Meptik Equips Miami University with State-of-the-Art XR Stage

Meptik and Disguise Enable Miami University Students To Learn Practical Real-time Workflows for Next-Generation Media

OXFORD, Ohio
March 18, 2024

In a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly constructed Richard M. McVey Data Science Building, Miami University proudly revealed its latest technological marvel — an extended reality (XR) stage for the education of students in real-time workflows. Meptik, the leader in creative and technical services for virtual and immersive productions, spearheaded the design and installation of the stage, providing students with an unparalleled opportunity to craft innovative audience experiences. As part of Disguise, the go-to platform for visual experiences, Meptik are transforming immersive entertainment globally with cutting-edge technology and end-to-end, world-class services.

 

The official introduction of the stage marks a groundbreaking addition to Miami University’s commitment to offering students hands-on learning opportunities in conceiving, developing, creating and deploying next-generation media solutions. With unique courses centered around the new LED volume, the university is advancing education in emerging technologies in an unprecedented manner.

 

Within Miami University’s College of Creative Arts, the Emerging Technology in Business and Design undergraduate and graduate program students will now be able to explore the complexities of designing visuals for LED stages. They will also be able to learn how to manage LED stage technical integrations. This will be done as part of courses including Motion Design for Video Post Production and Immersive and Reactive Tools and Creating Visuals for Music Performance.

These courses cover a wide range of fields, including conventional VFX and animation, interactive installations, projection mapping, virtual production, digital set design, technical integration and extended reality applications in broadcast. The curriculum aims to provide students with foundational expertise to integrate into a community of creative technologists, serving various sectors within the entertainment industry to create experiences that appeal to a generation of audiences that want more immersive content than ever before.

 

“The design of this space and the hardware are unique to the curriculum we teach at the University,” said Ben Nicholson, Immersive and Reactive Lab and XR stage director at Miami University. “We don’t want our students to function as single platform base users. We want them to know how and why equipment works and reinforce that immersive technologies are ecosystems that must be maintained and understood. Our system here was designed as a multiple input system to the wall where we can teach several methodologies, including Disguise virtual production and extended reality workflows amongst others. Additionally, all the systems can play together to do deeply integrated interactions involving people tracking, moving light programming via Unreal Engine and sound reactive installations, to name a few. Meptik’s team was clever in how they met these demands and even included and taught our students about the actual installation process.”

 

Working in conjunction with Rogue Productions for LED panel installation, StYpe for tracking system calibration and lighting designer Paul Guthrie, Meptik’s technical experts led the design, installation and integration of the university’s virtual production stage.

Beyond technical support, Meptik provided on-site shadowing opportunities for students and let them actively contribute to the construction of the front of the house, set up media servers, hang lights and learn how to service many of the pieces of equipment. The comprehensive system integration service also included a five-day training program covering Disguise fundamentals, lighting basics, advanced lighting techniques, as well as XR and virtual production training for students and faculty.

 

Building on the successes of integrating two full virtual production facilities at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Meptik remains at the forefront of introducing innovative workflows to academic environments.

 

“At Meptik, we’re committed to fueling creativity and technical innovation. We’re excited to see the amazing projects and ideas that will unfold as Miami University students explore the boundless potential of immersive technologies in their educational journey. As the next generation of immersive artists and technologists, we’re looking forward to seeing what innovative workflows they will introduce to the world,” said Sarah Linebaugh, co-founder of Meptik.

 

As the LED volume at Miami University officially opens its doors, it signifies the start of an evolution, where students are not spectators; but active participants in the evolution of visual storytelling.

 

Learn more about the new virtual production stage at Miami University at miamioh.edu