Course Number: ARTS COL 762, 5 credits
Prequisites: 3D modeling/animation experience, permission of instructor
Current Quarter: Winter 2002
Meeting Times: TR, 1:30 to 3:48
Office Hours: by appt
Call Number: 19000-9
Class Location: 1224 Kinnear, Rm 238
This course provides an introduction to the creation and
implications of single and multiple participant 3D virtual
Course Objectives and/or Student Learning Outcomes:
Recent advances in real-time 3D technologies are allowing fully
interactive virtual environments (VEs) to be created and displayed on
common desktop and home gaming computers, instead of the expensive
research machines of years past. As it becomes feasible for artists
and designers to create these rich virtual environments, they need to
be aware of both practical and aesthetic issues unique to interactive
virtual worlds. It is this course's aim to present the techniques,
experiences, and implications of VE development.
Students will be exposed to the state of the art virtual environment
software and hardware. They will be given an overview of VE issues
and implications. Students will learn to create and evaluate
interactive virtual environments relevant to their discipline.
The course will attempt to survey most of the important issues
surrounding the creation and experience of virtual environments (VEs).
The many reasons and methods for creating virtual spaces will be
discussed, as well as their implications. Examples of existing VEs
will be shown whenever possible, but students will learn primarily by
creating their own VEs. The class format will take on a variety of
styles, as the disparate subjects dictate. Examples will be presented
in lectures and demonstrations. Papers and videos will be discussed.
Students will present their environments in critique sessions.
Students must demonstrate satisfactory achievement of course
objectives through fulfillment of course projects and by contributing
to class discussions and critiques. Course projects will require
students to use a wide variety of software and equipment at ACCAD to
produce virtual objects and environments. Collaboration between
students in the course and other faculty, staff and students at ACCAD
is encouraged. Course evaluation will be based on the following:
- Projects one through five: 12% each
- Final Project : 30%
- Class Participation: 10%
All students are required to be on time and in attendance for each
and every class. Students arriving to class more than 10 minutes late
may be counted as absent. Two absences will lower a final grade by 1/2
a letter, three absences will lower a final grade by one letter and
four absences will result in failure of the course.
Adherence to deadlines is expected. It is the individual student's
responsibility to keep track of deadlines and to present the work to
the class and instructor on the specified dates. 15% per day will be
subtracted from late assignments.
Students choosing to use "at home" hardware and software must have
their current working files on the system and available for review at
the beginning of each and every class. Problems with home systems
and/or incompatability will not be an acceptable excuse for missed
goals. Technical problems will happen frequently during the semester
and students will have trouble accessing the computer lab during
"prime time" hours. Students must make their own arrangements for
overcoming these difficulties and submitting their work on
time. Unless there is a complete system failure in a computer-related
course, technical difficulties are never an acceptable excuse for not
meeting a deadline. Students should plan their time and work so as to
anticipate the technical hurdles that are a part of this
The college will make reasonable accommodations for persons with
documented disabilities. Students should notify the Office of
Disability Services and this instructor of any special needs. This
instructor should be notified the first day of class.
Topics and Assignments:
Topics by week:
- Overview, Simple Modeling and Texturing
- Class overview
- VE representation overview
- VRML modeling
- Hierarchical scene graphs
- Representing geometry
- Representing material properties
- Low-poly modeling
- Common polgonal tools (maya)
- UV map construction
- Advanced mapping tools
- Environments, Navigation, Lighting
- Examples from videogames
- Hiding artifacts
- Navigation theory: collision, depth cues, interface design
- Virtual environment lab (hands-on multiuser VE game environment)
- Animation, Sound, Interactivity
- Event model, routing
- Triggers, timers, engines
- Key frame animation
- ambient vs. spactialized
- storage formats (pros/cons)
- triggering and modifying
- manipulating geometry
- manipulating the viewer
- Vector math and functions
- Event data type conversion
- Maintaining state information
- Generative Design
- Browser API
- Iterative modeling
- Stochastic design
- Advanced Scripting, Behavior
- Encapsulated models, detail hiding
- High-level object control interfaces
- Modeling behavior
- Attraction and repulsion
- Potential field obstacle avoidance
- Finite state machine "AI"
- Avatars, Multiuser (ref: Stephenson book)
- Examples: Active Worlds, On Live, etc.
- Real-time human figure design and uses
- Standards efforts
- Virtual community challenges, implications, and approaches
- VR Hardware
- Latest SIGGRAPH applications
- Videos of high-end military, amusement rides, etc. equipment
- OSC interface lab demos
- "Modeling a simple textured object"
- "Low-poly object modeling"
- "Navigable Environments"
- "Animation and Sound"
- "Final Project"
Carey, Rikk and Gavin Bell.
The Annotated VRML 2.0 Reference Manual
Addison Wesley, 1997.
Also available online at: http://www.best.com/~rikk/Book/Book.html .
Stephenson, Neal. Snow Crash. Bantam Spectra, 1992.
Benedikt, Michael (ed). Cyberspace: First Steps.
MIT Press, Cambridge, 1991.
Damer, Bruce. Avatars!
Peachpit Press, Berkeley, 1998.
Hartman, Jed and Josie Wernecke. The VRML 2.0 Handbook.
Addison-Wesley, Reading, 1996.
Wilcox, Sue Ki. Web Developer.com Guide to 3D Avatars.
Wiley, New York, 1998.