Portfolio & Projects
Media Video/Images/PDFs
Course: Immersive real-time 3D applications with Unity 3D

This elective will be offered Semester 1 or 2- 2011, most likely in combination with the Interactive and Immersive Cinema elective.

SOMA 2860
Units of Credit: 6
Contact hours per week 3


Volker Kuchelmeister

How to enrol
Send an email to kuchel@unsw.edu.au detailing which year/course you are enrolled in, your student ID, and briefly describing your background and relevant skills and experience.
Note that numbers will be limited.

Who can join?
The course is open to undergraduate (2nd year minimum) and postgraduate students from any degree or faculty.
There are no strict prerequisite courses, but students are required to have sufficient practical experience with a relevant tools or technology to allow meaningful contribution to the course. This could be one or more of the following, (but is not limited to):

Practical experience modelling or animating
Working with game engines or real-time visualisation tools
Programming in Java Script or/and C++
Programming real-time computer graphics
• Audio editing and post processing with Adobe Soundbooth or Apple Soundtrack

Course Summary
A lab-based studio course oriented toward the creation of interactive and immersive applications, games and artworks for use in the iDome hemispherical immersive projection environment and/or a 3D stereo projection screen.
This hands-on course provides students with the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and experience in technologies at the forefront of immersive and interactive media art and VR. Students will also gain exposure to working in a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment and learn skills relevant to the interactive media, computer game, visualisation and simulation industries.

Projects will be designed to make full use of the iDome's capabilities: 180º field of view, surround 4 channel audio and an advanced user interface with a high end motion tracker. On completion, the works will can exhibited to the public.

The course will include a number of tutorials, but will be principally self-directed. Students will work in small groups. Students are invited to bring any existing ideas or assets they may have already developed, and are expected to be highly motivated. We will use the Unity 3D game engine/authoring environment as the main tool.

3D scene in Unity, Unity in the iDome (Paul Bourke)

During the course, (and depending on your background), you will learn to work with
History of Immersion and Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality techniques: 3D (stereo) displays, omnistereo 360 rendering
Multi-disciplinary team development. Tools and techniques
Modelling and Animating for real-time graphics
Inrtroduction to GPU Shaders and effects, for artists and programmers
Interface and interaction design. Working with motion tracking devices
3D interactive audio
Unity 3D

Creating content for Unity
Scripting interactivity
Basic character animation
Real-time lighting and shadows
Optimisation techniques
Video assets in a VR environment
Spherical, fisheye and warp projections
Creating content for iDome

Double District real-time simulation, Scenarion, Machine Agent Interactive Narrative (iCinema Centre)


Electronic resources:
Unity 3D: http://unity3d.com
iDome: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/infra_dome.html
iCasts: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/prj_mining.html
Scenario: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/prj_scenario.html
Project Conversation@the Studio: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/prj_convostudio_1.html
• P. Bourke, Unity And The IDome: http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/miscellaneous/domemirror/UnityiDome/
• P. Bourke, Warp Mesh Patch For Quartz Composer: http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/miscellaneous/domemirror/warppatch/index.html
• P. Bourke, Dome Projection Using A Spherical Mirror: http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/miscellaneous/domemirror/index.html


Oettermann, Stephan. The panorama :history of a mass medium. 1997.
UNSW/COFA Library: CFA 751.74/1 / SQ 751.7409/1
"The significance of panorama painting in the nineteenth century is frequently cited in contemporary debates about visuality and the emergence of the modern spectator. Stephan Oettermann's The Panorama is the first major historical study to appear in English of the rich phenomenon of the panorama, one of the most influential forms of visual entertainment in the nineteenth century. In this richly illustrated book Oettermann gives readers a concrete sense of the structural and experiential reality of the panorama, and the many forms it took throughout Europe and North America" -- amazon.com

Grau, Oliver. Virtual Art. From Illusion to Immersion. 2003.
UNSW/COFA Library: CFA 751.7401.1
In this book Oliver Grau shows how virtual art fits into the art history of illusion and immersion. He describes the metamorphosis of the concepts of art and the image and relates those concepts to interactive art, interface design, agents, telepresence, and image evolution. Grau retells art history as media history, helping us to understand the phenomenon of virtual reality beyond the hype.

Crary, Jonathan. Techniques of the observer: on vision and modernity in the nineteenth century.1992.
UNSW/COFA Library: CFA 701.15/43 B / 701.15/44
"Crary outlines a genealogy of vision that challenges some standard assumptions about the history of film, photography, and modernist art. He argues against a continuity of Renaissance traditions, and for an abrupt break from classical models early in the 19th century." -- Booknews

Crary, Jonathan. Suspensions of perception: attention, spectacle, and modern culture. 1999.
UNSW/COFA Library: CFA 153.7/5 / P 153.7/76
"Is human vision universal and largely unchanging, or historically conditioned? What happened to the Western understanding of vision when the camera obscura, a simple pinhole camera popular in the 17th and 18th centuries gave way to the Kodak? Columbia University art historian Crary brings a multidisciplinary approach to such questions, and though his work is densely written for an academic audience, it can be fun to read if only for the illustrations of such wacky 19th-century optical toys and devices as the phenakistiscope and the Kaiserpanorama." -- amazon.com