Last week Orlando was the gathering place for the Association of Professional Futurists, and E2i Creative had two opportunities to interact with these fascinating, thought-provoking consultants. On Friday, May 3rd, the Gathering met at IST in the morning and toured several IST labs, including E2i Creative, where they saw compelling simulations from three specific projects. On Saturday evening, a Simtacular Sensation event was held at a downtown Orlando club, and E2i Director Eileen Smith and Creative Designer Michael Carney were part of the organizing team, along with several Disney team members and a senior researcher from the Army Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Co-Lab here in Orlando. The event was an amazing opportunity to spend some quality discussion time with folks who are not predicting the future, but creating roadmaps for diverse industry and organizational clients on how they should think about the future, and drive the future, of their unique institutions. The participants are world-wide in geographic scope, and bring an amazing sense of understanding the past, present and future.
For more information on the APF visit their page.
E2i interns, during the spring 2013 semester, were tasked with creating a prototype for a whole body experience using two Kinect tracking devices. This experience was providing insight into possible activities under a National Science Foundation grant exploring whether whole body metaphors might increase learners’ understanding of physics concepts. For their project, the interns explored the physics of Simple Machines. Their project was presented at the SVAD Showcase at the UCF FIEA facility in downtown Orlando on April 22, 2013.
On April 4th UCF hosted the 2013 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) event in the Pegasus Ballroom in the Student Union. Eileen Smith had eight student projects from her SVAD Converging Media course displaying at the event, and one of them was mentored by E2i Creative Designer Michael Carney. Michael’s group was working on a prototype project that supported a new research initiative at E2i Creative where we are exploring how to connect real and virtual environments with various sensors and have them dynamically drive interactions between the environments. “Plant Nanny: Demonstration of a Real World Data Capture through a Self-Monitoring Garden” won the PEER award, which is voted on by the over 300 participating students representing the spectrum of UCF undergraduate research.
E2i’s Director Eileen Smith has been contributing over the past six months to the UCF Forum, an online opinion forum written by various faculty, staff and student contributors. These are posted on the UCF website, on the Florida Voices website, and broadcast at 9:01am on Sunday on WUCF-FM (89.9).
Eileen’s columns have run in August, October, December, February and April; her tenure on the forum as a contributing writer will end with a column in June.
In February, the Huffington Post started picking up the forum columns; Read her column.
In mid-January, E2i Creative Studio participated for the 8th consecutive year at the Orlando Science Center’s Otronicon event in downtown Orlando. This simulation and video game weekend brought to nearly 10,000 OSC visitors a glimpse of the high tech gadgets and scenarios from the simulation, robotics and digital media industries being developed in Central Florida.
E2i team members, interns, and supporting students from the School of Visual Arts & Design spent the weekend demonstrating the four simulations brought to OSC, and talking to the next generation of budding developers about how to get started in their creative endeavors!
Take a look at the article here:
E2i Creative Studio is working in partnership with RAPTER, another IST lab, to create an immersive simulation aiming to raise the training readiness of new Orange county Fire Department lieutenants in Incident Command.
The simulation will involve multiple scenarios, among them a single family home, light industrial complex, and apartment complex. Dynamic smoke and fire simulations will be used to demonstrate real world reactions to command techniques, allowing the trainees to see the result of their actions and how it can change an emergency incident.
Launch Project Page
E2i Creative Studio is teaming with the Anne Norris, UCF Nursing, on a project that is empowering young women to resist peer pressure to join in potentially dangerous situations that could lead to early sexual activity. Building on Norris’s work with SREAL, DRAMA-RAMA uses Interactors to puppeteer the virtual characters, making the experience truly customized to each girl.
“Water’s Journey through the Everglades” has launched! This major NSF-funded informal science education project is now open at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Over 400,000 people annually will be exposed to new opportunities for learning about water’s importance to South Florida, and how humans have changed the natural environment over time. More photos and a trailer from the opening event is on our Projects page. Check out the exhibits at MODS when you are next in Ft. Lauderdale!
