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"Work in a team of students under the guidance of experts to push the boundries of reality"

About the Minor

The minor Immersive Media is a minor organised by the Saxion Creative Media and Game Technologies study program. Within the minor Media students get 5 months to work full-time with new and interesting types of technologies to design and create solutions to real-life problems found in the creative industry. These solutions will normally take the form of a product or prototype in the areas of virtual/augmented reality, animation, (embodied or digital) gaming, visual effects, etc. You will work in teams with other students from different disciplines under the guidance of a coach. Within these groups you will choose a role that fits your current knowledge and skills but also allows you to learn new topics. In the minor you will mostly work in the CMGT immersive media lab.

The result of the minor should be a relevant and interesting professional portfolio item, new skills, new knowledge and new contacts within the creative industry.

Organisation and applying

The minor Immersive Media is organised by the Saxion Creative Media and Game Technologies study program in Enschede. The minor is open for all students, either from Saxion or other universities. Partaking in the minor requires you to be in full-time available in Enschede for the duration of the minor.

For more information and to subscribe Saxion students can go to the Saxion website.
Other students can subscribe to the minor through www.kiesopmaat.nl.

Projects

Here you will find a list of project in which you can participate. Given your preference you will work in one of the project groups. You will choose your project in the first two weeks of the minor.

  1. Storytelling in Hyper Reality
    MADlab (Studio MAD, 100%FAT, ReCreate)
  2. Quick and Robust Avatar Creation
    Thales
  3. Virtual Reality Safety Trainer
    Strukton
  4. Virtual Reality Escape Room
    United Nation
    Ferris State University

Storytelling in Hyper Reality

MADlab (Studio MAD, 100%FAT, ReCreate)

Hyper Reality is a branch of virtual reality that overlays the real world with the virtual one. By using precision positional tracking of different body parts like the hands, fingers and feet, object in the virtual world can be lined up with object in the real world. This means that the virtual world is touchable and interactive which allows users to experience a truly immersive virtual reality experience.

MADlab is a cooperation between StudioMad, 100%FAT and Recreate with the aim to build a commercially exploitable Hyper Reality experience. Currently there is a prototype installation available that allows users to experience hyper reality. However what is still lacking is a visual compelling experience that utilize good VR scenes and technologies to create a truly immersive VR experience. MADlab would like to ask you to help in building these experience with the purpose promoting and commercialising and new to be build hyper reality installation.

Assignment

MADlab would like to ask you to:

  • Create a visual compelling post-apocalyptic style for an hyper reality experience. After a style has been defined work out several assets for a few demo experiences.
  • Create an engaging 10 to 20 minute immersive story-line for a VR experiences. Hereby looking at VR specific story-telling techniques and theory. Use gray-boxing to test the storyline in virtual reality.
  • Research and test different technologies and scenes that can enhance the immersive experience, hereby using the created assets.
    Some examples of scenes and technologies we would like to see tested are:
    • How can we best utilize heights.
    • How can we incorporate large scale creatures.
    • Can we use redirected walking.
    • How to work with or around the uncanny valley.
    • Can we utize adaptive field of view for the reduction of motion sickness.

Links:

Topics: Unity, Virtual reality, concept art, game development, 3D modelling & animation, storytelling.

Quick and Robust Avatar Creation

Thales

Thales Group is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets. One of subsidiaries is located in Hengelo, The Netherlands and focusses primarily on naval defence systems (sensors, radars and infrared systems). Other areas of business include air defence, communications, optronics, cryogenic cooling systems and navigation products.

Given the increasing technology cost and decreasing defence budgets Thales has a keen interest in using new technologies like virtual and augmented reality. One of its area of research is multi-user virtual reality training programs. Within these experiences two of the areas of interest are avatars and social interaction. Hereby Thales would like to see if it is possible to create a system that allows for the quick avatar creation based on trainees appearance. Another point of interest is that of avatar-world interaction and eye-locking.

Assignment

Build an avatar creation tool and social interaction system for a virtual reality multi-user training program. Within this project you will have to::

  • Define visual style for avatars where user are recognizable by their features. You will have to balance an abstract style versus realism and avoid the uncanny valley.
  • Create a pipe-line to quickly create convincing and recognizable digital avatars.
  • Explore possibilities for social interaction trough eye-tracking (if possible) and/or eye-locking.
  • Create functionality for interaction between an avatar and its environment. Some ideas of interactions Thales would like to see are:
    • Taking measurement with a rules.
    • Drawing on a whiteboard.
    • Highlighting objects.

Compensation

Students participating in the Thales project will receive an internship compensation of € 350,- per month for a total of € 1750,- for the complete duration of the assignment.

Links:

Topics: Virtual reality, photogrammetry, tooldevelopment, computer vision.

Virtual reality avatars

Virtual Reality Safety Trainer

Strukton

Originally a branch of the Dutch passenger railway operator (NS), Strukton has evolved into a large international railinfra contractor and asset manager. Internationally, Strukton Rail focuses on transport systems in densely populated areas, opening up port, airport and mining areas, and generating and distributing (sustainable) energy.

