SIGGRAPH '18- ACM SIGGRAPH 2018 Educator's Forum

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library

SESSION: Educators Forum

Creating compelling virtual reality and interactive content for higher education: a case study with carnegie mellon university

This talk proposes a case study of how Carnegie Mellon University's Dietrich College of Humanities sponsored production of its own interactive experiences, including interactive virtual reality, for educational use in the classroom. In 2017, CMU developed plans for a designated technology room on the university's main campus. It aimed to create an interactive space for students and the broad CMU community to engage with subjects ranging from language learning, history and beyond. The inaugural experiences sponsored by the university covered the subject of the Holocaust, in both interactive virtual reality as well as other interactive media. Professor Ralph Vituccio and his team will speak to the challenges they faced during this process, what worked for them in production, and how they anticipate this kind of approach to education growing at the university level as these technologies become more widely accepted.

El oro: animating humanities research

Traditional historical research media, such as text, can allow for a great deal of exposition and elaboration. This works well to fully articulate complex ideas and arguments to fellowscholars. However, it is not conducive to engaging unfamiliar non-scholars. This limits both the potential reach of the research and growth of audience. In contrast, animation often requires ideas, emotions, and performance be broken down into their simplest term(s) in order to be presented efficiently to an audience.

Animating El Oro is a collaborative research project between historians and animators. It explores animation as a means of communicating narrative and historical argument. The result offers lessons on how historians can broaden audiences and communicate nuances without prose. These lessons are of importance to historical researchers and educators.

During WWII the United States came to the aid of El Oro, Ecuador in an attempt to stem the spread of fascism. This project is an animated depiction of a research argument surrounding this effort, presented from the Latin American perspective.

Massive collaborative animation projects: changing paradigms in animation education

MCAP (The Massive Collaborative Animation Projects) is a unique intercollegiate, multi-year, global animation production currently entering its third year of production. Initiated during SIGGRAPH 2016 (Anaheim, CA), by Dr. William Joel (Western Connecticut State University), MCAP's purpose is to allow students and faculty from institutions around the world to join together in the creation of an original computer animation [Aoki et al. 2017]. An animation/visual effects production is a highly collaborative effort that utilizes multiple, interconnected teams [Alley et al. 2006], and industry needs workers that have experience with the intricacies of team-based projects. Many schools have animation components in their curricula, but may not have either the resources or student numbers to engage in the creation of extensive animation projects. By creating a platform for such schools to work together, sharing their resources and expertise, MCAP provides a mechanism to enrich these students' educational experiences. In this Talk, we will discuss the current development of the project and what we have learned during the first two years.

Real-time motion capture for performing arts and stage

How can software engineers and artists work effectively together to create real-time CG for performing arts on stage? We answer that with Illimitable Space System (ISS) and a live performances. Since 2012, ISS evolved its reusable pipeline architecture for interactive projection mapping, voice recognition, real-time audio/video effects through gesture and motion to achieve mixed reality and immersive visual effects for stage. ISS is a configurable toolbox for multimodal interaction and serves as a platform for artists to enhance their performance.

In 2016--2017, we deployed ISSv2 during Chinese New Year Galas held in West Island, Montreal as well other other events and educational outreach activities. We followed agile software engineering practices to adapt to the new productions. ISS can be configured with different visual effects profiles according to the requirement. Computation artists and designers can make the said effects without formal software engineering training.

Science cartooning: the ideal couple

Traditional education continuously faces the challenge of encouraging students to care about the subject material. Edutainment (educational entertainment) has been one of the attempted solutions to this issue. There are several problems with existing edutainment; first, not all of it is created equal - topics in student and mental health are drastically underexplored compared to traditional lessons in science. Additionally, much of edutainment is still burdened with using traditional academic techniques as its core to engage the audience, with visuals and entertainment being used as an enhancement to the experience. However, entertainment is inherently based on tried and tested practices that engage the audience [Speer et al. 2009; Zak 2014]. This talk focuses on flipping this model. With edutainment, entertainment and user experience practices should be the core - with the details of the academic content being secondary to the overall experience. In this way, the subject material is not discussed in detail, and the primary goal is to excite the audience. My approach has been with science cartooning - writing comics and stories that communicate topics in health. Hired by the University of British Columbia (UBC) Digital Emergency Medicine team, I helped create an interactive graphic novel for the BC curriculum called The Adventures of Patoo [Mortazavi et al. 2018], which covers topics in physical and mental health for students in grades 4-7. The positive student and teacher feedback from the school pilots of The Adventures of Patoo is a good indication that edutainment does not have to carry much educational content. It can just be a teaser trailer.

