How Canadian tech and talent places northern studios at the forefront.
Whether it’s a space battle in a movie, a recreated time period in a TV show, or character power-ups in a video game, visual effects (VFX) play an enormous role moving how audiences immerse themselves in a storyline. VFX relies on high-tech and highly talented individuals to create realistic imagery which would otherwise be dangerous, costly or time-consuming to produce. And Canada is a global leader in making it all possible.
A billion dollar industry built on pixels.
VFX has a critical impact on the market appeal and performance of video games, films and shows. Well-rendered VFX gives the final product a more professional look and provides a more engaging and enjoyable experience. For gaming in particular, VFX can help players understand the game more quickly, reducing text and keeping dialogue to a minimum so that the action flows as smoothly as possible and with fewer interruptions.1
Leading the way are Canadian-based companies, who have created VFX and animation for box-office hits that include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Iron Man 3.2 That’s in addition to the dozens of hit video game titles created, developed and rendered in Canada each year. In 2019, the Canadian film, television and video post-production generated $1.79B in revenue, a nearly 50% increase over four years, 3 and the growth continues.
Hotspots for VFX include Vancouver and Toronto. However, Montréal is emerging as the VFX leader in Canada, thanks to the city’s growing talent pool - which got its start in the city’s video-game production industry - and generous fiscal incentives. Montréal now boasts over 6,000 2D and 3D animation and VFX specialists across 35+ studios.4
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) continue to propel the world of VFX. They are both crucial to compressing the timelines involved in doing millions of frame-by-frame modifications to visual images. Not only can AI/ML revolutionize the creation of VFX for blockbusters, it can also put VFX tech into the hands of virtually anyone.5
Canada’s AI ecosystems are leading global developments; from top-ranked educational institutions to market-leading tech companies and world-renowned researchers. In fact, Canada was the first country to release a national AI strategy, helping to propel growth and innovation in the AI industry, which leads to further evolutions in the VFX space.6
The BCE Global - USA network helps to make it all possible
Keeping the pixels moving and the VFX growth-engine turning is Canada’s telecommunications leader, BCE Global - USA, a Bell Canada company. VFX relies on the fast, secure and reliable transfer of data and massive files from producer to producer, and supplier to client. With high capacity connectivity that can help to reduce both production time and costs, BCE Global - USA connects them all with access to Canada’s largest network – one that spans over 176,000 miles.
What’s more, it’s reliable, with 48,000 dedicated support professionals continuously ensuring the dependable service customers deserve. Importantly, BCE Global - USA’s corporate group continues to invest in its network with an industry leading $4.8 billion CAD in capital expenditures in 2021 alone – and proudly boasts speeds of up to 400 Gbps. That’s speed that can transform creativity, allowing for more real-time animations across volumetric capture, motion capture, facial tracking and CG animation.7
Taken together - a highly skilled workforce, an innovative focus on the future, and a forward-thinking telecommunications partner – it’s a safe bet that Canada will remain at the forefront of the VFX industry for years to come.
3 Statistics Canada. Table 21-10-0077-01 Film, television and video post-production, industry profile based on type of revenue (x 1,000,000)
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