Port company gives high marks to UMD students' marketing project
Lake Superior Warehousing Co. is so happy with marketing work done by a UMD class, it's already been shown to a prospective European client. Students from the University of Minnesota Duluth's three-dimensional digital studio class spent last seme...
Lake Superior Warehousing Co. is so happy with marketing work done by a UMD class, it's already been shown to a prospective European client.
Students from the University of Minnesota Duluth's three-dimensional digital studio class spent last semester crafting a 3-D animated short detailing the workings of the port for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and its terminal operator.
"It's a wonderful snapshot in moving pictures, what you could spend hours trying to describe to a potential customer," said Adele Yorde, public relations manager of the port.
Five students spent about 600 hours on the 2½-minute digital animation and presented their work to the port's board of commissioners, garnering feedback about what commissioners liked and what they wanted to change.
"It was good to interact with real clients," said senior Rob Lodge. "Real-world experience is the biggest thing. It's something we don't normally get. It's not as much of a shock when we graduate and have to deal with strict guidelines and teams that we haven't met before."
The students spent time on port grounds studying its operations, taking photos and talking with its employees. The use of aerial photos and Google Earth helped them make models for animation.
Andy Wold, who graduated last semester, said working on the project was much like making a movie.
"You have cameras, lights, objects you build; we can virtually manipulate everything," he said.
The students -- with a mix of majors and minors in graphic design, civil engineering and studio art -- can add the project to their resumes. The course's teacher, associate professor Eun-Kyung Suh, hopes other businesses in the community will want to work with her classes on similar projects.
"It is good experience having customers," she said, "and it's hard to find that kind of experience while at school."
The clip focuses on wind-industry cargo being brought in by ship and unloading and reloading on trucks and trains, showcasing the organization of the grounds and the efficiency of the operations. Yorde said that particular cargo was chosen because of its market growth and recent aerial shots taken of the process. The completed 3D animation will go on Web sites of the port and Lake Superior Warehousing, and employees who travel plan to take discs with them to show prospective clients.
The project will help lure new customers, Yorde said, and it showed them new talent in the Duluth area.
"For Duluth, a community that wants to grow and retain its best and brightest, these collaborative projects are a step in the right direction," she said.