Virtual Reality Lab Fall 2016
In partnership with the Media and Games Network (MAGNET), NYU
Final Exhibition Coverage by CUNY TV
Supported by TIME Inc. and Oculus
September 10, 2016 – January 27, 2017
The Virtual Reality Lab is a 3 to 4-month (12-16 sessions) program that provides media creators and technologists with an opportunity to create VR/AR/MR prototypes, brainstorm and explore complex formats using immersive technology, and collaborate with like-minded members of the VR community.
In partnership with the Media and Games Network (MAGNET) at the NYU Game Center and supported by Time Inc. and Oculus, the lab will take place from September 10, 2016 to January 27, 2017. Four-hour sessions will be held weekly on Saturdays from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
For the finale, labbies partake in a Demo Day/Night Splash and share VR projects with the public!
The lab progresses in 3 phases: Train, Design and Build.
Phase 1 Train: VR Bootcamp
The first three sessions (3 weeks) are dedicated to acquiring a foundation in VR development and training in Unity 3D. During Phase 1, Participants will develop a simple VR application using a game engine and Cardboard. Weekly assignments will help people to gain VR development skills on a step-by-step basis. Participants more knowledgeable in Unity will be encouraged to instruct others or craft their own path in the lab.
Phase 2 Design: Concept, Story & Interaction
The next few sessions (2 to 3 weeks) will cover designing VR concepts, stories or games and forming teams to implement a demo. During this phase, participants will address the various components of a VR application – e.g., narrative flow, art, interaction design and input devices. This phase tends to be the most fluid; teams and concepts may morph and change. Each session will also include mini-tutorials, such as Maya to Unity workflow, animation in Maya and Unity, live-action VR, and using motion capture data, Kinect, Arduino etc.
Similar to ITP Camp, participants can post their skills on a whiteboard and offer to teach mini-tutorials.
Phase 3 Build: Implementation & Demo
Six to seven sessions (6 to 7 weeks) will focus on building a VR application for Cardboard, Gear VR or the Oculus Rift. At the beginning of each session, participants will share their progress and any difficulties that emerge during development. Advisors will also be available to help address design and technical issues.
Please note: the second and third phases will bleed into each other. Concept and story will evolve as participants play with the technology.
The VR Lab team includes co-Directors J Dakota Powell (Yale, ITP/NYU) and Jackson Tam, Maxwell Foxman (Columbia Univ.) and So Sun Park (Vassar). Seasoned VR developers will help guide participants, and include: Will Wurtzebach, Talal Choudhury, Angelique Anderson and Matthew Cornelius (Director of Motion Capture at NYIT).
Who: Media Creators, Writers, Storytellers, Filmmakers, Designers, UX, Developers and Creative Coders
Dates: September 10, 2016 – January 21, 2016 (Saturdays)
Time: Noon to 4 PM.
Location: Media and Games Network (MAGNET), NYU
2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
Cost $150. Students 30% discount with proof of ID or university affiliation. Repeat VR Labbies also receive a 30% discount.
Space limited to 35-40 people.
Full scholarships available for NYU Game Center students.
PLEASE NOTE: WAIT LIST ONLY. If you want to be put on the wait list, please send a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply for the lab, send letter stating 1) your interest in VR or the VR project you intend to work on 2) your area of specialization – e.g., technologist, designer, artist, etc. – and 3) CV to: email@example.com.
Virtual Reality Lab operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions for the purposes of Virtual Reality Lab are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Online profile of VRL on Fractured Atlas can be viewed here.
VR Lab NY Schedule*
|SAT, September 10||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, September 17||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, September 24||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, October 1||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, October 8||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, October 15||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, October 22||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, October 29||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, November 5||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, November 12||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||Location TBA (MAGNET closed)|
|SAT, November 19||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, December 3||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||MAGNET, NYU 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201|
|SAT, December 10||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||Private Location|
|SAT, January 7||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||ITP, NYU, 721 Broadway, 4th Floor, NYC 10003|
|FRI, January 13||9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.||ITP, NYU, 721 Broadway, 4th Floor, NYC 10003|
|SAT, January 21||12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.||ITP, NYU, 721 Broadway, 4th Floor, NYC 10003|
* Please note: Demo Day/Night Splash will take place on Friday, January 27, 2017. Exact time/place TBA.
