Camera..Action!

Learning Services’ Media and ICT Support team have developed a collection of short videos to provide media students with expert direction and support to help them get the most out of the equipment they are borrowing, from getting started with a camcorder to using a set of lights.

The bespoke videos focus on the media equipment borrowed from the library. The aim is to provide informative content that aids in the operation of the equipment and resolves any issues encountered.

Each Video is:

  •  1-2 minutes in length
  • Contains a visual list of the items for that piece of equipment
  • Provides expert demonstration

The videos are short so that students can easily dip in and out of them, and the visual list of items are to help students identify that everything is still present after a busy shoot.

The visual list is followed by a demonstration on how to correctly use the different elements of the equipment. For example how to format an SD card, change any settings that may need to be highlighted to ensure the equipment works correctly, or how to attach a light to the stand securely.

The videos are hosted on YouTube so they can be easily accessed from a smart phone, laptop or computer. This accessibility means that no matter where the students are they have access to the information. The You Tube videos are accessed by QR codes printed on the checklists that are located inside the equipment bag themselves, so that they can scan the code and be taken directly to the video on YouTube.

YouTube provides very useful statistics which will help us to recognise how the videos are being used so we can make any changes in light of this. It is hope that this added dimension of support accessible via YouTube will be well received, and we welcome any suggestions for future videos.

The current playlist for these videos can also be found at goo.gl/TWAKHx.

Chris Baker

Media & ICT Support Manager

What’s been happening in our HD Television Studio?

We have had a busy few months in the television studio, with it being heavily used by the Media students, academics and departments across the University. The studio has been running flat out from 0900 to 17:00 Monday to Friday!

Here are just a few of the highlights:

In terms of students, Film and TV students have been producing light entertainment shows and children’s television shows, with the 3rd year students finishing and polishing their final projects. There are also some of our students who have been producing content for a magazine style show called ‘Lancashire Fresh Event’, and this is tied to producing content for Bay TV.

Two students within the Department of Media, James Ibbitson and Kevin Robinson have produced a film called “A Fall From Grace” which is a political drama set in the months following the end of the Second World War.  Internal production shoots took place within our HD studio and the staff common room, it’s a very professional piece of work, and has its own website that was designed by the 2 students to promote their work. Visit their website to see. www.afallfromgrace.co.uk

For those as old as me who remember the band Hawkwind, it was exciting to have the band member, Steve Bainbridge in the studio.  He was being interviewed by Steve Jansen, screen writer and author; this was for a creative writing project.

We have also been working with Faculty of Health and Social Care staff who have used the studio to produce content to support carers and children with disabilities.

Media Academics have been utilising the facilities to provide content for promotional information, and we are seeing requests from other areas of the university, HR being one of the departments taking advantage of new media, to promote what it’s like working for Edge Hill University, getting the word out there into the employment market place.

If you would like to learn more about what we do or need help with Media or ICT you can contact us at lsmedia@edgehill.ac.uk

 

Donald Moffatt

Media Technology Development Manager

 

 

Exciting new editing software from Avid

Avid is here!!. Our new editing software has now arrived and is up and running.  For those of you who don’t not what we are promoting…It’s the latest industry standard professional editing systems designed and built by Avid, there was a slight delay in getting these installed as we were holding out for the latest software.

The new software has been built from the ground up, and for the technical among you…. this is based on a very powerful PC, with a Windows 7 operating system, running a 64 bit architecture, with Avid Media Composer v. 6.0 software. This allows for multi-layering of complex effects, with added colour correction, with minimum rendering time.

These new systems are based with our other editing booths, 2nd Floor in the LINC building.  Avid media composer has been around in industry for a very long time, and is an established editing platform for media industry editors.  It is packed with high end tool sets that allow professional finishing to be accomplished.  Our systems also have an internal 1Tb media drive, separate from the operating system hard drive, so it’s capable of handling large media projects. It also allows imports of Pro-tools projects, allowing you to finish in surround sound 5.1 or 7.1.

