Blog

Improvements!

While you were off campus, we spent a lot of time (and money!) improving the Integrated Arts Media Labs. Here are the highlights:

  • Every student station in both labs now has, at minimum, one 27-inch display. In the Main Lab, all student stations have a HiDPI (Retina) display.
  • We have added 10 Apple Silicon Mac mini computers, mostly in the Main Lab. These will offer great performance for years to come.
  • The capacity of the Main Lab has been increased to 22 student computers.
  • The remaining Intel Mac mini computers (all located in the Small Lab) have been upgraded to use an internal 480 GB Solid State Drive (SSD) instead of the original Fusion Drive. This should improve performance on these older machines.
  • All Lab computers are running Apple’s latest operating system, macOS Big Sur. (The hallway computers will run macOS Catalina until they are replaced.)

Summer Schedule

Access to services will be limited for the remainder of the Summer. Here is the schedule by week (subject to change):

  • Week of July 26: Closed (staff vacation)
  • Week of August 2: Closed (University closed August 2, staff vacation other days)
  • Week of August 9: Staff available by appointment
  • Week of August 16: Staff available by appointment Monday to Wednesday (staff vacation Thursday and Friday)
  • Week of August 23: Staff available Thursday (after 10:00) and Friday by appointment (staff vacation Monday through Wednesday)
  • Week of August 30: Block Week course in Main Lab Tuesday through Thursday (no drop-in access), access to services Monday and Friday by appointment
  • Week of September 6: University closed Monday (Labour Day). Fall Classes begin Tuesday.

Face Covering Still Required

Irrespective of other campus, city, or provincial guidelines, a face covering will be continue to be required in the Art Building using the Campus Face Coverings Protocol establish originally on 2020 November 24. This means masks must be worn at all times when indoors in the Art Building unless you are in an office, lab, or studio completely by yourself.

At this time, it is expected that this policy will be in place until at least 2021 August 30.

All Classes Online as of May 5

As per Alberta Health pandemic-related restrictions, all classes are now being offered online only. However, if you need access to Lab computers to do your class work, this is still possible.

Ask your instructor for details or contact us directly.

Service Schedule April 2021

The Main Lab will be open for services on the following dates and times as we approach the end of the Winter Term (subject to change):

✔︎ Wed., March 3109:00-15:30
✔︎ Thu., April 109:00-16:00
✔︎ Tue., April 609:00-16:00
✔︎ Thu., April 809:00-16:00
✔︎ Mon., April 1211:00-16:00
✔︎ Tue., April 1309:00-16:00
✔︎ Mon., April 1909:00-16:00
✔︎ Wed., April 2109:00-12:00
✔︎ Fri., April 2310:00-16:00
The Head Technician will take a lunch break around noon hour on each of those days.

Please remember to maintain a 2 metre distance between all people in the Lab as much as possible. You should not be having close conversations or sharing computers even if you are wearing a mask.

The lab will be closed for the week of April 26 due to staff holiday time. No services will be available.

End of Fall Term

As a part of our end-of-term cleanup, the following will occur/has occurred:

  • All local user accounts on Lab computers will be deleted on December 18.
  • All user files stored on the Server will be removed on January 4.
  • Access to the ZBrush licenses for students in Art 323 will end on December 18.
  • Computers will be shut down as of December 18.
  • No services will be available until January 4.

Pay with Unicard!

Effective immediately, you can pay for services in the IAML with your Unicard. Historically, the IAML has only accepted cash, so if you did some printing and weren’t carrying cash, it would have required a trip to MacEwan Hall to get money from an ATM. Now that we accept Unicard, you have the option to load your Unicard with any amount online if you have a credit card. As well, if you go to the Service Centre on the main floor of International House (formerly Hotel Alma), you may load your Unicard using credit, debit, or cash.

Until at least the end of March, we will continue to accept cash in the IAML.

For more information on Unicard or to check your account balance, visit https://www.ucalgary.ca/ancillary/unicard/my-account.

For students in the Department of Art, you will be able to pay with your Unicard for any services provided by the Art technicians (photography, woodshop, metal shop, printmaking). Art Department chits are no longer for sale, but you may still use existing chits until the end of the Winter Term.

Limited Card Access Now Available

We now have approval to give out card access to the Labs under specific terms.

Students must make a request to the Head Technician (Anthony) in order to obtain card access to the Labs (via email to iaml@ucalgary.ca or in person when the technician is on site). The student will need to provide their UCID number and the reason for their request (e.g., “Dance 391 student”, “graduate student in Art”). The student must go through a safety orientation (re: cleaning stations and hands, maximum occupancy, physical distancing) in person or via video conference (e.g., Zoom, Teams, FaceTime). This can be done individually or in a group (e.g., as part of a class).

