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Introduction for Industry Partners

 

Mission statement


The Mixed-Reality Capture Studio (MRC Studio) is a group of experts engaged in the application of real-time graphics technology. We have a state-of-the-art marker less motion capture stage, VR headsets, and virtual production capabilities. We also focus heavily on the development of video games, and the application of gaming technology in training and simulation settings. We collaborate with industry partners to solve challenges related to game development, digital art production, and software performance.


Our team comes from entertainment industries such as Video Games, Animation, Film & Television, as well as the Academic world. Combined, our lead researchers have shipped over a hundred projects across virtually every platform available today.

 

We work with Durham College students from Game Art, Animation, Computer Programming, Interactive Media Design to strengthen their academic experience, giving them real-world experience working alongside industry professionals.

 

We're dedicated to the development of projects Mixed-Reality, Virtual Production, Video Game, and Training & Simulation projects. We look for new ways to leverage existing technologies and provide benefit our industry partners.

We hope you will consider working with us.

 

Focus and Expertise

Type of Project

Examples

Tools

Pre-Production

Concept Art, Script Development, Storyboarding, Game Design, Prototyping, Proof of Concepts, and Visual Development.

Storyboarder, Storyboard Pro, Photoshop, CSP, Excel, Unity, Unreal

3D Art

Modelling, Surfacing, Rigging, Animation, Lighting, VFX, Photogrammetry, Shader and Material Development.

Maya, Blender, ZBrush, Substance Suite, Creative Cloud, Marvelous Designer, Metashape, Unity, Unreal

Animation

2D and 3D Rigging and Animation, Illustration, Game-Engine / Realtime Rendering.

Toon Boom, Spine2D, Maya, Blender, Unity, Unreal

Development

Gameplay Programming, Systems Programming, Feature Development, Development with Node-based Scripting, Integration of 3rd Party APIs, Hardware Interfaces, Shaders, Graphics Optimization.

Unity C#

Unreal Blueprint

Visual Studio

Jetbrains Rider

Testing

Bug Testing, Integration of Testing Tools, Performance Testing, PC, Mac, XR, and Mobile Device Testing.

In-Game Reporting Tools

Trello, JIRA, Asana

Performance Capture

Studio Motion Capture, Portable Motion Capture, Facial Capture, MOCAP Cleanup, Livestream of Motion Capture Data, Virtual Production.

Captury Live!, Noitom Perception Neuron, Unreal/Unity

 

Applied Research

 

As an applied research facility, we look for new and novel approaches to existing problems. We spend time to coach and mentor our students and model a healthy and productive work environment. We spend special attention to the retention of project learnings. This framing is important to keep in mind, especially when working with research grants. While we do our best to work efficiently and "wow" our industry partners, it is critical that we have time to experiment and improve our processes, rather than work as-fast-as possible to turn around deliverables. We thank you in advance for your understanding and valuable collaboration.

 

Project Walk-through

 

While all projects are different, many of them follow the same process. Here are the phases you can expect while working with us,

 

Phase

Description

Duration

Introduction

Usually this is an e-mail or short call where we determine if there is mutual interest in working together. If so, we send intake forms for you to complete, and schedule a project discovery call.

< 1 week

Project Discovery

Discuss the project in more detail to gather information for scoping. This call is usually between yourself and the Project Manager, though sometimes we will bring in a Principal Investigator (Lead Researcher) and/or the Manager of Applied Research Partnerships.

< 1 week

Scoping

Using meeting notes and any supplemental materials you provide, we prepare a scoping document that describes (among other things) the project focus, deliverables, schedule, and team composition. The scope may go through a few feedback iterations to get just right.

1 week

 

*More for projects over $25,000.

Approvals and Signatures

Wait on external funders (if applicable) for approval. Send out collaboration agreement and obtain signatures.

2-4 weeks

Assign Team

We will assign a Principal Investigator from our team to lead the project. From there, the PI will select Research Associates (professionals) and Research Assistants (current DC students) to make up the project team. Should you wish, you are welcome to be involved in selecting students.

1-2 weeks

Develop the Project

On average, our projects most commonly receive $20,000 in grant funding. This amount goes towards the college research team; 1 Principal Investigator (research team lead), 1 Research Associate (professional), and 1 Research Assistant (student). These members will work between 12-24 hours a week for a duration of 12 weeks, on average.

8-14 weeks (typical) but can be longer, depending on needs.

Completion

Upon completion, we will present the project, deliver the project outcomes, and discuss possible follow-up collaborations. A project sign-off document is distributed for all parties to complete.

 

Our projects are considered complete when our activities have concluded, not when set milestones have been delivered as requested. While we work hard to ensure outcomes are met, grant projects should not be considered flat-rate price for deliverables.

< 1 week

 

Past Projects

 

Game Testing, Reptoid Games

We integrated in-game bug reporting tools for the game "Fire Tonight" that greatly increased the amount of data available to the development team to isolate, reproduce and fix bugs with. We also leveraged a group of student volunteers for large-batch testing on a variety of hardware.


Similar testing processes were also used in projects with 20 Below Games, and Numizmatic.