Avid has some amazing opportunities for collaborative working.  Within industry, the large broadcasters have Avid and Pro-tools sitting on large shared media networked storage solutions, for example, the Avid ISIS solution.  Here is an example of how they pull it all together…one or more editors can be working on the same project, while the audio dubbing editor sitting on the pro-tools system, finishes the audio.  When the project is finalised, it can then be colour graded for transmission, and all this is achieved within the Avid ISIS network.

In broadcasting, they will use a totally file based work flow and nothing has to leave the system, unless the customer requires a tape copy.  Media that needs to be kept is then placed into deep archive for retrieval at a later date.  These systems can handle up to 640 Tb of raw storage.

So for the budding editors amongst you, why not come along and take a look at these new systems, and if you want to hone your skills on the latest offering from Avid, the Media Development team based in the LINC, will be able to support you in using our new Avid systems.

If you would like to learn more about what we do or need help with Media or ICT you can contact us at lsmedia@edgehill.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Moffatt

Media Technology Development Manager

 

Media Students a Must read…

Well reading week is now behind us and it was a busy one!
The media development team was busy looking after Media’s 1205 & 1208 students as they were given their first introduction to Edge Hill’s HD television studio.

Studio Production Gallery

The intention of these training sessions is to give first year students the opportunity to see first-hand the variety of production equipment used to produce a TV show. They are designed to give students an insight into the variety of the different production roles,  and the key skills required to fill them, as well as giving them the oportunity to get hands on.

In our next blog we will update you on the arrival of our new Avid Media Composer editing systems. This system will give the budding editors amongst you, a chance to edit on another industry standard platform. So make sure to keep an eye on our news via this blog.

If you would like to learn more about what we do or need help with Media or ICT you can contact us at lsmedia@edgehill.ac.uk

Donald Moffatt

Media Technology Development Manager.

Emerging Technologies Staff Development Monday 21 November 2011 – The Right Image For Blackboard

Want to learn how to make your images more accessible?

By optimising them you are creating a resource which is both less demanding on Blackboard and eShare storage and also more usable by your intended audience.

Image optimisation is using the most compressed (smallest file size) which remains visually acceptable for the specific role of the image.

This session aims to demonstrate some simple techniques to optimise images using Microsoft programmes.

Book on to this session by emailing Staff Development.

staffdevelopment@edgehill.ac.uk

Summer 2011 opening hours

The opening hours for the University Library and the LINC will change for the summer vacation on Monday 13th June 2011

University Library

8.30am – 9pm    Monday, Tuesday & Thursday
8.30am – 5pm    Wednesday & Friday
Closed               Saturday & Sunday

LINC Building

The LINC will remain 24-7 access  (with a valid Unicard) throughout the summer vacation. However the helpdesk hours will alter to

8.45am– 7pm    Monday, Tuesday & Thursday
8.45am – 5pm    Wednesday & Friday
Closed               Saturday & Sunday

From Monday 27th June the Helpdesk will only open 11am – 3pm daily

The opening hours for all our Libraries can be found here

For further information please call us on 01695 584286 or e-mail lsdesk@edgehill.ac.uk

 

Cathy Carey

Facilities Coordinator

Did You Know…

That Learning Services has a division of highly skilled staff, the Media and ICT Resource Division who look after all of the Media and ICT (Information Communication Technology) resources? It is committed to the enhancement of student learning and the learning environment through a dynamic approach to the support, development, management and exploration of learning technologies.

What does this mean?

The division comprises of a Media Development Team, the Media ICT Support Team and the ICT Development Team. The teams support students in our new HD (High Definition) studio and can provide training in all aspects of media/video production from acquisition to the fully edited product. Our skills and facilities are utilised by all areas across the university, as we provide filming for various faculties and departments; from student recruitment, marketing and filming of special events, like the graduation ceremonies, to uploading and streaming these live to the corporate website.

Videos can also be made for specific training needs so if you require a lecture recording get in touch.

We even record off air television programmes that you may require as part of your teaching.

