Welcome to the School of Digital Media at the Savannah College of Art & Design. The college makes available state of the art computers and software designed for students pursuing the disciplines of Animation (ANIM), Broadcast Design (MOME), Visual Effects (VSFX) and, Interactive Game and Development (ITGM). This Handbook has been created to assist students in properly checking out and utilizing the facilities and equipment inventories at Montgomery Hall.
Guidelines covered include technology policies, rules and regulations, safety guidelines, building hours, Cage checkout regulations and render farm usage. The Savannah College of Art & Design reserves the right to change or update any information, rules, policies, regulations, and standards of conduct within this Handbook.
Checkout privileges for students are handled by the Equipment Checkout in room 121 at Montgomery Hall.
Montgomery Hours of Operation
Fall, Winter, Spring Quarters
1st, 2nd & 3rd floors
Open 24 hours, 7 seven days a week;
Last day of the quarter, labs at Montgomery Hall close at 12am.
1st, 2nd & 3rd floors
7:30am -12:00am up to last week of the quarter
Midterms and Finals week, Monty open 24 hours
On last day of the quarter, all labs at Montgomery Hall close at 12am.
Student Hardware/Software Support
Students experiencing any computer hardware or software problems or Audio/Video problems on equipment at Montgomery Hall are expected to fill out and submit a problem report.
A problem report shortcut (icon) is on every desktop when a student logs onto a computer. The problem report page can also be accessed from the School of Film & Digital Media’s intranet site. Students can check the status of their problem report from the SDM intranet site.
Systems Administrators are available to assist students and faculty with technical computer hardware and software problems on all Montgomery Hall computers.
Systems Administrators are not available to teach students how to use software available on Montgomery Hall computers. Faculty and tutors are responsible for the instruction and use of software and related media equipment for students.
Software manuals and tutorials for applications such as Maya, Massive, Adobe products, 3DSMax, etc are available on a DVD server for all students to use. The DVD server can be accessed from the SDM’s intranet site as well as from a shortcut on the desktop.
Tutors are also available for specific software instruction. You may go to the Cage for tutor schedules.
Server Space Policy at Montgomery Hall
Students taking classes at Montgomery Hall can access their home space (H:\) from any SCAD campus computer.
Network storage should be used for back up purposes only. Working directly off any network storage ( Home space / Drop boxes ) can cause file corruption and the possible loss of work.
Undergraduate & Grad students taking classes at Montgomery Hall have a 50 gigabyte home space.
Students can request project space for collaborative projects with the Collaborative Space manager via the SDM intranet site.
Lab Equipment Use Policies at Montgomery Hall
Students are permitted to connect and use the following hardware on the computers at Montgomery Hall:
- External Hard Drives
- USB drives (“jump” drives)
- WACOM tablets
- Macintosh iPod & other music/storage devices
- Digital & Video cameras
Students are only permitted to log onto a maximum of three computers concurrently. If a student attempts to log onto more than three computers his/her account may be disabled. If the student’s account is disabled he will have to call the HelpDesk in order to have his account re-enabled.
Students are not permitted to leave computers that are rendering locally unattended.
Undergrad students are not permitted to use the grad lab for any reason.
Students are not permitted to connect portable printers to any computers at Montgomery Hall.
Students are not permitted to disconnect monitors, keyboards or mice from any computers at Montgomery Hall for any reason. If there are any hardware problems students should notify their professor and submit a problem report and report the malfunctioning hardware. Montgomery Hall’s systems administrators are the only people authorized to disconnect, move, and handle any hardware equipment.
Students are not permitted to use the projectors at Montgomery Hall outside of a scheduled class unless special conditions are met. Please refer to Policy Hardware Use.
Students are not permitted to install any software (applications, plugins, fonts, drivers, codecs) on any computers at Montgomery Hall. If a student installs or attempts to install any of the aforementioned software on a computer at Montgomery Hall his/her student ID will be disabled. Additionally, these are also grounds for expulsion. Please refer to Policy for Software requests for software installation requests.
Students are not permitted to tamper with any of the cabling of Audio/Video equipment or computers and their peripherals. Tampering with the cabling is considered vandalism and it is grounds for expulsion.
