JacTech & MaPS

When is JACtech open?

If you book a piece of equipment for hire from JACtech, you must pick it up and return it during the following times:

Monday to Friday:

JACtech is not open on Saturday or Sunday.

I can't return my equipment on time, what should I do?

If you do not return equipment by it’s due date another student may miss out.

If due to extenuating circumstances you cannot return your equipment on it’s due date, contact JACtech at [email protected]

JACtech will not give extensions when equipment is in peak demand so plan ahead!

Does JACtech provide batteries?

JACtech will endeavour to provide you with enough batteries to run the equipment.

However, you always need to carry spare AA batteries whenever you are working with equipment.

JACtech will not be accountable for battery failure, it’s up to you to ensure you have enough batteries to run your equipment and for emergencies.

As JACtech only has a finite amount of batteries, during peak demand batteries may be unavailable.

What does 'MaPS' stand for?

MaPS stands for Media And Production Support.

Our team offers support to Communication and Arts students and staff in several ways.

  1. We teach workshops on the practical skills they will need to successfully complete the production components of their undergraduate courses, including video production, DSLR photography and the Adobe Creative Cloud editing software.
  2. The MaPS team also provides ad-hoc support to communication and arts students all throughout semester. You are welcome to approach us if you are having difficulty with a piece of  equipment or software, or if you are interested in expanding your skillset.
  3. The MaPS team also work commercially for both internal (within UQ) and external clients, performing a variety of filming and editing jobs.
How do I book a recording booth, a video camera, a digital camera or a Zoom audio recorder?

All equipment required for assessment can be booked through the JACtech booking system.


All equipment is now a three-day loan. Please note this is actual days, not business days, so this means equipment hired on a Friday, for example, must be returned on the Monday.

The recording booths must be booked during Monday to Friday and this is also done via the JACtech booking system.

The booths cannot be booked on Saturday or Sunday, but can be used on a first-come, first-served basis.

What is the equipment that MaPS uses?
School of Communication & Arts students are able to borrow equipment from JACtech and the MaPS team.

JACtech has large, but limited numbers of DSLR cameras, audio recorders and other equipment available for SCA students to borrow via the JACtech online booking system.

Where can I see the MaPS online tutorials?

You can find the MaPS tutorials on our youtube channel: www.youtube.com/watchmaps

Where can I see upcoming Workshops held by the MaPS Team?

You can see and sign up for upcoming workshops on our Eventbrite site:

Or click on the ‘training schedule’ tab on the jactech.com.au homepage.

How often are Workshops taught?

Editing & production workshops are held all through the semester for both those students requiring them as a pre-requisite for a specific course and also students who are interested in growing their skillset. The workshops are taught more during the first few weeks of semester, with less taught towards the end of the semester, so it is a good idea to book in early.

Who should I contact about getting involved in jacDigital
Contact the JACdigital coordinator via the following email addresses:

[email protected]

Do I need to request a tripod and or/boom pole separately when hiring a camera from JACtech?

Yes. If you need a tripod, please make a separate booking in your JacTech account. If you need a boom pole, please advise JacTech stuff when you come to pick up your other equipment and it will be added to your loan form.

How do I get access to DSLR cameras?

MaPS has a small number of Canon 60D, 70D, and 80D DSLR cameras for School of Communication & Arts students to access for course work, extra-curricular activities or for Work Integrated Learning Projects.

Students who have completed the Digital Photography or Video Production workshop and can demonstrate that they can competently handle these DSLR cameras, are welcome to borrow these. You cannot get access to these cameras without completing a workshop.

For more information, contact the MaPS team at [email protected].

When is the Ideas Space, computer lab and recording booths open?

The Ideas Space, Computer lab and recording booths are open:

Monday to Friday – 7:00AM-9:00PM
Saturday and Sunday – 9:00AM-5:00PM

*The recording booths must be booked for use from Monday through Friday using the JACtech booking system: https://jactech.communication-arts.uq.edu.au

Having problems with the recording booth.

