Robertson Media Center is a hidden gem for creatives – The Cavalier Daily
Nestled on the third floor of the Clemons Library, the Robertson Media Center has a treasure trove of creative technology resources available free to university students and staff. Its spaces include audio and video recording studios, a 3D printing studio, virtual reality spaces and computer labs. Forget the books – there are albums to record, documentaries to film and cartoons to animate, all in the library.
RMC staff offer one-on-one consultations and specialized workshops as well as basic training for many of their resources. However, no expertise is needed to try out much of the creative technology available, although most spaces require reservation and some have brief virtual orientations.
Josh Thorud, librarian for multimedia teaching and learning at the media center, explains that often students can jump in with nothing but a creative vision in hand and learn along the way.
“That’s really what it’s there for — experimentation, innovation, just trying to get people to be creative and experiment with creative technologies,” Thorud said. “Just come in and try something.”
When entering RMC, the big decision is which space to explore first. The video production studio is the most eye-catching. Upon entering the room, the backdrops are front and center.
“It’s really cool to see people the first time they go to a green screen,” Thorud said. “They come in and look around and then they can stand anywhere…the options are endless, in that sense. It’s like a magic trick.
In front of the green screen are director’s chairs and other props, professional cameras and a teleprompter. Lighting and audio are already configured for users. This supports the studio’s mission according to Thorud – to be accessible and inclusive while providing access to high-end equipment.
Besides the main video studio, students can go to “G-Lab” when not in use to edit with iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro, or book a workspace in the Digital Media Lab to use these software on a dual-monitor setup. . The Digital Media Lab also offers options for those with niche film interests. Anyone can bring VHS tapes and film slides to explore digitization, and those with experience can work with a Steenback film editor.
But the RMC is home to more than film resources. Audiophiles have their fair share of options as they head to the audio studio, one of their most popular spaces. It comes equipped with three sound booths, each with two microphones, various music production tools, and computer access to Audacity, Garage Band, Logic Pro, Sound Studio, and more.
Students have already done everything from music to studio podcasts, with some projects going public. A notable example is “Song Stories”a podcast created by freshmen in conjunction with the ENWR course “American Roots Music”, published on WTJU in 2020.
A few doors down from these audio booths is the 3D printing studio, another of RMC’s top attractions. A “Star Wars” inspired Mandalorian helmet large enough to wear sits above a math project on the rack at the front of the room.
“It’s a huge range of projects, from memorabilia to costumes to art projects,” Thorud said.
This is possible thanks to the wide choice of materials and machines available. The 3D printing studio currently has seven 3D printers open for reservation, of different brands and models. Although the materials are usually expensive, students can 3D print for free after completing a dissertation. initial training session.
Further down the open space of RMC is another unique offering: two immersive virtual reality spaces. A large carpet marks the room-scale movement of each virtual space. According to Pallavi Vemuri, a college sophomore and digital media consultant, the most popular use of these VR systems is playing video games. However, the space also houses development software for those looking to get involved in the technical side.
Even when it’s time to leave RMC, there are a range of technologies available for use outside of physical space, as they offer a range of technologies for control. Everything from high-end cameras to projectors to lighting setups are open to students and staff.
Unique projects have been created by students in the past using equipment rented from RMC. The students of the basic multimedia reporting class have been created “Spring Broken: College on COVID”for example, in 2020. CIOs are also heavy users of rentals for various unique purposes.
“There was a CIO who was trying to do this project with a kind of almost surround sound,” Vemuri said. “It’s the kind of audio system where when you’re in different parts of the room, you can hear different things. So if you’re in a corner of the room you hear one thing, if you’re in a different corner of a room you hear something else, but the placement of all this equipment means that the sound doesn’t come in not in conflict with each other.
At the Robertson Media Center, the options are endless for unique creative production. No matter the interest or skill level, the third floor of the Clemons Library has the tools to turn creative dreams into reality with its plethora of creative technologies at no cost. To find out more about CMR, book on their websitetalk to reception or request a tour.