Spring, 2011 Digital Media students are well underway in their creation of a game that they are creating in order to test online virtual worlds that the lab is implementing into future project in order to be able to easily distribute the games to various audiences. This first assignment was to use the Unity 3D engine and to create a first level demo to test its capabilities given various requirements on world development, game mechanics and designs for a second level. Try out the first level for yourself! And don’t forget to check back as the semester progresses to see what this talented group of students will be producing!
Launch Project Page
The time to apply is now if you want to be considered for an internship during the spring semester! E2i Creative Studio is pleased to work with passionate, committed students. We welcome your application through our website if you are interested in working with a professional level team that woks on real projects with real clients.
E2i Creative is committed to community outreach, and helping those who help others in any way we can. We are very proud to announce the launch of a new website for the Never Say Never Foundation. This organization’s vision is to help children and young adults who have suffered limb loss to realize that they can do anything they put their minds to, and that nothing can’t be overcome. They are based right here in Central Florida in Lake County. So please check out their new website at www.neversayneverfoundation.org and consider getting involved to help them in their wonderful mission to motivate people with a disability to “never say never.”
Launch Website: www.neversayneverfoundation.org
E2i has launched its motion capture capability in the new facility. This is a permanent installation allowing motion capture currently in a 100 square foot capture area. This is a unique installation designed to capture motion in a small area with low-cost camera technology. A treadmill is used for walking and running capture. We look forward to partnering with folks that need motion capture for their production projects. For more information or to talk about partnering with us on motion capture, please email E2I@ist.ucf.edu.
Last year E2i Creative began a partnership with Kelly Allred of the UCF School of Nursing with a project called “Pain Management”, where a game was developed to help working nurses better understand patient pain following surgery. The 2nd installment in that partnership is beginning development. ”Make the Hurt Go Away” is designed to address pediatric patient pain, and involves avatars of young patients and their parents. We are very excited about this partnership, so visit us again to see how the project is progressing!
MCL commemorated their new offices in a memorable way. On October 28th, the new Partnership III building hosted everyone from UCF’s President Hitt to local elected representatives as part of a building-wide Open House. E2i director Eileen Smith estimates that about 150 people representing IT firms, creative companies, and a number of potential industry partners, attended the event.
I’d say that the event went really well for all of us. For our part, we showed off our new spaces and research projects to current and potential partners, and we discussed future opportunities with several different groups. It’s a very encouraging sign, both for MCL and all the rest of the businesses in Partnership III.
E2I is pleased to announce the green screen stage has been re-assembled in the new Partnership III lab. The 12’ x 12’ x 9’ structure is available for use by any UCF group, entity, or project team. If you’re interested in using the screen for your work, contact Michael Carney. The stage offers a professional light setup, however you will need to bring your own cameras, props, talent, and audio recording devices. We hope to hear from you soon!
The artistic talents of MCL don’t only apply to creating virtual landscapes or textures. On a warm day late last month, concept artist Nathan Szerdy and the E2I team carved their way to victory in the Tenth Annual IST Pumpkin Carving Contest with around a dozen different IST labs working magic with pumpkins.
MCL’s entry captured the spirit of wizardry pretty excellently with a Harry Potter-themed set of pumpkins, earning MCL their second contest win in as many years. So the gauntlet has been thrown down; who can beat MCL next year? From conversations around the pumpkin table, several labs are accepting the challenge!
MCL recently celebrated its tenth birthday with a pair of momentous undertakings. The first was the formal evolution of the lab into two entities - the E2I (Engage 2 Innovate) Creative Studio, and Sreal Labs. The second was a much-anticipated move to the new Partnership III building at 3039 Technology Parkway.
Deconstructing the many unique features of the Lab, such as the overhead lighting rigs and the giant green screen wall, proved a time and labor-intensive process. The dedicated efforts of the MCL staff - and a few hundred storage crates - completed the bulk of the move in about a week; now it’s a matter of settling in and getting new projects started. It’s a bit strange to call a new place home after so long, but folks are getting comfortable in the new space, which is quite a bit larger than the Progress Drive lab facility. Come visit us soon!