Visual Effects Integration
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Fall 2021
Prerequisites: (MEDA27721) OR (MEDA27198) OR (VDES29014)
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Bach of Film and Television
Program Coordinator(s): Kathleen Cummins, Randall Kapuscinski
Course Leader or Contact: N/A
Version: 20210907_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: A key priority in the Bachelor of Film and Television Program is the safety of students, staff, and faculty while participating in teaching and learning activities. Therefore, participants are expected to reference and adhere to provincial and federal law, established film industry standards, and Sheridan College's Occupational Health and Safety Policy to ensure the safe working environment for all. See link for additional information: http://www.sheridancollege.ca/working-at-sheridan/human-resources/occupational-health-and-safety.aspx

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Visual effects play an ever increasing and essential role in the production of film and television, from pre-visualization, to shooting against a green screen to integrating the footage into the final shot. Through lectures, screenings, discussion, workshops and projects students learn to plan for and break down the components of a visual effect. Students learn about the connection between real-world camera data and its digital representation. Attention is paid to proper supervision of sets where visual effects are to be shot. Students discuss and execute proper green-screen setup and shooting (including concepts such as focal distance, focal length, depth of field, aperture, motion tracking and compositing) in real and virtual environments. Students also learn about virtual production, motion and performance capture, and motion control commonly used in film production. Students engage in and learn the importance of critique of visual effects.

Program Context

Bach of Film and Television Program Coordinator(s): Kathleen Cummins, Randall Kapuscinski
This advanced level elective in the Bachelor of Film and Television combines both camera and digital suite skills from earlier intermediate courses to provide a framework for the seamless integration of digital visual assets within live action productions.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course students will have demonstrated the ability to work with production and post-production personnel to plan for and execute the seamless combination of digital and live-action visual assets.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Develop a VFX shooting plan that effectively communicates production requirements.
  2. Describe the integration/relationship of the pre-visualization and pre-production processes.
  3. Determine the technical aspects of VFX camera set-ups and lighting.
  4. Compare the functions of a variety of VFX screens and backdrops.
  5. Outline the elements involved in integrating visual effects with location shots.
  6. Integrate theory and practice into the production of an original VFX scene.
  7. Describe the evolution of VFX technologies in the filmmaking process.
  8. Correlate real world motion with virtual motion.
  9. Critique VFX shots and techniques to improve creative outcome and look.
  10. Model professional VFX crew behaviour in all interpersonal interactions and creative collaborations.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 VFX Planning Assignment20.0%
 Greenscreen Group Project Proposal15.0%
 Greenscreen Group Project20.0%
 Midterm Test15.0%
 In-class Group Presentation15.0%
 Final Test15.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
All assignments must be submitted by the deadline specified by the professor. All assignments must be delivered in the format and via the delivery method specified by the professor. Any request for an extension must be made prior to the deadline day. Any assignments submitted after the deadline will be penalized 10% each day thereafter. Assignments not delivered 7 days after the due date will receive a zero. Exceptions may be made with a medical note or at the professor's discretion. Unless otherwise specified, students must complete every assignment as an individual effort.  

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Challenge Exam
    Notes:  Both a challenge exam and portfolio are required for PLAR
  • Portfolio
    Notes:  Both a challenge exam and portfolio are required for PLAR

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: Multiple Professors
RequiredTextbookThe VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures, Okun, J.A. and Zwerman, S., New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 3rd Edition, 2020, Available as an ebook in the Sheridan Library

Applicable student group(s): Bachelor of Film and Television students
Course Details:

Module 1: VFX Techniques and Artistry

Overview of VFX integration

Computer Generated (CG) objects and environments

DMP, twinning, Dynamic VFX

Frame rate, codecs, motion blur, depth of field, camera technology

VFX aspects of production elements (camera work, perspective, lighting)

Creative tone, storytelling

Production departments and requirements

HDR and HDRI, scanning

VFX Planning Assignment 20%

Mid-Term test 15%


Module 2: VFX Planning and Preparation

Prepping for a VFX shoot

Gathering creative references

Concept art and previz, and storyboards

VFX breakdown and shooting plan

VFX technical and creative notes

On set data capture

Greenscreen Group Project Proposal 15%


Module 3: VFX Shooting Techniques and Post Workflow

HDRI, witness cams, scanning

Post production techniques and issues

How to Shoot Green Screen Effectively

Greenscreen workshops/shooting

Virtual Post-production workshop

Greenscreen Group Project 20%


Module 4: Advanced VFX Techniques

Virtual Production

Motion control, motion capture

Critique and analysis of VFX shots

Collaboration and notes

In-class Group Presentation 15%

Final Test 15%

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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