Our teams also provide consultation on the various aspects of operating or connecting media and ICT equipment, either standalone or within classrooms and lecture theatres.

Below are some areas we can help you with.

  • Training in the use of the technical facilities, such as audiovisual technologies in the classrooms and lecture theatres around the campus
  • Advice and expert consultation, on specifying the appropriate Media equipment for your departmental use. The ICT specification would be carried out in conjunction with IT services on your behalf.
  • Training on classroom technologies for students and academic staff, including the use of interactive whiteboards to enhance the teaching and learning environment.

We have an extensive range of equipment for loan that is generally available to students and staff ranging from digital video cameras to cassette recorders. If you are not confident in using the equipment, we can even advise you on how to use it.

Whenever there is a problem with equipment in the classroom or lecture theatres, we are the people to solve your problem.

We also support and manage the QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) Skills Test Centre in the LINC building, which provides TDA tests in numeracy, literacy and ICT for national trainee teachers. These are test centres that you would go to for your driving theory tests.

Our teams have the skills to tailor bespoke ICT-based teaching and learning solutions for academic staff. This includes education software user guide production, and multimedia ICT resources to support education software.

We are responsible for the loan of equipment such as laptops, control sensing, video, audio and still imagery devices to support Faculty of Education staff and students during projects and school placement. We can also provide file conversion, for example Microsoft Works and Java Open Office to Microsoft Word. If you are a student at the FOE and you have issues with corrupt files on your pen drives, our ICT Development team can sort these issues for you.

If you would like to learn more about what we do, or need help with Media or ICT you can contact us at lsmedia@edgehill.ac.uk

Donald Moffatt

Media Technology Development Manager.

Important information for 2011 graduation.

Are you due to graduate this Summer? You’ve booked your place and are looking forward to wearing your gown?

Please remember all your items must be returned to Learning Services, and all charges cleared from your library record, before you can graduate. This includes media equipment borrowed from the LINC as well as books etc borrowed from any of our Libraries.

All items must be returned, and outstanding debts paid, by 5pm on Friday 10th June 2011. Failure to do so may prevent you from graduating.

For more information please ask at any Learning Services help desk, email lsdesk@edgehill.ac.uk or phone 01695 584286.

Cathy Carey

Facilities Coordinator

Lights Camera Action “Take 2 on the Clock”.

Behind The Technology

As some people will be aware, Peter Salmon Director of BBC North, opened our HD (High Definition) Studio in December 2010. My update then was to explain why the studio was designed in this particular way, the student experience and what this brings to Edge Hill University. The next scene is what lives “Behind the Technology” and what technical equipment makes a good digital HD studio.

Studios are made up from key components. It’s how these components interface with each other that makes a good studio. A streamlined workflow model, ease of use, ensuring equipment failure does not have a major impact (so called design redundancy) are all key factors in an efficient and resilient TV studio.

Cameras

To begin with, we need cameras to capture the scene. We have three HD cameras, full HD 1080 x 1920. But what does this mean and why is it important? To explain this we need to look at the way images are transmitted to our televisions.

The transmission medium in this country is 625 PAL standard definition for terrestrial TV. This is TV through your aerial. This means that the picture in your TV is made up from 625 lines, from the top of your screen to the bottom – although you only see 576 lines, the other lines are used to carry timing signals and are blanked from the viewer –  and 720 pixels across from the left of your screen to the right. Pixels could be described as a row of very small squares across the screen. The more pixels you have the sharper the image, it’s just like looking at pictures in the news paper only they refer to them as DPI (Dot Per Inch). So effectively, for non-HD TVs, we have 720 pixels across by 576 lines down so 720×576 = 414720 total pixels. Therefore the screen ratio (the ratio of the width to it’s height) is 4×3.

In HD TVs we have 1920 pixels across by 1080 lines down so 1920×1080 = 2073600 pixels. This also gives us the wide screen aspect ratio of 16×9. That’s roughly 5 times the pixels and 4 times the resolution!

