Visit the New Galapagos Exhibit

Kevin Reagan is a graduating senior at the University of Miami studying Marine Science and Biology. As part of the UGalapagos program with Study Abroad, Kevin spent August-November 2017 living on the island of Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago.  An exhibit of images from his time on there is on display in the lab for the Spring 2017 semester.  View the entire exhibition in the Digital Media Lab or on our online gallery.

Read what Kevin has to say in the following Question & Answer session.

What motivated you to do UGalapagos?
I initially found out about the program during my first year here at UM, and I knew after one info session that no matter what, I was going to go there during my undergraduate career. There was something extremely alluring about the opportunity to go to the very same islands where Charles Darwin was inspired to think of natural selection and evolution.  I tailored my class schedule over my first three years at UM to ensure that I would be able to go my senior year.

What most surprised you about the experience?
The scenery was not at all what I expected; I had a vision in my head of lush green forests teeming with wildlife, but found that most of the islands were closer to deserts than rainforests. The highlands offered me the lush green experience I was looking for, but in the lowlands it was all lava fields and cactii.

What part of the trip was the most exciting for you?
There was a field trip that we took to the western side of Isabela Island that was an all-day journey. It took about three hours to get to our destination, which was a small inlet in a completely uninhabited part of the island, where we had the opportunity to snorkel and photograph some of the wildlife. The water was freezing, but the snorkeling was beautiful, and when we made it to the second destination (an inlet only about 10-15 minutes away from the first), we caught a serra mackerel and made fresh ceviche right there on the boat. The best part was the return trip back home. I was sitting on top of the boat speaking with the guide and looking down at the water when I saw a manta ray about a foot underneath the surface. I got excited, as it was the first one I had seen, and pointed it out to the guide, who told me “Just wait.” Two minutes later, we were completely surrounded by feeding, jumping manta rays, who can grow as large as 20 feet in width (wingspan). It was by far one of the most exciting experiences of the trip, as well as my life.

What inspired you to photograph your experience?
I have always enjoyed photography. When I had the opportunity to travel to such a unique place that has things and animals found nowhere else in the world, I knew I had to document the experience and bring those photographs back to people that may never have the opportunity to travel there themselves. That’s why I am grateful for this photo exhibition; it allows me to bring the place to the people.

What do you look for in a great picture?
The general rule that I follow for myself is that if something catches my eye, I photograph it. Not only is it likely that it will catch someone else’s eye as well, but at the end of the day, you photograph to document your life and your experience. In other words, you’re photographing for yourself, not everyone else. You don’t have to follow the rule of thirds and have the perfect aperture and shutter speed all of the time. A photograph can be technically bad, but if it is a snapshot of a memory that means something to you, it doesn’t matter.

Could you share some advice for other students who want to do travel photography?
If you’re blessed with the opportunity to not only travel but to travel and photograph, seize that opportunity and do not let go. Once you’re there, photograph everything. You may end up with several thousand photographs, but I can guarantee that in that large number are a smaller number of fantastic photographs. Don’t ever second guess yourself; with phone cameras what they are today, anyone can be a photographer. There’s never an excuse to not take a photo if you have the chance.



Make 3D Models from Photos

Ever since we introduced 3D printers into the lab, the most common question we are always asked is, “How do you make a model for 3D printing?” Normally we point people to free software like Tinkerkad and 123D Design, which are easier for beginners. The second most common question is about 3D scanning.

Last semester we tried using the Xbox 360 Kinect for scanning. It had a lot of limitations, and is more for fun than anything practical. This semester we are testing Autodesk ReMake which uses photographs to make a 3D model. Autodesk ReMake is available to download for free for education purposes. You can learn more about downloading on the UMIT webpage: it.miami.edu/a-z-listing/autodesk

To make a 3D model, you would photograph the item you want to model and then upload the images into ReMake. ReMake then stitches the images together to make a 3D model. This process can take over an hour, but ReMake will email you when the file is complete. Using ReMake, you can do some basic editing of the model they send you and then 3D print it if you wish. You can also export the file to use in more advanced 3D software.

We’ve created a video that shows our testing process with Autodesk ReMake. We’ll continue to run some tests throughout the semester. Please feel free to come by the lab and discuss ReMake and get some tips on best practices.

 

 



Unity Pro 5 now at DML

by Morgan H. McKie, Multimedia Specialist

Video game development has found its way to the libraries!

