The Hanze CT Labs consist of four stations in the C2 hallway of the Van Doorenveste (ZP11), all of which are set up to support creative technology students with relevant and experimental tech. Here's a quick overview of the labs and their content.
The grandpappy of the labs, the CT Makerspace was created in 2019 with a focus on tangible, analog solutions for students who wanted to expand from a purely digital portfolio. Over the years it has grown into a staple of the curriculum, and now hosts dedicated classes for CMD and CMGT students alike. The Makerspace is a room of tools, machines, and buttons.
One of the most popular aspects of the Makerspace is the laser cutter; students (or staff) come up with a vector-based design, which we can cut out of wood or acryllic-glass. Popular laser cutting themes are boards and accessories for board games, name tags and logos, cases and mounts for micro-computing projects, and - of course - boxes.
With so many artists and modelers in the student body, it's no small wonder that 3D printing is in high demand. We have a multitude of colors for the discerning student to choose from, and a resin printer for finely detailed models. Popular 3D printing themes are self-made models, pawns and accessories for games, intricate mechanical play-things, and - again, of course - tabletop minis.
All creative technology students have dedicated classes in their first year in which they learn how to program micro-computers (or micro-controllers). During and after those classes, many students want to expand on the basic functionalities and explore the countless opportunities of integrating sensors and actuators. Some students use these as a fundamental part of their graduation projects. For all of these use cases we have an abundance of Micro:Bit, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi computers, along with an array of sensors, actuators, lights, and buttons to play with.
Arts and Crafts¶
Some times you just want to do stuff with your hands. Some times you want to work with other materials than wood or acryllic, such as clay, fabric, cardboard, foam, leather, or Legos. Some times you just need to cut, saw, drill, glue, hammer, or paint something, and that's okay. We have simple, honest tools with which you can do just that.
Paper has always been, and will always be, an important aspect of design in general. A lot of functionality has moved to digital forms, of course (in keeping with the Hanzes ecological guidelines) but as of yet they cannot satisfactorily simulate the freedom and tangibility of a sheet of paper and some tools. That's why we have different sizes, stocks, and colors of paper and cardboard for prototyping, along with a literal bunch of basic implements for cutting, coloring, glueing, etc. Besides this we have a sticker plotter, large paper cutter, and laminator for the students' needs.
In 2020 we added a new location; the Spacelab. The second Lab to be rolled out to the public is only a few doors down from the Makerspace, and houses the latest technologies available to the creative technology students.
Shakespeare once adequately described the Spacelab all those years ago; All the
[back end of the room
]'s a stage, and all the men and women merely players
]. And while the quote uses outdated binary language, it is correct: The back half of the Spacelab is a large, carpeted open space in which to walk and wander around while using the available tech.
Most used feature of the Spacelab are the two dedicated VR stations with Valve Indexes hooked up to them. They each face the stage and have ample room to swing around in, as well as a catalog of 50+ VR games to also swing around in. Besides using this catalog for inspiration, students can also upload and play their own games and applications here.
If you are done running around in-game as a character, and instead want the in-game character to run around as you, you can use the mo-cap suit! Given its ubiquitous presence in film, tv, and games alike, it is only natural that we want to offer students the chance to get acquainted with the technology during their time with us. Whether you're aiming for a job somewhere in the mo-cap pipeline, or just want to add a specific motion to your project, you can do it here.1
A rather modest addition to the catalog is our 3D scanner. This brave little rotating platform can scan a (small) object in real life and create a highly-detailed 3d model of it. You can use it to scan sculptures or models you've made, interesting objects that you want to add to your 3D environment, or just anything you want to see in a digital format.
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███-████ Coming Soon¶
Another important feature for game designers is to be able to work within the confines and restrictions of consoles. Your assets, code, and UX just hit differently when you have to keep in mind the limitations on a machine. Even - or especially - in an age where 100gB patches are becoming common-place, a developer who can work with hard limits is a valuable asset. With the arrival of official ███████████, ████(pending), and ████████(pending) ███-████ in Spacelab, you too can now learn to work with the added restrictions, scrutiny, and red tape involved with this pillar of the games industry.
The latest addition to the CT-Lab family is this wholesome room of digital art. Opened in late 2022, this room is a dedicated hub for audio-visual work. Apart from having a cozy reading corner, it serves as a multimedia content creation center (and as an overflow for CT students if all the other studios are fully booked).
For the digital artists, we house a duo of large XP-Pen tablets. If you are drawing, or editing an illustration or design, and you just need a big old screen to poke with a special pen - we've got you covered.
Photo and Video Editing¶
A large part of editing photos and videos, is slightly altering a hundred different variables, which mark the difference between a good shot and a professional one. Now you are free to do that by hand, of course, but if you want to use some more specific hardware for it, then we have a dedicated photo and video editing console for that. Now you can alter contrast, saturation, hues, shadows, etc, etc, with just the turn of a knob.
For the audio editors and artists, there is a more dedicated audio work station. It includes professional (enough) input and output, allowing you to record, edit, and play back your vocal, instrumental, or MIDI takes. Whether you're recording voice over, making a podcast, or producing an absolute bop, Rendergarden can help you.
The Reading Corner¶
If you've ever walked past the Rendergarden, you will have undoubtedly seen the massive chair. Yes, it sits as comfortably as it looks. And yes, there are a bunch of CMD-themed books for you to sit and read! Go on, take a load off and just relax.
The Streaming Cabinet™️¶
If you've ever seen a CT-Lab stream, you've seen the Streaming Cabinet in action. It's a small, mobile, multi-cam production studio that allows us to record workshops, tutorials, and events within the Hanze. Besides three cameras and screen-recording capability, its multiple microphones can record up to ten individual speakers. And while this cabinet isn't strictly available for student use, there's a non-zero chance that you will see it in action during the year.
The last of the four CT-Labs is one that is mostly used as a class room. You might have had a class in there yourself, and fallen in love with the plushies, or spotted a good book to come back to later. You might have even given a class in which you've done that. Either way, let's take a look at what else the room has to offer.
One of the most notable features of the room is the high table with Apple devices on it. In the creative industry, Apple is a large stakeholder, and therefore access to their devices is important. Whether you're designing for Apple products, need to use exclusive software or features, or just prefer the Apple environment, you can make use of the iMacs and iPads in Creationstation.
Similar to the reading corner in Rendergarden, there's a comfy cozy corner in which to sit, hang out, and read interesting literature. There's a sizable collection of gaming-related literature at your disposal (which isn't meant for taking home, mind you), and a couple of latest-gen consoles (which also aren't meant for taking home, obv), which you can enjoy on one of the couches or bean bags. Sit back, relax, and let the good vibes roll.
As long as the suit isn't broken again. ↩