Camera Channels

A camera channel consists of a camera lens, camera body, camera adaptor, base station, OCP (Operational Control Panel) and MCP (Master Control Panel). Camera lens is self-explanatory; this is used for focusing and zooming into the subject and allowing the correct amount of light to fall on the CCD (Charge Coupled Device) imaging sensors within the front end of the camera. Each of our cameras has 3 of these.

CCD Chip

The camera body houses the main electronics that process the video signal. As light enters though the lens it gets spilt by a diachronic prism, which produces red, green and blue (RGB) light and directs it onto the individual CCD sensors for processing.

The camera adaptor is the rear end of the camera. You can get different camera adaptors to suit the purpose of use. In a studio environment you can have a muilticore adaptor, triax adaptor and fibre adaptor.

Too many choices, so why do we need different adaptors and what are they used for?

The camera adaptor is used to connect the camera to the base station. The base station is what provides power to the camera as well as video signals, communications (instructions to the camera person, electronic signals/instructions to the camera parts), cues and electronic instructions. The red light on the camera, called a cue light, indicates when you are on air. There’s lots more going on but this sums up the basics.

Multicore means the camera is connected to the base station via a 26 core cable. So you can imagine the weight of the cable, all the little pins in the plugs and sockets that are used to connect the devices together. There can be no margins for error. These are designed to a military specification to take the punishment of constantly being connected and disconnected sometimes in poor environmental surroundings, as you see for example on location shooting. This is not a problem in a studio environment which is carefully controlled.

Multicore cable adapter

Triax means the camera is connected to the base station via a cable similar to a coax cable you would find on an aerial, only a little bigger in diameter. The signals are carried down the centre core and the outer core shields the cable from interference. These are used to connect the cameras to the base stations over longer distances. There is also less chance of cable failure due to their construction.

These cables and camera adaptors are more expensive, but allow the signals to travel over long distances, as in an OB (Outside Broadcast unit) they may be at a football ground and the CCU (Camera Control Unit) that sits in the studio could be 100 metres away. Fibre connection means the camera is connected to the base station via an optical cable, these are more expensive and can travel even greater distances than triax.

This just gives you a basic background to studio cameras and is only one piece of equipment in the studio jigsaw. For more information on our studio facilities please ring 01695 584304 or e-mail mediadevelopment@edgehill.ac.uk . The media development team can also provide one to one sessions on request and a full overview of our latest, up to date technology. If you have any questions or feedback on our studio facilities please leave your comments below or by using the contact details provided.

Donald Moffatt
Media Technology Development Manager

Lights, Camera and Action

Students in our studio

A week has passed since Peter Salmon, the Director of BBC North, opened our new High Definition (HD) studio in the LINC building. I must say it was a real coup for us to have Peter take time out of his very busy schedule and officially open the new facility. Peter is a major player in the move of BBC departments to Media City in Salford. 

The TV studio has been designed and built to reflect the facilities that exist in any other studio in the broadcasting or media industry. Peter commented that it looks  and feels like a top professional studio environment. It’s worth mentioning that it’s the only studio of its kind to exist within a Higher Education institution in the North West. As a matter of fact, our studio features in JVC’s professional broadcast website

Studio Production Gallery

What does all this mean for the student experience? Well, we have the most up to date industry equipment, full HD cameras and a full HD tapeless workflow. Tapeless means, the workflow model within the studio environment does not get recorded onto conventional video tape. Instead it gets saved in digital file based format. This streamlines the production process within our editing systems, dramatically cutting down production time. Furthermore our systems are fully integrated and transparent allowing a seamless flow between the studio and our editing systems. 

Our students will graduate with a competitive edge over their rivals  as they will have gained hands on experience in a high technical specification, industry standard environment. 

Students can get access to the studio by ringing 01695 584304 or via e-mail mediadevelopment@edgehill.ac.uk 

The media development team can also provide one to one sessions on request and a full overview of our latest, up to date technology. 

We look forward to showing you around our new studio. If you have any questions or feedback on our studio facilities please leave your comments below or by using the contact details provided. 

Donald Moffatt
Media Technology Development Manager