Major Design Proposal

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[highlight type=”one”]***This is an initial proposal. The project aims and design ambitions will evolve in the first few weeks***[/highlight]

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Project Title (working title)

Interactive Motion Controlled Virtual Environment (technical working title)

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Project Category: Describe the nature of the type of work you hope to undertake (Describe the discipline(s) and the specific nature of the work)

[two_columns ]This project involves the use of Microsoft Kinect and the Unity 3D engine to create a motion controlled virtual environment and interface for use as an installation piece. The bulk of the work will be in 3D space and will involve 3D modelling, texturing and animation, with relevant 2D & 3D work packages utilized for content creation. The Unity engine will be used to create/run the environment and handle the Interaction motion controls.[/two_columns] [two_columns_last ]This will involve work in the area of game/simulation development and interaction design. The project will require the use of both Unity javascript and C# languages to handle the interactions and events in the virtual environment. Some work will also take place in the field of sound design.[/two_columns_last]

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Project description: Describe in general terms the problems, innovations, challenges or visions you have identified for exploration.

[three_columns ]The project content and source material will be derived from local history and locations to form a basic narrative and provide context for the virtual environment. The focus will be on spaces over time with an outlook towards future visualisation and re-generation of the space we inhabit. Although set in a local context, the project content is intended to highlight some universal truths in regards to society’s habitation of urban environments.[/three_columns] [three_columns ]The use of motion control is an emerging research and development field and is utilised to great effect for many experimental systems. For this project the technology serves as an innovative tool to immerse the users in the environment and form an emotional connection to the content. As a relatively new control format, motion control offers a wealth of possibilities in terms of interaction design and the way we interpret digital content.[/three_columns] [three_columns_last ]In the local context, the city is currently witnessing an air of change and re- generation of previously under-utilised urban spaces. There are many design challenges involved in visualising how these spaces are developed for future use. The challenge for this project is to investigate the narrative of our shared spaces and provide an interactive experience to allow users to explore, play and interact in a virtual context.[/three_columns_last]

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Project Ambitions: What do you want to improve in terms of knowledge or skills through progression of this study area?

[three_columns ]The project requires proficiency in a number of skills and disciplines for completion. There are two key areas of study. The first is in 3D content creation for virtual environments. The second key area is interaction design, primarily the use of motion control in interactive systems. These are transferable skills in multimedia design as well as game design/development. The methodology will be akin to a game development, with content created using 2D and 3D software and authored in the game engine, thus providing a suitable platform for the further development of multimedia skills, specifically in the area of 3D design.[/three_columns] [three_columns ]The use of Kinect as a controller serves as a tool to learn and investigate motion control scripting and interactions. There are a number of motion control systems and it is a growing area of research but there is yet to be a ubiquitous controller. Currently Kinect provides the most viable way to learn motion control coding with the added benefit of open drivers being released and third party bindings for Unity 3D. This allows for the research and development to take place in a familiar engine environment with full 3D and animation capabilities.[/three_columns] [three_columns_last ]By using local surroundings and investigating how we utilise urban spaces, past and present, the project will afford development of knowledge in social design, architectural visualisation and as well as gaining insight into our emotional connection to the spaces we inhabit.[/three_columns_last]

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