Architectural Association
Media Studies

AA MEDIA is an experimental testing ground for exploring and interrogating the tools of the discipline – tools with which we speculate, manipulate and play; compute, control and test; communicate, seduce, and provoke.

Acting as both training camp and laboratory, it is a diverse, multidisciplinary program where unexpected collisions and obsessive attention to detail expose a rich seam of creative potential. Media Studies presents an opportunity to develop individual practice, where students hone their dexterity with established and progressive media, actively testing modes of production through focused acts of doing and making.


Kate Davies
Head of Media Studies
Inigo Minns
Acting Head (maternity cover)

Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
Lab Coordinator

Architectural Association
School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

+44 (0)20 7887 4000




Wednesdays, 2 – 5pm
The screen, the photograph, the sheet of paper; our most common tools for representing space do so through an act of flattening – a collapsing of time and space into a singular, 2D surface. Composite Inhabitations aims to challenge this collapse – unfolding 2D images into 3D worlds, using digital projection mapping, photogrammetry and compositing tools to reverse engineer virtual spaces from footage and photographs. These digital sets will be our sites, into which we will insert bridges and windows to other environments and times, merging historical with present, tiny with huge, and near with far. Navigating our sets through film, we will render the strange conditions that emerge when disparate media are made adjacent, existing in fragile states of co-inhabitation.

Using Cinema4D, Octane, Photoscan and Reality Capture, this course introduces workflows for moving fluidly between 2D representations and 3D environments. We will explore the different ways in which image and space inform each other – introducing compositing as a tool for illustration, photorealistic rendering, 3D asset creation and spatial forensics.

*Please have the following software installed before the course starts:
Cinema4D R19/R20 (Free Student Licence available at Maxon website), Adobe CC (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects), Reality Capture (version on Steam is the cheapest)
Session 1: CINEMATIC SPACE:Wednesday 3rd October 2018
- Introduction to course brief
- Image/video as evidence of events and spatial relations
- The camera lens as a spatial and temporal mediator

Session 2: RECONSTRUCTED SPACE: Wednesday 10th October 2018
- Introduction to photogrammetry and projection mapping (Photoscan/Reality Capture)
- Studio workshop – 3D forensic reconstruction from found or own footage
- Critical discussion of the nature of digitally recorded events

Session 3: RENDERED SPACE:Wednesday 17th October 2018
- Introduction to compositing and rendering (Cinema4D/Octane)
- Studio workshop – light and time in 3D environments
- Group discussion of potential design projects

Session 4: FANTASTICAL SPACE:Wednesday 24th October 2018 
- 3D digital assembly of recorded spaces
- Studio workshop – blending scales, virtual cameras and developing visual complexity
- Tutorials - individual propositions for set pieces/films


Session 5: PROTO-SET:Wednesday 7th November 2018
- Studio pin-up
- Development of visual language, refinement of 3D set piece
- In studio production + tutorials - developing narrative/argument for propositions

Session 6: PRODUCTION:Wednesday 14th November 2018 
- Refinement of camera paths
- Render optimisation and animation best practice
- In studio production + tutorials

Session 7: POST PRODUCTION:Wednesday 21st November 2018
- Film assembly - Premiere/After Effects
- Studio workshop – Audio
- In studio production + tutorials

Session 8: MS JURY DAY: Wednesday 28th November 2018
- Installation and presentation of films/digital sets for review together with other MS students and tutors
Submission Requirements
- 1 x 3D digital set piece (either as a packaged C4D file or uploaded to Sketchfab and linked)
- 1 x HD (1080p) animated film – a rendered sequence through the set piece (min 45 seconds)
- 1 x A4 process booklet documenting research/design development (20-30 pages)