 

Environment Art, Thousand Stars

Using the latest AAA game industry techniques, we developed a set of high-quality 3D environment art assets that take full advantage of Unreal Engine 5's Lumen and Nanite features.

 

Similar environment art projects were performed with Phantom Compass, Laundry Bear Games, and Mighty Yell.

 

Illustration Technology for Animation, Embreate

The MRC Studio developed an episode of the YouTube series "Future Now", using a novel workflow that combines digital illustration with RT3D by utilizing the Unity game engine in a film/television workflow. This lowered production costs and greatly reduced iteration time for graphics assets such as backgrounds.

 

Similar RT3D background rendering technology was also used in a project with Blue Ant Media.

 

Blender for Game Animation, Laundry Bear Games

Worked with Laundry Bear games to develop a Blender to Unity animation pipeline for an unannounced title, and to share professional animation techniques with their team.

 

Similar Blender game rigging and animation processes were also used in a project with Bloom Digital.

 

Human Interfacing for Catch Driver VR, Bad Jump Games

We developed custom hardware controllers with the Arduino and Unity platforms that allowed players to control a virtual horse by measuring the pull-force on a set of real reins.

 

Funding Options

 

There are many funding options available, but our most common ones are:

 

Name

Commitments

Qualifications (simplified)

CTO

$15,000 Grant

For Labour Only

16.67% ($2,500) cash contribution required from the industry partner, in addition to in-kind hours roughly matching the total budget. Grant amount goes towards MRC Studio research team, not the industry partner.

  • Incorporated in Canada
  • 50% Canadian Owned
  • 2+ years in business
  • Allocated

    ARTP

    Not Currently Available

    $25,000 Grant

    For Labour & Equipment

    No cash contribution required from the industry partner. Projects must demonstrate a strong research-focus. In-kind hours should roughly match the total budget. Grant amount goes towards MRC Studio research team, not the industry partner.

    Not Currently Available
  • Incorporated in Canada
  • 50% Canadian Owned
  • 2+ years in business
  • 2+ full-time employees
  • A non-residential corporate address
  • ARD

    $50,000-$200,000 Grant

    For Labour & Equipment

    25% cash contribution required from the industry partner, in addition to a strong research-focus to the project and in-kind hours roughly matching the total budget. Grant amount goes towards MRC Studio research team, not the industry partner.

  • Incorporated in Canada
  • 50% Canadian Owned
  • 2+ years in business
  • 2+ full-time employees
  • A non-residential corporate address
  • Fee for Service

    Fee-For-Service is a no-grant arrangement in which 100% of the cash comes from Industry Partner, engaging MRC Studio for its services.

  • Incorporated in Canada

  • Interested?


    If this sounds like a good fit for your business, please get in touch! You can use the Collaboration Request Form or e-mail our Project Manager, Ryan Miller directly.

    FAQ


    Q: Do you have a Demo Reel, or Examples of work?
    A: Not yet! MRC Studio was opened in 2020, and the majority of our projects are still unannounced and under NDA. We collaborate closely with the Durham College Game Art program, so you can get an idea of our Game Art capabilities from the graduate reels.

    Q: Does the MRC Studio take any IP Ownership?
    A: No, we don't take any IP! Everything we create for you under a collaboration agreement is yours to keep. We have a general agreement between the college and your corp to protect the IP, and some partners opt for extra IP protection by engaging team members directly with their own NDAs.

    Q: How much grant writing is the Industry Partner responsible for?
    A: Very little. We typically handle the entire grant writing & application process, albeit a handful of forms required for the company profile. The contents of the grant writing will be based on our initial scoping conversations.

    Q: How does my company "in-kind" contribution work?
    A: You'll complete a form with a list of your project members and their committed hours per week to our project. Using a standard industry rate of $100/hour, this will calculate your in-kind contribution. We do not require timesheets or any kind of tracking from you to prove this.

    Q: Can I use this as part of my ONCreates financing plan?
    A: No, because we are a separate team and the grants are awarded to the college, these projects cannot be used as part of your financing for funders. However, we are happy to help with your ONCreates funded projects, and have in some cases provided a signed 'letter of intent' alongside company funding applications.

    Q: Can I claim credits like SR&ED or OIDMTC on the project labour?
    A: Not for the college team's labour, as they are not your company's employees/freelancers. You're free to pursue these tax credits for your own team, however.

    Q: Can I combine multiple research grants?
    A: Yes! We have several partners who combine ARTP and CTO. There is no lifetime limit. Generally these must be done sequentially, not in parallel, and each project should have it's own discrete focus and milestones.

    Q: I want to collaborate, but am doubtful of my project's research strength
    A: When in doubt, talk it out. Get in touch and we'll be happy to determine if we can collaborate in a research capacity.

    Index

  • Top
  • Mission Statement
  • Focus and Expertise
  • Applied Research
  • Project Walk-through
  • Past Projects
  • Funding Options
  • Interested
  • FAQ

  • Links

    Go back (Main)
    Official MRC Studio Page
    Collaboration Request
    MRC Studio Twitter
    Durham College