Building Virtual Environments
Arts Col 762, 5 credits
TR 1:30-3:18
 Professor Alan Price
office hours: TR 3:30-5:00
by appointment

Course Syllabus

Links and References

Help Pages

This schedule is subject to change and will be announced during class hours.

[01] T 01.03 - R 01.05
Virtual Environments -  Example applications

Cinematic Rendering -  Game Art & Technology

Alternative and gesture-based user interface -  Joysticks / MIDI / Audio / Video / Motion Capture

Alternative Display methods - Immersive and Augmented display systems

online reading: Virtual Environments, Scott Fisher

Introduction to Unity
This week we begin getting familiar with the Unity authoring software. This is intended to help jump-start your idea process for your project. More in-depth lessons will come later, and will be focused on solutions for your projects when possible.

At ACCAD, we have the "Pro" version of Unity installed. You can download a free version from the Unity website:
You can most likely accomplish all of your goals with the free version. For a comparison of features between the free and Pro version, see here

Examples: (input devices, physics, post-processing, lightmapping, networking)

Online Documentation
Take a look at the various resources on the Unity Website.
Read the basics page on Learning the Interface
Watch all of the tutorial videos

To be done by T 01.10:   online reading: Virtual Environments, Scott Fisher , Read the basics page on Learning the Interface,  Watch all of the tutorial videos 

[02] T 01.10 - R 01.12
Introduction to Unity Continued

Pipeline Overview -  
workflow steps including modeling, texturing, animating, importing, lighting, navigation, scripting, and building an executable.

Online Manual

Unity has a very good set of online help documents installed locally with the application, and also online through the Unity website. For ease of access here, links are made to the online documents. Use the locally installed manuals through the help menu in the Unity application.

Unity concepts:
GameObjects and Components, Prefabs and Instantiating,

Scripting examples:
Input with mouse and keyboard
Camera control

GUI text and buttons

Scripting Tutorial PDF

To be done by start of T 01.17:
Review and complete all steps in the Scripting Tutorial PDF

[03] T 01.17 - R 01.19

Here is a list of helpful links to the manual and other tutorial sites. You may want to refer to this page often throughout the quarter.

Use flowcharts and/or pseudocode to plan and develop your scripting. This process will not only help guide you towards solutions, but will aid in communicating your ideas to the instructor so that suggestions can be provided.

Unity concepts:
Colliders, Raycasting, (and Physics)

Scripting Examples:

Selecting objects
Collision detection
Proximity detection
Sending messages

To be complete by start of class T 01.24:  Proposal preparation.

[04] T 01.24- R 01.26

Proposal presentations
The project proposal and presentation should reflect your own research interests. This is the first draft of an ongoing process. You are not expected to have everything figured out. You are expected to have a direction and a developing set of goals that you would like to acheive. Expect group discussion during each presentation to include ideas and solutions that may modify your plans.

Some articles from Gamasutra on game level design:
Three Inspirations for Creative Level Design
Where's the Design in Level Design? Part I
Where's the Design in Level Design? Part 2

Point of view
World scale / perception

[05] T 01.31 - R 02.02

Planning, Prototyping
Examples based on project proposals

[08] T 02.21 - R 02.23

Working with sound
3D spatial audio

Gesture-based input

Polhemus Fastrack motion tracker
multitouch projection table
touchscreen LCD monitor as a multitouch input

Production and progress reports

[09] T 02.28- R 03.01

Multiuser networking

Production and progress reports

[10] T 03.06 - R 03.08

Level of Detail concepts
Object LOD
Terrain engine
Occlusion culling

Stereo 3D display principals

Production and progress reports

[Final] TBD