The most important aspect of working on Strukton Rail sites is safety. Awareness of risks is crucial for all employees involved. Strukton Rail wants to explore the potential of new training methods as traditional training cannot fully prepare employees for the situations encountered in the real world. Therefore Strukton Rail would like to ask you to explore virtual reality as an new training tool.

Assignment

Strukton Rail would like to ask you to create a prototype virtual reality safety training tool. In this tool the user should be able to experience working on complex electrical equipment in difficult locations.

In consultation with Strukton Rail you will have to research and implement the following:

  • Create a suitable scenario for a VR training tool, utilizing the power of virtual reality. Here you can think of:
    • Maintenance work in an electrical substation next to a railway track;
    • Construction work at high altitude.
  • Explore different environmental variables for users to experience during the training. Some examples that could be explored
    • Different weather conditions like rain, snow, fog and heavy winds;
    • Background noise or reduced hearing capabilities.
  • Create a visual compelling style for the training prototype. Hereby balancing a realistic and abstract style such that it is convincing but at the same time suitable for a smooth virtual reality experience.

Conference visit

Students joining this project are eligible for a fully paid visit to a conference related about VR/AR and the creative industry (e.g. the FMX festival in Stuttgart). The costs covered includes ticket, travelling and hostel accommodation. The conference of choice will be discussed with the client at the start of the project.

Links:

Topics: Virtual reality, game development, 3D modelling & animation, storytelling, interaction design, gamification.

Strukton rail logo Example virtual reality safety trainer

Virtual Reality Escape Room

United Nations
Ferris State University

Poverty, hunger, inequality, among others are all important societal topics that causes huge problems for the long-term health of our planet and humanity. In order to create a sustainable future free of those problems, the united Nations created 17 sustainable development goals. The goals where set in 2015 and aimed to be solved in 2030. One way to solve these problems is by utilizing new technology to create awareness and learn people how they can be solved. Here the United Nations wants your help and asks you to work as part of international collaboration between Saxion University of Applied Sciences and Ferris State University to create a prototype virtual reality escape room based on an existing real-world escape room concept.

Assignment

Build a virtual reality escape room that utilizes gamification to spread awareness about the sustainable development goals. Within the experience you will have to create two rooms, a European and North American one. Within each room you will have to utilize gamification the create awareness about that continent's specific SDGs.

One of the key features of the experience is the ability to cooperate. To do this the experience has to be made multi-player. This can be completely in virtual reality but other means can be explored as well.

In this assignment you will start with an existing real-world virtual reality concept created by Saxion students for the United Nations. You will have to convert this concept to virtual reality and change it such that it fits the medium and creates a truly immersive, entertaining and educational experience.

Project organisation

The project will run 8 months total and will be split-up in three separate parts. You can work on this project in phase 2 as a minor or graduation student.

  1. Technical and creative exploration phase
    12 January - 30 April

    Ferris State University
    • Junior Project Class
  2. Building phase
    14 February - 14 July

    Saxion University of Applied Sciences
    • Graduation
    • Minor Immersive Media
  3. Play-testing and fine-tuning
    Summer 2019

    Ferris State University
    • Summer semester participant

In order to create a successful prototype, intensive collaboration and communication is necessary. Students partaking in this project should have an interest in international cooperation and should be able to work and expand on work done by others.

Phase 1: Conceptual and creative exploration phase

12 January - 26 April

In the first phase of the project you will explore the problem space. You will have to work together with Saxion students to work out the concept, create a visual style, work on interaction and possibly create a quick mock-up of the rooms.

More specifically you will work on:

  • Translating the existing escape room concept to virtual reality. Taking into account this mediums specific requirements to interaction, visual design and storytelling.
  • Explore and define a visual style. This style should fit with the experience, client and target group.
  • Research and create different methods of interaction that can be used in a virtual reality escape room. Test these methods if possible.
  • Create a prototype two-room escape room based on the research done.

Phase 2: Building phase

14 February - 14 July

In the second phase of the project you will work with Ferris students to work out the concept, visual style and define a interaction and technical framework. You will create a workable prototype and will also work on the multiplayer code base.

More specifically you will work on:

  • Translating the existing escape room concept to virtual reality. Taking into account this mediums specific requirements to interaction, visual design and storytelling.
  • Explore and define a visual style. This style should fit with the experience, client and target group.
  • Research and create different methods of interaction that can be used in a virtual reality escape room. Test these methods if possible.
  • Create a prototype two-room escape room based on the research done.
  • Create a multiplayer framework to be used for the experience.

Phase 3: Play-testing and fine-tuning

Summer 2019

Based on the work done by the previous groups of students you will finalize the prototype by using the framework in place. Furthermore you will test the experience and make changes where necessary in order to create a truly immersive, entertaining and educational experience. After the prototype has been finalized you are challenged to explore continuation of the project with new ideas.

More specifically you will work on:

  • Finish building and refining the existing prototypes.
  • Test the experience with different users and make adjustments if necessary
  • Explore extension and continuation of the project for after September.

Links:

Topics: Virtual reality, storytelling, interaction design, game development, 3D modelling & animation, international collaboration.