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We are in the rising tide of a huge shift in technology, and it is increasingly evident that this will have a major impact on our lives. It gets more interesting by the day to observe the first creative steps in these new media that promise to enrich our lives in incalculable ways. But, as we move forward into this brave new augmented and immersive reality, you may be facing decisions regarding when to jump into the fray. Perhaps not wanting to be that early adopter paying a premium for the first round of new tools, you may have been waiting for that point in time that makes sense - that point when it actually looks commercially viable.
Well I think we are there.
As we pass from the stage of reading about what this equipment / software will do into the next phase where people have invested in the technology (VR, AR headsets, 360 cameras, auto stereo etc.) there comes a point where content is in growing demand and companies begin to source creatives who have the skills to produce imaginative material for their projects. If you are thinking about moving into this new realm of creative expression,
It is time to do it now.
This past year has moved us past the first wave of Virtual Reality Headsets into a new mass audience form of interaction with the world of information through our smart phones and tablets. Pokemon Go quickly demonstrated to millions of people a tiny taste of what Augmented Reality can do and the world loved it. It was just a silly game but it woke up many people to the potential of this new medium. New smart phones from Lenovo and Asus are on the market that make use of a new 3D technology that vastly expands the capability of those phones to deliver Augmented experiences. They are just the beginning, many more are on the way and the big guys like Apple are poised on the sidelines to deliver a product that is generally expected to launch them into an i-phone/i-pad augmented world.
Jumping in now will prepare you to be ready to knowledgeably make decisions for yourselves about how you want to use/create with this technology and guide others as they tentatively explore the wide array of delicious tools being presented to them.
"Tools for Creating in the 4th Dimension" is designed to bring you up to speed with these new media. These include Holograms, Virtual Reality, Pepper's Ghost, Stereo 3D, Lenticular Images, Autostereo, Volumetric Imaging, Mixed Reality, 360 Immersive Filmmaking, Light Fields, Augmented Reality, 3D Projection Mapping and an assortment of supporting technologies that make these media accessible.
When you sign up for the course you are immediately able to access the introductory video. Starting on February 24th, 2018, the first two sections of the course will be available to you online. They will include:
A series of units designed to teach you about each of the underlying technologies, their history, their applications, and the creative ways they are being used.
Illustrated text documents, slide presentations with voice-overs, videos, interactive questions for you to answer (all participants will see the answers of other students).
Lists of links to the company websites of manufacturers of relevant hardware and software, reviews of technology, and designers and artists who are already working creatively with these media. This will provide you with a comprehensive spectrum of the state of the art of each of these new media.
You will be invited to participate in 6 live conferencing sessions where I present the latest material live and will be available for questions from the class. These seminars will be recorded and then made available to you the day after the seminar through the online course site.
Completing this course will place you in a position to confidently ride the wave of new technology that is currently landing on our shores. The knowledge you will gain will allow you cut through the hype and misinformation that currently abounds and to confidently make choices about which of these technologies are best for your applications. If you are an artist, designer, animator or creative working in any field, it will help you to evaluate and make choices about which of these technologies are for you and your ideas. If you are a corporate executive it will give you the information you need to make decisions about which of these technologies might be appropriate for your company and give you ideas about where to look for creative talent to implement it. If you are an investor, you will prepare yourself with the knowledge to accurately assess these new companies that are developing the wide range of new media that are about to be launched. If you are a photographer or filmmaker, you will learn about the new tools you will want to work with to develop immersive experiences and new forms of storytelling. If you are an educator, you will want to build a foundation of knowledge that will help you to develop new courses for your students. I will also provide certificates of completion to all who finish the course.
The nature of the media we are diving into is such that we must expect an ongoing evolutionary process.
You will be starting a journey that will prepare you for the changes we are about to undergo as a society. This new wave of technology will deeply impact us. At each stage our world has been changed by media: photography, film, video, 3D graphics, stereo3D, computers, tablets, smartphone technology and each step has happened faster. 2.1 billion smart phones were sold between 2007 and 2017 and more than a billion of those were Apple iphones. This technology has changed how we live and interact with our world. Taking this course will help you to prepare for the next shift - hang onto your hat, it's going to be a big one!
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Registration Begins: Monday, February 12th, 2018 As soon as you enroll the introductory video will be available to you although the course material will not start until enrollment is completed on Saturday, February 24th, 2018
Because of the huge amount of content that is becoming available on a daily basis about the newest technologies, I have made some changes to the structure of this course. The first 3 classes will follow my previous content (with some updates) with self-paced sections which include videos, text and image material, and interactive quizzes, but from then on, I will be presenting the material in a weekly LIVE class using ZOOM conferencing software online.
