News 2010-2011


Interdisciplinary Course Leads to COSI Installation

During autumn quarter 2011, Matt Lewis (ACCAD) teamed up with Professor Jeff Haase (Design) and Professor David Staley (History) to co-teach a seminar class. The course outcome was intended to prototype an historical installation for the Columbus Historical Society, to be exhibited as part of Columbus' 2012 Bicentennial celebration. We are pleased to report that a new responsive environment exhibit is actively engaging people to learn about Columbus history. Permanently located in the new home of the Columbus Historical Society at COSI downtown (just inside the main entrance), the exhibit is free.

Students enrolled in the seminar course designed prototype exhibits that explored connections between the environment, interactive technology, historical representation, and emotion. Students also learned about newly emerging interactive technologies, explored issues of historical representation in three dimensional environments, and issues of emotion within such digital/physical environments. They were exposed to current processes of gestural interface development and associated technologies, as well as projection-based environments. Real world problems with space, hardware, and lighting were considered. Students learned processes they can use to track emerging techniques and integrate them with their interdisciplinary interests and skills. They were shown existing work drawn from disciplines such as history, art, dance, design, theater, music, computer science, and architecture.

To read more about the COSI exhibit, go to:  Responsive Environment Exhibit


Professor Charles Csuri receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Charles Csuri has been selected to receive the ACM-SIGGRAPH Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art award for 2011. ACM-SIGGRAPH is recognizing the important contributions of visual artists to the field of Computer Graphics, in much the same way that contributions have been recognized for decades on the Computer Science side. This distinguished artist award is presented annually to an artist who has created a substantial and important body of work that significantly advances aesthetic content in the field of digital art. Professor Csuri will receive this award in person in Vancouver, BC during SIGGRAPH 2011 on August 8th. See offical Press Release from SIGGRAPH.

Over the span of 37 years, beginning with its first gathering in 1974 (Boulder, CO), ACM SIGGRAPH has become the pre-eiminent international organization of computer graphics professionals which includes a diverse group of researchers, artists, educators, developers, filmmakers, scientists and enthusiasts who share an interest in computer graphics and interactive techniques. ACM sponsors not only the annual SIGGRAPH conference, but also focused symposia, chapters in cities throughout the world, awards, grants, educational resources, online resources, a public policy program, traveling art show, and the SIGGRAPH Video Review. This year the annual conference will be held in Vancouver, BC.


The Chronicle of Higher Education Highlights ACCAD Motion Capture

The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted several ACCAD motion capture related images in its summary of the May 2011 dance preservation meetings in Washington, D.C.. Created by Vita Berezina-Blackburn for the Bessie Award winning Dance performance of Landing Place, two featured images were based on repurposed motion capture data of the Bebe Miller Company dancers. Also highlighted were motion capture images of Marcel Marceau, well known French "mime" who passed away in 2007. The capture of signature Marceau performances now reside in the OSU Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute.

The article goes on to explain that motion capture uniquely offers a muliti-dimensional view of dance performance that cannot be replicated by other current means of documentation for archive purposes.


Exploration of the Geometry and Cosmology of the Newark Earthworks

This project is for the design of an interactive computer application for analysis and understanding of the geometric relationships of Ohio's Newark Octagon Earthworks to observations of the Moon and Sun. The simulation model will be used for research and to educate the public about these ancient sites in Ohio, and how scientific thinking and observation played an important role in the culture of ancestral Native America.

The Newark Earthworks Center (NEC) of The Ohio State University is an interdisciplinary academic center with the mission to study and teach about the Newark and other Earthworks and to honor Native American achievement, by bringing together archaeologists, American Indian tribal leaders, and other scholars for public dialogue and education.

Project Investigators:
Alan Price, Associate Professor, ACCAD/Design
Dr. Richard Shiels, Associate Professor of History and Director of NEC
Martha L. Chaatsmith [Comanche], (Sociology), Program Coordinator of NEC.


June 1st, 2011 | Design/ACCAD MFA Film Show

Design/ACCAD MFA candidates: Steve Conroy, Susana del Rio Kuroiwa, Jane Claire Drozd and Zachary Maynard introduced and presented their thesis animations at the Wexner Center Film/Video Theatre. Each student is expected to receive their MFA in Digital Animation and Interactive Media (DAIM).


