The College for Creative Studies (CCS) Receives Epic MegaGrant for Entertainment Arts and Transportation Design Programs

March 22, 2023

Animated characters and the epic megagrants logo

CCS’s Transportation Design Graduate program and the Entertainment Arts undergraduate program, received an Epic MegaGrant from Epic Games to enhance the learning experience for students, after working with CCS departments on a sponsored project. 

During the Fall 2021 semester, Vectorform used Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to create a widget that stimulated user interactions/experiences — this allows for the interactions for vehicle designs to be tested out. The interdisciplinary project between Transportation Design graduate students and Entertainment Arts seniors was taught by transportation design chair, Raphael Zammit. 

During the Fall 2021 semester, Vectorform challenged CCS Transportation Design students to create interior and exterior vehicle designs and Entertainment Arts students to create environments and characters using Unreal Engine. These teams came together to brainstorm futuristic elements and create a storyline.

One of those futuristic elements being a completed version of the Fisher Building. Originally, the Fisher Building was expected to be the tallest building in the world, but $3 Million and one Great Depression later, only one-third of the building was finished.

“It’s forward thinking. It’s not just visual styling or fanciful storytelling,” says Raphael Zammit, Chair of Transportation Design. “It was using conceptual visualization to investigate and communicate advanced concepts. Grants like this are really helpful because it furthers our development and pushes our knowledge base.”

The MegaGrant afforded the departments with the opportunity to purchase Rokoko suits — wearable smart suits that capture the body’s motion and stream the data over WiFi in real-time to digital characters.This educational partnership with Vectorform was a part of a CCS initiative focusing on experiential learning, which assists with the preparation for life after graduation. It provides students with opportunities to gain practical skills through hands-on experiences with faculty, peers, industry, and community partners. Learn more about CCS’s experiential learning, here.