Clara Fernández-Vara is a game scholar, designer and writer. She is an Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center. Her area of expertise is narrative in games and how it can integrate with game design, focusing on adventure games. She is particularly interested in applying methods from textual analysis and performance studies to the study of video games and transmedia artifacts. Clara’s videogame work is grounded in the humanities, informed by her background in literature, film and theatre. Before joining the NYU Game Center, Clara was a a researcher and game developer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She holds a Ph.D. in Digital Media from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. Clara has presented her work at various international academic and industry conferences, such as DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association), and Foundations of Digital Games and the Game Developer’s Conference (GDC). She has worked both in games for research as well as in the commercial sphere. Her first book, “Introduction to Game Analysis” has been published by Routledge.
Ken Perlin is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University and directs the NYU Games For Learning Institute. He is a participating faculty member in the NYU Media and Games Network (MAGNET). Perlin was also founding director of the Media Research Laboratory and director of the NYU Center for Advanced Technology. His research interests include graphics, animation, augmented and mixed reality, user interfaces, science education and multimedia. He received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his noise and turbulence procedural texturing techniques, which are widely used in feature films and television, as well as the 2008 ACM/SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, the TrapCode award for achievement in computer graphics research, the NYC Mayor’s award for excellence in Science and Technology and the Sokol award for outstanding Science faculty at NYU, and a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Perlin received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University, and a B.A. in theoretical mathematics from Harvard University.
Angelique E. Anderson is Founder/ Creative Director of LIQUE Story Studio, Inc., an early stage start-up to develop creative content and children’s picture-book apps, utilizing Virtual-Reality(VR/AR)platforms for mobile devices. Her career has spanned from working with the Time Warner team developing interactive web content, being nominated twice for Rockefeller Foundation Grant and a Smithsonian Laureate for interactive VR projects. Her work is archived at the Smithsonian Institute, National Museum for Women in the Arts, and is included in the CLARA Database of Women Artists. Angelique has exhibited in Paris, New York, and Washington, D.C. Her work is published in the Leonardo, the ISEA catalogue and adorns the covers of Avalon Publisher – Thomas Bouregy books.
After graduating with a Biology degree from Brooklyn College, Talal attended Medical School and was all set to become a doctor. There was just one problem. His dream was to be a developer. So he went back to school for Computer Science at General Assembly. For his thesis project, he created an in-browser 3D video game. And it’s no surprise that he goes to Comic Con every year, builds electronics for fun, and created a visor that shoots red lasers out of the eyes like the X-men Cyclops. He brings a huge dose of creativity and enthusiasm to each project he touches.
Matthew Cornelius has worked professionally in the field of 3D computer animation for the past 16 years. He is currently a faculty member with a research fellowship at Pratt Institute and the Director of Art Media Technology at New York Institute of Technology, and directs the Motion Capture Studio at NYIT. He is among the leading motion capture experts in the field.
The education repertoire of Mr. Cornelius includes life drawing, sculpture, classical graphic design, and 3D animation, obtained from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Parsons School of Design, and VancouverFilmSchool.
The professional career of Mr. Cornelius begins with notable achievements in the games industry, starting with two AAA published titles. He came across the Motion Capture technology while working with motions captured by House of Moves in Los Angeles, capturing more than 1,000 motions over the course of 6 weeks for NHL2K for the Sega Dreamcast. This experience led Cornelius to a studio in the U.K. with the prominent Vicon Motion Capture system, which he shortly became responsible for running. Upon honing his skills with running the motion capture system as well as rigging & animating with the resulting data, he worked to contribute to the foundation of the company NaturalMotion. His role at NaturalMotion included R&D, NM character design, UI design, corporate training & support for major film & video game companies, and presenting the Endorphin software at international conferences & conventions including SIGGRAPH, GDC, and E3. During his tenure at NM, Cornelius was the Technical Artist and Product Specialist for NaturalMotion endorphin.
