Module 5b: 201500170 New Media

(for an overview of the entire first year see the Year 2 overview page)

The “New Media” module aims at building various skills, learning theory, and understanding techniques, for New Media production. One of the goals is to actually produce New Media products like animated movies or games, using techniques from sound engineering, various graphics techniques, game theory, and narration. It is mostly a “tools and techniques” module where the focus is on creation of New Media while learning theory, experimenting with tools, techniques, and developing skills. The focus is on Sound Engineering, 2D/3D Graphics, Animation, Game technology, and Virtual/Augmented Reality. A major subject of the module is the creation of an animated 3D movie product, where many aspects you learn in this module come together. The courses on Sound Engineering, 3D Graphics, and Game Design also ask for smaller scale exercises and products.
The Virtual/Augmented Reality track is a kaleidoscopic series of guest lectures, combined with some hands-on experience.

Next to this core subjects, students have their own individual Research Project, which aims at deepening knowledge on a New Media related topic of the student’s own choice This Research project also allows him or her to experience scientific exploration, and to build academic skills.

Finally, we have a mathematics track, introducing mathematical knowledge underpinning concepts and techniques for New Media as well as for the mathematical track for the Create curriculum.

Thematic components in Module 5b

Sound Engineering

Sound engineering aims at knowledge and skills for producing audio within media productions. A second goal is to reach a level where you can communicate effectively and efficiently with professional sound engineers, audio producers, composers, and Foley artists in a future work environment. There are separate exercises for learning specific skills, but one of the goals is also to produce the sound, and sound effects, for the New Media project.

Graphics Modeling & Animation

Graphics Modeling & Animation teaches mainly skills and some more fundamental insight in 2D/3D graphics modeling and rendering techniques as well as basic animation techniques for humanoid characters for movies or games. It is using the Blender modeling tool, already used in the first year. Most of the knowledge here is quite independent of this particular tool, however. The main focus is on typical work flow for creating 2D or 3D models, characters, character rigging & skinning, animations, materials, lighting, and rendering. A limited amount of theory for 3D graphics will be presented, especially for the technology that underlies materials, lighting, and rendering. This track also contributes a lot to the New Media project (the “movie”)

Guest Lectures
There will be a series of guest lectures, on various topics: serious gaming, augmented reality with Fuvoria, an overview of VR/AR within robotics, human motion analysis, maybe some other topics in VR/AR.

Game Design

Game Design aims at basic insight in designing New Media experiences like games, in a technology independent way. This part, based on the book “The Art of Game Design” by Jesse Schell starts with techniques that are fundamental for many different sorts of New Media products, including games, animated narration, movies, interactive installations. It then continues with more game specific topics like design of game mechanics, interfaces, aesthetics, multiplayer aspects. An important part for our course is the material on play testing and user evaluation. The course also teaches how to create a simple 2D game, where the focus is on the necessary programming skills, and where basic insight from Schell’s book can be put into practice.

Mathematics for New Media

Mathematics for New Media is a course offering various mathematical skills that support the technology that is used within New Media production. A Subject like Fourier transforms are in particular useful for the Sound Engineering track.

The Research Project

The individual project is about (re)search towards the student’s own fascination within the context of New Media. The New Media context should be framed into a Human Interface Device, i.e. the user should also play a central role in the topic of the student’s fascination. A research question based on this fascination should be formulated. The project is about going in depth in this research question using literature study. A literature study is useful to know what has been done and investigated so far regarding the research question so the wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented. Finally, the student can report his findings both in a written report and via a poster presentation.

Tutoring/ portfolio

Creative Technology emphasizes that students should take their own responsibility for setting and reaching the ambitions for their future. Creative Technology students are self-directing learners. They collect their progress in a portfolio. The portfolio is a proof of long term development as a “Creative Technologist.” The Portfolio Course is partly integrated in the project. Via the portfolio topic the student can reflect both on the things learned during the literature research project and during the courses and become conscious of the role and usefulness of New Media related tools in the context of his Creative Technology study and his potential later profession.

During the group meeting they will be trained to design a scientific poster. At the end of the module they update their professional portfolio with their products (report and poster), their reflections and their ambitions for the coming years as a Creative Technologist researcher.