Can you tell us a little about your background, where are you from, and what brought you to London to study at Rose Bruford?

I’m from Japan and have always been interested in going abroad to study various kinds of art forms. I came to London straight away after finishing high school in Japan. I went to Camberwell College of Arts for my foundation degree as it was required for all international students before studying for a bachelor’s degree.

I was not fully sure what exactly I wanted to learn, but I enjoyed theatre design, directing and designing costumes during the foundation year. I found Rose Bruford College when searching for theatre design degrees. I was initially going to choose the costume design course, but the motion capture studio looked so fancy to me when I visited the campus, that I eventually chose to study in the Virtual Theatre and Digital Experiences course.

How have your studies been so far at Rose Bruford as an international student?

It has been a perfect environment for me to study. There aren’t as many international students at Rose Bruford compared to the larger universities in central London. This turned out to be really good for me as it allowed me to learn more about the local British culture. I’m also lucky enough to have some lovely British friends whom I met through the College and now share a flat with.

What are the most exciting projects that you’ve worked on?

I’m so lucky to be given the opportunity to work at Target3D as a Motion Editor since May 2022 – after doing a work placement there as part of my studies at Rose Bruford. I’ve been involved in a lot of their projects and one of the highlights is definitely the collaborative campaign between the fashion brand Louis Vuitton and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. This is one of the most exciting professional projects I have worked on.

Yayoi Kusama Louis Vuitton campaign

Motion capture was used in the campaign featuring Yayoi Kusama, which consisted of her holding a Louis Vuitton bag painted with her iconic colourful dots, a scene of her watering flowers and painting her dots on the walls and so on. The scene of her offering a pumpkin bag was meant to be seen in 3D using a massive curved billboard starting in Tokyo, Japan. This eventually broadcast onto billboards around the world, including the one in Piccadilly Circus, London.

As for projects that I’ve worked on at Rose Bruford, the independent research project I conducted for my dissertation was definitely the most exciting project. As I am a huge fan of ballet, it was always my dream to do motion capture with highly skilled ballet dancers. Thanks to the support and introduction from my tutor – who had a connection with a dance organisation AVA DANCE COMPANY – my dream came true to do this for my final year project!

I researched about five different motion capture systems through this project – Optitrack (marker-based), Noitom (Sensor-based), Thiea3D (Markerless), MoveAI (Markerless) and Captury (Markerless). This allowed me to learn more about each systems’ motion capture features. As ballet is a good combination of technical and artistic aspects, it was a really meaningful experiment of demonstrating what the current motion capture technologies are capable of doing from those two perspectives.

What are you enjoying most about your studies?

The technology around me makes me so creative! Whatever beautiful thing I see, it makes me want to create them in my own way, or to even try to recreate them in 3D. The fact that Rose Bruford let me use the motion capture equipment and other software on campus makes me even more creative and it’s just so much fun. Not many universities own the expensive equipment that Rose Bruford has! Also, my course is small, which gave me more opportunities and freedom to explore those technologies.

What is your advice to any students considering or studying at Rose Bruford?

The College is suitable for those who feel more comfortable being in a small community, close to each other including tutors. They have all the equipment that you’ll need for the course, you just have to enjoy it and be creative with them. My tutors are all so incredibly supportive in terms of study, mental health and everything! If you’re passionate about your art, you will enjoy your life here.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Rose Bruford gave me a lot of opportunities and let me learn what I wanted to. The flexibility they provided to have proper time to learn things, catch up, and explore with the learnings was perfect for me.

Virtual Theatre and Digital Experiences is now part of our new Design for Performance BA (Hon) course, find out more.