Creative students use new CCIXR technology
The University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Creative and Immersive eXtended Reality (CCIXR) is set to open in Eldon Building in late 2021. It will be a world-class facility where students will combine the virtual and immersive worlds through a wide range of applications, encouraging exploration and discovery.
The Centre will be the UK's first fully integrated facility to support innovation in the creative and digital technologies and has received support from Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and HM Government. A £5.2 million investment is funding the project, with £3.6 million of that coming from Solent LEP.
Using the CCIXR’s state of the art facilities, students will be able to explore volumetric and motion capture, through virtual, augmented, and mixed realities, photogrammetry, and immersive sound. Staffing the facility are industry and academic experts, whose experience will be invaluable to the students when they make use of the Centre.
Nearly all courses in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries will be able to take advantage of the immersive technologies. Prior to the CCIXR launch, some students are already taking advantage of the new kit as it arrives. These students are studying courses such as Virtual and Augmented Reality, Computer Animation and Visual Effects, Computer Games Technology and Music Technology undergraduate courses as well as the postgraduate course in Creative Technologies.
Alex Counsell, Faculty Technical Advisor, explained that "It is great to see some of the amazing new technology we have being used by students already. It will give us a great testing opportunity and hopefully give the students experience of using technology of this calibre in a real project. They will have access to state-of-the-art motion platforms and VR headsets and will be tackling some technical puzzles that will inform our use of the equipment moving forward.”
Pippa Bostock, Business Development and Project Manager, says that the CCIXR will “transform our research, by enabling us to have access to a whole wider range of facilities. It will bring benefits to our students and to the wide range of companies we want to work with.”
Students in the final year of their studies on computer games development programmes are creating exciting solutions using the cutting edge technology to take on challenges that are set by national and international companies and organisations. Graduates of these programmes will have to face real scenarios and this unit helps them prepare for these.
Computer Games Enterprise students, Russell Pay and Lewis George have taken the role of producers working on the Replenishment at Sea VR trainer for The Royal Navy. It is a simulation project allowing personnel to be trained on how to replenish a ship with material, fuel, and supplies.
When asked for their thoughts on working with such a prestigious client, Russell responded “at first, the thought of working with such a big client was quite daunting because you don’t want anything to go wrong.” However, he continued by revealing that the free rein they had over the project made it feel a lot more comfortable.
In terms of experience for going into a career, this is probably the closest to a real-world scenario we will get. This is a little snapshot of what the industry is like and how it works.
Lewis agreed and added, “The whole experience has been great, learning how to work with teams. I don’t know how many subjects do that but it’s beneficial to your own development and in the end, to your degree.”
Students from across the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries will have the chance to explore the CCIXR based in Eldon building, whether studying subjects such as Architecture or Fashion and Textile Design to Drama and Performance or Film Production.
Businesses and organisations from all sectors will have the opportunity to make thrilling new discoveries, through research, innovation and knowledge exchange activity. Participating organisations will be able to do this in collaboration with students, staff, researchers and technical industry professionals
The Centre will offer creatives and scientists from non-technological disciplines to learn inspiring new ways to develop their practice. Together with students, all sectors can learn responsible ways of using technology to tackle some of the most challenging issues facing society and the planet.
Pippa Bostock described getting CCIXR to this point as a “marathon and a rollercoaster” but is excited to be able to get all the technology under one roof.
If you are an organisation, business, or creative freelancer curious about how the centre could discover new possibilities for you, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.