SA '23: SIGGRAPH Asia 2023 Educator's Forum

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library

A University Curriculum Course for Undergraduates: Artificial Intelligence and Art

This paper describes a new course entitled “AI & Art” offered at Quinnipiac University in the spring of 2023. An updated version of this course is scheduled for Spring 2024. In this course, students use text-to-image AI generators to create artwork, write prompts using ChatGPT, and write short essays on critical issues and topics (creativity, deep fakes, copyright etc.) implicated by the rise of AI image-generation software. This course fosters essential learning outcomes such as critical thinking, creativity, and hands-on experience with AI technology preparing students for 21st-century careers.

Bridging the Gap: Sustainable Collaboration between CG Production and Educational Institutions

One of the major challenges that new employees in Japan's CG entertainment industry faces is the skill gap between the industry and academia. Recognizing the urgent need for an effective approach to bridge this gap, this study with a new initiative with Nihon Kogakuin College, proposes and implements an innovative educational model, drawing analogies from the "Melting Pot" and the "Salad Bowl." The "Salad Bowl" model honors the uniqueness and needs of both participating companies and students, emphasizing the preservation of diversity. Through its implementation, it has been elucidated that this new educational approach brings about an improvement in student skills and high satisfaction levels, paving the way for success in future workplace environments through real-world industry experience. Additionally, it has been effective in resolving recruitment challenges of smaller studios, overcoming faculty shortages, providing a concrete evaluation of soft skills, and creating employment opportunities tailored to each company. These investigative outcomes underscore the significance and effectiveness of establishing a sustainable collaboration between industry and academia, realizing the provision of education programs that cater to the diverse industrial demands of Japan.

Computer Graphics and Extended Reality Courses for the Programmophobic

This paper describes the challenges and solutions to teaching computer graphics as well as extended reality concepts to students from a variety of backgrounds in the context of the School of Future Environments at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. Examples are provided for the content and assessment strategies for two courses, as well as a summary of student work and feedback collected over the last three years.

Educational Perilune: Visual effects practices at Media Design School

This work introduces and explores learning experience design (LXD) methods to teaching and learning in the creative technologies space. We examine LXD techniques as a method to provide educational solutions to the application of knowledge and skills in project-based learning with the goal of creating an engaging, interactive, rich, and effective learning environment. We analyse LXD techniques implemented in instruction designed specifically for CGI, 3D animation and visual effects subject matter.

Exploration and Reflection on Design Research Methods in the design education in China's art academies: The preliminary exploration though World Building practice at China Academy of Art

Taking as a case study the "World Building" course taught by the author in the Interactive Media major at the School of Animation and Games at the China Academy of Art, this article provides an initial analysis of the design education methodologies at the academy. It critiques the prevailing focus within China's design education system on "Tao" (philosophy/principles) over "Qi" (tools) and "Art" over "Technique". Additionally, it presents strategic recommendations for future reform in Chinese design education, ensuring it is adaptive to contemporary needs.

Mixed Reality as Empathy Machine. Case Study in Universal Design Course

Empathy has become a central focus in design and is clearly evident in various frameworks, such as universal design, inclusive design, and human-centered design. However, among numerous stakeholders, designers, and engineers are the ones who particularly require an expansion of their empathetic understanding. The emergence of immersive technologies has the potential to facilitate the development of empathy in individuals. Extended reality (XR) combines virtual reality with the real world, enabling the simulation of various physical states, health conditions, and limitations of the human body. This paper introduces three distinct XR scenarios that immerse potential users in the experiences of people with special needs. The elaborated tasks encompass aspects like mobility impairments, pregnancy, and challenges faced by the elderly. All exercises take place in a familiar supermarket environment, as shopping is a common, everyday activity for most people. The XR application is designed for the Oculus Quest 2 platform and is complemented by external equipment such as a geriatric suit, pregnancy belly simulator, or wheelchair. The proposed simulations were assessed and validated by 42 students from the Lodz University of Technology taking the Universal Design course. The testing process comprised several stages, which included an empathy pre-test, the execution of the XR experience, an empathy post-test, and a brief interview. Additionally, we registered the time for exercises and monitored users’ movement activity during the experience.

From fledglings to wise owls:: Nurturing talent to new heights.

For over 32 years Animal Logic has played a major role in the growth of the Animation and Visual Effects industry in Australia and globally. In this talk we will look at the breadth of initiatives, from hosting work experience student programs for high schools, through partnering with universities and hosting trainees. We explore how the company's values have been expressed through these, demonstrating how these have benefited the company and the greater community.

Leveraging AR-Driven Visual Storytelling to Enhance Communication of Complex Social Issues: Principles, Strategies, and Multifaceted Roles of Visuals

By sharing principles and strategies for effectively using AR-driven Visual Storytelling to communicate complex social issues this paper adds to the fields of design and education. The insights offer visual designers a strong toolbox to create engaging experiences for audiences. Additionally, focusing on how to apply these strategies in various educational settings makes the proposed framework useful worldwide. By giving designers a clear way to blend augmented reality into visual storytelling, this study encourages creative communication about important social topics. This contribution not only boosts the impact of design but also helps education by promoting understanding across different cultures and sharing knowledge. Ultimately, the paper's approach connects design and education, opening new possibilities for teaching methods and positive changes in society.

