End of Year Submissions 2018 :: Plotting

Dear Student

In anticipation of the exceptional demand for plotting and printing in final submission week in May we would like to make you aware of some important information and advice:

Iterative / Deliberated Portfolio Content

You should be looking to build your portfolio throughout the year and NOT routinely printing, or reprinting the entire contents for final submission.  Critical review of your portfolio BEFORE printing is essential in terms of establishing if each particular page is necessary, and is correct (reprinting wastes time, money, effort, media).

Print early where possible: the two high volume plotters in Stockwell Street Library and Studio are very capable machines but simply cannot process every student’s entire portfolio with a few days.

Time management regarding plotting and submitting is an important skill you must learn; busy plotters are not a valid reason for late submission.


Early-bird “Plot Slam” Offer: 35% Price Reduction

We will be offering the opportunity of discounted batch printing for a three-day period in the preceding week for properly formatted and submitted files:

  • May 1/2/3 2018; 10.00AM – 4.00PM
  • Oce Colourwave 700 plotter (the 5 standard loaded media types)
  • PDF file containing correctly formatted / sized pages for printing per media type.
  • Submitted to Phil Hudson on USB at studio support office

If there are sufficient funds in your account then the files will be sent direct to the plotter and your account adjusted accordingly.

Discount for early batch printing : 35% reduction of Colourwave plot prices

Note: Offer does not include sheet feed plotter or A3 printers.  Proper formatting and preparation is student’s own responsibility; no refunds.  Standard sizes only; “long plots” must be processed separately. Students are responsible for collection / trimming of printed work.


Bureau Print Services

There are other options available for printing other than within the University

  • Plot Giant: www.plotgiant.co.uk
  • Service Point: servicepointuk.com
  • Panopus panopus.com
  • Online Reprographics www.onlinerepro.co.uk
  • SBS Printers www.sbsprinters.co.uk

SBS Printers are located on the ground floor of Stockwell Street, they will be offering a discount in May and aim for same day turnaround service.


Service Support

We will commit to providing support for computers and plotters during core working hours but out of hours (especially overnight) service will be reliant on robustness of the machines and behaviour of users – please do not attempt to carry out modifications, repairs, hacks to our equipment.  Many issues arise from unnecessary interference which may not be covered under our service agreements.



New Scanner Glass Fitted

The large format sheet feed scanner has been fitted with a replacement glass panel – quality issues were due to scratching and marking of the old one.  When scanning please avoid using media that can damage the glass – paperclips, masking tape, very thick paper, abrasive material, etc.

Vray for Rhino Need to Know

Chaos group who produce Vray have some excellent tutorials on the fundamentals of rendering with Vray for Rhino.

If you are intending to do Vray based rendering in Rhino then their introduction for architects is ESSENTIAL viewing, and perhaps the most useful 10 minutes you will spend this year

Other tutorials are available from their site


S11 Studios :: Christmas 2017 Opening Times

S11 First Floor Studios will be operating 24 hours Dec / Jan 

Opening hours from:

  • Monday 27th November – Thursday 14th December (inclusive)
    Monday – Sunday : 24 Hours
  • Friday 15th December – Friday 22nd December (inclusive)
    Monday – Sunday : 8.00 am – 12.00 midnight

NOTE: STUDIOS ARE CLOSED from Friday 22nd December 17.00 until 8.00am Tuesday 2nd January. The Library building will be open between Christmas and New Year but the S11 studios will not be.

Opening hours from

  • Tuesday 2nd January – Thursday 11th January (inclusive)
    Monday – Sunday : 24 Hours

During the extended opening times security staff from Reassurance Security Services will be monitoring the space alongside University security staff.

  • Please keep your University Gateway card on you at all times
  • Students will be asked to go home in the event they found are sleeping
  • Report disruptive behaviour to member of security staff
  • This applies to first floor studios only – levels 2 and 3 will be closed


Distributed Rendering for Vray Rhino and Vray Sketchup

Vray Swarm is a “zero effort” distributed rendering system which enables all connected machines to participate in rendering images created in Vray for Sketchup or Vray for Rhino.  Simply put, instead of rendering with one machine Swarm allows users to utilise 20,30,40… machines to speed up the render by that factor. The machines in the first floor studios are configured to be nodes in Swarm renders – whether logged in or not – with no noticeable affect on the machines that are loaning out their processing power.

Note: as there is a time lag in the system slicing up the render and sending each chunk (or bucket) out to the Swarm nodes there is not so much advantage in using it for smaller renders; enable Swarm for larger jobs only.