A tutorial on how to use the booths is available at the MaPS youtube chanel
If you continue to have problems with the audio set up in the booth, ask a MaPS team member for help.

How do I record audio on a DSLR camera?

A DSLR camera is NOT a video camera, the main difference between a DSLR and a Canon FS200 video camera that you can borrow from JacTECH is the way the device captures and records audio. A video camera will always have an audio monitoring function ( a plug for your headphones) so you can hear the recording as you go; most DSLRs do not have this function at all. If you have ever been to an audio recording OWL or a digital video production OWL, you will know that it is VERY important to monitor your audio if you intend on using it in assessment that will be graded.

Our 60D DSLR cameras do not offer the function of being able to monitor your audio. If you want to record audio to accompany your DSLR video, we would suggest borrowing a Zoom  H2 audio recorder from JACtech and recording audio separately. You can then sync your vision and your audio in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Can I leave the computer locked and unattended?

No. If the computer is left idle, it will log off within 15 minutes and any unsaved data will be lost. Please ensure that you save any data on your network (H: drive) if you leave your computer for any length of time.

How much space do I have on my student H: drive?

Each student is allocated 100MB on their H: (‘Home’) drive. It is strongly advised you do not use your student drive for large files. The Adobe programs need a certain amount of free space on your student drive to open. You may need to delete files from your student drive if this is an issue.

Copying footage off the DSLR cameras

When copying any video footage you have recorded on the a 60D, 70D, or 80D camera to a computer, the camera must be plugged in using the USB cable provided in your kit. Please do not remove SD cards, as they are easy to leave behind in computers and you will be responsible for replacing the card. There have also been isolated incidents of computers wiping the card before the student has the chance to copy their files off.

IT help & editing - audio, video, photography

File management when using Adobe Premiere Pro

When working with Adobe Premiere Pro, it is very important to give thought to what you name your files and the location to which you save them.

When you upload your source files (videos, audio clips and photos) into a Premiere Pro project file, this project file does not then store or contain the source files. It simply knows and recalls the location from which you imported the files from. So, if you move a file out of the location from which you imported it, the Premiere Pro project file will no longer know where to find the file and you will have to re-locate it manually. If you are a working on a large scale project this can be quite tedious and time-consuming.

To save yourself the hassle, when starting a new project, create a folder with a clear and descriptive name. This folder will house ALL of the elements that will be used in your video project.

So all source files: videos, music clips, photos and graphical elements that will be used in your clip, need to be copied into this folder and imported into Premiere Pro from this location. This folder and its contents needs to be in the one location – for example, on one external hard drive. You can make a back-up of this regularly simply by copying the whole folder and its contents onto your computer at home or another drive in case an unforseen issue occurs with the one you are working from. It is important to work from the one folder in the one location. In the past, students have imported their files from different locations, for example from multiple USB sticks. When one of these is removed from the computer, Premiere Pro will not be unable to locate that particular file. It can be very confusing trying to remember where you imported files from.

It’s important that the source files sit alongside the Premiere Pro project file so when you create a new Premiere Pro project, be sure to also save it in the folder you have created to house all your source files.

Naming Files:
When naming files, it’s good to get into the habit of saving files with underscores in the file name instead of spaces. For example: MaPS_Video_Project.
This is because using spaces in file names can cause access problems at a later date.
You may have a file that all of sudden can no longer be opened or is corrupt, as a result of strange file names.

When exporting your final video, be aware that you may end up revising your final product several times.

So, when exporting, create a folder within the folder housing all the contents for your video and name this folder “Output.” This is where you will save all your exported versions to.
When naming your exported finals, be sure to number them.
For example “MaPs_Video_Project_Final_1”, “MaPs_Video_Project_Final_2” “MaPs_Video_Project_Final_3” and so on, so you can easily see which was your most recent export, or review an older export if necessary.

