New Ecology of Things at ZML Friday 4/25 1:00PM


The New Ecology of Things comes to ZML this Friday April 25 1:00-2:30PM!

The New Ecology of Things (NET) is a research initiative to explore emerging forms of interactive communication brought about by pervasive networked technologies. The project began as a studio class run by Art Center’s Graduate Media Design Program (MDP) and has evolved into a conceptual model, a forum for discussion, an ongoing series of projects, technological inventions, and new issues for design pedagogy. The NET website, which is part of a transmedia publication that includes a book, a poster, and video content for mobile devices, just launched in March 2008.

Join us for a panel discussion with three of key designers of the NET project from Art Center College of Design, Phil van Allen, Anne Burdick and Nik Hafermaas, who will discuss the project and its multiple approaches to issues of design, technology and theory. This event is part of the iMAP/Adobe Design | Technology | Theory series and will be simulcast live via Adobe Connect. To attend virtually, please register here.

IMD Forum for 4/23/08: Tom DeFanti, Dan Sandin, Greg Dawe, Todd Margolis


Speakers: Tom DeFanti, Dan Sandin, Greg Dawe, Todd Margolis, (University of California San Diego/CalIT2, University of Illinois at Chicago, Electronic Visualization Laboratory)

Time: Wednesday, April 23, 6-8pm

Location: USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts (RZC)

Room 201 Zemeckis Media Lab (ZML)

“CineGrid: Networked Digital Cinema Challenges”

Tom DeFanti

“VR W/O Attachments”

Dan Sandin

“The Calit2 StarCAVE, a 3rd Generation VR Room”

Greg Dawe

“CRCA: Examples of Collaborative Practice for Large Scale New Media Art Projects”

Todd Margolis


Tom DeFanti is an internationally recognized expert in computer graphics since the early 1970s. DeFanti has amassed a number of credits, including: use of EVL hardware and software for the computer animation produced for the 1977 “Star Wars” movie; contributor and co-editor of the 1987 National Science Foundation-sponsored report “Visualization in Scientific Computing;” recipient of the 1988 ACM Outstanding Contribution Award; appointed an ACM Fellow in 1994; and appointed one of several USA technical advisors to the G7 GIBN activity in 1995. He also shares recognition along with EVL director Daniel J. Sandin for conceiving the CAVE™ Virtual Reality Theater in 1991. Currently he is a research scientist at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). At the University of Illinois at Chicago, DeFanti was director of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), a distinguished professor and a distinguished professor emeritus in the department of Computer Science, and the director of the Software Technologies Research Center. Striving for a more than a decade to connect high-resolution visualization and virtual reality devices over long distances, DeFanti has collaborated with Maxine Brown to lead state, national and international teams to build the most advanced production-quality networks available to scientists, with major NSF funding.

Dan Sandin is an internationally recognized pioneer in computer graphics, electronic art and visualization. He is Professor Emeritus of the School of Art & Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Director Emeritus of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has worked on a number of inventions such as the Sandin Image Processor (1971-1973), a patch programmable analog computer for real-time manipulation of video inputs through the control of the grey level information. This modular design was based on the Moog synthesizer, the Sayre Glove (1977), the first data glove, as part of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a type of VR photography called PHSColograms (1988), a system whereby a number of still images were situated in an auto-stereoscopic manner and back-projected with light. In 1991, in conjunction with Tom DeFanti and graduate students, he designed the CAVE™ Virtual Reality Theater. More recently, he has been working on The Varrier™ Auto-Stereographic Display.

Greg Dawe’s unique background mixes mastery in electronics, optics, video technology, material fabrication, computers, and software, complemented by a Florida building contractor’s license acquired in the early 1990s. Dawe holds a BFA in design from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MFA in video art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, working under Phil Morton, the legendary video artist. Working with colleagues Tom DeFanti and Dan Sandin at EVL, Dawe is known for his contributions to the CAVE™ Virtual Reality Theater and its derivatives, the ImmersaDesk™, and PARIS™. The CAVE is a multi-screen, projection-based, virtual-reality system, and the ImmersaDesk is a single-screen, drafting table-style device. Both are commercial products sold by Fakespace Systems (formerly Pyramid Systems Inc.). Dawe also did the mechanical design for and assembled the Varrier™ auto-stereographic display, many large tiled displays and recently a six-wall CAVE (StarCAVE) installed on the ground floor of the UCSD Calit2 building.

