This class will be centered around some of the ongoing research projects in our Media Research Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science. Building on top of existing computer animation programs (implemented in the Java programming language) which implement our Improv improvisational animation system and our Pad multiscale interface, students will work in teams to create interactive animated characters, give them capabilities and personality, and develop a Graphic User Interface to control and author these characters.
We'll be using the following texts:
Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, C version by James Foley, et al, ISBN: 0201848406 Pub: ADDISON-WESLEY, 1996, 1174 pp. List Price: $68.95 U.S.
The VRML 2.0 Handbook - Building Moving Worlds on the Web by Jed Hartman, Josie Wernecke, Silicon Graphics, Inc. ISBN 0-201-47944-3, paperback, 448 pages List Price: $29.95 U.S.
Students can either concentrate on developing and animating the characters themselves, or on development of capability in the form of control widgets and algorithmic controls (such as procedural constraints and inverse kinematics).
Therefore, students either need to have (i) a strong knowledge of and commitment to character animation, together with familiarity with or a willingness to learn 3D animation authoring for the World Wide Web, or else (ii)a strong programming background, preferably in Java, together with a working knowledge of graphics.
The course will be organized into an introductory section, followed by a projects section. The introductory section will take place over the first eight lecture hours; in this part all students will be introduced to the basic concepts needed to work on the various parts of their projects. Students will do small exercises which will bring them up to speed on the working knowledge of Improv and/or Pad that will be required for the remainder of the semester.
At the end of this introductory period, students will organize into project teams. The remaining twenty lecture hours will be spent working on projects within these teams. Students will be graded according to their own contribution to their project team.