albeit in a virtual setting with the plans to have a larger in-person graduation when it is safe to do so in the future. Meanwhile, campus classes were re- vamped to be 100 percent online as of this interview, in addition to the school's existing fully online programs, and will remain this way until it is safe for students to return to campus in line with the CDC and local governmental guidelines. According to a school representative, it is also studying the guidelines of the DGA, major studios, and the local IA and SAG AFTRA, and will make adjustments to the curriculum to support the new reality of making films in a post- COVID-19 world. Karen Moltenbrey is the chief editor of CGW.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - Edition 2 2020