Leeds Beckett University showcases its sporting heritage in 3D

Carnegie School of Sport is open virtually to expand its reach

Mark Shepherd

With the grand opening of their Carnegie School of Sport facilities fast approaching, Leeds Beckett University is not letting the coronavirus pandemic stop them in their tracks. As part of their alumni network, Apollo 3D saw an opportunity to help their old stomping grounds and show current and prospective students the campus in a new light: through a 3D virtual tour hosted by Matterport. Viewers are shown a room by room view of the new campus facility, providing accurate depictions of laboratory spaces, running tracks, and a rundown of all the latest sports performance technology used by the university.

We connected with Mark Shepherd, Director of Apollo 3D, who was the driving force behind the 3D virtual tour campaign. 

Q: What inspired the 3D capture of Carnegie School of Sport?

With Apollo 3D being local to the Carnegie School of Sport, and one of the co-founders is an alumni, we were familiar with the investment in the new school and how unique the final building was going to be. So, we wanted to showcase it in a virtual space.

Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?

Leeds Beckett University is excited to showcase their new research and training facilities, aiming to empower students, colleagues, and elite athletes in new ways. For example, there’s the Human Behaviour Laboratory, which uses wall-mounted cameras, microphones, and a one-way mirror to create authentic consultation scenarios for sport psychologists. On the performance side, they have the Athletics Centre, which contains a 60 metre indoor running track fitted with the latest sports performance analysis technology.

Leeds Beckett track

Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring the campus?

That regardless of the type of sporting profession you’re interested or involved in, there’s a way that the new building can help build your skills or understanding. As an institution, Leeds Beckett University is known for having a proud sporting heritage. 

The institution has academics and alumni across many different areas who have top-class expertise, and are working at the cutting-edge of their fields. LBU now has the facility to house and make the most of that experience and expertise, and bringing it online in the virtual space has expanded its reach to their students and colleagues alike

Q: Did you run into any difficulties scanning the indoor track?

The biggest difficulty entering the scanning process was planning it to ensure minimal disruption to the grand opening preparations.  The 3D scanning was completed over two days and used techniques to ensure repetitive looking spaces, like the indoor running track, was not an issue and came out stunning. There is even an area map we have built for the whole campus, captured using 360 cameras on 45 ft poles.

Q: How can students and teachers utilize this scan?

For current students and colleagues, this scan gives them a chance to fully explore the building, during a time where it is difficult to see it physically. They are probably aware of the running track and the facilities they work and study in, but now they can take a closer look at the laboratories, research rooms, and equipment housed within the building and gain a greater understanding of the different opportunities on offer. 

For prospective students who have been unable to attend open days in-person due to the pandemic, the scan gives them the opportunity to take a full tour of the building they will potentially study in.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Now more than ever, we’re seeing how technology can improve accessibility. For Leeds Beckett University, this is now more than simply showing off the building, it’s an important tool for prospective students who might be thinking of studying here. 

Thanks to innovative solutions like this, they can demonstrate what our building can offer current and prospective students without them actually visiting campus in-person.


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