These classes will be offered each week on Saturdays at 12.00 noon EST so my California audience can join me at 9.00am and my European students can catch the class later on in the afternoon or evening. For those of you who are too many hours ahead or behind I will be recording all of the sessions and posting them in the course material for you to see the next day or at your convenience. With each live session there will be an accompanying document with extra material and links to videos and websites for you to further research the areas that interest you. There are tons of materials online to learn from and it can be a bit overwhelming, so I'm offering these links as a way for you to zone in on what really interests you or what you need to get up to speed with quickly.
When you enroll you will also receive an invitation to join a new Facebook page just for the students in this class. I will be monitoring it daily and will respond to any questions that you have and it will provide you with a place to post about examples of the technology and content we will be talking about for the rest of the group.
Looking forward to meeting you shortly, online!
Class Schedule: February 24th - April 14th February 24th, 2018, Saturday - course material available online. Class 1: Holograms As a holographic artist who has been passionate about holography for most of her adult life, it is my pleasure to give you a thorough grounding in this amazing medium. This information will clearly explain the science and technology that underlies holography but it will also convey the unique properties of holograms that so many people are unaware of. By following these classes, you will clearly learn to differentiate the falsely named "holographic" images from the real thing. Princess Leia was not a hologram, Tupac Shakur re-enlivened at Coachella was not either, and the fabled new headset coming soon from Magic Leap as well as the Microsoft Hololens do not use holographic images. However, the technologies they use for those productions are interesting and useful even though they don't quite cut it as holograms.
Later in this course I will introduce you to some very new developments in Light Field Technology that I think will meet my expectations of producing a digital, moving true holographic image in the near future. With this initial foundational study of holograms under your belt you will be able to fully appreciate why this technology is so exciting and such a big leap forward.
February 24th, 2018, Saturday - course material available online. Class 2: Pepper's Ghost & 3D Projection Mapping In Class 2 you will learn the truth about the Tupac Shakur “Hologram” and learn what it really is. By seeing how this very old technology was used in the 1800’s you will learn the principles behind this form of imaging and how it has been updated with the latest technology. These recent developments have made this form of imaging quite popular and we will look at the many ways it has been used in entertainment, advertising, politics, and fashion. We will also look at the issues surrounding the patent for this very old technology and discuss ways in which you can actually make your own displays. The underlying optics, physics of light and human factors will be discussed as they relate to each form of imaging that we will discuss in this course.
We will also look at another form of projection imaging, 3D Projection Mapping, Although, strictly speaking this is actually a projection of a 2D moving image it is very carefully designed with computer graphics to closely register with the 3D surface of the building it is projected onto. This technology relies on 3D animation to create stunning imagery that can often defy the mind and provide large scale projections outdoors for large audiences.
March 10th, 2018, Saturday - Live Session 1 In this first live session you will have a chance to meet the other students in the class and we will discuss the material from the first 2 classes. You will be able to interact easily with me via ZOOM and I can answer any questions you might have. This session will be recorded and uploaded onto the course site the next day for review and for those who are unable to attend the live session.
March 10th, 2018, Saturday - course material available online. Class 3: Stereo 3D, Stereo Lenticular Imaging, and Autostereo TV In Session 3 we will begin by studying stereo vision and the human factors involved in making Stereo 3D movies. We will look at the various ways in which stereo 3D is implemented with glasses, always comparing this back to the full experience of 3D that we have when we see a hologram without glasses. We will move on to look at another form of stereo 3D that doesn’t use glasses, Lenticular Images, explore how this is being used for a range of commercial applications and the advantages and disadvantages of lenticular images versus holograms. We will also look at many examples of how artists have been working with lenticulars. Moving on from this we will look at how lenticular screens are being used to make Autostereo TV’s (Stereo 3D TV’s that do not need glasses) and how eye tracking is being used to make an updatable video image that has a more “holographic” feel to it. Finally we will look at some forms of Autostereo TV that are using a holographic optical element (HOE) screen to generate a 3D image with the use of an array of multiple projectors.
March 17th, 2018, Saturday - Live Session 2 Class 4: 360 Films and Volumetric Imaging In this live session you will first have a chance to ask questions about Class 3 on Stereo 3D, Stereo Lenticular Images, and Autostereo TV. Following that we will move on to 360 Filmmaking and Volumetric Imaging.