Just this past semester we introduced our brand new video game collection with games for Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube and Nintendo Wii. Now we are proud to announce that Unity Game Development Engine has been installed on the Digital Media Lab’s computers located in the Otto G. Richter Library.

Unity accepted our grant proposal and gave us one year licenses for Unity Pro 5. UM Libraries is sharing this good fortune with the Cinema & Interactive Media Department at the School of Communication. Game development just got a little closer to the University of Miami. With highly-optimizable and beautiful graphics integration, you can deploy games with one click to more platforms than you can believe.

Please drop by the lab and speak with Morgan McKie if you are interested in learning more about game development and the game collection at UM Libraries.

Enjoy this endless runner game where you, as Martian who has a crashed landed on Earth, must race to collect all your lost gold coins. If you cannot see the game try using Firefox.

 



Digital Media Lab Exhibits Rising Star’s Collection

by Morgan H. McKie, Multimedia Specialist

Victora Kohl

Photo by Maury Neipris / mauryneipris.com

Victoria Kohl presents The Five Faces of Hangout Fest

“What’s better than sitting on the beach? With a drink? And listening to music?”
– Hangout Music Festival attendee, The Five Faces of Hangout Fest

On Monday, September 19th, the Digital Media Lab (DML) premiered Victoria Kohl’s documentary film The Five Faces of Hangout Fest in the 3rd floor Conference Room located at the Otto G. Richter Library. Over the course of summer internships with Hangout Music Festival, Victoria, a Motion Pictures senior, was given complete creative freedom to make a documentary film depicting its inner workings. She decided that there would be no better way to feature the unforgettable moments of an eclectic music production than by filming the perspective of five faces: the Intern, Sculptor, Fan, Contest Winner and Musician.

Before the film presentation, Victoria told the audience about accepting the internship with Hangout Music Festival in May of 2013 and how it introduced a new passion for the music industry. That passion led her to seek a minor in Music Business & Entertainment Industries and return to Hangout every summer since. Victoria wishes to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking once she graduates. She plans to “go where the action is – Los Angeles!”

Gallery goers enjoy Victoria Kohl’s Concert Collection

After the film presentation, Victoria answered questions about the film and her experiences. Then the audience was invited to the DML for a small reception and to view Victoria’s concert photographs from the festival and different concerts held at the University of Miami. By showcasing student work, the DML hopes to encourage the development of more awe-inspiring multimedia projects of all students, faculty, and staff at UM.

Victoria Kohl’s concert series photos are on display this semester in the Lab and on our gallery page. For more information about her work, please visit her website.

If you’ve created a media project using any of the Lab’s resources, please share it with us! We’d love to put it in the gallery and show off your work. Please email inquiries to MediaLab@miami.edu

 

 



Get Your Game On

by Robert Green, Graduate Student, School of Music
and Vanessa Rodriguez, E-Learning & Emerging Technologies Librarian

videogames

 

Video games have come to the libraries!

We are proud to announce the opening of a video game collection with games for Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube and Nintendo Wii.

The collection was carefully curated based on criteria of artistic achievement, cultural significance, and historical significance, and should provide useful study material for any students looking to enter the video game industry or related fields.

But video games are not just for those who want to enter the field, or those who want to relax for a bit. Would you be interested in researching the accuracies and inaccuracies of historical portrayals in media (like in Assassin’s Creed?). Are you interested in sumi-e style art? Then perhaps you would be interested in Okami. Or maybe you’d like to play Journey and hear the Grammy award nominated music the way the composer intended. Video games have developed into a unique medium of creative expression and a vibrant new art form.

Richter’s collection can be found in the Digital Media Lab alcove, with consoles available for use in the library. Simply find the game you want to play on the shelf and bring it over to a DML staff person for check-out. We have a station with a TV and HD monitor and headphone jacks to facilitate their use. You can check out newer games (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) for use on your own console!

The video game collection is an addition to the board games and role-playing manuals in Richter Library as well as the video game music soundtracks and scores in the Music Library that were made available last year. If you have any suggestions of game materials that the library should purchase, please fill out the library’s Suggest a Purchase form.

Special thanks to Clay Ewing in the Interactive Media department in the School of Communications for donating half of the consoles as well as Mark Buchholz, Robert Green, Bill Jacobs, and Vanessa Rodriguez for their own donations.