As usual, card access is limited to majors and minors in Art, Music, Drama, and Dance, as well as those students taking a course in one of those disciplines that requires Lab access. Students unwilling or unable to go through the safety orientation may still access the two computers available outside the north door of the Main Lab.

The access hours for undergraduates match the current building hours: 08:00–17:00 weekdays. Graduate students and Faculty will have 24 hour access. Students may access either the Main Lab or the Small Lab with their approved card access.

It takes Campus Security up to three business days to process card access requests, so students should initiate this process well before an assignment is due.

Remote Workflow Tips for Photographers (and others)

If you’re taking a photography class and you don’t have Photoshop on your personal computer, you are probably taking advantage of our service that allows you to remote control a Lab computer that does have Photoshop. That gives you access to Photoshop, but how do you get your photos from your SD memory card to the remote computer? What’s the most efficient way to hand in your final work? How do I retrieve my final work and put it back on my computer? Even if you are not taking a Photography class, you may have read other help files on our web site about specific tasks but are looking for an overview of the entire workflow.

Conceptually (TL;DR, if you will), you are going to copy the files from your SD card to your own computer (if necessary), upload those files to a Cloud service or our Server, and then download them to the Lab computer you will be remote-controlling. (You do the reverse when you are done working for the day.) Here are step-by-step directions on how such workflows work.

Workflow 1: The Cloud is your friend

Many of you will be familiar with a service like DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud, or OneDrive. (Your University account comes with OneDrive storage included.) You can use such cloud services to shuttle your work between your computer and the remote Lab computer. A typical RAW photo workflow would look like this:

  1. Copy the RAW files from your SD card onto your own computer (copy them as if they were on a USB stick; don’t use a photo app).
  2. Upload the RAW files from your computer to your Cloud service (depending on the service you use, you might be able to copy them to a folder on your computer or you may have to open a web browser and upload the files).
  3. Log in to a Lab computer remotely.
  4. On the remote computer, log in to your Cloud service via a web browser.
  5. The files you just uploaded should be listed there. Download them to the remote computer. (They will likely show up in the Downloads folder unless you specify otherwise.)
  6. Using your RAW editing app (Photoshop, Bridge, or Lightroom, depending on what your Instructor suggests), open the RAW files from the location you stored them in the previous step.
  7. Process as required.
  8. Save your processed files on the remote Lab computer.
  9. If you have something you need to hand in to the Lab Server, it is easiest if you do that while still remotely connected to a Lab Computer. Connect to the Lab Server using the Connect > Lab Server app near the right corner of the Dock (full instructions are available).
  10. Log back in to your Cloud service via a web browser. Upload the work you just completed to the Cloud Service.
  11. Log out of the remote computer so that it sits at the user login screen, then disconnect your session.

You can now download your processed photos from your Cloud service and copy them to your own computer (or any Lab computer if you need to do more work).

Workflow 2: The IAML Server Shuttle

You can use the IAML Server much like you would use a Cloud storage service. You are allowed to store your working files on our Server as well as hand in assignments there. Here is a typical RAW photo workflow:

  1. Copy the RAW files from your SD card onto your own computer (copy them as if they were on a USB stick; don’t use a photo app).
  2. Connect to the University of Calgary network (airuc-secure if on-campus, General UCalgary VPN if off-campus).
  3. Connect to the IAML Server.
  4. Copy the RAW files from your computer to the Server (create a folder with your name on it to store your files if you don’t already have one). Once they are copied, you can disconnect from the Server.
  5. Log in to a Lab computer remotely.
  6. On the remote computer, connect to the Lab Server using the Connect > Lab Server app near the right corner of the Dock (full instructions are available). The files you just uploaded should be listed there. Copy them to the remote computer. (It is not recommended to work directly off the Server, as Adobe does not support this use, so things could go wrong for no reason.)
  7. Using your RAW editing app (Photoshop, Bridge, or Lightroom, depending on what your Instructor suggests), open the RAW files from the remote computer.
  8. Process as required.
  9. Save your processed files on the remote Lab computer.
  10. Copy your processed files to your named folder on the Lab Server.
  11. If you have something you need to hand in, just drop it on the Assignment Drop Box folder on the Server.
  12. Log out of the remote computer so that it sits at the user login screen, then disconnect your session.

Your processed photos are now available when you connect to the Lab Server from your own computer. You can copy any of these files to your own computer (or any Lab computer if you need to do more work).

Other Options

When the Lab is open, you are welcome to use our computer in-person to do your editing. All the iMac computers have a built-in SD card reader on the back, so you can just insert your card and go. This can simplify your workflow by eliminating the need to “shuttle” your RAW files using a Cloud service or our Server. This best mimics the workflow you would use if you were doing all the work on your own computer.

We still recommend you store your processed photographs on our Server (or another Cloud service), as you are not guaranteed to be able to use the same computer the next time you work in person.