Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Animationsinstitut

Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Animationsinstitut is an international film school offering students an exceptional learning experience through a project-oriented curriculum that provides hands-on learning in all the different stages of film and media production.

Animationsinstitut was founded in 2002 as part of the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. Since then it has evolved into one of the most renowned academic institutions for Animation, VFX and Interactive Media. Training follows a practice- and project-oriented approach, encouraging the interdisciplinary exchange with all students at the Filmakademie. All styles of animation are taught and seminars are led by distinguished international guest lecturers. In addition, the Institute is linked to other renowned film schools and institutions worldwide. Practical education is complemented by innovative academic research and by facilities equipped with state of the art technology. Verifying the Institute’s training concept, its student films continuously win awards on the festival circuit.

The students’ diploma projects, in particular, are very successful, regularly winning prizes at the most prestigious festivals, including SIGGRAPH and the VES Awards. As a consequence, the Institute’s alumni are highly sought after. Many start their careers in international media companies or renowned studios. Others found their own company, often based on concepts developed during their studies. Animationsinstitut organizes the prestigious FMX, International Conference on Animation, Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia.

The Research and Development division of Animationsinstitut is dedicated to applied research, evaluating new technologies and approaches for creative media productions at Filmakademie. Currently, the group consists of six full time employees and various freelance animators and artists who collaborate in the development of wide variety of projects. A major focus of previous work has been on facial animation and digital actors. This included the development of practical tools for high quality facial animation and one of the first convincing prototypical VFX productions featuring a completely digital actor. Since real-time capabilities were identified as a key technology in upcoming production scenarios, the team decided to develop their own open source platform (Frapper). Recent work utilizing this platform included a set of stereo conversion tools, a test system for psychologists in the field of autism, an interactive conference guide, a cloud-based animated messaging service for mobile devices, alternative motion capture approaches through depth sensors and real-time match move for Virtual Production.

Filmakademie was one of the seven partners of the EU funded project Dreamspace (2013-2016) with focus on virtual production and immersive content creation. While being heavily involved in applying the research outcome of the project in practical production scenarios, Filmakademie did also develop an open source toolset (VPET) for collaborative editing of virtual production scenarios.

The R&D group at the Animationsinstitut is also in charge of the Technical Director postgraduate course. Applicants have a preliminary degree in Computer Science or similar. The programme is open to students worldwide, and held mainly in English. It provides the ideal sandbox environment for evaluating and testing of new technologies and workflows.