Todd Palamar Teaches "Special Effects" to ACCAD Students

On Friday and Saturday (June 3 & 4), Todd Palamar presented a special Master Class workshop for ACCAD Graduate Students. The focus was Special Effects/Cloth. Todd has worked in computer animation for over 17 years. He has done special effects work for several direct to video films and worked on numerous video games, including Sega of Japan’s, coin operated title, Behind Enemy Lines, as well as Dukes of Hazzard and Trophy Buck 2 for Sony’s Playstation console. Additionally, Todd authored the 1st and 2nd editions of the technical manual, Maya Feature Creature Creations, for Charles River Media. Todd heads up all character development for Vcom3D’s product lines. He currently works at Vcom3D as Technical Director.


The Camouflage Project Played to Sold Out Audiences from May 12-27

Parachutes. Codes. Disguise. Subversion. Deception. Sabotage. All part of the day-to-day existence of a British secret agent in World War II France. This three part interdisciplinary endeavor—performance, installation, and international symposium—explored interwoven threads of the Special Operations Executive (SOE): theatre artists employed to develop the art and science of camouflage and the role played by women agents in clandestine activity. This multi-media new work offered a fresh, compelling meaning to the expression "theatre of war."

Collaborators on the project included the Department of Theatre and the Advanced Computing Center for Art and Design (ACCAD); with support from the Mershon Center and the College of the Arts and Humanities. ACCAD, in particular Vita Berezina-Blackburn and Matt Lewis, along with the Ohio State Department of Theatre collaborated on an original new stage production, The Camouflage Project. This winter, in preparation for the May 2011 opening, ACCAD staff and graduate students (Jeremy Baker, Tom Heban, Nicole Lemon, Zachary Maynard, Benjamin Schroeder, Cheng Zhang and others) researched techniques involving augmented reality and digital fabrication. These principles were implemented to create real-time virtual reality within the stage performance. Augmented reality draws artificial changes on top of the real world. From table-top to architectural scales, this can be accomplished with special glasses, video screens, or in this approach, with projectors. This technique involves projecting an image of a virtual 3D object onto a matching physical copy of itself. When the virtual and physical copies of the objects' parts are carefully aligned, the physical object will appear normal. But when the virtual version of the object is then animated, the physical object will appear to transform in the real world. It was an exceptional Theatre experience.


Chad Moore presented Master Class on Rigging on May 13 & 14

The course covered an overview of tools used for rigging as well as the creation of skeletons for biped characters.  Moore is a veteran technical artist, animator, manager, department director and educator. His work is focused on creating character rigs, MEL and Python scripts and tools, building art and animation pipelines and managing and training artists. In 2009 Moore co-founded Rigging Dojo, an online school that is "teaching the art and science of character rigging". He is also the Technical Art Director at Turbine, a Warner Brothers Games studio.


Brian Pohl presented Master Class on PreVisualization

ACCAD held a two day Master Class on previsualization for advanced students on April 29-30 with previs / layout supervisor Brian Pohl. Pohl has 16 years of experience as a graphic designer, visual effects artist, technical director, and previs supervisor. A veteran of George Lucas’ previs team and ILM's art department, Pohl is credited for creating or supervising previs on over 22 feature films including Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), I, Robot (2004) , Open Season (2006), Star Trek (2009) and Battle: Los Angeles (2011). Pohl provided a condensed overview of the previs process and shared insights regarding the use of previs in the film industry, reviewed the educational mandate of the Previsualization Society, and provided students with a hands-on tutorial emphasizing shot techniques commonly found in large scale film production.


Blue Sky Studios Visit - April 21

Blue Sky Studios recruiter Debra Blanchard and Lighting Technical Director Michael Tanzillo visited ACCAD on Thursday, April 21st. They met with individual students to discuss job opportunities. Michael also gave a technical presentation on "lighting". Blue Sky Studios was co-created by OSU/ACCAD alumnus, Chris Wedge (1985, Art Education), and is known for animated feature films such as "Ice Age" and the newly released "Rio". See: Other alums working at Blue Sky include Steve Martino (1989, Art Education) and John Donkin (1986, Art Education).


ACCAD launches new website on March 17, 2011

ACCAD's new website uses MODx CMS. Check out the Research Project Gallery with lots of our projects for you to explore. Many thanks to the University Marketing Communication's Kevin Miller (design and coding), ACCAD/Design's Amber Cecil (design and content) and ACCAD's Elaine Smith for their work on making this happen.


