JCU Digital Media Lab

Setup Menus in Admin Panel

DML FAQ

General Questions

Who is allowed to use the Digital Media Lab?

Everybody! If you’ve got a JCU ID and a pulse, you are welcome to make use of the Mac Lab, rent out equipment, or record in the TV Studio.And honestly if you’ve got the ID and no pulse, we’re cool with that too.

When is the Digital Media Lab open?

The Mac Lab is available whenever a) the Guarini Campus is open and b) classes are not in session.

The “Gear Shed” in the Media Lab office is open to people picking up gear on Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons.

The TV Studio and sound booth are available whenever the JCUTV production teams are not using it.

How does somebody rent equipment from the DML?

Students, faculty members, and staff members can rent cameras from the Digital Media Lab by doing the following:

First, register here at the Digital Media Lab website. To control spam your registration is approved manually, so it might take up to 24 hours for it to take effect. Do it as early as possible! (Professors: Prof. Thomson is happy to work with you in order to make sure that your classes are processed immediately if you’d like to make the qualification process part of your class. Just send him an email  that lets him know when they’ll be signing up!)

Next, qualify on the equipment you would like to use by taking the appropriate Qualification Course in the training section of the site. Pass the quiz at the end of the course with 100% and you will receive a badge that entitles you to sign out that piece of equipment from the Digital Media Lab.

Now you can head over to the Gear Shop section of this website, select the equipment that you would like to use and reserve it. Print out your order confirmation and bring it to the Digital Media Lab office after 6:15 on Thursday to pick up your equipment and be sure to return your gear by 9am on Monday. (Although the office is generally locked during the weekend, you can get the key from the front office in order to drop off equipment.

That’s it!

Can I use the TV Studio (aka “The Black Room”)

Yes and no. You are free to book the studio and use it for recording audio on the “soundstage” or in the booth, for shooting greenscreen footage or white/black limbos (or whatever backdrop you drag in from your closet), for shooting still portraits,- for anything, really EXCEPT for live multicamera production using the video switcher in the booth. If you want to get involved with live multicam you’ll need to take either DMA333 (TV Studio Lab) or EXP1005 so you get to know those controls like the back of your hand. But any other use of the studio space is fine as long as you leave it as clean (or preferably cleaner) than you found it. And you can even do multicam if you find a DMA333 alumnus willing to sit behind the desk. Studio availability will depend on the JCUTV production schedule but if you ask far in advance we can probably work something out.

 

What software is available in the Mac Lab?

The Macs in the lab have been loaded up with all of the tools necessary for professional media production, as well as plenty of tools that are suitable for beginners. Video editing for all levels of interest/expertise is catered to with iMovie, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere, and DaVinci Resolve. Audio producers can use Garageband, Adobe Audition, or Logic Pro X to polish narrations, build beats, or even score an entire film using one of the provided AKAI LPK25 MIDI controllers. Graphic designers can make use of the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite of productivity tools including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. You can get your graphics moving with AfterEffects and Apple Motion, or create whole new worlds with 3D industry stalwart Autodesk’s Maya and Mudbox or the incredibly powerful open source Blender.

What cameras are available at the DML?

The Media Lab has a variety of cameras to handle different shooting scenarios and ability levels. The Canon C100 is our workhorse high-end production camera and comes with two lenses: a fast 50mm prime and a versatile 18-135 zoom. We also have several Canon EOS-M mirrorless cameras that are great when you need to be discreet- or if you want to fly your camera on one of our Ronin-M 3-axis gimbals!

Although most of our older Panasonic AF100 large-sensor camcorders now live in the TV Studio we still have one available for rent if a tank-like build and easily accessible controls are what you’re looking for. We still have a few Panasonic GH2 mirrorless cameras too. (They famously produced Francis Ford Coppola’s favorite image during a shootout that pitted them against cameras costing upwards of $100,000!) If you’re not interested in taking control of your image we’ve even got a few Panasonic AC8s, a shoulder-mounted point-and-shoot camcorder with a decent image and dead-simple operation.

All of our cameras come with at least two batteries and recording media. Tripods may or may not be available depending on the period of the booking.

What audio recording equipment is available at the DML?

The DML has a dozen Zoom H1 audio recorders that are perfect for recording documentary and news in the field, foley for your next blockbuster, or narration for a video essay. These come with headphones and small lavalier (tie-clip) microphones are available for use with the H1’s. We’ve also got half a dozen Rode NTG1 shotgun mics with blimps, dead cats, and boom poles for more demanding recording: they can be plugged into the C100 or AF100 directly for recording crisp, natural sounding dialogue directly to your video or with a Tascam DR40 when nothing but a high sample/bitrate will do. And in the TV studio you’ll find a matched pair of Rode short condensers as well as two NT1 large diaphragm condensers ideally suited for the podcasters among you.

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