Storytelling for volumetric VR

This abstract summarizes the considerations and measures made within the research project VVOW in relation to storytelling. Our research colloquium is convinced that research on a new technology such as volumetric video also means rethinking its content. The technical achievements need a rethinking of the learned narrative methods. In addition, the technology is still at a stage of development in which the strengths must be worked out with the help of storytelling and the algorithmic capacities must always be taken into account.1

VFX to teach religion??: learning from immersive media

As Generation X shifts to Millennials, there is a growing need to adjust the way that we teach. Utilizing modern technology, we continue to explore various types of Immersive Media to teach religion. Our in-house Visual Effects (VFX) Team has become the perfect puzzle piece that pushes the limits with our new teaching methods.

SESSION: Groovy Graphics Assignments

A bouncing ball game for first-year computer graphics

A bouncing ball is one of the simplest physics simulations yet provides a novice graphics programmer with a host of useful experience. The student creates a ball that bounces off the walls of a box, adds a bat, then gamifies the whole experience into a simple block-out game. The assignment is designed as the first significant piece of programming on a 2D computer graphics course. It is designed to be accessible to students who have taken an introductory programming course and who have physics and algebra to the level of a high-school graduate.

Boids: learning vector arithmetic through animation

Boids is an excellent example of emergent behaviour. Coding some simple rules creates complex behaviour. The assignment consolidates students' learning of C++, OpenGL, GLM, and vector arithmetic. Students also learn about the careful balances that must be made to ensure that a simulation behaves in a realistic way.

Hybrid creature project: groovy graphics assignment

This groovy graphics assignment is actually a multi-staged assignment going from concept through creation to animated presentation of a hybrid creature which could plausibly exist on Earth. Each stage of the project has its own challenges and learning goals and as such, could be broken out to be standalone assignments in their own rights. Some already have been at both the high school and college level. The entire project covers a range of topics including but not limited to comparative anatomy, animal locomotion, animal habitats, food chains, 2D visualization, 3D modeling for animation, digital sculpting, surfacing, lighting, rendering, and animation.

Miscellany drawer assignment

The Miscellany Drawer is an introductory project for learning modeling in 3D software for CGI animation that incorporates collaboration and 3D printing. It gives students the opportunity to recreate a real-life object while learning about the software interface and modeling tools before getting into actual animation. Traditionally the modeling of the object was the extent of the exercise but the 3D printing and collaborative aspects have been added to help students see the possibilities of new technologies, draw connections to 3D printing used in stop motion animation, draw connections with fine artists like Louise Nevelson and Claes Oldenburg, and draw connections to the collaborative nature of animation production pipelines. Students will sketch, model, and 3D print a hard surface object approved by the class to promote variety and complexity in the final composition. The class will combine all the individual prints into a shoebox using stick-tac and superglue to adhere the pieces into a well-designed artwork. To ensure it is not just a few students arranging the box but everyone contributing, each student can only touch or move their own 3D print. With multiple sections of the class, doing the project over the course of a few years the boxes can be arranged to create an large installation art piece.

Groovy graphics assignments: ray-traced transmission

This groovy graphics assignment introduces transmissive rays to a basic reflective ray tracer. The assignment is groovy because it introduces transparent objects, application of Snell's Law, and allows for testing of advanced variations (e.g., Schlick's approximation).

Real-time rocks: shader-based labradorite

Great assignments in computer graphics rock! Being slated to complete something concrete that engages interest and provokes solid personal development while not being completely set in stone is a monumental experience. Mining ideas for learning graphics, representing something visually complex such as labradorite can be unearthed as a gem of an assignment, and one can learn a fragment of shading while procedurally chipping away at the assignment.

Teapot rendering competition

Teapot Rendering Competition (TRC) is the final assignment of the graduate-level "Ray Tracing for Graphics" course at the University of Utah. In this course, students develop their own renderers using ray tracing, following a series of assignments throughout a semester. This final assignment gives students a chance to explore the kind of visually-appealing images they can produce using the renderers they develop and share them with their classmates and the local community. Examples of award-winning images from Teapot Rendering Competition events are shown in Figures 1 and 2.

Walking through a maze: a groovy graphics assignment

This assignment supports the key concepts in a first course in Computer Graphics for students in Computer Science and Engineering: modeling, geometry, transformations and interaction. The core of the assignment is to create a maze that can be walked through via the mouse or other interactive tools. The maze should have only one entrance and one exit. The walls are planes extruded from the floor.