"VR works because reality is virtual" - Larry Stark

434/534 Creating a VR Art project

This course is designed for Media Study with graphics programming experience and those with experience with 3D modeling packages (specifically Maya). Teams of modelers and programmers will collaborate to build immersive virtual reality art experiences. The course introduces students to Ygdrasil, an high-level VR authoring toolkit and Performer a graphics library. The Ygdrasil system has been specifically designed for large scale art projects. Successful projects have been built with this framework and are currently on exhibit at the Ars Electronica Center in Austria and the Foundation for the Hellenic World in Greece.  Ygdrasil handles a number of activities common to VR environments, such as assembling 3D models into a world, collision detection, navigation, and detecting events and passing messages in response to them. Those without programming experience can use a textfile to build VR worlds using their own models and a variety of modules designed to provide interactivity and assign behaviors to objects. Programmers can extend the system, building their own customized modules as this production demands.  Ygdrasil is a networked system, so at both the development and exhibition stages,  participants can enter the virtual environment from remote locations.  The course started as an initiative between CCR and Media Study using the immersive VR display systems and computer work stations in each facility.

Prerequisites are DMS 420 Programming Graphics II or equivalent, or experience with 3D modeling packages.

Instructor: Josephine Anstey, jranstey@buffalo.edu

Office Hours: Thursday 9:00 - 10:00, 2:30 - 3:30

Where and When
CFA 265/66, W 9:00 - 12:50

Assignments: Expect to spend at least 10 hours per week outside of class working on assignments and reading. There will be production assignments, 2 presentations, and a final project of scope and substance. One presentation will be on a VR researcher, the other is on a research topic of your choice (within the VR field), and can be technical or conceptual. The major project will be a VR art environment. Collaboration is encouraged. The project can continue into the second semester, but a well defined subsection of the whole must be delivered at the end of this semester along with a schedule for the second semester completion of the project.

Attendance: If you are sick or unable to attend a class, email me before the class. More than 3 absences without explanation will impact your grade.

Assignments 40%, attendance and participation 10%, project 50%.
Plagiarism will result in a failing grade for that assignment or project.


General Information

This course outline may be taken as a guideline only.  It is subject to revision and may include digressions and student driven subject matter.

Lab info & rules