How to change audio levels in Premiere Pro

Changing the level (volume) of any audio in Premiere Pro is simple.  The two easiest ways to do this are:

1: Select the audio track you wish to change, click on the yellow line that runs through the audio clip and drag it down or up. Dragging it down will gradually decrease the volume of the audio, dragging it up will increase the volume. Be careful that you do not make keyframes. “Keyframes” are points (they look like small diamonds) on the audio track that mark where you want a change to occur, instead of changing the volume of the whole selected track. It is hard to be precise with this method.


2: Right click on the audio clip that you wish to alter in your timeline(you may select more than one clip at once), and select “Audio Gain” from the drop down menu. Check the circle marked “Adjust Gain By”. To make the audio louder you need to add a positive number (eg. 6) and press enter. To make it quieter, you will need to type a negative number (eg. -6). Adjust these as many times as necessary until the audio is consistent.

I’ve accidentally moved some of my source files from the location I imported them in Adobe Premiere Pro and now I am receiving a “Media Offline” error message. How do I re-locate the files so Adobe Premiere Pro knows where they are?

If, for some reason, you have accidentally imported a file into your project from a removable drive and you have ejected this drive, Premiere Pro will show a red error message in the program monitor and on the timeline that reads “Media Offline”. This will also occur if you shift a file to a different location from where you originally imported it.

To relocate your missing file, right click on the clip on the timeline and select “Reveal in Project”. This will highlight the file in your import bin. Right click on the file and select “Re-link media”.

You will need to navigate to the problem file and select it. Premiere Pro will now know where to find the file and the “Media Offline” error will disappear.

This is why it is important to make sure all files are imported from one location.

Spacebar not working to play or pause in Adobe Audition or Premiere Pro.

Ordinarily, the space bar is a shortcut for pause/play within Adobe Audition.

A common problem we have experienced in the SCA computer labs, is this shortcut not working and the program refusing to start/pause at all.

One possible solution might be to select Edit> Preferences> Playback, and make sure that the option to “Return playhead to start position on stop” is selected.

What export settings should I select in Adobe Indesign, Audition and Premiere Pro?

InDesign:  Save as a PDF (File>Export); select “Pages” not “Spreads”.

Audition: Your export option will depend on what you specifically require (quality, file size), and any specific course requirements.

.WAV is the highest quality and will produce biggest file size.
.MP3 is a good option for smaller file sizes.
Before exporting, make sure you are in MULTITRACK VIEW.
Then select File> Export> Multitrack Mixdown> Entire Session> Type in a name for your exported mixdown, browse to where you want to save your exported file and select the desired file type from the drop down menu. >

Premiere Pro: Your export option will depend on what you specifically require (quality, file size), and any specific course requirements.

The following export settings create a .mp4 file that can be easily uploaded to Vimeo or Youtube.
Select File> Export> Media.

When the dialogue box opens, select the following:
Preset: H.264
Format: “Match source – High bitrate” or HD 1080P 25 OR HD 720P 25 will all work, (720p will export a smaller file size).

If you’re uploading to Vimeo (a submission component of several courses) the 720P option will be suitable but will be lower quality.

What are the different kind of formats for my external hard drive?

There are several different format settings for your external hard drive. The right one for you, will depend on the computer operating system you most often use and the sizes of files you will be working with.

FAT32- is a hard drive format that is both PC and MAC friendly.
A hard drive in this format can be readable and writable on PC and MAC.
Unfortunately, FAT32 has some technical limitations. For example, you cannot save files that are larger than 4GB on a FAT32-formatted drive. This is something you need to consider if you will be working with large files. This will almost certainly be the case if working with HD video.

exFAT- is a hard drive format that is also both PC and MAC friendly (similar to FAT32).
exFAT does not have a limit on file size like the FAT32 format. However, as it is a newer format it may not work on older PC’s or MAC’s.