Todd Margolis is artist, educator and technologist. He received his MFA in Electronic Visualization from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a founding member of the immersive and interactive art and technology non-profit organization, Applied Interactives, and also a member of the art collaborative Sine::apsis Experiments. Margolis ic currently appointed the Technical Director of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts(CRCA) at UCSD. Margolis was previously a Visiting Research Programmer at UIC developing a new virtual reality system, The Varrier™ Auto-Stereographic Display with Dan Sandin.

IMD Forum for 4/16/08: Zied Rieke


Speakers: Zied Rieke, Infinity Ward

Time: Wednesday, April 16, 6-8pm

Location: USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts (RZC)

Room 201 Zemeckis Media Lab (ZML)

Overview: Infinity Ward design and philosophy.

Question and answer session discussing anything and everything related to designing and developing games and what little Zied knows about that. Confusing and rambling explanations are supplemented by in game and in-tool demonstrations.

Bio: Zied Rieke is a 10 year industry veteran and was Lead Designer on Call of Duty 1, 2 and 4. Before that he worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and some stuff you hopefully have never heard of. Co-author of the Game Developer Call of Duty 4 Post-Mortem, he once visited USC to drop off his sister at a Dave Mathews concert.

Multimedia Honors Thesis show Gala Friday


Please join the USC Institute for Multimedia Literacy for the Honors in Multimedia Scholarship 1st Annual Senior Thesis Showcase, featuring a gala reception and exhibition of student projects. Witness the innovative work produced by students from all corners of the campus, featuring interactive projects related to biology, engineering, international relations, psychology, sociology, cinema, business, theater, and more.

Friday April 18, 2008

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

The event is free and open to the public, but we ask that you RSVP:


Stereoscopic 3-D Film and Broadcast: Art of 3-D Filmmaking

April 14 • 10:40 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.

Las Vegas Convention Center Content Theater – Content Central

Today’s top 3-D filmmakers discuss how to design and compose in 3-D, the creative and technical constraints and opportunities the medium presents, scripts best suited to 3-D realization and how to use 3-D to expand storytelling.

Powered by Real D 3D

Peter Anderson, ASC, 3-D DP and VFX Supervisor

Eric Brevig, Director, “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D”

Phil ‘Captain 3D’ McNally, Global Stereoscopic Supervisor, DreamWorks Animation

Vince Pace, CEO & Founder, PACE, Burbank, CA

Sean Phillips, Director/DP, MacLeod Productions

Rick Rothschild, Executive Show Director & SVP, Walt Disney Imagineering

Moderator: Perry Hoberman, Associate Research Professor, USC, School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Division


IMD Forum for 4/9/08: SIGGRAPH 08

Siggraph08 logo.jpg

Speakers: Mk Haley, Jill Smolin, and Josh Grow, SIGGRAPH 2008 committee members

Time: Wednesday, April 9, 6-8pm

Location: USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts (RZC)

Room 201 Zemeckis Media Lab (ZML)

This week the CTAN 522 John C Hench Animation & Digital Arts Seminar combines forces with the CTIN 511 Interactive Media Seminar. Our visiting speakers will be three of the committee members for SIGGRAPH 2008 here in LA: Mk Haley, Jill Smolin, and Josh Grow. Jill represents the Animation Festival, Josh represents the Student Volunteer Program, and Mk represents the Interactive Installations. They will talk about the SIGGRAPH conference itself, as well as provide some examples of student submitted work, and a discussion related to how to best submit your work for consideration.

