In the Loop
General News : Jan 15, 2016

Celebrating 15 years of DW

By Frances Verjano

On Jan. 15, 2016, the Digital Worlds Institute (DW) celebrated its 15th Anniversary in the Research, Education and Visualization Environment (REVE) facility’s specialized Polymodal Immersive Classroom Theater (PICT).

DW faculty and staff collaborated in the production and post-production of the 12-minute ultra-widescreen presentation that was premiered for the 15th anniversary guests.

“As a member of the team that created the DW 15th Anniversary video, I enjoyed being able to look back at all the projects that had been completed in the years leading up to my time at DW,” said Ethan Tripp, DW’s production supervisor.

Tripp assisted in interviewing students who participated in the video, and mixed the music provided by DW Director, James Oliverio, into the 7.1 surround sound system in the PICT.

“With the audio custom-mixed for the PICT’s surround sound set-up, we were able to further immerse the audience by providing auditory cues to look around in all directions as the presentation progressed,” he said.

Additionally, DW faculty Hyuk Jang was responsible for creating graphic assets that were featured in the presentation, including 3D logo design, animation and special effects, culminating with a dynamic 3D motion graphic showcasing the various global locations with whom DW has collaborated.

“As an animator, I tried to use 3D graphics with post-production in After Effects to bring the idea to life,” Jang said. “I am glad that I was able to contribute my expertise on this special project, and happy to be a member of Digital Worlds.”

DW Associate Director Tim Difato provided the editing and compositing that integrated all of the various media elements into one final ultra-widescreen format.

“Due to the unique immersive presentation environment of the PICT, our design team had to work in unconventional aspect ratios,” Difato said. “One challenge included creating multiple renders for each of the 5 separate screens that subsequently had to be re-composited into a seamless ultra-wide screen movie some 7,000 pixels wide while also holding quality.”

Diana Salas, a second-semester student in the Institute’s Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts & Sciences (BADAS) program, said she was proud to be a part of DW’s 15-year history.

“I’m not much of an actor, but going in front of the camera for the first time and seeing the production studio in use made me excited to be a part of Digital Worlds,” Salas said. “Being in the presentation that’s going to be shown for so many years to come really makes me feel a part of the DW community, even though I’ve only been here for such a short time.”