London, UK, 10 March 2022 – The ASUS ProArt range is a serious player for education facilities when equipping the next generation of video production professionals. From Netflix-ready color accurate displays to powerful laptops and PCs, ProArt has everything to prepare students for a career in the booming UK Film and TV industries.
There have been many unintended consequences of the pandemic, but one of the key ones for the UK Film and TV industries has been the realization of how big the skills gap is becoming. With more content being demanded all the time as the OTT giants ramp up competition (Netflix alone is debuting 400 original series this year), investment in production is reaching unprecedented levels. A massive £5.6bn was spent on Film and TV production in the UK alone last year, £1.3bn more than the previous pre-pandemic record in 2019.
This represents a massive opportunity, not just for the industry but for people wanting a career in Film and TV. What the industry is starting to recognize though is how short it is of skilled people to make all this content. The industry has changed dramatically over recent years, meaning new skills and new techniques are being used from the high-end all the way down to local productions.
As digital filmmaking has become mainstream, it has become part of the wider acceleration in technological change. It’s not only smartphones that are hugely more powerful than they were 10 years ago, but also cameras and postproduction equipment too. Kit such as the ASUS ProArt range is putting an unprecedented amount of power into the hands of both video professionals and the students that are looking to get in the industry. And it is doing it at a price/performance point that would have been firmly limited to the highest of high-end productions only a decade ago.
ASUS ProArt in education
Luckily, the same acceleration that is contributing to the skills gap holds one of the main solutions as well, with affordable performance technology such as ASUS empowering educational establishments to be able to offer their students state-of-the-art equipment when it comes to building their imaging pipelines.
For example, the National Film and Television School has installed the ASUS ProArt PA32UCG 4K HDR monitor in its grading suite to give its students a high-quality image when finalizing their productions. In its MA Digital Effects teaching space, it has provided each student with the ProArt PA27UCX-K as a desktop monitor.
“We try to reflect what the British film and television industry uses and the software that they’re going to be using when they go into the workplace,” comments Doug Shannon, Head of Systems, and IT at NFTS. “The quality and the value of the ASUS ProArt monitors are the reason why we decided to invest in them at the school.”
Over at Ealing’s MetFilm School, meanwhile, there is also a ProArt PA32UCG 4K HDR monitor being used as the primary color grading device, alongside a PA27UCX-K as the main GUI interface. Together these deliver the HDR workflow that students will be expected to be able to work with when they graduate. In addition to the monitors, MetFilm School has installed the Calman Verified ProArt A1 projector in their post-production teaching space. This enables them to run color grading sessions where a large group of students can collaborate thanks to its color accuracy.
MetFilm also highlights the importance of scalability when it comes to educational deployments, with a combination of the ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED laptop and ASUS Dial meaning that students can work in Adobe Premiere more effectively than before.
“We’ve been evaluating the ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED laptop and in terms of the performance I don’t have any laptop anywhere else that gets anywhere close to the performance of that device,” says John Joannou, Head of Technology at the school.
And performance was also valued by the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University when it chose to install ProArt PA32UCG 4K HDR monitors into its MA Visual Effects teaching space. One of the challenges in the key technique of compositing in VFX is viewing the in-camera effects versus the ones that are being added in. With the ProArt monitor the students are equipped with a color accurate HDR monitor, which enables them to see both the natural image and the effects they are adding to the scene.
“I’ve been using the ASUS ProArt PA32UCG and the thing I love most about it is when you’re dealing with very bright pixels next to very dark pixels, you don’t get that halo that comes around,” says Harvey Goodall, Head of Compositing at the National Centre for Computer Animation.
To empower both NFTS’ and MetFilm’s HDR and color grading workflows, is the Scan 3XS ProArt Studio workstation powered by ASUS ProArt B550-Creator motherboard. John Joannou commented that the system has provided them a whole new uplift in processing capability. It has also given them the upgradability factor compared to traditional workstations. With native Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports built-in, it enables students to plug in high-speed external devices and drives. With a highly powerful workstation like this, students are now capable of working in real-time and improve their line of work.
Plugging the skills gap
As the streaming wars continue, the demand for content shows no sign of slowing down. One of the very few things currently holding production back is a shortage of precisely the skills that are being taught in university courses. As a result, universities are expanding their courses, to help meet the demand.
It is a fabulous opportunity all round. Students get to learn invaluable skills to help kickstart a career in an industry crying out for new employees, and universities get to offer popular and in-demand courses that can demonstrate a high degree of real-world relevance.
But for that to happen they need the right equipment in place at the front line of their education efforts. That kit needs to balance being industry-standard and able to work at the top end of current formats and resolutions, with cost-effectiveness and the ability to scale to meet the needs of large student bodies. ASUS ProArt equipment does just that, kitting out universities with the ability to build robust, scalable, and cost-effective image pipelines, and enabling them to gear their students in turn with the skills and expertise that industry is demanding.
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