Embracing art with AI


Artificial Intelligence (AI) may generate cool visuals, but human creativity is what truly shines and remains irreplaceable.Artificial Intelligence (AI) may generate cool visuals, but human creativity is what truly shines and remains irreplaceable.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a science fiction concept. It is becoming an effective tool in the hands of creative professionals. But how can AI transform the animation and visual effects (VFX) industry?

Understanding AI technology used in animation and VFX might seem complex at first, but it is rather straightforward, provided one recognises the tools.

Imagine a world where basic tasks like separating objects from backgrounds, perfecting colour grading, and conjuring up realistic simulations of fire, smoke and water are no longer a drain on creative energy.

AI ingenuity has streamlined these traditionally time-consuming tasks, allowing aspiring animators, VFX artists, and character designers to get into the heart of storytelling and perfecting hyper-realistic visuals.

With AI as their trusted ally, they can dedicate their passion to character design, animation and crafting captivating narratives that engage and deeply connect with audiences.

At Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU), students are at the forefront of this technological shift, exploring the synergistic interaction between art and AI.

Through hands-on learning experiences, students discover AI-powered curriculum and equip themselves with the tools needed to succeed in this fast-changing industry, which is expected to reach $528bil by 2030.

Kenneth Koo Junn Kit’s project, No Guns Life Beatdown, received Honorable Mentions at the Student World Impact Film Festival 2023.Kenneth Koo Junn Kit’s project, No Guns Life Beatdown, received Honorable Mentions at the Student World Impact Film Festival 2023.

AI, not a replacement

Despite the automation and efficiency that AI brings, one truth remains unchanged: the heart and soul of storytelling lie in the hands of human creators.

AI can generate cool visuals, but it lacks the innate ability to infuse narratives with emotion and depth, tapping into the emotional and spiritual connections that only human creativity can make.

This is where APU’s Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Animation and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Effects students shine, utilising their technical expertise and creative insight to explore complex 3D modelling, immersive storytelling, and captivating effects.

Under the guidance of industry experts, including School of Media, Arts, and Design (SoMAD) head Debbie Liew Pooi Kuan, students explore the limitless possibilities of AI-infused creativity.

“The creative industry thrives on breaking boundaries so that their creativity is not bound to technical limitations.

“See how far the quality of film, computer graphics, and effects has come over the last 50 years.”

They master industry-standard software like Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Maya, and Unreal Engine, harnessing the power of AI algorithms to elevate their ideas and human touch to new heights.

Valentina Song’s Happy Birthday to Me also received Honorable Mentions at the Student World Impact Film Festival 2023.Valentina Song’s Happy Birthday to Me also received Honorable Mentions at the Student World Impact Film Festival 2023.

APU graduates possess not only problem-solving skills, but also require both prompt creative and critical thinking in today’s tech-infused world of animation and VFX.

Generative AI (Gen-AI) tools like Gemini will become their secret weapon. Generate research summaries and explore different viewpoints in a flash, giving them a head start on any topic.

Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT will be their brainstorming buddies to get a flood of text ideas, draft surveys with ease, and watch their stories come to life faster than ever before.

If they need eye-catching visuals for their social media campaign or advertising mock-up, Adobe Firefly and Adobe Express are their go-to apps which leverage AI-powered tools to create stunning visuals with minimal effort.

Adobe Software offers AI tools for speedy editing and finishing touches, allowing their animation or VFX work to shine while Nvidia Canvas, Vizcom.AI, and Hypersketch become their digital sketch pads to generate sketches or coloured illustrations.

Plus, they will have full access to Toon Boom Learning Resources and exclusive VFX Studios software, powered by Seamless Virtual Lab and remote lab access.

Nurturing creative minds, building award winners

Beyond mastering these tools, APU nurtures a culture of innovation and excellence such as APU’s emerging talent, Dao Qyunh Nhu’s graduation project ‘Reply’, made an impression at the Kancil Awards 2023 by winning a Bronze medal.

Her skills were also acknowledged, as she became a Quarterfinalist at the Student World Impact Film Festival 2023.

Nhu’s directing talent was showcased in ‘Hollow’, a collaborative project with Busy Bee Production (animation project team).

This engaging animation was selected for an official screening at the esteemed International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) 2023.

This is just a glimpse of the potential that awaits APU animation and VFX graduates where APU hones their technical skills and artistic talents, helping them create eye-catching portfolios.

Dao Qyunh Nhu’s graduation project ‘Reply’, made an impression at the Kancil Awards 2023 and Quarterfinalist at the Student World Impact Film Festival 2023.Dao Qyunh Nhu’s graduation project ‘Reply’, made an impression at the Kancil Awards 2023 and Quarterfinalist at the Student World Impact Film Festival 2023.

Jack Lai Yong Geat, the driving force behind APU’s Animation and VFX programme, is excited about the industry’s potential.

“The Malaysian animation and VFX scene is exploding with exciting opportunities,” says Lai.

He added that the government’s backing through organisations such as the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as a key component.

This support, combined with a strong emphasis on original content development and the industry’s rising global footprint, paints a bright picture for future careers.

“It offers promising opportunities. If you have a passion for animation and VFX, this could be an excellent industry to explore.”

Industry-ready from day one

SoMAD offers hands-on, industry-focused education led by professional educators who share their real-world knowledge.

Students embark on a journey of discovery and creativity, gain practical experience through internships, industry projects and networking opportunities.

They will start building their portfolio right from the start, working in state-of-the-art studios and labs equipped with the latest technology.

APU Bachelor’s students have the option to enrol in the APU-DMU dual degree certificates, earning degrees from both APU (Malaysia) and De Montfort University, UK.

 APU’s purpose-built campus with ultra-modern design is strategically located in MRANTI Park in Kuala Lumpur.APU’s purpose-built campus with ultra-modern design is strategically located in MRANTI Park in Kuala Lumpur.

Visit APU Open Day, go to www.apu.edu.my or contact 03-8996 1000 to unlock the door to a world where imagination knows no bounds.

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