SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Graphics) is the world’s premiere computer graphics conference featuring the works of universities, independent artists, and big budget Hollywood special effects houses such as Industrial Light and Magic and Pixar.
Participation is highly selective and this year, the work of University of Hawaiʻi Hilo was selected for presentation at the Educator’s Session, which focuses on the use of cutting-edge techniques for teaching creative media.
Called “3D Across Media: Ceramics, Print and VR”- the work was a collaboration between Julieta Aguilera (ACM Visiting Professor and former Director of the Space Visualization Laboratory at Adler Planetarium), Professor Jonathon Goebel of the Art Department at UH Hilo, and Professor Monika Mann of the Humanities Department at Hawaiʻi Community College.
Unlike art courses that are designed around particular media or techniques without digital tools, the 3D Across Media workshop at the University of Hawai’i-Hilo was designed across three different media – ceramics, 3D printing and virtual reality (VR) – with the specific intention that students would explore the three dimensional form as tactile and malleable with their hands, digitized and then altered and printed, and finally arranged in space as a virtual environment to be navigated. Particularly important is the fact that modern technologies are being used. For example the VR environments were created with a software template developed by Professor Jason Leigh (of the Information and Computer Sciences Department at University of Hawaii Manoa) for his Virtual Reality class. In other programs, Art students are usually expected to integrate the various courses they took in school once they graduate, but this workshop features a paradigm unique to ACM- to get students to merge their skills sooner, so that they can be more creative and better prepared for when they work in the real world- whether they are video game companies, movie production houses, or technology companies.
This work was funded by Chris Lee, Founding Director of ACM System.