Mr. Cornelius possesses a Master of Science in Computer Animation from Bournemouth University, a professional Certificate in 3-D Animation from the Vancouver Film School (1997) in Canada, and two professional Certificates from Autodesk Instructors program for 3DS Max, Maya.
Maxwell Foxman is a PhD candidate in Communications at Columbia’s Journalism School, where he is studying the Virtual Reality development community in New York City. A majority of Foxman’s research has surrounded the intersections of games and play in non-game situations, including social media, politics and journalism. Before starting his PhD, Foxman received a Master’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University and was a secondary school teacher at the Rockland Country Day School, where he co-founded and coordinated an Independent Studies program.
So Sun Park
So Sun Park is a student at Vassar College (Class of 2016), majoring in Media Studies and minoring in Chinese. With her theatre/live event production background and interests in computer science/technology, she merges two different areas and focuses on the ‘social’ aspect of technologies. She has been recently exploring VR/AR and interactive digital media (installation). She has worked as Marketing & PR representatives in arts/music-related organization, lighting & sound designer in theatre shows, and social media/content manager for an online entertainment website.
J Dakota Powell
Co-Director, Virtual Reality Lab NY
Producing Artistic Director J Dakota Powell gathered the American theatre to respond in 911 in Brave New World on Broadway. Plays include: Bliss Moon, The Impostor, Savage Light, Blackwater, Harry Black. Harry Black was produced in the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s New Works Series. Blackwater was selected for the National Playwrights Conference, O’Neill Theatre Center and by John Guare for the Lincoln Center Reading Series. The Impostor was twice nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and received an Honourable Mention for the Jane Chambers Playwrighting Award. Powell has been produced by the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Philadephia Theater Company’s New Works Series, Circle Repertory Theatre Lab, the Ensemble Studio Theatre and Duke University’s New Works Series; she has been commissioned by South Coast Repertory Theatre, Talking Wall Pictures, PBS Great Performances. Powell is a winner of the Writers Guild of America, East screenwriting fellowship (NYC) and won the Scriptapalooza (LA) competition. Graduate of Yale, ITP/NYU and the Ensemble Studio Theater (NYC) 2-year program in acting, writing and directing.
Rehmat Qadir works as an iOS developer by day and obsesses over Unity3D and VR development by night. He’s built two VR games so far using the Google Cardboard SDK and is a member of the new VR team at Carrot Creative in Brooklyn.
Co-Director, Virtual Reality Lab NY
Jackson Tam works as a producer/designer of educational apps. In the past, he has designed the software/hardware of about 100 electronic toys for Marvel, Disney, Hasbro, and Mattel brands. Jackson feels virtual reality is where his backgrounds in architecture, toy design, and writing converge. At Brooklyn’s Barcade, he is ranked #2 in the classic Marble Madness arcade game. He hopes his scores are still there.
Will Wurtzebach is a jack of all trades when it comes to software. His career in IT has included development, business consulting, enterprise sales, and management. He has provided custom and packaged solutions for customers small and massive from New York to Kathmandu.
- What kind of lab is it?
- What equipment will I have access to?
- What software can I use?
- How do I join a team?
- Do we get API decks to work with?
1. What kind of lab is it?
Created in response to the need for longer-term development vehicles, VR Lab is a hands-on maker space. While a hackathon can be an effective sprint, the VR Lab offers creators more time to develop VR applications and experiences.
2. What equipment do I have access to?
We expect most lab participants to bring their own gear. We have a variety of headsets (2 Rifts, 2 Vives, 5 Gear VR and Cardboard), a 360-camera rig, and other VR tools (e.g. Leap Motion kits) on hand. You will need a laptop.
3. What software do I use?
4. How do I join a team?
We expect teams to form during the first 3 weeks of lab… buddying up in bootcamp!
5. Do we get API decks to work with?
Currently, we have the Leap Motion API deck to distribute.
If you have other questions, shoot us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.