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Vancouver opens major performance capture studio

War for the Planet of the ApesThe Vancouver Film School (VFS) has opened Canada’s biggest performance capture studio, which is available for industry use.

Performance capture is the process by which actors perform in a specialised studio space – often referred to as a ‘volume’ – and have their movements and expressions read by computers that then add digital make-up to create a character.

The new Performance Capture Studio is a partnership between VFS and Mimic Performance Capture Inc.

“At Vancouver Film School, our aim is to deeply integrate our programmes with leading entertainment media/production companies, providing industry and educational insight for our students,” said Dr Ted Gervan, vice president of education at VFS.

“This applied approach to learning will have far-reaching benefits for our students as it makes their first day at VFS their first day on the job.”

Vancouver’s appeal as a North American production hub is likely to get a boost from the new studio. 

Performance capture was made mainstream by the huge success of James Cameron’s Avatar in 2009. Since then, the rebooted Planet of the Apes film franchise (pictured) has shot extensively in and around Vancouver over the past few years and has been instrumental in progressing the technology, particularly in developing its usage on location.

The opening of the VFS facility comes just weeks after a similar studio was launched in Quebec City.

For more on filming in British Columbia see our production guide.

Image: 20th Century Fox