American University Preparatory School

AUP takes on the Activision Studios

On February 12th, the school took a trip to the Activision Studios in Playa Vista.  Activision is an American video game publisher. The studio that AUP visited deals with the Motion Capture aspect of video games.
Once we stepped into the building, everyone was amazed at the small glimpses they could catch from inside the studio itself. Once everyone got situated and calmed down, the speaker of our tour introduced himself as Ben Watson and had been working at the studios for about 10 years.

Mr. Watson brought us into the studio itself and welcomed us. I was amazed by all the techniques and and ways that they used to film different scenes for the games. We were told that we couldn’t take pictures and post them on media of the products found at the studios, because they were confidential. He explained how filming went, which was just many different shots of the person or thing doing whatever the head person needed within that shot. The odd clothing, shoes, mask with marks on them and boots  with special items attached to the material were used to film every single movement coming from the people “acting."

The next room we were taken to was much more interesting than the first. In this part of the studio different parts of different people’s anatomy was put together to make a character almost like Frankenstein. The first thing we were introduced to was a big sphere made of 100’s of cameras at different angle and a seat inside. This machine was used to get every detail down to the single pore on someone’s face. After, we were able to use two different machines, one to scan the face and one to scan the body. It was very hard to stay still and not blink(with a flashing light) while scanning the faces. I was very fascinated that celebrities and and even bacon gets scanned with these machines. At the end of the tour, we were able to try out the equipment and learn about what each one does in my depth by trying it out ourselves.

I believe that what we were taught by going to the Activision Studios are different passions that we could pursue. I also believe that the Motion Capture aspect at the Activision studios helped students understand what could happen using Computer Science and Digital Media Arts.  It also shows the way that modern technology is advancing. The information shared through this field trip made me aware of all the jobs and majors I could pursue in the future. It also gave me a chance to try something new out. Visiting Activision studios made me want to learn more about the graphic design part of videogames and what special equipment is used for the process.

The tour given to us mainly by Ben Watson was interesting and more exciting than expected. I believe that this opens society’s mind and shows them that there are so many things that can be accomplished with computers, electronics and items of these sorts. It helps them think outside of the box, while enjoying what they are doing. Studios of these sorts help make entertainment for people all around and of all ages and sizes. I am very glad that I was able to visit these studios, because I was able to learn about Motion Capture and in an entertaining way.

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