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CLIENT

Australian Army

PROJECT

Combined Arms Breach eLearning Course

DATE

2022

INDUSTRY

Defence Industry

LOCATION

Queensland, Australia

KEY SERVICE

eLearning Training

From 2020 to 2022, VMP eLearning and the Australian Army (Land Warfare Centre) fostered a strong, sustainable partnership that enhanced the generalist all Corps Army online training offered by Army to their soldier and officer cohorts. One of the most notable achievements is our Combined Arms Breach video animation – a 3D animation that accurately depicts the process for a Combined Arms Breach, which will be utilised across LWC. The Combined Arms Breach is a part of the All Corps Captains Course (ACCC), which aims to develop generalist officers to effectively participate as a Captain in a staff or Command Team.

OUR ROLE

LWC approached VMP eLearning with the vision to create an updated Australian version of the American Army combined arms breach video resource. This video needed to include all Australian vehicles, soldiers, and relevant weapons. As the ACCC was previously using an American version of the CAB assault, it was difficult for learners to associate the practice with Australian combat vehicles and processes. Given the scale and complexity of a CAB, it was not possible for all trainees to have experienced it prior to attending training. Therefore, there was great importance on the benefits that animation had to contextualising the intricate and complex nature of the breach, reducing the burden of staff and trainees.

The Combined Arms Breach 3D animation was a huge undertaking for the VMP production team; for a team with relatively limited 3D animation experience, it was largest project scope many had worked on. The end product was delivered within 6 weeks of commencing, providing 11 minutes of fully 3D animated video, 19 scenes, including lighting, explosions, and smoke effects. As a result, VMP is now able to move forward confident in its 3D animation abilities and promote it as a service, with our animators having the skills and resources to work proficiently in Blendr and solve technical issues.

OUTCOME

As previously stated, this project has allowed VMP to really expand on our capabilities as 3D animators – with a new, specific workstation purchased for this project that has wider application across all of our services. Our ability render has also increased, now with six stations that can work together to render out significant scenes and produce a result faster than any 3D animation we have produced before.

One major takeaway from this project was to do a risk assessment and stocktake of what our smaller workstations require prior to commencement of animating. This includes ensuring all graphics card drivers are updated, all software is on the same version and that render settings match across every computer on the project. This has all now been built into a process that all post-production staff are across, which has allowed us to become a more sophisticated business overall.

We had two significant return on investments throughout this project. The first being financial, with the project achieving a significant profit and allowing us to finish our contract with the Army in a strong position. The second ROI is that of client and staff satisfaction. The client (Army) was incredibly impressed we were able to turn the project around quickly and efficiently, which has led to a fantastic ongoing relationship. The instructors had a need for this video to be “Australianised” for quite some time, and now have the tool to implement into their lessons that provides them with more effective learning tools and contemporary methodologies.

A significant amount of feedback was provided from the team at LWC, however, it is summed up best by MAJ. Tim Rowe, the Operations Package Master for the All Corps Captain’s Course:

“The Aim of the All Corps Captains Course (ACCC) is to develop generalist officers to effectively participate as a Captain in a staff or Command Team. The course Learning Outcomes include Command, Leadership, Management, Training and Operational Planning. The understanding and application of Combined Arms Breaching is an essential component of Operational Planning in a conventional warfare environment.

As the video itself states, Deliberate Breaching is one of the most difficult and dangerous tasks that a force can encounter. It is also a very difficult concept to teach and an even more difficult concept to understand if you have never witnessed it being conducted firsthand. The sheer scale and complexity of the operation makes it impossible for all trainees to have had the opportunity to experience a Combined Arms Breach prior to attending training. The Combined Arms Breach animation contextualises theory lessons for trainees and allows them to visualise the orchestration and synchronisation of Battlefield Operating Systems using current Australian platforms and doctrine – something that had never been available to them before in a digital format. Visualisation is an essential component of the planning process and the animation facilitates trainees as they plan their own detailed breaching operations prior to executing and validating their plans in a simulated environment. The use of animation reduces instructor burden and enables trainees to assimilate the information at their own pace utilising a “flipped classroom” methodology. Feedback from staff and trainees is that the product has generated a significant improvement in the understanding and application of the Breaching Tenants during the conduct of the ACCC. The development for the animation required significant dedication from the VMP team to understand and apply complex Army capabilities, platforms and unique lexicon to deliver a product that not only meets the requirements of the ACCC but has utility across broader training continuum”

The positive response and the practical skills learned throughout the Combined Arms Breach project make it an incredible success for the VMP eLearning team. It not only capped off a fantastic contract with the Australian Army, but invigorated the team and gave us the opportunity to expand on our internal capabilities and become more sophisticated in our delivery of 3D products.

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