Josephine Anstey

VR Studio 

Media Study, UB

The Trial The Trail
The Media Study Department at UB has built a one screen, low-cost, passive stereo, projection-based VR system. To create the stereo effect the user wears glasses with polarizing lenses and the computer draws one image for each eye - hence the blurring in this image. There is also a tracking system and 3D "wand" for interaction The system is used by graduate and undergraduates for the development and exhibition of VR art projects. 

Our goal is to make VR more accessible. This system is a  prototype of VR systems that will be within the financial reach of art and media study departments, & museums and galleries.

The Thing Growing
In November 2002, we brought the system to Vassar college for a VR lecture and demonstration. Dave Pape, Research Professor at UB, and I gave the lecture; we showed his work Crayoland, our collaboration, PAAPAB, and three students projects. In May 2002 we brought the system to Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo for an exhibition of works in progress by faculty and students. Earlier in Spring 2002 we took the system to  the Assembly Building in Albany as part of UB's lobbying day. To reduce light pollution we erected black out material on PVC pipes around the system. (see left)

"Boink" by Yeongsok Kim
Our graphics run on a linux PC. We opted for linux largely so that we could use VR tools developed for SGIs. In 2001, in collaboration with CCR, we started a class called Virtual Tales where students produced VR environments, which can run both on our system and on CCR's Immersadesk. This class is now integrated into our curriculum as Creating a VR Art Project.

We are also involved in networking VR environments. In Nov 2002 we showed Yggdrasil a networked VR Project by Swedish Artists Bino and Cool on our system at Media Study. Previously we collaborated with NYSCEDII and CCR, using their VR devices to show networked art projects at the iGrid 2002 conference, and for the Ars Electronica Festival 2001.

We are in the process of adding spatialized sound capability to our system.
For more information on our low-cost VR research, please see:
updated December 2002