Animation studio

The animation studio is a multi-use teaching facility featuring a number of high-performance workstations and a fully-equipped imaging space. The imaging space can function as both a green room for visual effects shots and a professional standard photography studio and is lit with a high-quality lighting rig. The workstations are installed with specialist software and hardware used for 3D modelling, animation, rendering and compositing. Motion capture facilities are available and used for teaching and student projects.

Computer labs

The department has 8 state-of-the-art modern networked laboratories, housing both PCs (running Linux and Windows) and Apple Mac computers. All machines are networked and provide industry standard software, professional operating systems, intranet, internet and email services. All labs are used for general purpose teaching but some have specialist software (such as Encase for Computer Forensics) or hardware as described below.

Computer labs: facilities and equipment

There are five dual booting PC (Windows/Linux) Laboratories: C2.03, C2.04, C2.06, C3.02 and C3.03. 

Labs C2.03, and C3.03, The networking labs:

  • HP Z240 with Core i7-6700 Processors, 16GB DDR4 memory, Nvidia Quadro K2200 4GB Graphics card and  1TB hard disk drive.
  • Machines in these labs also have a second network card and a networking cabinet is situated in the room, to permit teaching of networking principles separate from the main University network.

Lab C2.04, the Games Lab

  • HP Z240 with Core i7-6700 Processors, 16GB DDR4 memory, Nvidia Quadro K2200 4GB Graphics card and  1TB hard disk drive. Machines in this lab also have a 256GB SSD drive for games development work.

Lab C2.06

  • HP Z230 with Core i7-4770 Processors, 16GB memory, Nvidia Quadro K2000 Graphics card and 1TB Hard disk drive.

Lab C3.02, the Computer Animation lab:

  • HP Z640 with dual Xeon E5 processors, 32GB DDR4 memory, Nvidia Quadro M4000 8GB Graphics card and one 1TB and one 4TB Hard disk drives.
  • Dedicated green screen facility and studio space for film and CGI work.
  • OS platforms are Windows 7 and Linux.

Apple Mac Labs C2.05, C3.04 and C3.05

  • iMac ‘Core i7’ 27 inch (i7-4790K) with 16GB of memory and a 1TB Hard disk drive.

Specialist Devices

Specialist devices are stored and made available to classes or to individual students as required e.g. iOS and Android phones and tablets, games consoles and other specialist devices.

Teaching desks

All of the laboratories have a workstation for the lecturer with an overhead projector display for PC and Overhead Projector camera display to suport teaching. 

Usability lab

The Usability Laboratory within the Department is a facility designed to capture and analyse human behaviour as we use a wide range of technology including computers, smartphones, tablets and video game consoles.

The benefits of this type of analysis include an enhanced user experience, streamlined design and development process and improvements in efficiency and profitability.

Academics within the Department actively pursue research and consultancy in the area of user experience and usability engineering. As an undergraduate student, you may use the lab as part of your study (depending on your unit choices) or as part of your final year project work.

Usability lab: facilities and equipment

Observation lounge and suite

The Laboratory comprises an Observation Lounge and an Observation Suite. In order to make test users feel relaxed and comfortable, the Observation Lounge is designed to mimic the look and feel of a living room. There are the usual furnishings but with remote control cameras and microphones to capture user behaviour and facial expressions during evaluation sessions.

Eye Tracking facilities

The lab also has extensive Eye Tracking facilities.

The remote eye tracking hardware (SMI RED 250) records a wide range of data from fixation point of the user's gaze and pupil dilation to scan paths. BeGaze is used to analyse the output, for example definition of custom areas of interest and a wide range of statistics and the production of heat maps and other visual representations of the data.

A Head Mounted Eye tracking system (SMI) using lightweight glasses can be used to record user interaction with smart phones, tablets or any other technology based system.

Usability lab: capabilities

The Laboratory aims to support the design, development and assessment of a wide range of software and hardware:

  • Focus group based design
  • Full User Experience and Usability analysis
  • Eye tracking (for Web site assessment etc)
  • User Centred Design