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This year AMD will be sponsoring the UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) 2018 Graduate Showcase. The school is known for producing world-class film, television, and gaming graduates and is ranked in the top 15 film schools in the world by The Hollywood Reporter. The School has also just been recognized with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema BAFTA.

The graduation showcase is a series of events and screenings in February and March 2018 featuring over 80 projects spanning a wide range of genres from fiction and animation to documentary, video games, commercials and television entertainment.

NFTS Games Design and Digital Effects students and recent alumni have worked with AMD to deliver a series of Virtual Reality projects as part of the School’s Bridges to Industry program. The students were among the first in the UK to access AMD’s latest Radeon™ Pro WX7100 graphic cards, which are capable of developing and driving high-quality VR experiences. The student projects include interactive and immersive VR experiences using real-time rendered 3D computer graphics and an entertaining and inspiring 360˚ video project.

The university’s annual event attracts influential industry representatives from the worlds of film, TV, and games who come to experience the graduation projects and meet the stars of the future. AMD is proud to come on board as this year’s graduation showcase sponsor to continue their support of the future of high tech creation.

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director, commented on the partnership between AMD and NFTS, “It’s fantastic to have AMD Studios as this year’s NFTS Graduation Showcase sponsor. Blending the art of storytelling with the latest technologies is at the heart of the School’s philosophy and our collaboration with AMD is a testament to that approach.”

NTFS DFX student Ed Turvey
NTFS DFX student Ed Turvey

In addition to sponsoring the graduation showcase, AMD is investing in NFTS students by launching a scholarship to support NFTS master’s program students. We caught up with an AMD scholar, Digital Effects MA student Ed Turvey, to get the lowdown on what it’s like to study VFX and his plans after graduation.

How did you come to study Digital Effects at the NFTS? “It was after I completed a module in motion graphics during my undergraduate degree in TV and Film Production that I realised that I wanted to focus on the technical aspects of filmmaking. I was allowed to specialise in motion graphics during my third year and the course leader suggested I look into the NFTS Digital Effects MA as a next step.”

How would you describe your first year at NFTS? “It’s been incredible – a huge learning curve, but a lot of fun. I’ve never learnt so much in such a short time. I’ve completely immersed myself in the experience and put my life on hold – it’s become an obsession.”

Which project has been your highlight so far? “The MoCap (motion capture) project is my highlight so far because it was a lot of fun. We spent time at the offices of the world leaders in motion capture, Centroid at Pinewood Studios, and I got to apply liquid simulation during the project, which is something I want to specialise in. It was also the first time we got to work as a group, which I really enjoyed.”

What does AMD’s support mean to you? “I’m incredibly grateful for AMD’s support. Without their help, it would have been really difficult for me to come here, so it’s fantastic that they are supporting students like me and the School itself.”

What do you love about technology? “I have a very techie mind which is why I’m drawn to simulation, as it’s heavily reliant on physics and maths. I really appreciate computers and the power they have: I have built my own custom PC for my needs and it’s incredibly important in CG to have a powerful computer to do the things we need to do. A powerful graphics card is very useful in many cases – you need a lot of onboard RAM and processing power especially for GPU (graphics processor unit) rendering.”

What do you want to do after you graduate? “I would love to work on big blockbusters, but I’d also like to do CG for video game trailers. The games companies want their trailers to be full-on CG now, rather than gameplay, and I’m a gamer myself so I’d think I’d really enjoy working in the games industry.“

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