Up to 425 students will be able to simultaneously receive teaching using 3D resources thanks to the installation of a huge Virtalis ActiveWall system in the new Charles Darwin Lecture Theatre at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
“We decided to find a long-term partner who could help us drive forward the inclusion of advanced visualisation and Virtual Reality (VR) into a broad spectrum of degrees. Virtalis has that breadth of knowledge.” Craig Hickson, Head of the Business Support Centre in the Department of Information Systems Services at UCLan
Virtalis came up with a number of different options for UCLan, who chose an ActiveWall system featuring two Christie DS-60 projectors and an 8m by 4m screen. To aid UCLan with its move from using VR for research to using VR for teaching, Virtalis is helping the university in its evaluation of a range of software tools to help create stereoscopic models and environments. So far, the University is using Virtalis’ StereoServer to generate stereo 3D movies from 3DS Max. Now UCLan’s departmental heads are working to generate 3D teaching content.
This project has created a valuable resource for the entire University. Instead of VR being confined just to the computing or engineering departments, it is being made available to students reading degrees as diverse as antiques, forensics and design. When VR is linked to laser scanning, it becomes possible to view objects, be they rare artefacts or MRI scans, in 3D. The scans are simply post processed to create large 3D models. Virtalis is working with UCLan to develop the training and support necessary to help academics create their own virtual models and the team is currently identifying the first two dozen lecturers who have the most to gain from this technology.