UF Digital Arts and Sciences students sat beside their parents and friends on a dark soundstage. Then, a short film about stress illuminated the room.
Thirteen other student-produced films followed it, presenting the audience with Digital Worlds’ students’ perceptions on the refugee crisis, passions for painting and interpretations of a poem. Outside of the small theatre-like space, other digital artwork — in the form of animations, videogames, time-based media, digital imagery and interactive media — was also showcased.
The Digital Worlds’ Digital Salon on March 23 featured exemplary work done by the institute’s undergraduate and graduate students. Participants were able to demonstrate the skills they’d learned in class, such as how to create a realistic animation of a singing figure, and present their vision to attendees.
Santa Fe film student Tristan Frower attended the salon with Digital Worlds student Elizabeth Gray, and he said he loved watching the animations.
“I know all the hard work that goes into it,” he said.
As parents and faculty members played student-made video games and evaluated digitally drawn portraits of famous leaders, they voted for the work they felt was “Best in Show.” At the end of the evening, DW Director James Oliverio announced the winner: “Grip,” a short film created by Charles Peebles, Peter Ariet, Michelle Raudsepp and Hae-Yang Chang.
“I want each and every one of you,” Oliverio told the students, “to be proud.”
UF engineering alumnus Zac Burke attended the salon and said he was impressed that undergraduates were able to create professional work.
“Whether they know it or not, this is the kind of stuff that will go miles in the industry,” said Burke, who works for Multi Image Group, an event-production company that specializes in live arts, creative digital content and exhibitions.
He said Digital Worlds’ hands-on approach to learning will give students compelling portfolios to share with employers, and he was happy to see students become passionate about their schoolwork.
“It’s cool to see the students having fun with what they’re doing at institutions like Digital Worlds,” he said.
To see Digital Worlds' full photo gallery, visit their Facebook page.