VC in the Real World

Just ran across this example of videoconferencing in the world of work. Wired Magazine featured an article on The DreamWorks Machine. Design and development teams from various locations meet virtually to work on movies such as Madagascar. Check out this description of the technology.

By the middle of 2003, DreamWorks was fitted for 21st-century moviemaking with its Virtual Studio Collaboration system bridging Glendale and Redwood City. Headed by Derek Chan, the team built a large conference room, two smaller video rooms, and a remote editing room at each site, linking the large rooms that McGrath and Darnell used to create Madagascar with a dedicated 30-Mbps fiber-optic line, and the smaller rooms with a 24-Mbps line.

The facilities are a work of design genius. The conference rooms are identical down to the maple furnishings and wall paneling, the swivel leather chairs, and the sliding storyboard panels. Chan’s team tested 30 microphones to capture the broadest range of voice timbres and 70 fabrics to identify the color match that would make the remote collaborators seem most lifelike. The rooms have enough lumens to light a movie set and are outfitted with special light scoops to reduce shadowing and to keep participants from getting “raccoon eyes.” Each room contains monitors and camera controls that allow people on both ends to work on the same files, view the same footage, or easily zoom in on a face, picture, or image.

Sounds pretty cool! What a dream VC room! Another great reason why we should continue to expose students to collaborative events via videoconference. Someday soon they will be working with colleagues around the world using collaborative videoconference technology!

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