University of Oregon

J199 Building for Games and Immersive Platforms

Presented by the Oregon Reality (OR) Lab – Portland

10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. June 21st–June 25, 2021 Remote Instruction

This week-long bootcamp gives students an introduction to the tools used for designing and building digital games and immersive platforms. Students will work with the game engines, Unity and Unreal Engine, to design their first interactive environments in addition to creating augmented visuals for mobile devices using Zapworks. From Day 1, students will explore off-the-shelf resources to get them started quickly and gain an understanding of the overall production pipeline used for generating interactive content, which is a growing field that major brands are adopting.

Additionally, students will hear from industry professionals on what it’s like to be in the field and what it takes to prepare for a career in game design, VR, AR, film and much more.

This bootcamp is for anyone that has an interest in designing for virtual worlds, game design, and animation/filmmaking.

Must be a current high school or college student to receive 1 college credit for participating, but the course is open to all who are interested **No Prior experience needed**

What You Need

  • High speed internet connection
  • Access to a laptop or desktop computer (PC or Mac) with a 3-button mouse
  • Access to a mobile device with a camera (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc)
  • Webcam and Mic

What You Get

  • Full week of remote instruction and hands-on learning
  • 1 college credit with successful completion of the course
  • Your own Zapbox kit
  • T-shirt and USB Wristband

Swag Bags will be mailed via FedEx to those who register prior to May 24th, 2021.

For those who register AFTER May 24th, limited supplies are available and in-person pick-up will be arranged.

Got Questions? Email Nikki Dunsire, OR Lab Manager at ndunsir5@uoregon.edu.

Cost: $700

For payment options and plans, please contact Continuing and Professional Education (cpe@uoregon.edu). Final payments are required by the first day of class.

Location

Remote Instruction
University of Oregon - Portland
Oregon Reality (OR) Lab
70 NW Couch Street, Suite 405
Portland OR 97209

Meet the Team:

Nikki Dunsire, MSc
Lead Instructor

Photograph of instructor Nikki Dunsire.

Nikki Dunsire is an industry professional and longtime educator in the fields of 3D production, Visual Effects and Game Arts, having taught at local academic institutions for over 13 years.

Nikki began working as a Production Coordinator and later stepped into the role of 3D Technical Director at Animation Dynamics Inc. (ADi). Founded in 1996, ADi was known for visual communications with a focus on 3D and visual effects for business-to-business marketing, consumer advertising, direct response television, education and entertainment. Clients ranged from Fortune 500 firms to independent films, game and application producers. She became an expert in 3D modeling, lighting, texturing, effects, render setup, object and camera animation, compositing and editing. In 2008 she began teaching at The Art Institute of Portland, while still managing her workload at ADi. Eventually she stepped into teaching full-time. Since that first term, she has developed and taught courses covering a wide range of topics related to 3d content creation, game design and application development for immersive environments. Eventually Nikki became the academic department director for the programs that she taught in at The Art Institute and was actively involved in career placement opportunities for graduating seniors.

She's taught courses at several northwest colleges and was a part of the grant team that was awarded the Microsoft Hololens Academic Research Grant in collaboration with Clackamas Community College and Oregon Storyboard, for developing Augmented Reality applications for trade-based education. She now teaches immersive building courses full-time at the University of Oregon, manages the Oregon Reality Lab and tackles freelance projects as time allows.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media Studies with an Art and Design minor from the University of Denver, a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Animation from The Art Institute of Portland, and a Master of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in 3D Technical Direction and Development from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Rob Bekuhrs, Animation Director at Supergenius Studio
Guest Speaker

Photograph of Rob Bekuhrs.

Rob Bekuhrs graduated in 1983 from California Institute of the Arts, BFA in Character Animation, and has worked in hand-drawn, cg, stop motion and interactive venues in the US, UK and Canada.

He's been a developer, artist, animator, director, and supervisor on shorts, feature films, television, ride films and games. Rob has designed, modeled, rigged, animated, developed code and pipelines and directed for Disney Feature Animation, Laika Entertainment, Double Negative Visual Effects, among other studios. Starting Disney's Florida studio as their solo computer animation artist, he worked over 15 years on projects from Beauty and the Beast to Brother Bear, supervising crews on shorts and features, developing Disney's first cg boot camp, and eventually training the studio's entire 2D crew in 3D animation before it shut down in 2004.

He's worked at Laika developing pipeline and creating face libraries and visual efx for Coraline and ParaNorman, created and edited motion capture data for John Carter of Mars at Double Negative and joined SuperGenius Studio in 2011 as animation director, developing console, mobile, game and AR/VR projects.

Rob has also created coursework and taught special animation topics at local colleges. He's frequently involved with job shadowing and presentations for local public schools and served on the board of ASIFA Portland for 8 years, an international organization supporting all forms of (primarily local) animation.

https://supergeniusstudio.com

Phil Stolz, 3D Environment Artist at Blizzard Entertainment
Guest Speaker

Photograph of Phil Stolz.

Phil Stoltz is a 3D Environment Artist currently working at Blizzard Entertainment. With 4 years of game industry experience, he’s worked on multiple AAA titles including New World, Darksiders Genesis, Back 4 Blood, and currently Diablo IV. Before he started working in the game industry, he attended The Art Institute of Portland where he majored in Game Art Design. Phil has always loved drawing and being creative. It wasn't until he played the Halo franchise that he realized he could make video games for a living. In his spare time, he enjoys running, staying active, and working on fun personal 3d projects to keep growing as an artist.

Check out some of his work here.

https://www.blizzard.com/en-us/

Donna Davis, PhD
Guest Speaker

Photograph of Donna Davis.

Donna Z. Davis joined the SOJC faculty in fall 2010 when she taught in Eugene for one year before moving to Portland. She now directs the Strategic Communication master’s program and the Oregon Reality Lab at SOJC-Portland. She brings more than 25 years of experience in public relations, fundraising, and nonprofit communication to the classroom, including 10 years as producer and host of Family Album Radio, an award-winning, daily, two-minute radio program distributed through NPR.

Davis earned her Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Florida, where she studied relationship formation in 3D immersive virtual environments. Her ethnographic research continues to focus on the potential uses of virtual worlds, gamification, and other emerging social media, with a special interest in marginalized and vulnerable communities. Her research on embodied experience and identity among people with disabilities in virtual reality was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. She was also an inaugural faculty fellow for the SOJC Agora Journalism Center for Innovation and Civic Engagement, extending her work with people with Parkinson’s disease who find and build support in the virtual world.

Danny Pimentel, PhD
Guest Speaker

Photograph of Danny Pimentel.

Daniel Pimentel is an Assistant Professor of Immersive Media Psychology at the School of Journalism and Communication in Portland. Daniel’s research primarily focuses on cross-reality (XR) media platforms: virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). Specifically, he conducts experimental research examining how XR storytelling experiences can contribute to prosocial attitude and behavior change across various contexts, including climate action, wildlife conservation, and mental/physical well-being. His XR projects and prototypes have been funded by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Thompson Earth Systems Institute (TESI), and the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC). His work has also been featured in peer-reviewed journals such as New Media and Society, and reputed technology conferences such as Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHIPLAY), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Games, Entertainment and Media (IEEE GEM), and IEEE VR. Daniel also carries several years of XR industry serving as a researcher at various technology companies, including Magic Leap, XR Americas (New York), and Yellow Wood Immersive Media (Miami). Daniel is a proud McKnight Doctoral fellow and member of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.