University to create first comprehensive 3-D production curriculum in country

Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 1:00am

The Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin has received a $2.17 million grant from the Moody Foundation to create "UT3D," the first comprehensive 3-D production curriculum in the country.

Don Howard, associate professor and production area head in the Department of Radio-Television-Film, will serve as director of the program, which will offer classes to undergraduates beginning in the fall of 2013. Radio-Television-Film graduate Wayne Miller (B.A.,'77), executive producer at the leading Los Angeles-based 3-D film, television and new media studio SD Entertainment, helped envision the program and will help ensure its sustainability as co-chair of the advisory council.

"3-D content and technology are headed for a revolution across all platforms," Miller said. "It's imperative to share this new tool kit with future filmmakers so they have the training and experience for the jobs of the future. By providing students an understanding of 3-D technology and hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment, The University of Texas at Austin is bound to become the leader in 3-D education."

The Moody Foundation grant will be given over a five-year period. Classes will be taught at the Belo Center for New Media and the ACL Live at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin -- the recording studio for the PBS television show "Austin City Limits" -- where students will use the studio's 3-D production and performance facility.

"We're delighted to support UT3D," said Ross Moody, trustee of the Moody Foundation. "The Moody Foundation's focus on educating the youth of Texas is consistent with funding the establishment of the UT3D curriculum. Students will also gain first-hand experience in 3-D production at the Moody Theater to start their real-world training, and when they graduate, they'll be ahead in the growing medium of 3-D."

In addition to receiving leadership from current Radio-Television-Film faculty members, UT3D will draw upon industry professionals -- directors, technicians, producers and executives -- to mentor students, including the executives and production team from SD Entertainment.

Students will produce a range of 3-D content -- including plays, sports, documentaries and narrative pieces -- and explore recent 3-D innovations, such as "glasses-free" 3-D for television, tablets, cellphones and small display devices.

UT3D was also made possible by Tim McClure, GSD&M Advertising co-founder and College of Communication advisory council member, who provided guidance on the creation of the program and will continue to connect the college with industry partners.

"This grant represents an overwhelming investment in the College of Communication and Central Texas by the Moody Foundation, a long-time supporter of education and the arts," said Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communication. "The college is also grateful to its community and industry partners and UT3D Director Don Howard, who will prepare our students for the burgeoning 3-D industry."

The Moody Foundation is a charitable organization that makes grants primarily in Austin and Dallas, with an emphasis on education, social services, children's needs and community development. The Moody Foundation was created by Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Moody Jr. to benefit in perpetuity present and future generations of Texans.

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