NTFS- is a hard drive format that suitable for PC users only. This hard drive format may be readable on a MAC, but you will unable to write files to it without having third party software.

HFS+ – is a hard drive format that is suitable for MAC only. It is not supported on PC’s without the use of third party software.

What are the options when saving work to UQ computers?

The best option for saving your projects and files when working on UQ computers is to have your own large external hard drive that you can keep everything together on at once. Using several smaller USBs for one project will not work, as the Adobe software may not be able to find the files you need to work with across different devices. If you HAVE to save something to a UQ network drive, here is some information about what they do:

Your student drive (Normally called H: ) is a drive that only you have access to. It loads when you sign into any computer across the university. It is a secure and reliable place to save documents but is capped in size (usually 100Mb) so will not be suitable for saving an audio or video assignment. This may even be too small for a photographs if your photos are high quality.
C: is the desktop of the computer on which you are working. The desk top is wiped every time you log off (or your login times out), so this is an unreliable place to store work.
D: is the local drive of the computer you are working on in the SCA lab. It is reasonably large in size and in theory, you should be able to come back to that exact computer the following day and your work should still be saved there. However, there are two main problems with saving to this drive: other people can access it and edit your work or delete or copy it; and the computers are all formatted/cleared a few times throughout the semester, without warning.
Buy an external Hard Drive!

Why won't the computer recognise my hard drive?

A common problem is when a hard drive is not the correct format to be recognised on the UQ (Windows PC) computers.

If you are a MAC user, there is a chance your hard drive may be formatted only to work on a MAC and not a PC, or to be read-only on a PC (see FAQ answer on the different types of format settings).

In this instance you will need to back up everything on the hard drive and reformat it to a MAC/PC friendly format (such as FAT32 or exFAT). Instructions on how to do so can be found here:


Format a drive using Disk Utility on a Mac

1.Launch Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities).
2.Plug your external device (hard drive or USB) into your computer and select it from the list on the left.
3.Click on the Erase tab. Select the format – Mac OS Extended (HFS+), MS-DOS (FAT32), or exFAT – then name the drive.
Format a drive using Windows

1.Go to Computer (or My Computer in Windows XP).
2.Plug your external device (hard drive or USB) into your computer and select your drive from the list and right-click on it.
3.Choose Format from the contextual menu.
4.A window will pop up where you can select the format – NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT. Make sure the allocation unit size is set to default and type in a volume label.
5.Click Start to format the drive.

If this is not the problem, check that there are no issues with the hard drive itself.
Hard drives are quite sensitive and can stop working if they are dropped or bumped around (storing them in your hand bag should be avoided). Always be gentle with your hard drive!

Where can I find music or sound effects to use in my video/audio projects?

Visit this JacTech article for a list of copyright-free audio, video and photos.

It is important to use royalty free music and sound effects in your projects, so you can legally use the music in your own work without having to pay the many licensing fees associated with “commercial audio”, and avoid copyright infingements.

If you were to use a top 40 pop song in a project and then upload the video to YouTube, you will likely find the audio from your video will be removed by YouTube. This is because YouTube recognises that you do not have the required licensing or permission to use this audio. This will also happen with Facebook and other social media and video-sharing sites.


Should I get an ABN?

An ABN  is free to get and can come in handy if you plan to perform any freelance work and need to invoice a client. Some organisations that advertise paid freelance jobs require you to have an ABN. Information about how to apply for an ABN can be found via this link.

The lab is too hot or cold. How can I adjust the air conditioner?

The temperature of the labs is monitored daily. If you feel that the temperature is uncomfortable please contact 57134 ona university phone to have this looked at.

What do I do if I accidentally get locked out of the Joyce Ackroyd building?

The doors in the Ideas Space are controlled by security and are set to automatically shut around the opening and closing times. When this occurs you can get out of the building, but you cannot get back in again. If this happens to you and your possessions are locked in the building, call security on: 07 3365 1234.