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Friday 2 November 2018

The course team are always keen to expand their industry network and were recently invited to Creative Technology’s (CT) head office in Crawley to learn more about what they do and the skills that they seek to employ.

Best known for their graphics processing and projection mapping, Course Leader Lee Davison and Senior Lecturer Paul Bourne were keen to see the technologies that they’re developing in this rapidly expanding field. However, they were surprised to find that the company has a much wider scope than they understood.

Head of Technical Services Tom Burford started the tour with a demonstration of how they’re using Virtual Reality (VR) to provide clients with immersive simulations of project mapping, lighting and large screens within venues such as sports stadia. The graphics engines are able to render details such as reflections and illumination as the viewer moves around in real space. This allows their clients to get a better feel for what their designs will look like and allows detailed planning of camera angles, shadows and highlights enabling the pre-production process to start sooner. They were also shown some intriguing demo rooms that they’re using to develop tracking for VR that spans beyond a single room.

Some examples of projections mappings by CT

CT have an impressive inventory of projectors and servers to support the digital display side of their business but the course team were surprised by extent of their AV and broadcast equipment. The warehouse contains portable production units prebuilt with equipment from camera control units, vision mixers and acquisition devices to complete sound solutions. They also have extensive networking and communications solutions including RF antennas and amplifiers. The breadth of their offering is incredible and is supported by an efficient looking setup for planning and delivering bespoke turnkey solutions to their clients.

It was also a pleasure to unexpectedly bump into a graduate whilst visiting. Alex Bond graduated with a BSc in Media Technology in 2009 and appears to be thriving at CT as a Project Engineer. It’s become a bit of a joke – but is wonderful – that it seems difficult to visit broadcast companies without coming across at least one Media Technology graduate.

Tom and the course team have put some plans in place to collaborate on future projects and look forward to bringing their insights directly to the students. Paul and Lee didn’t make it around both of CT’s sites so they’ll be plenty of surprises for the students to discover. Thanks to Tom and CT and for taking time out to show us around.

Tom apologised that most of their projectors were out and only some of the the 'little ones' remained! CT are also a service centre for Panasonic projectors.