Sep 08 2020

How Vancouver Film School Uses Tech to Improve Remote Learning

VFS’s investments in workstations allowed their students to maintain access to graphics-intensive technologies from home.

Vancouver Film School, a distinguished entertainment arts school that offers yearlong programs for 1,500 students across eight campuses, faced quite the debacle when the school pivoted to remote learning in the spring.

VFS students must create hundreds of high-tech projects every year, ranging from 3D animation and game design to virtual and augmented reality design and development. How were students going to access the graphics-intensive technologies they needed from home computers?

Fortunately, VFS was already deploying hundreds of Dell Precision 5820 workstations anDell displays in their on-campus labs when they had to transition to a remote learning environment.

Combined with Dell EMC infrastructure solutions on the back end, the workstations allowed VFS students to use creative applications such as Maxon Redshift, Autodesk Arnold, Unreal Engine, Unity and Avid Media Composer from home.

Even so, the school’s IT department was initially nervous about service disruption. VFS schedules classes from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., so there was no time for service loss. To the IT department’s relief, the Dell technologies helped the school avoid such a disaster.

“Without a doubt, this has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in my career,” said VFS head of IT Bernard Gucake in a news release. “Although we were already on a digital transformation journey, the unexpected happened, and we’re proud of what we managed to achieve within a couple of weeks with Dell Technologies.”

Dell Precision’s optimizer features improved the system’s performance by a significant margin. Using AI, the optimizer helped the IT department quickly identify and remove bottlenecks. When combined with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs that provide accelerated ray tracing and AI, the Precision 5820 workstations also cut render times by 60 percent.

“VFS students know they are getting access to not only the best teachers, but also the most powerful and reliable technology built to bring their ideas to life,” Gucake said in the release.

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