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28/03/2007

A.C. Lighting Installs Lighting System At Motion Capture And Green Screen Studio

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A.C. Lighting’s Special Projects division has supplied and installed the lighting system for Amersham & Wycombe College’s newly opened Motion Capture and Green Screen Studio.
The state-of-the-art new studio is part of the College’s nationally accredited Centre of Vocational Excellence in Digital Arts, Design and Media, and is believed to be the only studio of its type in a Further Education College in Europe.
The studio was officially launched on 8th March and will be used to teach the College’s hugely popular National Diploma in eMedia course and a new Foundation Degree in Post-Production & Special Effects.
Stephen Partridge, Head of School - Media, gave A.C. Lighting’s Special Projects division a set budget to deliver the most suitable lighting system for the studio’s multi-purpose requirements.
The studio features a green screen for chromakey work, especially for the combination of ‘live’-action filmmaking with virtual reality / digitally produced characters and environments. It also features an industry-standard motion capture camera system that is used to animate digitally designed characters and objects, enabling more ‘natural’ movement of virtual content.
A.C. Special Projects worked closely with Mike Forshaw, the College’s Media Technician, and recommended a solution with low infrastructure & running costs. As no external dimmers and associated cabling were used, more budget could be spent on the luminaires themselves.
A.C. installed and load tested the lighting grid, which was fitted with simple fixed power outlets, to facilitate varying studio layouts.
A variety of cool light fluorescent fittings with integrated DMX control were chosen to provide the appropriate levels of illumination for this type of virtual environment. Due to their very low heat output, these were ideal for the relatively confined space of the studio.
An ETC SmartBar 4-way DMX dimmer was also supplied to enable traditional TV luminaires to be used in the studio if required, and a Chroma-Q Magic Box DMX buffer, hung in the grid, allows the DMX cabling to be kept to short simple runs.
In keeping with the College’s request that the studio’s technology should be PC-based wherever possible, A.C. specified a Jands Vista software-based lighting control system. This cost-effective solution is ideal for students, due to its modern graphical interface.
Stephen Partridge, Head of School - Media, commented: "A.C. Lighting provided us with a terrific deal on the lighting rig for our dual purpose green screen and motion capture studio. The quality of service was excellent throughout the process, as a range of options were offered and explained, which led to our being able to make an informed decision in relation to what we needed. We were provided with good quality lights at a great price. The installation was undertaken in conjunction with providers of other installations in the same space, with a professional level of coordination from A.C. Lighting throughout. Most essentially, our students are now enjoying the use of a professional standard facility with a great lighting rig and the work produced subsequently has benefited greatly."
(DS/SP)
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