My last semester in college came way faster than I ever thought it would. I knew that I would be expected to work on a senior project but upon thinking about it in the fall, I really struggled to find something that I was passionate enough about to devote large chunks of my time to. I’ve worked in the Undergraduate Admissions Office since my second semester of freshman year. Although they try their best to hire a wide variety of students, I’m practically the only representation of the Film, Animation, and New Media Department out of about 65 students.  I’m thankful that I’ve been able to work my way up the ranks and have been a student manager my past year, and with this I’ve been able to take on additional side projects geared towards what interests me.

On top of doing monthly newsletter spreads amongst some other graphics related content, one of my bosses has always casually mentioned he’s interested in getting some 3D footage up in the UT website. Although our campus is only about 110 acres, it’s impossible to see everything that UT has to offer within a one-hour walking tour. Specifically, a lot of unique classroom spaces are neglected. He had mentioned he wanted footage of UT’s new Graphic Design Fab Lab casually in passing, and I decided to roll with it for my senior project.

There were definitely a lot of ups and downs with doing this. Unlike my peers, I was doing my project not just for myself but for someone else. This meant I ultimately didn’t have the final say. Initially, I definitely struggled with the lack of control I had. Spring is our busy season and this meant my boss was away for weeks at a time and he didn’t want me starting without him there. That stressed me out as my peers were progressing at points where I felt like I had barely started. On top of that, all the work I did had to be approved. Even when I would produce content exactly as described, they ultimately had the power to change their minds and gear me more towards a different direction which did indeed end up happening. 

The initial plan was for me to get a 3D video of the Fab Lab whilst having a current graphic design student give a tour of the facilities. After submitting my finished product, they decided they wanted to move in a slightly different direction and wanted more of a 3D still image where students could use their mouse and really take their time to scroll and inspect what the facilities had to offer. To produce everything, I used a tool called the G4 Pro 3-Axis Stabilized Handheld Gimbal. Although it looks relatively simple, it was a bit of a learning curve getting used to exactly how it works.

Although my final product isn’t exactly what I envisioned it to be when I started this process back in January, I’ve learned so much. I understand firsthand what it’s like to not fully have creative liberty over your work which I think is hugely a valuable lesson I’ll take with me throughout the rest of my career. I understand that clients can change their mind and maybe even be slightly difficult at times but in the end, it just makes the final product that much better. I’m happy I chose to do this as my final project for UT and I’m excited about my next chapter.