Africa Digital Media Academy: New initiative to boost TVET

Motion Capture is the latest technology to be rolled out by the Africa Digital Media Academy (ADMA) to empower trainees with employable skills in the media production industry, according to Christopher Marler, the Director of the ADMA.

By Grace Mugoya

Motion Capture is the latest technology to be rolled out by the Africa Digital Media Academy (ADMA) to empower trainees with employable skills in the media production industry, according to Christopher Marler, the Director of the ADMA.

 

Motion capture involves recording live human movement. The data produced is used to create realistic animation for film and television much more efficiently.

 

Operating under the Workforce Development Authority, ADMA is a vocational school started in 2012, with the aim of contributing towards bridging the human skills gaps especially in the ICT sector.

 

The motion capture studio at ADMA is the 6th in all of Africa and is fully equipped with top notch technical equipment to ensure that trainees are able to use the latest technology in the industry.

What can you do with motion capture?

Motion capture makes animation easy and cost effective. It only requires a handful of experts to create training material on skills in areas such as plumbing, carpentry and welding, among others. Along with other equipment, the Motion Capture studio has installed two rows of cameras that enable easy capture of images from any angle. There is also a video recording studio that is sound proof with various materials that stops sound reflection for easy production and quality shooting.

“We are training our students using professional equipment so that after they leave ADMA, our trainees are able to use this equipment when they go to the job market; something we believe is significant in producing a competent workforce,” says Marler.

ADMA is a product of partnership between the Government of Rwanda and Pixel Corps, a US-based digital media firm with over 25 years of experience in the digital media industry. The academy is playing a big role in imparting hands-on-skills to trainees. This is expected to contribute towards a rapid transformation and development of the digital media sector.

The ADMA emphasizes that it is not a film school, but rather a program for developing technicians who will work in film, TV, education, tourism, etc. It emphasizes learning through exposure to real production efforts, which have included projects such as cartoons for Know Zone Rwanda, documentary shorts for local NGOs, live streaming of major events such as Kwibuka and Transform Africa, and a cartoon for the Ministry of Health.
Professional instructors with international qualifications to handle the courses have been hired. Lecturers at this academy are sourced from the region and across the world. Online learning has also been made possible at ADMA.

Since its interception, ADMA has equipped over 200 youth with skills in the media production. This includes training in quality video and film production, 3D animation, basic production skills like computer graphics, shooting, editing and audio lighting.

Others programs offered include podcast technology and online streaming video broadcast, related skills such as rotoscoping, match moving, distance learning and visual literacy among others. ADMA admits beginners and those that have experience but want to improve their skills in the field.

Honing skills

Lievaim Rucyana, one of the trainees currently at the academy, has been in the field for over two years. He says that he decided to enroll so as to address the skills challenges he encounters in his work.

“During the course of my work, I realized that there were clients who were much more knowledgeable than me. This I found so embarrassing. I decided to enroll in this program to improve my skills in film editing and production,” Rucyana.

Now in his third year of training, Rucyana says his skills have improved and that his products have improved. The academy is operated on a system that enables trainees to train until they demonstrate competency in their respective trades.

Another trainee Oscar Niyigena, who currently works as a camera man at Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) encourages those training on the job to join the academy if they are to advance their skills in the field.

He says professionalism at work is very important as it does not only make one’s work better but also breeds confidence since one is sure of what he or she is doing. Niyigena has six years experience in the field.

A graduate from the former National University of Rwanda, Niyigena says that enrolling at ADMA has improved his skills to the level of producing products that meet international standards.

“I have been assigned to work for international organizations and I have been able to produce videos that meet their satisfaction,” he says.

With skills gained from ADMA, Niyigena has also been able to start a media company operating in the name Oscardo Multimedia Services Ltd. This he says is a side business that supplements his monthly earning. Niyigena does character animation, cartoons, film making but that this was not the case before as he could only make videos.

Increase in demand

The number of students wanting to join the academy is increasing by day. Figures indicate that 2000 students have applied to join the school. However, to be able to increase enrollment, there is need for more space, according to Marler.

In the first intake 500 students applied but 20 were shortlisted. Among other reasons for selecting a small number was that the school was focused on quality training considering the limited availability of equipments for training purposes.

For more information about the Africa Digital Media Academy, please visit http://adma.ac.rw

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