Maintaining agency in AI-generated works of art and design: Deliberate creative processes

This paper responds to the unfolding debate on the use of generative AI tools in art and design. As the conversations and technological frameworks remain in their early stages the paper focuses on emerging possibilities and methodologies rather than on broader claims or conclusions. The discussed methods can serve as an effective entry point for education and curricula developments with practical advice and conceptual framing to contextualize emerging AI tools in a broader artistic culture and legacy. While the discussion on autonomous creativity is a significant part of the future of AI system developments and their relationship with humanity, this paper specifically limits its contribution to human-to-AI interactions as an important step in understanding intentionality, agency, and identity in that newly formed landscape.

MathVR: Teaching Vector Arithmetic Using Virtual Reality

Traditionally, linear algebra has been taught using 2D representations of fundamentally 3D concepts. We present a visualisation of vector arithmetic in virtual reality with full hand presence and lateral motion, demonstrating how this new technology can be used to enhance student engagement and understanding. We detail sufficiently powerful affordances to convey ideas such as compound operations, yet simple enough to be digestible by average undergraduate students in a 1st year university mathematics course. This presentation aims to catalyse discussion and ideas around the use of immersive technologies for education in more abstract disciplines such as mathematics.

Pedagogical strategies for teaching Virtual Production pipelines

The incorporation of LED walls and virtual production tools in the film industry is a recent development that has significant pedagogical implications (BLISTEIN, 2020; FARID and TORRALBA, 2021). The use of LED walls combines physical and digital realities, potentially reducing post-production time and resource usage (ONG, 2020). Virtual production can facilitate immediate on-set decision-making and mitigate the need for certain post-production adjustments (EPIC GAMES, 2020). MIT researchers posit that such practices may also reduce the carbon footprint associated with location filming (FARID and TORRALBA, 2021). Nonetheless, further research and innovation are needed to overcome any limitations and fully harness the potential of this technology.

The utilization of Unreal Engine software and other real-time tools in visual effects education aligns with industry trends and enhances student preparedness for professional practice (FLEISCHER, 2020). It has been suggested that engaging students with these tools can foster an understanding of the virtual production pipeline, thus aligning the educational curriculum with evolving industry standards (BALSAMO et al., 2021).

As educators at Auckland University of Technology, we recognized the necessity of early integration of these paradigm-shifting tools into our curriculum to prepare students for impending and ongoing industry changes. In anticipation of procuring LED walls, we explored the potential of leveraging existing resources to initiate a pedagogical foray into the virtual production sphere. The available resources encompassed a large green screen studio, a motion capture studio, and virtual reality (VR) headsets and trackers.

This paper offers two pedagogical responses that were deployed in courses situated in the final (third) year of undergraduate studies for an Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design Major, Bachelor of Design, at the School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology. One course is positioned within a motion capture minor and the other an option within a major capstone project framework.

These two responses form case studies in the technical modification of existing teaching equipment and the need to push the limits of existing software and hardware resources within the attendant budgetary constraints of a tertiary education institution. This, in turn, is in the service of meeting shifting tertiary curriculum demands in response to a technologically fluid and future-focused industry.

Practical Course for Creating Stereoscopic VTuber

The authors conduct a practical class for third-year students in the Information Media Studies Department, focused on creating stereoscopic CG content. They focus on virtual YouTubers (VTubers), that has been gaining popularity on the internet. Despite the current VTubers being created as 3D models, they lack actual stereoscopic capabilities. VTuber characters can feel more lifelike upon introduction of stereoscopic visuals, allowing creators to expand their ideas and unlocking significant potential in the metaverse era. In this study, each student captures video footage of their upper body using their laptop's web camera. Then, they combine various freely available software tools online to create stereoscopic VTuber videos without the need for special equipment. The students produce content using techniques, such as anaglyph videos (using red-blue glasses), lenticular lenses, and fly's eye lenses for autostereoscopic viewing. They also add audio to the VTuber content, and at the end of the exercise, they hold a “Stereoscopic VTuber” presentation, where mutual evaluations are conducted. Results of the student surveys indicate a positive outcome in terms of their increased interest in related technologies and enhanced creative motivation. This practical course holds significant values as an education that combines information media art, system-oriented thinking, and AI technologies.

Table Cape VR Education Technology Project: An Immersive Learning Experience of Walking with Giants

This paper profiles the Table Cape VR Education Technology Project titled "Walking with Giants," which was designed to offer an immersive learning experience for community storytelling. Table Cape is located in Wynyard, a town in rural Northwest Tasmania, Australia; it is an extinct volcano renowned for its rich tourism and heritage values. As part of a wider education technology and digital tourism initiative, Walking with Giants provides educators, students, and community members with the opportunity to visualise the high-fidelity 3D scanned terrain of Table Cape in virtual reality. Currently, the project is being exhibited at the Wonders of Wynyard Exhibition and Visitor Information Centre - a joint initiative involving creators and researchers from the University of Tasmania, industry partners from Business Northwest, and the Waratah Wynyard Council. In this paper, we describe the technical aspects of this digital technologies project and discuss the specialised knowledge-based requirements for teaching and learning incorporating such resources.