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Student Research 2010

morality and meaning in games

Morality and Meaning in games: A New Approach to Christian Game Design
Megan Bednarz

Megan’s thesis is centered around introducing morality and meaning in games through a Christian approach towards game design. Her approach is to use virtual and interactive parables, encouragement and Introspection, sublime and mystery, and alternative to violence in games. Her thesis committee includes Yauger Williams, Dr. Vinod Srinivasan and Karen Hillier from the Visualization Department, and Stephen Caffey from the Department of Architecture.

Read more about Megan’s research.
Watch Megan’s Viz Symposium video

moddling for emergence

Modding for Emergence: Using Cellular Automata, Randomness, and Influence Maps in the Source Game Engine
Ben Bertka 

Ben’s thesis committee includes Dr. Vinod Srinivasan and Prof. Philip Galanter from the Visualization Department and Dr. Dennie Smith from the College of Education and Human Development.

Watch Ben’s Viz Symposium video

image based lighting

Thesis Motivation in Image Based Lighting
Jon Camit

Watch Jonathan’s Viz Symposium video

character visualization

Character Visualization: Hindu God Yamah in Burton Style
Ranjith Chandy 

Ranjith’s research involves exploring the characteristic features of the visual style used by the American film director, Tim Burton and to apply them in the visualization of a digital character representing the Hindu God, Yamah.

Watch Ranjith’s Viz Symposium video

jerry change

Application of Stylized Facial Expressions in 3D Models and Animation
Jerry Chang

Jerry’s thesis involves creatively exploring the use of 2D Japanese stylized facial expressions and to adapt them to 3D models and animation. He aims to preserve the look of anime by adhering to the 2D style producing results that will be computer generated animated scenes that use these adapted stylistic facial expressions.

Watch Jerry’s Viz Symposium video

ariel chisholm

Novel Approach to Volumetric Painting
Ariel Chisholm 

His committee includes Prof. Joshua Bienko, Prof. Carol LaFayette and Prof. Richard Davison.
Watch Ariel’s Viz Symposium video

parametric model of a portuguese nau

Parametric Model of a Portuguese Nau

Justus Cook

Watch Justus’ Viz Symposium video

megha davalath

A Rigging Convention for Isosurface-Based Characters
Megha Davalath

Megha is researching how to develop a standard for joints and controls particular to amorphous characters with Isosurfaces (using RenderMan's RiBobby binding). The research will lead to the creation of a graphical user interface (GUI) to convert this method into a concise production-ready application. Megha’s thesis committee comprises of Prof. Tim McLaughlin and Prof. Ergun Akleman from Visualization Department, and Prof. John Keyser from the Department of Computer Science.

Watch Megha’s Viz Symposium video

abstract expressionist

Abstract Expressionist Rendering
Barrett Davis

Watch Barret’s Viz Symposium video

punit deotale

Eye Tracking in the Development & Usability Evaluation of E-learning Tools
Punit Deotale

Punit’s research explores development and usability evaluation of e-Learning applications meant to teach basic concepts in industrial engineering to students that include basic 3d animations of industrial processes and interactive flash applications.

Watch Punit’s Viz Symposium video


Art Directable Tornados
Ravindra Dwivedi

Ravindra’s thesis focuses on simulating tornadoes while giving artistic controls to stylize the simulation. The tool is meant to allow user to create animations that reflect the visual characteristics of tornadoes. His committee includes Dr. Vinod Srinivasan, Dr. John Keyser and Dr. Wei Yan

Watch Ravindra’s Viz Symposium video

art directable global illumination

Art Directable Global Illumination
Chris Horne 

Watch Chris’s Viz Symposium video

group based rigging of feathered wings

Group Based Rigging of Feathered Wings
Heather Howard

Heather’s research focuses on creating a rigging system for a feathered wing based on a real birds wing movement and feathers. The wing, similar to a human arm, would be rigged in a similar manner while the feather groups would be simplified to a fan shape in movement and range.

