In view with the growing demand of the evergreen industry in animated films and visual effects, The One Academy are collaborating with award-winning production company John Hughes Institute (JHI) (previously known as Rhythm & Hues or R&H) to launch the Diploma in Visual Effects which is commencing in May next year. Rhythm & Hues are known for Oscar®-winning works such as Life of Pi (2012), Snow White and the Huntsmen (2012), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), The Golden Compass (2007) and more.
Earlier, Tau Films (sister company of R&H) Creative Director & Visual Effects Supervisor Walt Jones ran a master lecture with The One Academy students to give them an overview of the ‘Look Development in Visual Effects Production’ which was conducted by Jones.
In brief, design and look development are visual cues that help infuse characters qualities that aid storytelling more effectively. This would mean creating ‘digital assets’ placed in films which are required to be presentable to help ‘sell’ the characters in movies. To illustrate his point, Jones shared the intricate process of character design and look development in commercially successful blockbusters such as The Golden Compass, Hulk and Life of Pi.
Jones revealed that as a visual effects artist, one has to be versatile and diligent, besides keen to do plenty of research to achieve a high level of realism. In Life of Pi, for instance, Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger, took 1 year to build, with an average 30 hours spent on a single frame. Instead of meeting deadlines, another priority in production is to make sure if the approach taken to solve a production problem is the right one. Quality is of utmost importance in visual effects production.
Following the master lecture, The One Academy and JHI announced their joint venture in launching the Diploma in Visual Effects programme. The One Academy Principal & Founder Tatsun Hoi and The One Academy Department of Digital Animation Project Manager Lee Hooi Ling along with Jones and Tau Films Producer Mandeep Singh signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to seal this partnership officially.
“The reason why we chose JHI to be our partner is because of our strong belief that in order to train and nurture world class professionals, the only simple way to go about it is to let the world class professionals nurture world class professionals. That has been our practice for the past 25 years at the One Academy, in line with our Masters Train Masters coaching philosophy. JHI is the world best visual effects production company that has clinched many awards, recognised worldwide. Furthermore, JHI has the same vision as The One Academy, that is to elevate South East Asia, at least, or Asia to be one of continents that offer the best visual effects industry in the world very soon,” said Tatsun.
“As for our perspective, we have laid the foundations with The One Academy in 2008 when we started our operations as Rhythm & Hues. We were training people from The One Academy and we used to hire graduates as our employees. More than 70% of our staff in Rhythm & Hues was with The One Academy at that time. The students’ have very strong foundation and it’s very good for us to give other specialisations to them on top of what the students already have. You can say that we have been partnering unofficially since 2008. So, when we started JHI, we were looking for collaborations all over the world and when we came to Malaysia, the talk started with The One Academy itself because we knew that they have the students we would want to nurture,” said Mandeep, taking note also that the visual effects industry in Asia has been and is a booming industry.
“In the 25 years since its establishment, The One Academy has only added 2 new courses, the other being a fashion design course 2 years ago. Observing the tremendous demand in the Malaysian and Asian market, The One Academy took a vast step and partnered JHI to launch the Diploma in Visual Effects. Nowadays, without visual effects, you cannot even create a TV series. Without visual effects, the production cost will be sky-high and not as interesting, affecting its viewership numbers drastically. Therefore, it is a golden opportunity and the perfect timing for those who are interested in visual effects to consider a career in this particular specialisation now,” said Tatsun.
“The reality is in Asia, we have a lot of untapped talents and just based on the size of Asia and the access of technology in Asia and the fact that anybody can just grab hold of these tools and create things that 10 years ago, were impossible to do, this means that there are incredible opportunities. All the studios right now are really learning to do the next thing and are really excited about the opportunities available here,” said Jones.
Agreeably, Visual Effects (VFX) is an extremely crucial element in today’s filmmaking industry, especially in the international arena. As a pioneer in the art & design education industry, The One Academy and JHI’s partnership will indeed benefit all students around the world, especially the Malaysian students, creating new opportunities that will further spur our local filmmaking industry to a higher level, nurturing a new generation that specialises in visual effects in future who can contribute to our local film industry.
With a course so carefully crafted with everything in mind from environmental factors to course mechanics and available professional facilities to nurture students to be a VFX Specialist who complies with current industry standards and also offers students work-based learning opportunities, the Diploma of Visual Effects is expected to be one of the most exciting diploma courses in The One Academy.
In affirming the academy's credentials of being Malaysia's best brand in education, this partnership is one such example The One Academy is constantly involved in international collaborations with the best names in the industry, exemplifying the Masters Train Masters coaching philosophy by engaging top industry players as The One Academy’s lecturers.
“We are very proud to have the opportunity to work together with JHI. Together, we hope that we are able to nurture top notch students with this elaborate visual effects diploma course and give birth to a generation who is more affluent with visual effects. Just like what Neil Armstrong had once said, ‘This is one small step for man, but one giant leap for mankind’. We also hope that the little that we do will make a difference and inspire the younger generation, to nurture more creative geniuses who are not afraid to chase their dreams and make it come true,” said Tatsun.
Those who are interested to find out more about the Diploma in Visual Effects by The One Academy and JHI can contact The One Academy at 03-5637 5510, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.toa.edu.my for more information. This diploma will commence on May 2016.
The launch of this new diploma is an exemplary illustration of how The One Academy is constantly, tirelessly seeking out new opportunities and ventures to create better, fresher turfs by providing fresh prospects to opportunity seekers out there and wants to venture in the creative industry.
The One Academy eager learners enquiring more about Walt Jones’s master lecture after his session at The One Academy.
Walt Jones teaching The One Academy students in his master lecture.
From left: The One Academy Project Manager Lee Hooi Ling, The One Academy Founder & Principal Tatsun Hoi, Tau Films Producer Mandeep Singh and Tau Films Creative Director & Visual Effects Supervisor Walt Jones signing the MOU at The One Academy recently to officiate the Diploma of Visual Effects.
From right: The One Academy Project Manager Lee Hooi Ling, The One Academy Founder & Principal Tatsun Hoi, Tau Films Creative Director & Visual Effects Supervisor, Tau Films Producer Mandeep Singh and The One Academy Head of Illustration Department Leo Chong with The One Academy students after Walt Jones Master Lecture.