Digital Animation Summer Program | July 5-15, 2011

Applications have been accepted and registration is now closed for ACCAD's two week (July 5-15, 2011) summer program in digital animation. Young women who have either completed or are entering 7th & 8th grades were eligible to apply. To learn more, go to the program website.


Drums Downtown VII | February 18-19, 2011

Alan Price introduced responsive computer animation into elements of the Drums Downtown production. See video documentation of Dark Full Ride. Both ACCAD and the Department of Dance were featured along with the OSU Percussion Ensemble, marking the 8th year for this unique event. Performances were held at the Capitol Theatre; Riffe Center in downtown Columbus.


Empire of Sleep - Electronics Alive 6 | 2011

Alan Price's project, Empire of Sleep is on exhibit at Electronics Alive VI from January 21 through February 24, 2011. Located at the University of Tampa, FL, the biennial invitational exhibition includes computer animations, interactive digital work, and virtual spaces from around the world. Visitors have an opportunity to see animated shorts and experimental films on view continuously and 2-D/3-D digital art that includes work from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Taiwan, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the USA.



Pixar Alums Visit ACCAD | 2010

Steve May (CSE 1998) and Fran Kalal (Design 2008) visited ACCAD October 26 & 27, 2010 to recruit students. Steve presented a lecture on digital lighting in Up and Fran presented a lecture on digital costuming to Theatre and ACCAD students.


Csuri and Price Exhibitions at the OSU Urban Arts Space | Summer 2010

Both Professor Charles Csuri and Professor Alan Price were featured in open-to-the -public exhibitions at the OSU Urban Arts Space in Downtown Columbus through October 2010.


ACCAD at SIGGRAPH 2010 ~ Los Angeles

Professor Alan Price's interactive virtual environment installation, Empire of Sleep: The Beach was exhibited in the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery with the theme, Touchpoint Haptic Exchange Between Digits.

Paulo Gotardo and Alan Price presented a poster session entitled, Integrated Space: Authoring in an Immersive Environment with 3D Body Tracking. Benjamin Schroeder and Professor Rick Parent presented a sketch entitled,A Spatial Workbench for Physically Modeled Sound.


Sundagger Explorer takes Honorable Mention at the 2010 MUSE Awards

The Sundagger Explorer software was designed and programmed by Alan Price at ACCAD/OSU, based on research by Anna Sofaer of the Solstice Project and utilizing laser scans of the Sun Dagger site made by Western Mapping, Inc. The kiosk implementation was created by a partnership between the Solstice Project, Alan Price, and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.


2010 Digital Incarnate: The Body, Identity and Interactive Media

Maria Palazzi (ACCAD/Design) participated in a panel discussion: Corporeality and the Digital Gaze March 1, 2010 and hosted a gallery talk about the Synchronous Objects project, March 2, 2010 during the Digital Incarnate: The Body, Identity and Interactive Media Arcade Exhibition, at Columbia College, Chicago, IL.


DreamWorks Animation Visit | March 2010

Dreamworks visited ACCAD on Tuesday, March 9, 2010. Marilyn Friedman, Director of Outreach presented an overview of the company, work environment and opportunities; then met with students individually throughout the rest of the day.


Gesture Conference | February 25-27 | 2010

ACCAD staff, Vita Berezina-Blackburn, Matthew Lewis and Maria Palazzi participated in the multidisciplinary conference entitled, Gesture at Large at OSU. Hopkins Hall Gallery featured art works relevant to the topic.


Bren Bataclan (Design 1995) Featured in Alumni Magazine | January 2010


Synchronous Objects Garners Awards | 2009 & 2010

The awards, Best in Category-Interactive and Judges Choice begin what could be a series of accolades for Synchronous Objects as the project enters a season of festivals and competitions. These two awards were bestowed at the Columbus Society of Creative Arts - Creative Best 2009 competition. August Heffner, the Art Director of Graphic Design at the Museum of Modern Art (NY) awarded Judges Choice out of 350 entries.

The project was also chosen by a jury as Winner in the Communication Arts 2010 Interactive Annual, meaning the project will appear in the Interactive Annual 16, March/April 2010 issue. Lastly, The Synchronous Objects project was selected as a Finalist in the AdobeMAX 2009 Awards in the Education Category. Judging criterion for this category includes innovative applications of technology to improve teaching and learning, communication and collaboration.