Tucked away on the third floor of the Clemons Library, the Robertson Media Center contains a treasure trove of creative technology resources freely available to university students and staff. Its spaces include audio and video recording studios, a 3D printing studio, virtual reality spaces, and computer labs. No need to hit the books—there are record albums, movie documentaries, and animated cartoons, all in the library.
RMC employees provide one-on-one counseling and specialist workshops along with basic training for many of their resources. However, no experience is necessary to try out the many creative techniques available, even though most spaces require it reservation Some of them have brief hypothetical orientations.
Often times students can jump right in with nothing but creative insight at hand and learning along the way, says Josh Thorod, librarian for Multimedia Education and Learning at the Media Centre.
“That’s really what’s in here — experimentation, innovation, trying to get people creative and experimenting with creative techniques,” Thorod said. “Just go in and try something.”
When entering the RMC, the biggest decision is which space to explore first. The most eye-catching is the video production studio. When entering the room, the wallpapers are front and center.
“It’s really cool to see people the first time they go to the green screen,” Thorod said. “They walk and look around, and then they can position themselves anywhere… The options are endless, in that sense. It’s just a magic trick.”
In front of the green screen are chairs for the director and other gadgets, professional cameras and a remote control. Lighting and sound are already set up for users. This supports the studio’s mission according to Thorud – to be friendly and inclusive while providing access to high-end equipment.
Aside from the main video studio, students can go to the “G-Lab” when not in use for editing with iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro, or reserve a workspace in the Digital Media Lab to use these programs on a dual screen setup. The Digital Media Lab has options for those with specialized interests in movies as well. Anyone can bring in VHS tapes and movie slides to explore digitization, and people with experience can work with Steenback Film Editor.
But RMC has more than just filmmaking resources. Audio enthusiasts have their fair share of options as they approach the corner of the audio studio, one of the most popular spaces. It’s furnished with three audio booths – each with two microphones – various music production tools and computer access to Audacity, Garage Band, Logic Pro, Sound Studio and more.
Students have made everything from music to podcasts in the studio before, with some projects coming to the public. One notable example is Song Storiesis a podcast created by first-year students in conjunction with the ENWR “Music of American Roots” course, released on WTJU in 2020.
A few doors away from these audio booths is the 3D printing studio, and it’s one of the main attractions at RMC. A Mandalorian helmet inspired by “Star Wars” large enough to be worn sits atop a draft sports mantel in the front of the room.
“It’s a huge range of projects, everything from memorabilia or costumes to fine art projects,” Thorod said.
This is possible due to the wide range of materials and machines available. The 3D printing studio currently has seven open 3D printers reservationIn different makes and models. Although the materials are usually expensive, students can 3D print for free after completing the abstract Initial training session.
Moreover, in the open space of RMC there is another unique offering – two immersive virtual reality spaces. A large rug sets the room’s volume movement for each virtual space. According to Pallavi Vemuri, a college sophomore and digital media consultant, the most common use of these VR systems is playing video games. However, the space also houses development programs for those looking to get involved in the technical side.
Even when it comes time to leave the RMC, there are a range of technologies available for use outside of the physical space, as they provide a range of techniques for verification. Everything from high-end cameras to projectors to lighting setups is open to students and staff.
Unique projects have been created by students in the past using rented RMC equipment. Students created in a basic multimedia reporting class “Spring Broken: College on COVID”for example, in 2020. CIOs are also big users of rentals for a variety of unique purposes.
“There was one CIO who was trying to do this project with a kind of almost similar surround sound,” Vimore said. “It’s kind of a sound system where you can hear different things when you’re in different places in the room. So, if you’re in one corner of the room, you hear one thing, if you’re in a different corner of the room, we hear another, but put all of that equipment in such a way that the sound does not conflict with each other.”
At Robertson Media Center, the options are endless for unique creative productions. No matter the level of interest or skill, the third floor of Clemons Library has the tools to turn creative dreams into reality with an abundance of creative technology at no cost. To learn more about RMC, book at websiteTalk to the front desk or request a tour.