SIGGRAPH '21: ACM SIGGRAPH 2021 Educators Forum

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library


Virtual Production for Remote Teaching Modalities: Adapting Sustainable Remote Teaching and Learning Environments by Leveraging Real-time Computer Graphics

Approaches for leveraging real-time graphics, virtual production technologies to bring the visual richness, diversity and fidelity of bespoke teaching venues into the realm of teleconference-based, distanced learning. A variety of readily accessible tools and implementations are presented that dramatically enhance the experience of teaching and learning through common teleconferencing platforms.

Virtual Reality Live Theatre on No Budget: A Model for Independent Theatrical Productions using Open-Source Social VR

Jettison, along with the entire OnBoardXR festival, is produced and performed live entirely in virtual reality using the open-source Mozilla Hubs platform. These shows took place in a virtual representation of a theater, leveraging the shared conventions of live theatrical performance to simplify the challenge of onboarding the audience: knowing how to behave in a real world theater translates intuitively to behavior in a virtual theater. At the same time, our production process mimicked that of real world theater, with very close parallels in the application of traditional theatrical skills and practices – with the main difference being that our cast and crew were all fully remote. Finally, the Hubs platform allows audiences to view the show on a range of hardware from VR HMDs to tablets and phones. Put together, our process represents a model by which independent theater companies can create productions using familiar techniques and skills, and present it for distributed audiences who don't have dedicated hardware. Ours was an approach of utilizing the latest virtualization technology to allow access to the widest range of audience possible, all from a bare-bones production budget. Unlike other approaches to virtual or online theater, the work of Jettison and its OnBoardXR is an attempt to, as closely as possible, replicate the experience of attending a show in a real world theater – an experience unavailable over the past year. In this talk we will describe our process and learnings.

From Creative Coding to Digital Humans:: Proceduralism as a Catalyst for Storytelling

Visual effects is a multi-disciplinary medium—how can we support the next generation of artists to engage deeply with animation, compositing, effects, and lighting in order to produce emotionally and visually compelling narrative work? How do we bridge the gulf between specialties that require an entire career to master? These are the key challenges we face in teaching the Master of Design Technology (MDT), a one-year graduate level program.


LocalAnesthesiaVRis a virtual reality training system for dental anesthesia, a clinical procedure every dentist must be competent with, and one that is particularly challenging to master throughout the demanding dental curriculum. This unique VR-based system provides learners with visual, auditory and haptic feedback enabling experiential learning in pre-clinical education.

SESSION: Groovy Graphics Assignments

Interactive Illustrations on HTML5 Canvas: A Creative Introduction to Computer Programming

In the first assignment of a class entitled “Creative Coding”, students are asked to convert a pre-existing 2D illustration into an interactive digital interpretation, as an introduction to the general elements of coding and computer graphics in 2D environments. The majority of students taking this class have never coded in their lives, turning this assignment into an ideal introduction to principles of computer programming. Javascript, a very accessible and forgiving scripting language, is used to study the visual properties of real time graphic development on the HTML5 Canvas Object on any capable browser. Using a basic coding shell and any text editor, students learn about variables, coordinates, elemental shapes, quadratic and Bézier curves, RGB color definitions, linear and radial gradients, random elements, etc., in a new approach to drawing through code, that questions and challenges traditional analog illustration paradigms.

LED Paper: Physical Computing with Handmade Paper

Physical computing involves using embedded computing to interact with the physical world. It’s a core technology for interactive computing. This assignment introduces physical computing through the incorporation of LEDs into handmade paper to make an interactive, visual, and physical artifact.

VR Animation Assignment for Students with a Background in Traditional Hand-Drawing Techniques

Media technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), have begun to revolutionize. Consequently, the seamless presentation of media, such as animation, film, and games, has developed remarkably. This integration of advanced media and experiences into the educational environment offers great potential[Mones 2017]. In a similar vein, we believe that such integration leads to the revitalization of the entire industry, which allows students who have a background in traditional hand-drawn methods of expression practice using advanced media and develop their skills. In this submission, we present a drawing expression challenge in 360 degrees of space to students with background in traditional painting. To ensure that this assignment is free of technical hurdles, no game engines or VR painting applications will be used. Only paper, art materials, and common painting and video editing software will be used by the students to complete the assignment. Figure 1 shows the examples of VR animation by students.

Photogrammetry for a Virtual Reality Nature Scene

This groovy graphics assignment introduces students to the practice of capturing physical objects in nature using photogrammetry and professional software to prepare them as digital assets for building a virtual reality environment in a real-time game engine. Students are tasked with exploring outside, preferably in a natural setting such as a park, nature trail, or backyard, to find ephemeral objects or areas of interest to capture and use to build a virtual reality nature scene. This assignment inspires students to consider the natural environment as a resource for creating virtual environments while simultaneously challenging them to work with an emerging technique for asset creation. It also exposes students to different software packages while preparing the captured data as 3D models which leads to a deep understanding of the 3D pipeline. Once the assets are prepared and the scene is built, viewing the completed environment in VR may strengthen an appreciation for natural environments by viewing a digital representation with an increased sense of presence.

SESSION: Courses

Multiplayer Retro Web-Based Game Development

A Whirlwind Introduction to Computer Graphics

An Introduction to Python Scripting in Autodesk Maya


Taking the Leap: Student Futures in Creative Careers

Industry panelists discuss measures that students can take to prepare for entering creative careers in computer graphics and interactive techniques. In the wake of global pandemic, creative industries have transformed. While certain aspects of hiring and recruitment processes remain unfazed, others have fundamentally changed. Transformed workplace cultures and new technologies present opportunities for alternative and de-habituated career paradigms. Simultaneously, new pathways present unforeseen challenges. Creative industry representatives discuss the general and specific state of affairs within their respective fields and provide insight into changing employment models. Discussion includes advice for educators to help prepare students for a variety of transforming career scenarios, as well as the preparation, training, and attributes students need to enter related fields. Panelists will consider the qualities underlying desirable entry-level applicants in their respective fields and elaborate upon changes in the transition from school to work resulting from the global pandemic. Represented industry segments include animation, interactive/experience design, computer graphics research, and virtual production. Questions considered include how schools and educators can help prepare students for successful transitions into creative careers; what entry-level applicants should have (and should not have) on resumes, portfolios, and demo reels; and what can students do on their own to proactively acquire requisite credentials. Discussion will expose fresh outlooks on the futures of creative fields in computer graphics and interactive techniques.