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Computer Animation MA: Facilities

About our modern teaching environment

The technical resources that are available to students on this suite of courses include:

  • games development suite;
  • gyroscopic inertial motion system;
  • media technology labs;
  • digital media workshops (DMWs);
  • digital photography labs;
  • premier filming space;
  • post-production suite;
  • animation suite;
  • user studies equipment; and
  • sound recording suite.

Games development suite

The games development suite contains a number of Sony PlayStation Portable developer kits (PSP). Students will be able to develop for this platform under an academic development agreement with Sony. In addition students have access to Xboxes and Microsoft XNA Game Studio developer software. A number of other consoles are also available including Wiis and Sony Playstation 3. The lab is equipped with 3D graphics software such as Maya. You also have access to a body modelling suit.

Gyroscopic inertial motion system

The IGS-190-M mobile capture suit is one of the most mature gyroscopic inertial motion systems and features nineteen matchbox-sized gyros attached to individual straps on a flexible lycra suit. The gyros are the fastest in the market (at 1,200 deg/sec). Eight suits can be used simultaneously with a wireless range of over 100 metres radius and sensor resolution is 0.1 degree. Set-up time is approximately 15 minutes; the suite requires a small amount of calibration and time for the gyros to settle. The suite was purchased from Animazoo, a specialist in the area of motion capture with an IGS-190-M being used to animate the cartoon character 'The Crazy Frog' amongst many other cartoons and computer games.

Media technology labs

A multimedia and graphics studio that houses 39 Pentium 4 PCs all with DVD writers and our full graphics software which includes Maya complete, Adobe Production Studio, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Encore, Audition, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Combustion.

Digital media workshops

The digital media workshops provide a wide range of software and specialist technical support in the key areas of CAD, 2D and 3D design, digital imaging and processing, high-quality photographic printing, audio and video production, mono and colour printing (up to A3+), and large format plotting (up to B0+). All 132 computers in the digital media workshop are set up as dual boot workstations. This means that both the Windows XP and Macintosh OS X platforms are available on each machine. You are therefore able to choose the platform (PC or Mac) that you want to work with at any given time.

Digital photography labs

The professional photography suite includes two digital imaging areas providing 26 Mac Pro computers running Photoshop software for digital image development and high quality digital scanning. Professional quality digital printing, from A4 to A2 is also available. The photography suite is supported by a team of technical and academic staff.

Premier filming space

This area comprises a studio of 100 square metres and has all you need to record broadcast quality programming. The space has a 14-metre infinity cove painted white, heavy black curtains and an eight metre professional film blue screen. The studio space has been built with flexibility in mind and any combination of setups can be accommodated within the area with regard to filming. The studio is equipped with three Panasonic HVX200 high definition cameras in a studio specification with matte boxes, dolly tripods and P2 16GB cards.

The lighting array consists of a Kino Flow system combining Image, Zip and Para Beam light fixtures with Dedo modelling spots. The whole array is controlled by a 64-channel DMX desk.

Post-production suite

The post-production suite comprises 10 top-of-the range Macintosh computers, the majority of which are running the Intel CPU. They are all based on the Black Magic uncompressed broadcast system and are controlled by a central video server running the Apple XSan network. There is a massive 20 Terrabytes of storage and can stream up to 10 full HD streams across the network in real-time. At SD we can stream approximately 40 streams of video at once.

Animation suite

This suite consists of networked G5 Macintosh Power PCs with Dual 2.3 GHz processors, 2 Gigabytes RAM and a GeForce 6600 Graphics Card or a Radeon 9600XT graphics card running the industry-standard version of Maya. The Apple Xsan Server and Intel MAc Pro FailOver server have an Infortrend 15 TB disk array, QLogic 15 port Fibre switch, Fibre Optic Channel duplex AV data transfer with Netgear 24 port ethernet switch, Ethernet Meta data transfer and 48 port patch bay with 16 port fibre distribution interface.

User studies equipment

We have Morae usability testing software, a Tobii eye tracker and can accommodate one-on-one usability tests, focus groups and observational studies of collaborative work in a variety of settings. A range of computing devices are also available – mobile phones, touch screens, very large monitors etc.

Research vehicle website: we also operate a website for studying live web traffic (real online behaviour in context).

Sound recording studio

This area comprises a control room and an audio booth with talkback and video monitoring facilities. There is an extensive sound FX library and high-quality transducers suitable for high-quality voice and/or sound track recording. The studio is able to cater for both post- and pre-production sound to image work and runs with Final Cut Pro/Soundtrack Pro as its central engine.

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Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park

View Penrhyn Road and Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park

View Penrhyn Road and Knights Park on our Google Maps
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