|Skillset is launching a series of major initiatives and awards designed to improve the quality of talent entering the visual effects (VFX) industries from UK universities.
These come in the wake of the Livingstone-Hope "Next-Gen" review and will transform the landscape of VFX teaching in the UK.
The first initiative is a special deal negotiated with The Foundry, the British makers of top visual effects software, Nuke, to provide a select number of Skillset Media Academies and accredited courses with Nuke software licence and training packages.
Skillset's computer games, animation, and facilities manager, Saint John Walker, who leads on Skillset's VFX projects, said:
"The first step to creating better talent for the industry is to ensure professional standard tools and training are available to both tutors and students. Thanks to The Foundry, Nuke will shortly be available to hundreds of talented students in top universities. This is a crucial step in enabling HE to deliver the talent the industry needs."
The software will be provided to Ravensbourne, Glamorgan, Swansea, Falmouth, Ulster, Bradford and Teesside Universities, and the University of Hertfordshire. All receive Nuke licences for three years.
This is the first of five major VFX initiatives to go live in the next few months, designed to create deeper and more specialist new entrant talent for the UK's VFX industry.
Skillset's VFX programme also includes further training for university staff, a range of VFX modules designed with input from some of the UK's biggest VFX companies to push up standards and a series of industry masterclasses for selected students.
Gaynor Davenport, CEO of the UK Screen Association said:
"We applaud The Foundry and Skillset for this scheme. Nuke is the tool most of our VFX members use."
Bill Collis, CEO of The Foundry said:
"We are extremely happy to be working with Skillset on this much-needed programme. We recognise that today's students are the VFX artists of tomorrow. As members of this industry, we have a part to play in helping our industry to grow and we look forward to seeing the amazing work students will produce."
The funds for these initiatives come through Skillset's Film Fund, which is derived from Lottery money through the British Film Institute.