The UCF School of Visual Arts & Design will host its annual premiere and exhibition on Monday, April 23, at the Center for Emerging Media, featuring student projects of animation videos, gaming applications, computer-based puppeteering, architecture, and traditional fine arts.

The projects will be on public display from 6 to 9 p.m. at 500 W. Livingston St.

Dr. Michael Moshell, coordinator of the event, said the event showcases the works of Digital Media undergraduates and graduate students as they work to develop innovative kinds of media. Also, more than 30 students collaborated to create two computer-animated films.

SVAD was created last year by the merger of the former Art and Digital Media Departments, and the inclusion of the new Architecture program, which is a collaboration between UCF and Valencia College,  Moshell said. The work of UCF’s first Architecture seniors will be included in the exhibition as models of buildings designed using novel techniques such as morphology. The studios of the MFA program in Studio Art and the Computer will also be open to the public during the Exhibition.

The 2012 premiere and exhibition will highlight these projects:

  • Two animated films represent the capstone projects for this year’s Digital Media undergraduates who are specializing in character animation. The films, titled “Box Forts” and “Flower Story,” will premiere at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.
  • Computer games, cell phone applications and interactive prototypes of novel user interfaces represent the best work of students selected from SVAD’s population of more than 800 undergraduate Digital Media majors. The projects are being supervised by Dan Novatnak, a Digital Media instructor, and include titles such as Star Wars the Old Republic, Rail Shark, Entropy and Save our Site.
  • SVAD’s Architecture program, in cooperation with Valencia College, will present 3D models representing students’ design skills.
  • Graduate students in Digital Media will exhibit their work in interactive media for education, and in creative design. The MFA in Studio Art and the Computer studios will host an open house, with artists onsite to discuss their creative work.
  • A Collaborative Interactive Performance Project. The UCF Theatre Department is working with students and faculty from SVAD (Digital Media), Philosophy, and Text and Technology (English) to test an interactive game about ethics. The Theatre students are participants in a pioneering Theatre course about Interactive Performance, in which they learn how to work with an individual guest or “spect-actor” (an audience of one) to create and enact a story, on the spot. They are using these skills to work with a computer-based puppeteering system, developed by Digital Media faculty members Rudy McDaniel and Adam Lenz.
  • The Interactive Performance students are also working with a three-dimensional remote performance system developed by the Institute for Simulation and Training. This system will be used to demonstrate how Theatre students worked with Digital Media students to define the character, motivations and gestures of an on-screen character, and to rig and animate a 3D humanoid model of the character.

    John W. Shafer, director of the project, said: “Interactive Performance creates a new opportunity for employment for Theater majors, as new forms of inter-actor-driven training, education and product development emerge. This collaboration with Digital Media and IST is one of the most exciting things that has happened since I’ve been at UCF.”

    The School of Performing Arts, which houses Theater and Music, is exploring the possibility of creating a new minor in Interactive Performance with Technology. This project represents the first steps in that direction.