Teaching

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I come from a background in a lens-based conceptual practice. This is informed by literature around mechanical and digital reproducibility. In the span of ten years, this has expanded to include synthesis, artifice, simulation, and extended reality. These are concepts which arise when it comes to the topics I tend to present in my classes and during critiques.

Along with teaching techniques, I usually incorporate readings that introduce recent debates in critical theory as it relates to digital media. These readings are geared towards introducing the beginning student to the multiplicity of concepts as it relates to digital media, its impacts in society, its im/material nature, and its use in artistic production.

Much of what I see in my introductory courses are students wanting to perpetuate material they have consumed in mainstream media. I often see ideas by students that imitate a popular video game character or a sequence coming from a popular movie.

My goal is to develop that student into creating sophisticated material based upon their own vision and own visual language. In essence, develop a unique voice amongst the plethora of material in mainstream culture. One might say that this is quite a challenge in contemporary society today.

The curricular structure at Clarkson University is developed in a manner that groups fundametal concepts together. It starts with DA 200: Introduction to Experimental 3D, which is the core class. Students learn the fundamental basics in terms of modeling, texturing, and lighting in a virtual environment. It is based upon Johannes Itten's Bauhaus Basic Course'.

From there, students take DA 300: Virtual Mechanical & Organic Animation, or DA 340: Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Immersive Reality which delve into sophisticated methods for 3D animation, interactive design & games in VR/AR/XR/IR that addresses mechanical and organic movements as well as interactivity with an eye towards innovative experiences.

My advanced classes allow for the flexibility for the student to delve into their particular interests in the field. In DA 400: Advanced Individual & Collaborative Projects, students select areas for self-study, which will then be employed in a team based collaborative project that utilizes the strengths of each particular team member.

Much of the potential of teaching 3D animation and interactive design in VR/AR/XR/IR is limited by the traditional industry-oriented style of training. Tutorials teach a specific technique and style rather than train on concepts with an eye towards lateral application. I see students who learn this way unable to adapt to the differing goals and aesthetics of each particular project. Additionally, these techniques die fairly quickly within the rapidly evolving industry.

The curricular track at Clarkson University allows for the teaching of fundamental concepts of 3D modeling/animation, creative coding, and interactive design. Contents are catered to the goals of the individual student. These are students whose goals are varied: the game, animation, and fine art industries. Whether it be any of these industries, the basic concepts of aesthetics, lateral thinking, and good technique at each level of mastery are recipes for success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DA 200: Introduction to Experimental 3D

 

Kaleb Woolever

 

Sarah Selby

 

 

Jacob Burrit, 360 animation for VR headset

 

 

DA 225: Digital Painting & Illustration

 

Storyboard Mid-Term: Kalen Bjerga

 

Character Design Final Project (1/3): Alaina Wagner

 

DA 300: Virtual Mechanical & Organic Animation

 

Sarah Selby, Final Project

 

Mid-Term Projects

Mid-Term Projects



DA 340: Virtual, Augmented, Mixed, & Immersive Reality

Emma Atkinson

Oculus Rift Virtual Installation

Virtual Realiy-Based Synthesizer
Jacob Burritt & Kathryn Pfeiffer

Eliott Besculides, work-in-progress for immersive dome



DA 341: Animating & Visualizing Information & Data

Kaleb Woolever, World Happiness Index, data sourced from Kaggle, ranked in order by country, truncated data, Mid-Term Project

Team-Based Immersive Animation, 'Distance Yourself', Kalen Bjerga & Alaina Wagner, Final Project

Team-Based Interactive Immersive Experience: World Covid-19 Data, Kaleb Woolever & Mary McColgan, Final Project


DA 400: Advanced Individual & Collaborative Projects

Makishi Shimoyama

Sarah Hanehan

Alexander Leich, Sarah Hanehan, Anders Wickstrom

 

 

DA 492: Capstone Thesis Projects

 

Emma Atkinson, virtual reality installation, 2019

 

James Guyder, animation for spherical dome, 2019


Kaleb Woolever, role playing video game, 2021