2021 Master Class -【Technology & History】3D Modeling and VR



Special equipment is needed in this class. Due to the COVID-19, students are not allowed to come to the classroom. Without the equipment at home, the learning outcome will not be as good as what we expect. After the discussion, we decide to cancel the course this year. Sorry for your inconvenience! 


Professor Introduction:

Professor Joshua Tonies is a Visual Arts Professor at UC San Diego where he teaches courses in film, video art, animation and studio arts. He exhibited his work most recently at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, The Center for Fiction in NYC, Comfort Station in Chicago Illinois and the San Diego Museum of Art. His primary focus is on drawing and the moving image and his works center around temporary ecological studies that take form as animation, drawing, works on paper and book arts.




Course Description:

This course explores the critical framework of history of objects, people and locations. Students actively explore cultural, ecological and social histories through recording/collecting and studying interviews which illuminate new ways of thinking of observed past events and information from sources whom had never contributed. A vital component of this course is the incorporation of radical new forms of visualization. Students will explore novel forms of 3D modeling and rendering their historical subjects (objects, people, locations). The course projects will culminate in a presentation of work and a film documenting the process will be shared at the resolution of the project. This course is an active production course, and students are expected to complete daily in-class exercises, and work in groups to develop more committed works. Attendance and participation is vital to success in this course.


Student Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course students should be able to: 

+Understand and demonstrate the meaning of critical terms like, objective/subjective observation, occupational folklore, information cartography, photogrammetry, canonical history, people’s history.

+ Develop interview methods to explore new historical perspectives with primary sources.

+ Create high resolution 3D models taken from observation and digital capture.

+ View and present original work using VR headset technology.

Course Outline:

Week 1: 

Introduction to the course. Exploring Oral History, Interviews, photo documentation and editing. 

Day 1: Introduction to the course, practice interview, lecture regarding people’s history.

Day 2: Workshop on objective and subjective observation, observation exercises in class.

Day 3: Introduction to photogrammetry, in-class exercise on creating photogrammetry using soft-box.

Day 4: Assignment 1 Introduced, Students select their subject and develop proposals.

Day 5: Student presentations of assignment 1 proposals with feedback.


Week 2: 

Exploring the history of places, group presentation, field exercise, high resolution modeling. 

Day 6: Students begin to capture objects and explore photogrammetry individually.

Day 7: Students capture their subjects using photogrammetry process, and develop 3d models.

Day 8: Presentation of Assignment 1: 3D models with transcribed interviews, projects uploaded.

Day 9: Assignment 2 Introduced, Students select their groups and discuss possible subjects/locations

Day 10: Field Trip Students visit location determined by professor (on/near campus) and photograph site.


Week 3: 

Open City, Creating Virtual Environments, Visualization and Exploring VR

Day 11: Optional – Second Field Trip student revisit site for additional capture or flex goals (new subject)

Day 12: Working with 3D Modeling and Rendering Software.

Day 13: Students explore their virtual reality environments and workshop the presentation of Assignment 2

Day 14: Presentation of group Assignment 2

Day 15: Students upload presentation materials to the web for exhibition and prepare media for course film

Assignments Described:

In this project based course students develop their work and learning around two related assignments.


Assignment 1:

The first assignment is exploring the history of an object or a person of the students own curation/selection. Students will be responsible for exploring the history of the object or person by developing an interview with a primary source who can reveal important objective information about the origin, history and meaning related to the object. Using class time, students will transcribe an audio recording of the interview, and develop a high resolution 3d model of the object that they will then present online along with their interview. Class time will be given to the students to develop their interviews, 3d models and publishing their projects on the web. 


Assignment 2:

In the second assignment, students will work on exploring the history of a location using multiple interviews and advanced photogrammetry techniques to visualize 3d models exploring an environment chosen by the class. Class time will be structured around research preparation for visiting the site (which will take place during class time / or reviewed online). Interviews taken at the site will be included in the presentation of the work.


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