Watch Heather’s Viz Symposium video

interactive stereoscopic installation

Interactive Stereoscopic Installation: A Photographic Collage
Shyam Kannapurakkaran 

Shyam’s committee members include Prof. Karen Hillier, Prof. Carol LaFayette, and prof. Jeff Morris.

Watch Shyam’s Viz Symposium video

developing games for children with autism

Developing Games for Children with Autism
Naureen Mahmood

Naureen’s thesis research is regarding developing learning games for children with autism. The focus of this thesis is to formulate a framework of strategies for anyone developing games or interactive programs for children with autism. Her advising committee include Dr. Vinod Srinivasan and Dr. Ann McNamara from the Visualization department, and Dr. Ronald Zellner from the Department of Educational Psychology.

Watch Naureen’s Viz Symposium video


Alternative Method to Achieve Light Transport
Jose Montalvo

Jose is researching alternative methods to achieving light transport through participating media based on diffuse scattering and discreet simplification of the participating media. Jose’s research goal is to achieve control and visually compelling result of light transport. In his free time he also strives to reach the light at the end of this tunnel.

Watch Jose’s Viz Symposium video

recovery of lighting information from synthetic images

Recovery of Lighting Information from Synthetic Images
Brent Musat 

Brent’s research aims to help automate the process used by compositing and lighting artists. The process will be developed using synthetic computer generated images where color, position, depth and surface normal are known, using tools such as Houdini, OpenEXR and Python. Brent’s thesis committee includes Dr. Ergun Akleman and Dr. Ann McNamara from the Visualization Department, and Dr. Wei Yan from the Department of Architecture.

Watch Brent’s Viz Symposium video

julie pool

Adapting Movement Notation Systems for Computer Animation
Julie Pool 

Julie’s thesis research aims to analyze and compare existing movement notation systems to identify concepts and symbols that could be adapted to meet the speci?c needs of computer animators. She will then use these concepts to design new symbols and then combine and streamline them make a shorthand system that would be intuitive and useful to animators.

Watch Julie’s Viz Symposium video

ganesh rao

The Motion Music Dream – Guitar driven generative music and sound reactive visual systems
Ganesh Rao

Ganesh’s committee members include Prof. Karen Hillier, Prof. Jeff Morris and Prof. Philip Galanter.

Watch Ganesh’s Viz Symposium video


Developing a Prototype System for Goal-Directed Tentacle Creature Animation
Seth Schwartz

Seth’s thesis research attempts to produce visually plausible tentacle motion with minimal input from an animator. The tentacled creature will be physically based and procedural. It would be capable of moving about and reacting to its own environment. His committee includes Prof. Tim McLaughlin, Prof. Philip Galanter and Prof. John Keyser.

Watch Seth’s Viz Symposium video

leticia silva

The Role of Camera Usage in the Visual Structure of a Classic Narrative
Leticia Silva

Leticia’s research intends to understand and demonstrate how camera usage supports classical narrative story structure. It analyzes classical linear narrative, non-linear narratives and non-narrative structures and compare them. She will examine camera choices used through the storyboard and layout phases of an animated short created for this research and demonstrate how the storyboarding and layout phases solve different visual problems through camera usage.

Watch Leticia’s Viz Symposium video

art directed dissection

Art Directed Dissection
Jon Simpson 

Jon explores methods for dividing a 3D mesh into parts from a user painted texture map.

Watch Jon’s Viz Symposium video


Dreamhome: An architect’s vision blind to any limitations

Hemali Tanna

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qing xing

Celtic Knot Weaving

Qing Xing

Qing aims to create Celtic knot looking weaving based on input images for her thesis research. The process involves modifying a 2D mesh grid from input image, labeling edges with proper twist numbers and then generating weaving geometry from the mesh. Qing’s thesis adviser is Dr. Ergun Akleman

Watch Qing’s Viz Symposium video