Food or drinks (of any kind) are not allowed on tables and desks that have computers, computer peripherals and Audio/Video equipment on them, nor are they allowed on Animation Desks / Light tables.
Students are not permitted to bring refrigerators, coffee makers, hot plates, crock pots, or microwaves into Montgomery Hall. Any of the aforementioned appliances brought into the building will be confiscated.
Policy for Software Use
Any requests for applications, plugins, fonts, drivers, codecs upgrades/updates and/or installations must go from student to professor and from professor to his/her Chair. If the Chair approves the request and the license(s) have been purchased (if a license has to be purchased), the Information Technologies department will test and determine the most appropriate and efficient way to distribute the requested software to the labs in Montgomery Hall.
Policy for Hardware Use
AV / Projector Use
Audio/Video equipment – i.e. projectors, DVD/VHS players, televisions, Game Consoles, etc. – are to be used exclusively during scheduled class times while a professor is in class. A professor may reserve the room for a make-up session or extra help session and use the projector outside of the regular class time.
If a group of students wish to use a projector on a regular basis, they must register with the SCAD Clubs group as an official club, reserve the room with the projector in question and then request the projector use during those reserved times via their professor or the department chair. Their professor or chair will then email the Facilities Manager, Adrienne Boner and, once permission is granted, they will have access to the projector during their reserved room times until the next quarter, when room reservations need to be re-established. Students may not use the projector outside of their reserved room times.
Montgomery Hall has a render farm available to students and faculty for rendering sequence images for the following software: Maya Software, Maya Mental Ray (mayatomr), Maya Renderman (mtor) and Houdini.
Currently, there are 50 dedicated render nodes for the farm with a potential of 500+ additional workstations (nodes) through-out Montgomery Hall - on unattended Macs and PCs that are booted into Linux.
- 100 Renderman licenses
- 100 Houdini licenses
- 200 Mental Ray licenses
- Unlimited Maya software licenses
For Render farm use instructions please refer to the Render farm SDM intranet site.
The render farm has limited space to store files rendered locally after completion. Students are asked to remove jobs and projects immediately after completion. Files not removed within a 24 hour period from the initial submission time may be deleted so that others might use the render farm.
The render farm is now setup in a 4-tiered priority system. It will automatically update your job’s priority based on the following tiers:
- Jobs with 750 minutes (12.5 hours) or less of CPU time in the queue will have their jobs set with the highest priority of 6.
- Jobs with 751-1500 minutes (12.5 hours – 25 hours) of CPU time in the queue will have their jobs set with the priority of 4.
- Jobs with 1501-5000 minutes (25 hours – 3.5 days) of CPU time in the queue will have their jobs set with the priority of 2.
- Jobs with 5000+ minutes (3.5 days+) of CPU time in the queue will have their jobs set with the lowest priority of 0.
All jobs will start with a priority of 0 and be updated once the render farm can determine the approximate amount of render time your job(s) will use. The total minutes is calculated by multiplying the total frames in your job times the average minutes per frame your job is taking. By using this system, excessively long renders will run when the render farm is not busy while giving more manageable renders priority when the render farm is busy.
Your can now view your job status on the render farm from outside Montgomery Hall through this URL: http://sdm.scad.edu/render
Filming and Set Policies for SCAD
No set construction will be allowed in Montgomery Hall or Hamilton Hall. All raw materials must be assembled outside of either Hall. No circular saws, other wood cutting equipment or welding equipment will be permitted in either Hall. Powered screwdrivers are allowed. Painting will be allowed with the use of a drop cloth. No paint thinner will be permitted inside the building.
Each set construct will have to be removed and disposed of by the patron in a timely manner. Any set refuse that does not fit into the parking lot dumpster must be removed from the premises immediately. Stacking trash alongside the dumpster will not be permitted. Any items left in the studio will be subject to a $50 fine and disposal fee. Anyone engaged in construction on SCAD property must sign an insurance waiver through the Physical Resource office.
