Advanced Arts and Humanities Technology Proposal

Richard Karpen, Professor and Director

February 1998


A major part of CARTAH's mission is to give students access to state-of-the-art technologies in a supportive studio/research environment. These kinds of technologies are often only available to graduate students and faculty in the sciences and engineering. CARTAH has made it possible to increase access to many other students. The growing technological sophistication of students in all areas of the UW has meant that demand for access to this kind of equipment has increased dramatically.

Significance to Students

The aim of this proposal is to help students develop projects dealing with all aspects of media, from print to video and sound, to 3D computer animation and modeling as the following applications from CARTAH's 1997-1998 Project file reveal:

Ted Craig
- undergraduate and freshman in Arts and Sciences - wishes to make a master disk through DAT transfer to CD - CARTAH does not have digital audio DAT tape deck to support this project;
Allen Freese
- undergraduate in graphic arts - wishes to create 3D models for a WEB site as part of research project - CARTAH accepts the project, but the old 3D modelling software running on old Macintosh equipment cannot deliver the performance Allen needs for decent results within his limited time frame;
Seth Adkins
- undergraduate drama student - wishes to undertake a project using Virtual Reality (VR) blocking for choreography, as well as integrated computer-stage interaction, where the dancers control events (lighting, sound, etc.) remotely while on stage - CARTAH has no VR software or the high-end equipment on which it runs to help Seth;
Andy Lambert
- first year architecture graduate student - wants to create a WEB-based laboratory using Graphical Information System (GIS) software and streaming video - CARTAH agrees to help with support for the video WEB, but lack of GIS software and the latest video equipment and software mean Andy's project cannot be completed as it is currently evisaged.

CARTAH is unique within the College of Arts and Sciences. Most technology centers are either general access, allowing for student access on a drop in basis, or are restricted to specific departments or classes. In contrast, the facilities at CARTAH are open to all students. However CARTAH is not a 'drop in' lab. Use of the facilities at CARTAH is project based, and requires that students, as well as other users, complete an application. This application is not designed to restrict the use of CARTAH, rather it is meant to help both CARTAH and the researcher to focus on the goals of the project, and the tools needed accomplish those goals.

Projects have ranged in scope from relatively simple projects lasting only a few days to multi-quarter projects involving several researchers and organizations. Approval is based on the feasibility of the proposal, not on the status of the researcher or on how ambitious the project is. In many cases, CARTAH is simply the only place students can gain access to equipment and expertise usually found in specialized labs or computer centers.

Procedure and Proposal


This proposal is designed to allow for the implementation of a unified approach to media creation and multi-media development. What follows is a brief description of the proposed equipment, and an explanation as to why this equipment is important to the over all goals of the proposal.

Video production and computer animation

The number of requests from students for computer animation and digital video equipment has increased dramatically in the last year. Using the equipment in this proposal, students will be able to integrate computer animation, virtual reality modeling, and video into wide ranging projects.

The following computers will enable students to generate state of the art computer graphics and animations and also read, manipulate, and record video, as well as allow high quality audio. The DAT players will enable students to record and use CD quality sound, including the ability to record 'on the road' using the portable DAT player.

  1. Windows NT Duel Processor Pentium II Workstation.
    Targa 1000 Video Capture Board
    3D Studio Pro MAX Computer Animation Software
    23GB External RAID Storage device

  2. Apple G3 Power MacIntosh Workstation
    Audio Media III Sound Board
    PRO Tools Audio Software
    Otari D8 Digital Audio Tape Player
    Tascam BAP Portable Digital Audio Tape Player

Print and web media development

The following equipment will enable students to create and develop works that can extend beyond any one media form, from simple print to the Web to interactive multi-media productions. These four computers will enable students and researchers to create print and computer based publications using a wide range of source materials.

  1. Two Apple G3 PowerMacitosh Workstations
    Two Windows NT Pentium II Workstations
    Two WACOM ArtZ II Tablets
    Multi-Media and Publishing Software

    To aid in this work the following three devices will enable professional quality scanning and printing of images and text. The Mirage II tabloid size scanner allows for the scanning of color images of up to 11" by 17". The HP Network Scanjet 5 is specifically designed for document scanning and optical character recognition (OCR), and will enable students to quickly convert text documents into electronic form. The Phaser 560 color printer will extend CARTAH's printing capacity to include high quality color images and documents.

  2. UMAX Mirage II Tabloid Color Scanner
    HP Network Scanjet 5 Scanner
    Tektronix Phaser 560 Color Laser Printer


Implementation of CARTAH's proposal is dependent upon (1) funding by the Student Technology Fee Committee and (2) arrival of the equipment. assuming that both of these actions occur in a timely fashion, CARTAH can undertake to begin supporting student projects during Summer Term 1998.

CARTAH has extensive experience in video-capture, multimedia, and authoring tools. Our staff is trained in digital applications for music, art, video, and text. More specifically, support for CARTAH currently consists of funding by the College of Arts and Sciences and includes:

2.4 FTE
3 half-time graduate assistants
hourly support

The emphasis in these porposal is continued excellence in technology, as well as providing seats for undergraduate and graduate students requiring a high degree of sophisticated technological support.

CARTAH labs are open to all. We require only that all users submit a research application, which is approved on the merit of the research and CARTAH's ability to support the requested activity.


