Have a media project? Need help making a movie, an audio file, or a poster?  Please come to the Wilson Media Lab in the Davis Family Library.  We have Mac computers and tutors to meet your media needs.

Click here to view a full screen display of tutor availability by software expertise.

We  offer tutoring and aid services in all of our media editing programs, including the Adobe Suites, the iSuite for Mac, and Google Earth, as well as many others.  In addition to offering technical support to faculty, staff, and students, in the summer, tutors take on projects from all departments on campus.  Our projects vary from things as simple blogs to things as complex as 3D interactive environments.  If you have a project for the tutors, please contact Heather Stafford to arrange support.

For more information about the Wilson Media Lab and digital media development (including hours you can get help from a tutor), see:

LIS Wiki > Media Services

Media Tutorials

It is our goal to offer support in every way we can.  To that end, the tutors have created or linked to useful media tutorials concerning software and hardware in the lab.  If a tutor is not available, or if you'd prefer to learn on your own, please feel free to utilize these tutorials to find the information you're looking for.  The resources are listed on the left-hand side of the page.

Using the Digital Camcorders

In addition to tape-recording video cameras, the Davis Family Library now offers digital recording video cameras.

  • Please see the section on Firewires to connect the camera to the computer.
  • Once the camera is connected and the hard drive is running, copy your MOD files to the desktop.
  • To prepare the MOD files for editing, open "MPEG Streamclip."
  • In the "File" menu in the Menu Bar, select "Export to DV."
  • Adjust your export settings to fit your preferences.
  • Click "Make DV."
  • Please be patient.  The program must render frame by frame, so a lot of footage will take a lot of time to convert.

Once the conversion is finished, begin editing in Final Cut Express.  If you are unfamiliar with Final Cut Express, please see our tutorial for that program.

Using Cameras and Firewire Drives

The libraries current camera and Firewire hard drives both connect to our Macs with a Firewire cable.  Firewire cable can fry Firewire ports when hot-plugged (ie. plugging the cable in while the power is on.)  In order to protect both the computer ports, the cables, and the devices, Firewires should be plugged in using the following methodology.

When connecting your unit(s)

- Ensure that the Computer is turned OFF
- Ensure that the device is turned OFF
- Connect your device
- Turn ON your device
- Turn ON your Computer

When disconnecting your unit(s)

- Shut down control software
- Turn OFF your Monitor Speakers
- Turn OFF your device

Once the device is plugged in, the Macs should detect any digital media storage devices automatically.  However, if the media is not detected, there's a good chance that the drive is not formatted to Mac specifications.  Reformatting the hard drive loses all stored information, so please consider using Midd Files if your files are small enough to be stored.  Alternatively, renting a PC/Mac compatible hard drive from LIS Circulation and transferring your work to that space is also a possibility.

Creating a PDF File

PDF files are an excellent way to store multi-page static documents and there are numerous ways to create them.

Making a Webpage PDF

-Choose Firefox as your browser and open the page you'd like to save.
-Select File->Print from the Menu Bar
-In the lower left hand corner, click on the PDF drop-down menu
-Select "Save as PDF"
-Name the PDF and save it to the desktop

Please note that links will not be active in this PDF

Adobe Suite PDFs

The Adobe Suite products are all capable of creating PDF documents.  Simple go to File in the Menu Bar and select "Save As."  Choose the PDF option from the drop-down menu in the dialog box.

Saving Word Documents as PDFs

As in Adobe Products, Word documents can also be saved as PDFs under the "Save As" option.

 Photoshop Pamphlet

Adobe Photoshop CS4 is a raster graphics, photo editing program that is designed both for simple editing of photos and for creation of new and unique digital art pieces. It is a complex program that can do as much or as little as the user requires of it. Raster graphics are graphics comprised of pixels, so when enlarged, they lose picture quality. We recommend that web images be saved a 72 DPI and images for printing be saved at 300 DPI. Basic Walkthrough A pamphlet containing basic information about the Photoshop Interface and its tools.

Blender Resources

Blender is an open-source 3D imaging editor.  In the past, the Classics and Psychology Departments have utilized this program to create interactive 3D environments for students or projects.  The tutors maintain a set of Wiki instructions, found below.

Blender Basic Information and Short-cut Keys:


The above link covers all basic modeling, skinning, lighting, animating, and rendering techniques.  For anything beyond the basics, the tutors recommend using outside sources, specifically BlenderArtists, which provides a great deal of support in the form of tutorials and forums.