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The media of mixed reality allows for increasingly immersive experiences that blend the virtual and real, and that change how we perceive and think about what is real. This course attempts to place the evolution of mixed reality in the long history of humans hacking perceptions of reality: from pyramids to cathedrals to google earth VR, from cave paintings to novels to film to immersive cinema.
This course will introduce you to the different forms mixed reality takes. We will:
- Learn about the different hardware platforms mixed reality spans, like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and understand their differences.
- Practice creating by taking a short story from Italo Calvino and seeing how it translates into mixed reality.
- Understand the context of mixed reality as it relates to philosophy and psychology.
- Critically review currently available mixed reality experiences to be inspired and understand best practices.
This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment. Learn more about adaptive courses here.
Session 1: Introduction to Mixed Reality (February 25, 2020)
In this session, we'll take a look at an overview of mixed reality, the brief history of virtual reality and examine the array of virtual and augmented reality hardware currently available.
Session 2: Hacking Reality: Rendering Space + Unity Basics (March 3, 2020)
In this session, we discuss the two main approaches to rendering content for mixed reality, and then we dive into Unity!
1. Rendering Content for Mixed Reality
2. 360 Video
3. Dynamic 3D
4. Unity: Interface and 360 Mapping
5. Unity: VR Integration and Assets (Premium Exclusive)
6. Unity: Building a World (Premium Exclusive)
Session 3: Perspectives from Philosophy and Psychology (March 10, 2020)
In this session, we address the concept of perception from historical, research-based, to artistic perspectives.
Session 4: Inspiration: Deconstructing Today's Experiences (March 17, 2020)
In this final session, we will critically deconstruct current mixed reality experiences (ie: video games to Google Tilt Brush) to understand how they use perception.
Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.
- Ability to understand and identify different experience types within mixed reality and assign relevant hardware solutions.
- Ability to place future hardware iterations within the spectrum of mixed reality.
Mixed Reality Aesthetics
- Understanding that mixed reality requires imagination and creativity on the same level as much more established artistic and aesthetic practices.
- Ability to connect and deploy your own creativity and imagination into mixed reality media.
- Understanding of how humans use perception to create a model of what they think is real.
- Basic understanding of how cognitive science and theory is tightly coupled with the evolution of mixed reality media.
- Ability to critically review how cognition and perception is at work in specific mixed reality experiences.
Instructors & Guests
Thomas Wester works as an independent creative and technical director and is Faculty and Research fellow at the Make+Think+Code @ PNCA. Over the last 15 years he has blended digital and physical to create meaningful interactive experiences. His ever curious, ever inquisitive nature results in a wide and deep knowledge of both the creative and technical process with regards to producing for the interactive medium. He has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Archives, Library of Congress, Hermès, Coca Cola, Target, MoMA and MFA Boston and exhibited at Tribeca and Sundance. Over a period of 12 years he built the technology practice at Second Story, establishing an interdisciplinary, experimental approach that uses technology as strategy for design innovation, resulting in a studio that is widely recognized as a leader and innovator in interactive design and storytelling.
Perry Hoberman is a media, installation and performance artist whose work has been presented widely throughout the United States and Europe. Hoberman works with a variety of technologies, ranging from the utterly obsolete to the seasonably state-of-the-art. He has worked with stereoscopic media for several decades, beginning in the early 1980s with his award-winning 3D slide performances and installations. Unexpected Obstacles, a retrospective survey of his work, was exhibited in 1998 at the ZKM Mediamuseum in Karlsruhe, Germany. In 2002 he was both a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellow. Last year, Hoberman presented Denial Clinic, a performance with songs and 3D projection in Los Angeles and Vancouver. Hoberman is represented by Postmasters Gallery in New York, where he has had numerous one-person exhibitions. He has taught at the Cooper Union School of Art, the San Francisco Art Institute, the California Institute of the Arts and the School of Visual Arts. Currently, Hoberman is an Associate Research Professor in the Interactive Media Division at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, where he heads S3D@USC, the Center for Stereoscopic 3D at the USC School for Cinematic Arts.
Victoria Scott is a visual artist working between the mediums of sculpture and digital media. Recent projects include constructing material representations of conceptual objects that exist in simulated digital environments, the public commons and in the space of cultural imagination. Her process involves working with electronic media and physical materials to create simulated and real site-specific interactive installations, sculptures and images. She is currently developing an interactive VR project based on visualizing emotional energy fields.
Scott has exhibited at galleries, and museums throughout North America and Europe, including the Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico City), San Jose Museum of Art (California), the University of Toronto Art Centre (Canada), Kasia Kay Art Projects (Chicago), Galleri Enkehuset (Stockholm), and the Zer01 Biennial (San Jose).
She has been awarded project commissions from the San Jose Museum of Art (2010), Zer01 Art and Technology Network (2010) and Turbulence.org (2007) and is the recipient of several grants from both the Ontario and Canada Arts Councils. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), Oregon Story Board (Portland), and this spring 2018 at Pioneer Works (Brooklyn).
Victoria has taught digital media arts practice at SAIC, the California College of the Arts (CCA), and San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). She lives and works in San Francisco.
What You Need to Take This Course
- Equipment (optional): Windows 10 PC (2015 or later), Oculus Rift CV1
- Software: Unity (free version)
- Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino (link to purchase via Amazon available in the resources)
Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member, does not affirm that the student has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by Pacific Northwest College of Art.
In order to receive college credit for these program courses, you must successfully complete and pass all 3 courses in this program. If a student signs up for the Creating for Mixed Reality program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.
*Partial credit will not be awarded for completion of only one course.
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