Motion Design Labs Petition

Motion Design Labs Petition

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Why this petition matters

Started by Elizabeth Ditzler

Request for PCs and updated software.
There is a desperate need for additional lab computers and updated software for the existing computers on the third-floor of the Larry Thompson Academic Center (hereinafter “Third Floor”). Currently, there are two (2) rooms with lab computers located on the Third Floor: Room 307 and Room 310. With the number of additional students and new school programs available over the recent years, these labs are not upto the high expectations that are expected from Ringling and its students. 

With the current academic level of work, changing these lab computers to PCs would be more efficient, adaptable, and cost-effective for the campus. The computers must be able to handle Octane. By updating these lab computers, there will be less of a demand for Room 321, where currently there are PCs at an industry level.

Reason for request.
We respectfully request Ringling to make this change for its students. There are several negative factors that currently affect Ringling students, such as, students not having access to specific lab computers and programs, the render farm not being reliable, and the lab computers being standardized. With this change, every Motion Design student will have the opportunity to complete their assignments without excuse. 

It is well-known that the Ringling student’s work level is high. For students to strive and achieve this high level of work, students must have access to industry-level technology. Many students need access to two (2), and at times three (3) lab computers when projects are due to complete their assignment. At the present time, located on the Third Floor are four rooms (4) with access to lab computers. Two (2) of these rooms have access to Octane, and as mentioned above Room 321 is the only room which offers industry-level technology. 

This need comes from the increase of students using Octane. Octane, a render engine, must be run locally on the lab computers. At the present time, there is no option of using the Ringling render farm with this engine. Furthermore, to optimize the usage of this render engine, PCs would be the best option. This change came from courses that have adapted much like the industry has, so Octane is now included in the curriculum. 

Using Octane for projects is essential for Sophomores as they learn the program and Cinema4D (3D software). With the progressive growth of the Motion Design program, students come to the labs after class where they must wait at length for a computer to become available to begin working on their projects. 

At the present time the Motion Design labs are not meeting the requirements for Ringling students. The ratio of computers with access to Octane to the total number of students that need access to these programs is highly disproportionate. Currently, with upperclassmen in Motion Design totaling typically around sixty (60) students and there being around thirty-six (36) computers with access to Octane and then add the underclassmen to this factor, it becomes clear that this is a troublesome issue which causes undue stress and infringes upon the possibilities for the high level of work expected by Ringling and its students.

Another issue that has been prevalent is the Ringling render farm. For Motion Design students and faculty, there have been times where IT has tried different applications, but none of them have been successful in testing. Many Ringling students have used their own paid for render farms to complete their assignments since using the remote labs is not always reliable depending on the licensing. 

To rectify this issue, Ringling could look at what the industry is using. ABC and MAKE use Deadline, a hybrid render farm or we can partner with RNDR which our own faculty use (David Brodeur). Both of these are easily accessible and affordable render farms. There are benefits to using these render farms as well, such as, setting priorities and assigning multiple computers to the same render farm.

It is essential for the Motion Design lab computers to be updated and for additional PCs. Without the additional PCs and updates, the Motion Design program and its students will suffer including but not limited to discord among students, time limits, program restrictions, realization and manifestation of ideas, etc. With the implementation of standardizing the lab computers to PC’s and having the licensing for Octane as well as a reliable, cost effective and efficient renderfarm, together with additional PCs these issues could be averted. 

This petition was written not only for the students, but also for the Motion Design faculty. The Motion Design faculty have expressed their concerns over the years about the render farm, zbooks, lab computers and much more. The Motion Design faculty and students through this petition want to express their concerns and assist in building a creative, strong, influential program to empower Ringling students and faculty to have access to industry standard technology and have every opportunity to develop industry work standards through their projects. 

How this change will make Ringling better.
Ringling advertises on our About Us page that “Our studios, labs, and classrooms empower students to learn by making and doing, while developing their professional skills using [the] best equipment and most advanced technology in the world.” 

As you may know, many Ringling students, if not all students, enjoy their Ringling classes and projects. This request is made so that Ringling students will have the opportunity to complete their assignments with access to technology without the need to pay for additional fees which some students may not be able to afford and without the stress of worrying if there are computers available to work on to complete their project or that other Ringling students are watching as you work waiting for a computer to become available.

Pertaining to the students who have zbooks, this would be a grand opportunity to show the campus making a stance to do better for the students, especially those in Motion Design who currently do not have access to what they were promised. 

This investment would benefit Ringling College of Art and Design. Ringling advertises that it offers its students the best in technology and that Ringling students will be ready for employment by learning and using industry standards. This is the reason why Ringling has its students today..

By updating these labs computers, you are showing this department that we are being heard and giving the students and faculty more experience with industry level technology. Allow the students to do what you say we are here to do.

By definition, an Octane render “is a GPU render engine that uses a way of calculating final rendered images that aims to be photo-realistic. Similar to Arnold, but using GPU technology” (School of Motion). Octane is used in Cinema4D, a 3D modeling program, as a render engine that enhances students' work. This program was not taught in previous years, which is why this change is necessary now with the increase in demand.


Some alternatives options the campus has:

Room 316 in the Larry Thompson Academic Center, the cintiques would have to be updated, but by adding Octane to this room, students would be able to use more aspects of Octane in dynamic ways with the versatility of a stylus. 

If the campus is updating say Computer Animation or Game Art lab computers, and if those computers are more updated than Motion Designs, then bring them over here for the students to use.


109 have signed. Let’s get to 200!