Information, references, and resources for the Immersive Environments course
at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Art & Technology Department
The term Immersive Environments describes an area of scientific and artistic research concerned with the creation of virtual spaces through simulation technology. The field includes the study of virtual reality, or VR, but draws from numerous disciplines including theater, architecture, cybernetics, philosophy, sound, installation, and film. The impact of this technology lies not just in its actual uses but in the way its potentialities serve as a framework for larger cultural and philosophical issues, creating a potent mythology.
This advanced course will provide a forum for exploration of the conceptual issues surrounding VR and immersive technologies, from warfare and entertainment to questions of representation, perception, and consciousness. Readings from theorists, tech-evangelists, and critics will be combined with examples of VR artworks, entertainment technologies, and representations of VR from pop culture.
Students will develop immersive environment projects using a combination of 3D graphics, interactivity, and immersive sound, and will become familiar with the process of developing the custom hardware and software components in a VR system. Tutorials and hands-on exercises will introduce the full range of skills involved in creating immersive environments, though collaboration will be emphasized for project development.
Complete assignments and Final project, participate in class discussions, show work and participate in final critique.
Attendance: more than 3 absences may result in a grade of No Credit.
Any 3000-level ATS class. Suggested courses: 3D Animation, Interactive Multimedia, Flash Programming, Electronics, Sound Installation, Experimental Programming, Programming for Sound.
A Few Technical Details:
The system we are using is a single-wall, projection-based VR display system with 6-channel sound for spatialized audio. For graphics, it uses the CAVE library and the Yggdrasil (YG) authoring language for constructing environments. We will be using Maya for modeling, though students are encouraged to explore other tools as well. There are no specific prerequisites, however experience in Linux, programming, 3D modeling, MAX, or electronics is helpful.
http://www.bcchang.com/immersive (class website)
http://www.evl.uic.edu/yg (Ygdrasil Programming Reference)
Course Outline (Subject to Change):
Overview of immersive and illusionistic spaces, virtual reality, and virtual reality artworks
Introduction to Linux, the CAVE, and Ygdrasil
Virtual-reality Found Object Assemblage
history overview >>>