The 3D Digital Design 3DDD department participated in a one week group project involving all years in the program.  Students were randomly grouped into teams of ten with all years from freshmen to senior represented in each team.  Their challenge was to come up with a compelling project within the broad topic of ”Sustainability”,  and to present a finished piece by the end of the week on a live website. The project was their primary obligation for this first week of the spring semester; all 3D classes were cancelled, and the labs were opened for a 24-hour daily schedule for the duration.  There were no restrictions as to means (3D animation, motion graphics, game level, web page, print, Augmented Reality, etc).  Only two rules applied: the projects had to be finished, and the projects had to be good.

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The experience was launched Monday morning with a talk by Professors Shaun Foster, David Halbstein and Angela Eliasz introducing the project.  Professor Foster then spoke about on team formation, leadership and organizational behavior,   and Professor Gary Jacobs provided more tips on ways to optimize idea generation, critique and daily workflows.  The Monday launch concluded with a talk in Webb Auditorium on sustainability by Anahita Williamson, Director, New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.

Tuesday through Thursday at 11AM-1PM students screened “dailies” showing their progress and their process for generating ideas and dividing up the workload among their team members.  Faculty were also available during the week to help work through the issues that came up.

The program concluded on Friday.  Finished projects were uploaded to the Internet by 2:00, followed by a pizza party provided by Peter Byrne, chair of the School of Design.

There were two critiques beginning at 3:00.

The first was a “Technical/Aesthetics” critique, and was held via live video teleconference.  The two-person panel of judges consisted of industry veteran Marty Havran, the former lead modeling technical director for Dreamworks, SKG (who participated from his studio in Salem, Oregon), and Mark Corotan, Creative Director at Curious Pictures, who joined us from his office in New York City.

The second was a live critique, focused on “Content and Message”.  We were joined by Jennifer Indovina, CEO & Founder, Tenrehte Technologies, Inc. and TED Fellow,  Michelle Butler, Senior Pollution Prevention Engineer, NYS Pollution Prevention Institute, and Rajiv Ramchandra, Senior Sustainability Staff Engineer.

The students presented their projects to both panels.  They showed a wide range of projects including 3D game levels (in the Unreal Development kit UDK), one Augmented Reality poster set, multiple 3D computer animations, motion graphics and one game design prototype / promotional piece.

The websites presented by the student teams can be viewed here:

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