Dell Helps Power Remote Learning at Vancouver Film School
August 26, 2020

Dell Helps Power Remote Learning at Vancouver Film School

ROUND ROCK, Texas – Dell Technologies is helping students from Vancouver Film School (VFS) keep their creative pursuits on track whether they're in the physical or virtual classroom. With powerful Dell Precision workstations – combined with Dell EMC infrastructure solutions on the backend – students can access the latest technology for their graphics-intensive curriculum, even when quickly transitioning to a remote learning environment.
Vancouver Film School is one of the most distinguished entertainment arts schools in the world, offering year-long programs for around 1,500 students across eight campuses. VFS students create hundreds of productions every year, with the curriculum spanning Film Production, 3D Animation & Visual Effects, Digital Design, Game Design, and VR/AR Design & Development. Their alumni have gone on to be some of the most sought-after artists, creators and storytellers in the industry.

Class Is in Session via Remote Learning
VFS was in the process of deploying hundreds of Dell Precision 5820 workstations and Dell displays for their on-campus teaching labs when they quickly pivoted to a remote learning environment. This virtual setup needed to be accessible to all teachers and students, including those students that had returned to their homes outside of Vancouver.

The IT department faced two primary obstacles as they started evaluating remote learning needs. First, access to the latest technology. Direct production opportunities and access to industry-leading instruction is what attracts students to VFS, so it was critical to provide the same technology to create innovative content in 6k, 4k and AR/VR.

Second, minimal disruption to students. One of the unique elements of the school's curriculum is that classes run 9am – 10pm every day, with courses starting every two months and lasting up to a year. This meant there was no time to waste for the IT department.

Learning from leading global production studios supporting remote workforces, VFS deployed 900 Dell Precision workstations with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs in their labs in a week and a half. By week two, VFS had combined the workstations with Teradici PCoIP remote protocol solutions, giving most students remote access to their workstations and virtual access to the curriculum. Loaner PCs and monitors were shipped to students who lacked the technology to complete their learning and coursework from home.

"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," said Bernard Gucake, head of Information Technology, Vancouver Film School. "Without a doubt, this has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in my career. 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."

Consistent Learning Regardless of Location
Regardless of where the learning happens, VFS students have access to consistent, reliable and powerful technology. With enterprise-class components and extensive software certifications on Dell Precision workstations, VFS students can now use creative applications like Maxon Redshift, Autodesk Arnold, Unreal Engine, Unity and Avid Media Composer from home.

VFS also benefitted from Dell Precision Optimizer features, which dynamically optimizes the system's performance using Artificial Intelligence. VFS was able to examine system performance metrics to identify and remove bottlenecks. Combined with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs that provide accelerated ray tracing and AI, the deployed Precision 5820 workstations cut render times by 60 percent and have allowed students to easily apply special effects techniques prevalent in games and movies today.

"Vancouver Film School is a great example of virtual learning done right, and it will help prepare the next-generation of professionals for creating in remote environments," said Tom Tobul, vice president, Commercial Client Solutions – Specialty, Dell Technologies. "The combination of clear strategy setting, strong communication and integrated technology solutions provided the recipe for success during these unexpected circumstances."

Dell Precision is the workstation of choice for professional creators and production studios, VFX specialists and game developers. Dell's creative solutions have been used to help some of the world's leading studios integrate onsite and remove environments, even when handling large volumes of high-resolution and sensitive content.