Innovative Media

Ever have a creative project that requires you to build, design or construct original works, but have no idea how to begin?

Heard terms such as 3D, 4K and lasers whispered around Cabell and wished you could investigate?

Curious where the Lego station you keep seeing pictures of is located?IMG_0773

The answers to all of these questions can be found in the new Innovative Media space located on the lower level of the new Cabell Library addition called The Workshop. The Workshop provides students, faculty and staff with resources and equipment to complete both academic and passion projects.

So what can you do at The Workshop?

Need to use Photoshop, but don’t want to pay to download it? You can use the whole Adobe Creative Suite on computers in The Workshop for free. Need to shoot a video for a class project? They have the equipment. Ready to drop your newest mixtape? Take advantage of the audio studio that is coming soon. Want to take a load off and just hang out with some friends? Reserve the Game Room for a few hours and relax.

IMG_0785All of these resources and more are free and available for students in any major. Also, there is something for everyone at every level of technical prowess. Whether you are a newbie or pro, the Innovative Media team will help you to achieve your creative aspirations.

The leader of the Innovative Media team is Eric Johnson, Head of Innovative Media for University Libraries. Johnson, other professional staff and student workers are available to assist with projects be it by training users for specific equipment, suggesting new ways to solve problems or simply renting out needed equipment.

“Everybody creates, and every major benefits from creative thinking and communicating,” Johnson said. “We help support that idea here for all students, whether you’re a history student who wants to shoot a video for class instead of writing a paper or a chemistry student who has an idea for a new commercial product. We’ve got the tools and staff support; you supply the ideas.”

The Workshop houses rows of computers available for use with Adobe Creative Cloud, CGIMG_0790I software and video editing software such as Apple Final Cut X and Adobe After Effects CC. You can find Epson Flatbed Scanners, drawing tablets and a Lego station in this area as well.

Another main benefit of The Workshop? A centralized location where students, faculty and staff have the ability to check out needed equipment. Available gear includes GoPros, camcorders, microphones, projectors, green screens and a telescope. For a full list of equipment, visit the VCU Innovative Media Department’s website. Loans last three days; however, you can extend them for another three days by email or phone if you need a piece of equipment longer.

Innovative Media is currently installing an audio studio and a video studio in The Workshop. The audio studio will include professional microphones and a range of audio recording software to let users record and mix their projects. The video studio will include a floor to ceiling green screen, studio lighting and cameras with the ability to shoot in 4K. All of this is coming soon, so keep a lookout on their website for the official opening of these spaces.

IMG_0775.jpg“We’re shooting to have them ready by the end of the semester, so students who are here over the summer and next fall will get full access to it,” Johnson said.

The Makerspace is the most creative and dynamic work space available for students in The Workshop. In addition to laser cutters, a styrofoam cutter, sewing machines and crafting supplies, the main draw are the 3D printers housed in this area. In order to utilize Makerspace equipment, though, users need to become certified. This can be easily accomplished by signing up for a training time with one of the friendly Innovative Media staff. You can do this by reserving a printer online for a minimum of 30 minutes. A half-hour will give you enough time to be trained, but not necessarily to complete a printing project. If you have a project to work on in conjunction with your training, make sure to reserve the 3D printer for at least three to four hours.

The process of reserving a 3D printer is the same as reserving a study room in the library. Visit  their scheduling page and pick an open time that works for you.

The Makerspace also offers workshops for students interested in learning about available equipment. During these sessions, participants with learn the ins and outs of the 3D Printers and Laser Cutter. These workshops with begin the week of April 25. Check back for more information about these events.

In addition to the 3D IMG_0791printers, the Makerspace offers circuit board kits, a laser engraver, 3D pen, hot glue gun, fabric cutter and many more tools and supplies for users to discover and explore.

The laser engraver is a multipurpose tool that can work with a range of materials: wood, some plastics and rubber, acrylic, glass, marble and much more.

“We’ve got students working on projects ranging from lasering words onto bread to etching glass for an art exhibit to making wooden plaques as gifts for family. A computer controls the cuts and manages the etching so they can be very precise,” Johnson said.

The last area of The Workshop is the Game Room. This space is a great place to hang out with friends and take advantage of the consoles and games available upon request. Enjoy the 47″ HD LED 3D TV Monitor, Sony PlayStation 4, Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 2, XBox One, XBox 360, Wii U and Passive 3D Glasses. You can reserve the Game Room using the same process as the 3D printer on the Innovative Media’s scheduling page.

IMG_0810The Workshop is something that you have to go check out for yourself – it is currently the “cave of wonders” of the new Cabell addition, but that will soon change. Before everyone becomes aware of its existence, do yourself a favor and visit this valuable resource.  

Now is also the time to make sure you are trained on equipment so that, when full functionality opens in the summer, you will be ready to utilize all the resources.

If you have any further questions, please email or call 804-827-3594.


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