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Posted August 18 , 2010
Digital World

Niagara steps onto the World’s Stage for digital interactive media

St. Catherines - nGen, Niagara’s Interactive Media Generator is pleased to announce the opening of its $3 million, state of the art facility designed for digital interactive media advancement. The new facility houses cutting edge digital interactive media technologies and will undoubtedly increase Niagara’s already growing reputation as a hub for digital interactive media. The expanded facility has been branded the Generator at one. Located at one St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines the facility has the capacity to enable entire media projects to be created at one location.

“The technology at the Generator at one is second to none” explains Jeff Chesebrough, Executive Director of nGen. “Coupled with the fact that we are 25 minutes from the U.S Border and an hour from the heart of downtown Toronto, we are extremely excited about the future of digital interactive media in Niagara.” The facility is highlighted by its Production Studio, Audio Suite, Research and Development Lab, Datacentre, VFX Suite and Presentation Theatre. the Generator at one is powered by nGen with the technology being managed by its three Technology Partners; Fourgrounds Media, Furi Enterprises, and morro images. The technology is available for commercial or independent rental, however the three Technology Partners also offer independent creative services incorporating the cutting edge facility. These Partners are locally owned and operated businesses specializing in the innovation, creation and support of digital interactive media.

the Generator at one is equipped with one of the most advanced motion capture systems in the world, the Vicon MX system with T160 cameras. The facility’s system allows for the capture of audio and motion simultaneously making it one of the few Vicon Studios in North America with this ability. Motion capturing technology is probably best known for its widespread application in Video Game development as a way of capturing realistic character movements. There are only a small handful of motion capture systems in Ontario and the T160 camera system is at the top of its class.

Other technologies available at the Generator at one are the facility’s two Red One Cameras, capable of filming 4X HD quality video. It is widely speculated that these cameras, which produce digital video, will eventually replace film cameras in the majority of Hollywood productions. The technology is already being adopted by some of Hollywood’s most noteworthy directors such as, Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings and District 9. the Generator at one is also equipped with high-end software for editing video, audio and adding visual effects, which is highlighted by Autodesk Flame and Smoke, Pro Tools HD3, and Final Cut Pro. Many of the top film and television production studios in the world use the same software for their projects. The Research and Development Lab houses a 3D printer and 3D scanner for rapid prototyping and reverse engineering, and the powerful Datacentre provides the IT infrastructure necessary to support high-end media creation.

“The building was designed for seamless workflow for digital interactive media projects. Our leading edge technology enables projects to be completed all within one building,” states Chesebrough. “Niagara is an extremely attractive location for businesses to complete their projects. With a lower cost of business, a strong contingent of local talent, a less stressful ‘city’ environment, and an exceptional tourism industry, we are extremely confident that companies will think of Niagara when they are planning their next project.”

David Oakes, Director of Economic Development for the City of St. Catharines and a member of the Ontario Technology Corridor, is excited about the possibilities nGen has created for the Region. “Niagara is a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship, with nGen being one of our greatest examples of bringing together the private and public sector in partnership. nGen encompasses the intellectual and physical capital needed to develop a global competitiveness in digital and interactive media.”

The $3 million facility was funded by the Community Adjustment Fund, a government fund established as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to address the short-term economic needs of Canadian communities impacted by the global recession.

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