Enabling Vray Swarm for render is simply a case of enabling the Swam button in the Vray Asset Editor

[For Rhino check that Vray is set to the default renderer via Render – Current Renderer – Vray for Rhino]

Under the settings cog make sure:

  • Renderer is set to PROGRESSIVE
  • Swarm is ON
  • Cap CPU usage: if clicked this means your own machine will use only one of its own CPU cores for the render so that your machine will be more responsive for running other applications (but potentially a slower render)




Vray For Maya 2018 (PC)

V-Ray 3.6 for Maya 2018 is now available for the Stockwell Street PCs (first floor studios and 2001 lab).

The Vray plugin does not load automatically with Maya; it needs to be specifically selected in the Maya plugin manager:

In Maya select

Windows > Settings / Preferences > Plug-in Manager

Type vray into the search box to narrow down the list of available plugins then click load and autoload for both vrayformaya.mll and xgenVray.py and close the dialogue window

Now Vray will be available as a renderer for Maya (alongside Arnold, Maya); select

Windows > Rendering Editors > Render Settings

select V-Ray from the Render Using drop down

The current renderer is now set as Vray – and an additional Vray toolbar will be available.  In that is a button to switch on the Vray Frame Buffer; click this to open the the Vray render windows plus associated render buttons etc.




Missing Plotter and Printer Fix

If you cannot see the printer you need you can manually add it…

A print queue bug may stop the correct printers showing up on your PC automatically. You can either logout and restart the machine, or alternatively perform the following steps allow you to re-add any missing printers / plotters

Click the WINDOWS button and type GM-PS-N then hit enter

This will give you a list of lots of printers – type “DST” in the search box in the upper right hand corner to narrow this down to our printers

From this list double click the printer you need; this will reinstall it to your machine.

If you need the MFD A3/A4 laser printer then type in “MFD” in the search box (instead of MFD) and double click to install the printers “GM-MFD-STU” and GM-MFD-STU-COLOUR :

What’s New 2017/2018

New in the Studios for the Academic year 2017/2018

PC Workstations

  • Windows 10 is now on all of the PCS (please report any odd issues to tech staff)
  • 10 new Dell Worksation machines; Xeon E5-1650 CPU / 32GB Ram / 512GB SSD / NVIDIA Quadro M4000 graphics. (Second bank back from the wall to 1014)
  • Autodesk 2018 suite; latest versions of Autocad / 3DS / Maya / Mudbox.
  • Adobe 2017 Suite; the latest versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.
  • Vray 3.4 this is a much improved version of Vray for Rhino, Sketchup and 3DS – the Rhino and Sketchup version feature Vray Swarm which allows all machines (even logged out) to participate in shared rendering
  • Cinema 4D. New software for 3d modelling, animation and motion graphics
  • FARO Scene 7 on the new Dell Workstations for processing data from the Laser Scanner
  • Unity 2017 and Autodesk Stingray 3d games engine editor

iMac Computers

  • Mac OSX Sierra is now installed on all iMacs in the studio
  • 5 new 27 inch / 32GB Machines
  • Adobe 2017 Suite; the latest versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.

HTV Vive VR Headset

With location awareness as well as motion tracked hand controllers to allow 3ds files etc. to be taken into Unity or Stingray and so enable 3d models to be explored and interacted with in VR.


The workshop will open later on a Monday – 11 o’clock – this is to allow regular maintenance and cleaning to be carried out.

A new pricing system for the laser cutters – and now the CNC machine – is in place.  Full details are here

Studio Layout

The final layout of the studio – to be undertaken on the weekend of the 7th October – is a less cluttered layout with the two tall key clamp towers being removed and the smaller ones being moved to the rear studio S11-1010.


Online Print Credit

This planned to roll out in the next few weeks and will mean you can top up your print accounts via a website rather than visiting a print credit machine.


Studio Floor Summer Arrangements

From Monday 24th July the studios will be open:

  • Monday – Friday : 8.30AM  – 8.30PM
  • Saturday / Sunday 8.30 AM – 6.00PM

The Travel Photographer of the Year Exhibition will be running from 4th of August until the 3rd September.  During this time most of the studio floor will be given over to that.  Studio 1019 will be available for general studio use and the computer areas will be open – however you will need to access these areas via the rear fire stairs (near the workshop).

Architecture work left over from the End of Year Show will be stored in the racks in 1010 and shelves beside 1015.  Landscape work will be on the shelves in 1019.  Please note that any work or portfolios still here in October will be recycled / disposed of.

Please note also that there will be computer software and upgrades taking place so possibility of disruption durning these months.