Media Arts Facilities get some major love in the summer of ‘17!
The Media Arts department has been very busy during the summer of 2017 making updates and improvements to a number of facilities.
The equipment checkout room has been relocated and expanded due to the increase in the amount of gear that has been acquired for our students. The new location is Bragg 162. This is near the previous location in the loading dock area. As always, students may request reservations for production gear needed for their classes at http://checkout.mtsu.edu .
The 6-bay video editing room in Bragg 165 has been moved next door to Bragg 164. We think students will appreciate the roomier feeling of this new space. This room was previously used for equipment checkout. It may be accessed from the classroom in Bragg 167, Bragg 165, or from the loading dock. This room is popular for students who need to edit their video projects. Access is managed by Media Arts Lab Assistants stationed across the hall from Bragg 155.
The Animation Lab in Bragg 148 has had a complete technology overhaul done to exacting specifications provided by the makers of Autodesk Maya software for optimal performance. The new desktop workstations include curved, super-wide work-screens driven by high speed CPUs. Rendering is now accomplished with a separate render farm that services the entire lab at blinding speeds. Rendering can now be accomplished in a fraction of the time the old system required. The video projector in this room has also been upgraded to a Sony Laser projector with fantastic image quality. This new system is a quantum leap forward for the entire Animation program. A big thanks to MTSU’s ITD folks for making this happen!
Meet the new Media Arts Lab! Bragg 165 has been converted into an interdisciplinary space proposed by Dr. Steph Dean of the Interactive Media program. Interactive Media is truly the most interdisciplinary of all of our programs, and this new lab promises to inspire all who use it. Initially, its principal use is set up for virtual and augmented reality experiences. It is also set up for foley work and motion capture for animation projects. See Dr. Steph Dean for access to this lab. Major congratulations go to the Interactive Media program on its new freestanding B.S. degree!
The podcasting room that was in Bragg 155F has been relocated to Bragg 168A, which is next door to the new Media Arts Lab. A reservation system is being developed. In the mean time, access will be managed by Media Arts Lab Assistants.
Bragg 147, directly across the hall from the Animation Lab in Bragg 148 is now set up for stop-motion animation. The room includes a multi-plane animation stand, a small down-shooter camera stand, and software tools for stop-motion work. Access is managed by Animation faculty and Media Arts Lab Assistants.
The classroom in Bragg 167 is getting an important update with the installation of a high-end Sony laser projector. This projector’s resolution, color fidelity, brightness, and tonal range make it perfect for film production and animation classes. Other improvements are coming to this room as well.
Our big TV Studio 1 (Bragg 161) is also getting a makeover. The studio drapes at the south end of the room are being moved inward slightly to accommodate set pieces and studio storage. For the fourth year, Video Equipment Rentals *VER) in Nashville has loaned our department a gigantic video wall which will be set up in this studio. Qualified students may request access and use of this studio by contacting Professor Bob Gordon (Robert.Gordon@mtsu.edu).
Studio 1 will also be sporting a brand new intercom system this fall. The old intercom was installed in 1991 when the Bragg building was first opened and, although still operational, it was way past warranty and in danger of completely shutting down any productions in the studio. New intercom panels will be installed in the control room, audio, tape, and engineering. The intercom allows production crew members to communicate with each other individually or by groups during productions.
Studio 1 will also be home base for a massive video wall system on loan for the academic year from Video Equipment Rentals (VER). This will be the fourth year that VER has loaded a video wall to MTSU. Each year the equipment has improved in resolution and size, and this year is no exception, The total potential size of this year’s video wall is 30 by 50 feet.
TV Studio 3 in LRC 106 has been given a major overhaul and is ready for classes and student productions. This hardworking TV studio has been the source of countless productions that have been key learning experiences for students through the years. It was ready for a major cleanup and makeover and that is what it has had this summer. The studio features three HD studio cameras on pedestals and a NewTek TriCaster switcher like the one in TV Studio 2. The studio features a fiber-optic connection to the Bragg building to accommodate live broadcasts. Among other things, we hope to see more students than ever producing programming of their own design for MT10 in this studio. Qualified students may request access and use of this studio by contacting Professor Bob Gordon (Robert.Gordon@mtsu.edu).
Kudos and thanks for these improvements go mainly to our awesome team of staff engineers, Marc Parrish, Director of Technical Systems, and Mike Forbes, Assistant Director of Technical Systems. These fellows have worked tirelessly all summer to bring these improvements to our students. We absolutely could not have done this without their hard work and extra effort. Be sure to show them some gratitude whenever you see them.