Educators NZ - Vic Uni and Weta Digital launches computer graphics programme

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Vic Uni and Weta Digital launches computer graphics programme

The increase in demand in computer graphics professionals has seen Victoria University in Wellington introduce a new Computer Graphics programme. 

The course is designed to educate students to develop the next generation of tools in what the university says is a rapidly growing and in demand industry. 

The first cohort of undergraduate students have started classes for the new Computer Graphics major, offered as part of Victoria’s Bachelor of Science degree.

“Our major is focused on providing a deep understanding so that our graduates can develop novel tools and ideas for use in films, games, medicine, simulation and more,” says programme director Professor Neil Dodgson. 

“We’ve recruited a strong team of world-class researchers to teach the programme, and propel our students into future thinking,” he says. 

Dodgson, former head of the Graphics and Interaction Research Group at the University of Cambridge, moved from the United Kingdom to head the programme.

The content and structure of the programme was developed with input from Weta Digital and other local digital technology companies.

“Computer graphics is an exciting field that offers students an opportunity to explore both the art and science of creating digital imagery,” says Joe Letteri, senior visual effects supervisor at Weta Digital.

“We are looking forward to working with a new generation of students and helping them turn their formal training into professional experience,” he says.

Wellington has the highest concentration of web-based and digital technology companies in New Zealand. A recent Victoria University report found that more than 20,000 people, or 10% of the region’s work force, are in digital sector roles.

Dodgson says there has never been a more exciting time to study computer graphics.

“There are increasing job opportunities in film, television, gaming, virtual reality and simulation—there are even jobs that don’t yet exist as the industry is constantly evolving,” he says. “The high demand for skilled graduates led Victoria to develop the Computer Graphics major, building on our existing expertise in computer science, mathematics and design.

“The strong industrial base in Wellington, the interaction between companies and Victoria, and the synergy within the University between the Schools of Computer Science and Design makes for an unbeatable combination in this subject in New Zealand,” Dodgson adds.

Students will also be able to continue to Victoria’s postgraduate study options in Computer Graphics, including Master’s and PhD programmes.

“Being an active participant in enabling a digital future is one of Victoria’s key areas of focus for the future.”

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