SCAD buildings can be used for student shoots as long as the following criteria are met: You make a request with the Facilities manager Adrienne Boner by filling out the SCAD Location form for approval. All forms must be filled out completely or the request will be denied. Physical Resources will make the final determination for the clearance based on recommendations from the Facilities Manager and the college’s schedule of events for the building. All building requests need to be turned in one week prior to the shoot. Last minute requests will not be accepted. SCAD properties that may not be requested for student shoots include the following:
- Any of the SCAD properties classified as galleries
- Any properties that are under construction or renovation
- Administrative buildings
- Student dorms
- Any of SCAD owned vehicles (buses, trucks, and etc.)
Student film shoots in SCAD buildings require a security officer on the premises. If the building has a regularly scheduled guard within sight of the location set, this requirement can be met.
The new insurance policy allows students the ability to shoot at locations in state and out of state that would normally require the student to purchase an additional insurance policy. This policy does NOT mean students can mishandle or abuse equipment.
All SCAD equipment may travel anywhere in the continental United States, including the District of Columbia. This excludes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and any of the other territories. Note: Washington D.C. is the only territory covered by this policy. You would need to purchase extra coverage for use in Alaska, Hawaii and the territories.
This policy includes worker’s compensation, employer liability and general liability.
Before any student leaves Savannah with SCAD equipment you must first contact Adrienne Boner. In the email you must state the following: Name of City and State that you will be traveling to. Address and phone number for the shoot location and where equipment will be stored during non-production times. Crew list with phone numbers (Directors, Producers, DP and location sound)
The only locations covered by the insurance policy are the ones listed in the email sent to the Facilities Manager prior to equipment pickup. If a new location has to be allocated for any reason during a film shoot, then the facilities manager needs to be notified by phone and email before a scene is shot at the new location. There will be NO exceptions to this rule. New
Under general liability, students using a merchant space or a homeowner’s property must first ask to see the proprietor’s insurance at the time of showing the insurance binder for the student film production. This helps to avoid abuse of the policy by a proprietor.
This insurance policy does NOT cover equipment rented from other dealers such as generators, costumes, etc. It only covers SCAD Equipment. Use of unauthorized pieces of equipment and uncertified devices are NOT covered by the insurance policy and prohibited.
This insurance does NOT cover L.L.C’S, partnerships or any other state or Federal registered companies created for film production. If a student forms a corporation or LLC to make their film, they must buy their own insurance.
Camera, lighting and grip equipment owned by the college is not allowed to be used with unauthorized jib arms, cranes, or dollies. Such unauthorized and uncertified devices are not allowed to be used on productions without specific approval by Professor Drop, Hofstein, Bear or Schoedl. These unauthorized pieces of equipment and uncertified devices are NOT covered by the insurance policy.
The insurance policy does not cover any set with animals. This includes domestic pets.
Definition of Terms
“Severe damage” – any damage to the equipment which has repair costs of $500.00 or greater. If equipment damage is noted as “severe” the student/s may lose their checkout privileges and use of the equipment for the equivalent of 1 academic quarter. For instance: if the damage occurs in the third week of a quarter, privileges would be suspended for the seven remaining weeks of that quarter and for the first three weeks of the following quarter.
“Negligence” – When equipment is left unprotected at any time after it is removed from the official checkout area, or by acts of inappropriate use and/or lack of care of said equipment, which may cause injury to other persons or damage to the equipment. If student equipment use is noted as “irresponsible” the student will be receiving a fine according to the guidelines set by The Montgomery Hall Equipment Checkout.
“Irresponsibility” – Improper use of equipment which may cause injury to others or damage to the equipment; use of equipment without the correct number of rated personnel present; destructive use of equipment; mishandling of the equipment. If student equipment use is noted as “irresponsible” the student/s will lose their equipment checkout privileges for the equivalent of 1 academic quarter.
Theft, Damage, Destruction of Equipment – All students who sign for the equipment are responsible for any theft, damage, or destruction of the equipment after the equipment has been signed for and removed from the official checkout area and must reimburse the College for the replacement of said equipment and for the loss of use of said equipment.
Academic Quarter – A ten-week period of time as defined by the Savannah College of Art and Design.
All Fines must be paid at the Bursars Office before you can regain equipment checkout privileges.