What 2017 looks like for the Digital Industry: Exploring the future of Design, Animation, VFX and VR.

With technology changing at breakneck pace, it is always exciting to see which directions the major companies are going to take their developments in. We’ve dived in to bring you the kinds of advances we can expect to see in the near future. Designfuture.jpg

VR and Immersive experiences

“The other emerging tech is Virtual Reality. That’s incredibly interesting to work in, those immersive environments are something that I think we will be more and more common as we go forward – and then cross device interaction.” – Glen Jeffreys, UX Designer at Digital Design company Deepend

We currently have two Game Development students carrying out a VR development internship at a major accounting firm. “I know that other similar accounting firms and big businesses are seriously exploring the possibilities of games and VR in their business model. Whether or not that continues to develop, it is very telling in terms of how businesses in general are thinking about this now - it is no longer a weird techy little thing that nerds get into, it is people in major companies saying ‘maybe this is going to be key in the future of what we do’” Sean Callinan, Head of Game Development and Animation at JMC Academy explained.

The feedback we here at JMC have been getting from our industry professional lecturers and guest speakers that are on the cutting edge, is that VR is now at serious consumer and commercial level, and new technologies will move toward enabling you to interact with the virtual and real environment with ever greater freedom and realism. Haptic interfaces and devices like RezCo’s Synaesthesia suit will aim to give real sensations to the wearer while they’re immersed in VR-land, and users will increasingly be able to move about and physically interact with the virtual world. 

Augmented Reality

With the rise of Pok√©mon Go bringing worldwide attention to Augmented reality, we can definitely expect to see more uses of AR, and more developing technologies to accompany it. Industry leaders believe that AR will actually have a far bigger impact on society as it will allow users to break out of the isolated experience that limits VR. This will have repercussions far beyond entertainment, in systems for operating complex facilities and projects, and interaction with big data in management, business, education, and even government. AR builds on techniques like those in VR but allows the user to overlay it onto the physical world in real time. A recent industry speaker at JMC discussed the development of new internet protocols that will allow localised information to be accessed by AR applications, allowing them to deliver deep layers of highly targeted data in response to the user’s vicinity and physical environment.

Natalie Tomarus #DigitalDesign student demonstrates @Photoshop Digital Imaging. #Design #Photoshop #PhotoEditing

A photo posted by JMC Academy Design (@jmcacademydesign) on

Real- Time Rendering

Real time rendering has been getting steadily more and more sophisticated over recent years, with the quality and details of those renders improving substantially. It is still not quite up to the standard that you get from a fully post-rendered piece of VFX or animation, but it is increasingly close. We are starting to see the possibility in the not-too-distant future that we will be able to real-time render at the level that we currently have to time base render, enabling us to play back in real time instead of spending minutes to render out every frame. This is already the case in some advanced animation tools at studios like Pixar and Disney. 

Many of these developments are the result of ever-increasing computing power, although Callinan commented that “we are starting to reach the physical limits of speed and miniaturisation”. Who knows what new breakthrough like quantum computing may be just around the corner however.

JMC Academy’s Sydney Campus hosts Sydney ACM Siggraph meetings monthly, where professionals come together to discuss the art and craft of computer imagery, and the future of the industry. Keep an eye on the Facebook page to find out when the next meet is! Everyone is welcome.

Find out more about studying Game Development and Animation here at JMC Academy

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