ACM SIGGRAPH’s mission is to promote the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques and to foster a membership community whose core values help them to catalyze the innovation and application of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Some highlights of the annual conference are its Animation Theater and Electronic Theater presentations, where recently created CG films are played, and an installation of Emerging Technologies that showcases recent work from the crossroads of science, art, and technology and celebrates the best in creativity and innovation from the past year. Dozens of research papers are presented each year, and SIGGRAPH is widely considered the most prestigious forum for the publication of computer graphics research. In addition to the papers, there are numerous panels of industry experts set up to discuss a wide variety of topics, from computer graphics to machine interactivity to education. This year, the conference is also co-located with the 3rd annual Sandbox Videogame Symposium.

Dennis Oppenheim Lecture at USC Roski School of Fine Arts

Garfield Undergraduate Lecture Series

Dennis Oppenheim

Monday April 7, 2008

Lecture 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Watt 118

Barbecue: 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (in the Watt Sculpture Yard)


“Now there’s a game that I’d like to play.” – Kurosh

April 7th 5:30pm,

7:30pm 2008

Dennis Oppenheim Lecture— at

USC Roski School of Fine Arts, Watt Hall 118

Barbecue: 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (in the Watt Sculpture Yard)

IMD Forum for 4/2/08: Big Stage Entertainment

Big Stage logo.jpg

Speakers: Jonathan Strietzel and John Snoddy, Big Stage Entertainment

Time: Wednesday, April 2, 6-8pm

Location: USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts (RZC)

Room 201 Zemeckis Media Lab (ZML)

Big Stage is a media company whose breakthrough technology allows users to easily create and integrate a life-like 3-D avatar of themselves into everything from famous movie scenes, TV shows and video games, to music videos, short video clips, virtual worlds, still images, user-generated content, instant messages, e-mails, social networks and more – instantly. All Big Stage content can then be shared across social networks,mobile phones, and more.

The privately held, Pasadena, Calif.-based company was founded by three tech entrepreneurs who shared a vision for a new media paradigm in which users themselves inhabited the very content which they consumed, and in which the digital fidelity of 3-D animated people — created and controlled by average consumers — would soon render virtual performances almost indistinguishable from original performances captured in high-resolution media.

Big Stage’s life-like avatar creation system stems from advanced stereo reconstruction technology funded by multiple government grants, including the CIA, as part of a nineyear cumulative research project at USC. Company Co-Founder Jonathan Strietzel first saw the potential for this technology while meeting with the project’s chief scientist, Doug Fidaleo, Ph.D., at USC. He then assembled Co-Founders Jon Kraft and Jon Snoddy, who each brought unique skills and perspectives to the table, and were able to craft a powerful business vision, secure funding, obtain the core technology license from USC, and hire Fidaleo to officially help bring their vision to life.

Building on the USC research, Chief Technology Officer Snoddy, Chief Scientist Fidaleo and their team were able to take the quality and accuracy of complex, expensive 3-D scanning technology previously only available to production houses and animation companies and offer it to any consumer with a digital camera through a free, fun and easy to use Internet-based platform, for wide-spread entertainment immersion.


Webfest Awards featuring designer Peter Cho


Wednesday, April 2, 4:00 – 5:30

Zemeckis Media Lab (RZC 201)

Throughout the Web’s short history, creative people have wielded code to make interactive experiences that are delightful, innovative, and fun. This talk, presented in conjunction with USC’s Web design contest Webfest, will give a subjective history of the Web and computational design, starting with early hypertext experiments from the mid-1990s to recent media-rich works.

Peter Cho is a Los Angeles-based media artist and designer. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the UCLA Design | Media Arts department, where his work dealt with issues of language, writing, and meaning and a Master of Science degree from the MIT Media Lab, where his design research explored custom models for typography in time-based and reactive media. He has received honors for his work from Ars Electronica, Tokyo Type Directors Club, New York Art Directors Club, ID Magazine, and Print Magazine. His work has been shown at the Telic Gallery, Ginza Graphic Gallery, Ars Electronica, Art Sonje, Seoul Arts Center, the Art Directors Club, and Cooper Union. His interests include issues of electronic textuality, narrative, and mapping.