In the process of exploring 360 imaging we will look at the underlying technology, the camera equipment that is available as amateur, semi-processional, and professional tools, and the software needed to stitch together the images and edit the content and the dimensional sound that can accompany the experience. We will also explore how this technology changes the process of storytelling and the different types of techniques that are required to create a convincing immersive experience. This technology is so new that there is much room for experimentation and we will look at some of the artists who are pushing this envelope.
Volumetric imaging is another emerging technology that is a kind of "sister technology" to 360 imaging. We will discuss the state of the art of this technology and look at some of the amazing projects currently being explored.
March 17th, 2018 - Supplemental materials for Class 4 available online. Many links to videos and websites of manufacturers of the mentioned equipment and software as well as links to 360 films and the websites of content designers, fine artists and production companies will be provided. Also links to blogposts and video interviews with individuals who are breaking new ground in various aspects of these fields.
It is recommended that you use these links to further expand your knowledge into the areas you are most interested in.
March 24th, 2018 - Live Session 3 Class 5: Light Field Technology Now we start to get into the heart of the really fun stuff ;-))) This technology is what I think is going to move us forward towards our first practical stab at a version of the "Holodeck". We will spend some time understanding the principles of light that are exploited by this approach, and compare this to how an analogue hologram recreates an image. I think that Light Fields offer the potential of creating moving, accurate color images, viewed without any glasses. Light Fields use a different approach to creating holographic images and as a result are able to do some things that are not possible with the original types of analogue holograms.
We will look at the light field cameras and displays currently under development and explore a potential timeline for their practical implementation. Companies with supporting technology will also be explored.
March 24th, 2018 - Supplemental materials for Class 5 available online. Links to videos and websites of manufacturers of the mentioned equipment and software as well as links to interviews with a number of the leaders in this new field.
March 31st, 2018, Live Session 4 Class 6: Virtual Reality Virtual Reality's first adopters were from the high end worlds of military research for training and simulation: in flight for the air force; space simulations for astronauts; driving tanks and remotely bombing military targets for the army and any form of dangerous expensive activity the military have to train for. But this kind of training has many applications out there in the non-military world especially in medicine for training doctors in delicate surgery. Now with the latest computer data processors, and ever improving screen technology we have headsets and computers that are in the price range of professionals and of the high end gaming enthusiasts and those are the areas we see undergoing rapid expansion.
We will look at a spectrum of applications for this technology, explore the hardware, software and range of types of implementation that afford various levels of immersive experiences. We will look at the pros and cons of the technology currently available and take a look at what is necessary to take us deeper into these types of experiences. We will also discuss the different considerations that have to be given to telling stories within a virtual world and give some attention to the importance of spatial sound.
March 31st, 2018 - Supplemental materials for Class 6 available online. Links to videos and websites of manufacturers of the mentioned equipment and software as well as links to articles that will expand on topics mentioned, interviews with leaders in the field, and a list of many virtual worlds to explore.
April 7th, 2018, Live Session 5 Class 7: Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality Probably the hottest area under development at the moment, these two related technologies are being fired by the latest developments in smart phone technology. We will look at why Google's project Tango and Vuforia's latest software combined with Qualcomm's latest processors are bringing huge developments in the implementation of these technologies. We will also explore the latest professional level headsets available from companies like Microsoft and Meta and recent developments in consumer level AR glasses as well as those long awaited glasses from Magic Leap.
I'll also show you many examples of the wide range of applications under development and already out there. Much to talk about here with a lot of extra material for you to explore on your own.
April 7th, 2018 - Supplemental materials for Class 7 available online. Links to videos and websites of manufacturers of the mentioned equipment and software as well as links to articles that will expand on topics mentioned, interviews with leaders in the field, and a list of many augmented worlds to explore.
April 14th, 2018, Live Session 6 Class 8: Into the Future In this final session I'm going to introduce you to the most out there technologies I've seen and we will explore the many directions these may take. I'm going to also give examples of a few that have already failed and some of the reasons why that may have been. I hope that this will help you to be able to look beyond the initial hype that accompanies any new technological development and make educated decisions about their value and usefulness to you and the companies you may own or work for.
April 14th, 2018 - Supplemental materials for Class 8 available online. Links to videos and websites of manufacturers of the mentioned equipment and software as well as links to articles that will expand on topics mentioned, interviews with leaders in the field, and a list of many augmented worlds to explore.