2201 Hardware and Software Recommendations

 
School of Film and Animation (SOFA)
Fall 2020 Equipment Information

The SOFA Hardware list is available for download here:  CAD_SOFA_Equipment_2020.pdf

Congratulations and welcome to the School of Film and Animation!

The following is a list of equipment that you may find helpful throughout your time as a SOFA student. This list is not a shopping list, but rather suggestions for items you may want to consider bringing with you, or obtaining during your time at RIT.  Again, you do notneed to purchase any of the items cited below by the first day of classes, or even during the first year. We have a fully equipped cage and lab areas where the majority of this equipment and software is available to you.

Many students chose not to own their own cameras, support gear or software; we provide this list as possible supplementary support for those who are interested in building their own inventory over time. 

There is, however, one exception: Prior to arriving or soon after, students WILL need to purchase the flash drives and external storage listed below, as backing up their work regularly is extremely important.

As an accompaniment to any equipment purchase, all students are strongly encouraged to acquire insurance for their personal gear and any gear they check out from the rental facility known as the “Cage.”  An instant quote may be obtained at  http://www.collegestudentinsurance.com/

Select “New York” and “Rochester Institute of Technology”.  We advise $6,000.00 as the average amount of insurance needed for first year SOFA students borrowing resources. For Film Production Students that coverage will need to increase to $25,000 in years two, three and four.

Please review the information below and feel free to contact bill.landers@rit.edu or (585) 475-5682 if you have any questions.  Bill is happy to assist you in determining what equipment best fits your budget and education objectives.


Recommendations for Film Production Students

Camera and related equipment

  1. Professional Camcorder – One suggested brand and model is Sony PXW-70. https://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-xdcam/cat-broadcastcameras/product-PXWX70/
  2. Flash media and reader – 4k/HD camcorder/DSLR/Audio recording media should be a minimum of 16GB. Please reference user manual prior to purchase. Write speed is especially important; most manufactures require a class 4 or higher card. A media reader is necessary to transfer files onto computer.
    1. https://www.sandisk.com/home
    2. https://www.transcend-info.com/products/Product_detail.aspx?no=709
  3. Lightweight professional fluid head tripod – A recommendation is: Benro Aero 4http://www.benrousa.com/products/benro-a2883fs4.aspx
  4. Headphones– Studio quality headphones for monitoring and editing sound while working in labs and on location. One recommended brand and model is: Sony MDR 7506.https://pro.sony/ue_US/products/headphones/mdr-7506
  5. USB flash drive – It is ultra-portable, inexpensive and can enable transfer of documents, images and videos onto a computer.
  6. External hard drives - Recommended brand and models are G-Technology/G-Drive, G-Raidhttps://www.g-technology.com/products/desktop/g-drive-with-tb3#0G05363. We strongly suggest two portable external hard drives with multiple interfaces to ensure connectively to various lab computers. (Thunderbolt /USB 3.0/USB-C) Optimized for audio, video, and/or effects editing. It is important to store and carry in a padded case or the original box.  One drive serves as “working drive” the other as “backup” drive. SSDs (solid-state drives) are more portable, durable, and faster than standard hard drives, but cost a little more for the memory.
  7. Lightweight folding hand cart - used to transport camcorder, tripod and other equipment: Wesco Superlites 220617
    1. http://catalog.wescomfg.com/item/platform-trucks-carts-dollies/plastic-platform-lightweight-folding-trucks/220617-1

 


Recommendations for Animation Students (Traditional, Digital and Stop-Motion) depending on area of study. 

  1. Wacom Display Pen, Part Number KP501E2 - https://us-store.wacom.com/Product/grip-pen#/undefined1
  2. Wacom Pen-Tablets - http://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/pen-tablets
  3. Dragon Frame –Capture software for Stop-Motion animation - http://www.dragonframe.com
  4. TVPaint - 2D Animation Software http://www.tvpaint.com
  5. Harmony – 2D Animation Software https://store.toonboom.com/students
  6. Autodesk Maya - Comprehensive tool set of animation, 3D modeling, Visual effects, 3D rendering and composting. http://www.autodesk.com/education/home http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/maya
  7. USB flash drive – It’s ultra-portable, inexpensive and can enable transfer of documents, images, files and videos onto a computer.
  8. Digital SLR camera for stop motion animation - Invest in a professional camera with interchangeable lenses, with 4k/HD video recording capability or better and live-preview. Canon, Sony and Nikon are brands are established proven brands.http://www.dpreview.com/
  9. Lightweight professional fluid head tripod – A recommendation is: Benro Aero 4http://www.benrousa.com/products/benro-a2883fs4.aspx
  10. External hard drives - Recommended brand and models are: G-Technology/G-Drive, G-Raidhttps://www.g-technology.com/products/desktop/g-drive-with-tb3#0G05363We strongly suggest two portable external hard drives with multiple interfaces to ensure connectively to various lab computers. (Thunderbolt/USB 3.0/USB-C Optimized for audio, video, and/or effects editing. It is important to store and carry in a padded case or the original box. One drive serves as “working drive” the other as “backup” drive.

 

Computer Options

The School of Film and Animation does not require the purchase of a laptop or desktop computer as students have access to computer labs, equipment and software.  However, if you are contemplating a computer purchase, personal preference and affordability may be determining factors.

Hardware

Laptops are portable and flexible in contrast to desktop computers. Apple computers are primarily used throughout the college labs, but if your preference is Windows-based computers, please know the operating system/platform is also perfectly viable and suitable too. Options are available at https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/

While either a mac or a pc laptop is suitable for any animation technique, we find Windows based pc’s to be more suitable for 3D animation and Macs more suitable for 2D and stop motion animation.

Software

Purchasing software or subscribing to a cloud service will prove beneficial throughout your time at RIT.

  1. Adobe Creative Cloud - A full software compilation for audio, video, image, and video editing 
    http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html
  2. Microsoft Office - A full software compilation for written communication, reports and presentations.
    https://products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education
  3. Avid Media Composer and Pro Tools – industry standard
    http://www.avid.com/en/avid-for-education/students#show-#students

Windows computer owners:

We suggest you install a driver to properly read Mac-formatted external drives. Helps to ensure compatibility with personal computer and editing lab computers.

http://www.mediafour.com/software/macdrive/


Recommendations for Motion Picture Science Students

Motion Picture Science students take a collection of courses from both the production and animation tracks during their time at RIT.  As such, you may find benefit in owning some of the hardware and software listed in both of the previous sections.  However, we suggest you wait until you arrive on campus to decide how much emphasis in either track you anticipate during your time in SOFA.  This will help you determine what, if any, of the equipment you would like to invest in moving forward.


Recommendations for Transfers/Second Year+ Students

Depending on your options, you may find other software meets your needs. Please discuss software purchases with your faculty once you are at RIT.


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2201 Hardware and Software Recommendations