05 - Supplies and materials

Front Page PC186.02
Power Point PC, Mac2215.48
Illustrator PC, Mac2324.08
Pagemaker PC, Mac2387.07
Photoshop PC, Mac2563.00
Quark PC, Mac21,538.23
Studio Pro Max R2 Kinetix, Pro Tools Bundled With Sound Card 1873.37
2GB IOMEGA Jaz Disk4705.04
Draw Tablets: WACOM ArtZ II Tablet, 12x1821,439.63
2GB IOMEGA Jaz Drive21,459.63
DigiDesign III Sound Card 1860.99
Print Cartridges: Ea. Black, Yellow, Cyan, Magenta11,117.52
Digital Audio Tape Player (Stand alone) 11,214.17
Digital Audio Tape Player (Portable) 11,588.84
05 SUBTOTAL $12,512.52

06 - Equipment

Targa 1000Pro Video Board (video machine &3D machine) 25,014.74
23GB External HD Seagate Ultra-SCSI II 12,610.97
Network Scanjet 5 Scanner13,271.91
Tabloid Scanner Umax Mirage II 17,289.25
Tektronix Phaser 560 Color Laser Printer16,017.57
(1) Video capture - Powermac G3 Minitower:
266MHz Power G3, optimized for video capture development with 384MB RAM and 24" monitor 15,924.17
Monitor Sony GDM-W900t 24" for above computer 13,915.07
(1) Digital audio station and (1) Integrated WEB media station
266MHz Power PC G3 with 20" monitors optimized for integrated media and electronic publication 214,300.54
(1) 3D rendering and computer animation
333MHz Pentium II, with 20" monitor optimized for 3D rendering and computer animations 512MB RAM19,835.95
(1) Digital graphics station and (1) Electronic authoring station
333MHz Pentium II, with 20" monitors optimized for integrated media and electronic publication215,186.71
06 Subtotal $73,366.89
TOTAL COST $85,879.41

Endorsements by Students

Appendix A: Complete Student Letters

Language and literature - undergraduate

Feb. 24, 1998

To Whom It May Concern,

I am an undergraduate student of Southeat Asian studies in my final year of study and have come to work in the CARTAH lab through my collaborative research project with Professor Kim Nguyen of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature. My project has been, briefly, to reformat, correct, and combine Professor Nguyen's pre-existing second year Vietnamese text with a number of drawings and photographs with the goal of crreating a more complete, more comprehensible, and more `student friendly' text.

Professor Kim Nguyen and I descended into the CARTAH lab knowing generally what we planned to produce but not at all how to go about fulfilling this loose idea of a prefected Vietnamese text - I only had a vague conviction that it could be done, but no real concept about how it could or should be done. The staff at CARTAH has been infinitely helpful and patient: Advising us of possible courses action, tutoring us in various programs and technologies which have since become indispensable to our task, not to mention solving all the petty day-to-day (often minute-to-minute) computer difficulties every novice computer user experiences.

The technology available at CARTAH has allowed us to improve the text to an unforseen degree. We now manage our text on Quark Express, a desktop publishing program, which affords us a much great ease of manipulation than our previous word processing program and creates many new and exciting opportunities in our long quest of perfecting the text. We have, furthermore, scanned and stored our unwieldy pile of Vietnamese drawings onto a CD which has made our orginal task of 'combining text with images' elementary.

Thanks to the sophisticated technology at CARTAH and the invaluable staff who continue to guide and advise us in using it, realization of our task is a no longer a question; the question has become: How far do we want to take it?

Dan Copp

Art and design - graduate student

I am a graduate student in the school of art and design. As a graduate student, research is my primary concern. My investigation involves developing the concepts that are important to me, coordinating them with the processes and media that are suitable to communicate these concepts, and then executing them using these processes in a skillful and articulate manner. The processes and equipment that I believe are appropriate for my concepts involve the use of technology that is not accessible to me in any way other than through the use of CARTAH. Also, the support from the staff of CARTAH is invaluable for my acquisition of the skills to execute my work at a professional level.

Some examples of the equipment that are only available to me through CARTAH are digital audio editing software, compact disc burning hardware and software, digital video editing hardware and software, slide scanning hardware, and digital image editing software. Through the technical assistance of the CARTAH staff, I am able to use these tools to create my work.

Leo Berk
Graduate Student
School of Art

Ethnomusicology - graduate student

March 9, 1998

I have been working on video editing at CARTAH during winter quarter 1998. The project I am currently working on is a final video project for a course on the anthropology of the body. Although I was able to borrow a video camera from my department (ethnomusicology),we do not have access to video editing equipment. Having access to video editing equipment at CARTAH has been absolutely essential to my work this quarter. Moreover, the staff at CARTAH are extremely knowledgeable and have been very helpful and patient in helping me learn the video editing program. Completion of my project would not have been possible without the tremendous technological resources available at CARTAH. I look forward to working at CARTAH on future video projects.

Lorri Plourde
graduate student in ethnomusicology

Psychology and computer music - undergraduate

Mar 2, 1999

During my work as an undergrad at the UW I have found CARTAH to be an excellent resource in respect to the wide range of projects that I have undertaken. CARTAH provided me access to the tools I needed to work on areas of study in both my Psychology and General Studies (computer music) degrees. I found that the equipment and software available was perfect for someone who works in a variety of different disciplines, such as myself. They had the video editing equipment to use for my video art projects as well as computer music software for my audio work. They also provided expert support to help me learn how to use their different systems and combine them in the way that I desired. In addition, CARTAH also gave me the opportunity to learn about the World Wide Web. I found that they had a great number of resources for developing my own web page so I could easily present my work to others. I was also impressed by the high quality of the hardware and software available at CARTAH. In the future I plan on pursuing my interests in multimedia at CARTAH. I would like to make a CD-ROM orotherwise preserve the work I have done to make it easily accessable to others.

Jud Holliday
Psychology and Computer Music Major