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ATEC 7390.

004 (13128): VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS

Time: THU 12.30-3.15


Place: HRA 1.202

Instructor: Scott Swearingen


Office: JO 4.808
Office Hours: TBA

Email: scott.swearingen@utdallas.edu
Website: http://atec.utdallas.edu/swearingen/

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course will serve as an examination of world building basics, spatial relationships,
and concept development for virtual environments. The student will receive instruction
on creating worlds for real-time applications with an emphasis on the formal qualities of
space and immersion that are conceptually sound. Techniques in the creation and
application of texturing, lighting, sound, particles, surfacing, and scripting will also be
addressed.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS / EVALUATION CRITERIA

This course is designed to engage the student in the necessary skills and concepts behind
the creation of compelling virtual environments. There will be weekly assignments,
critiques, discussions, and/or lectures which are all greatly dependent upon student
participation and interaction.

All weekly assignments will be due at the begining of the following class. Failing to turn
work in on time will result in the lowering of the student's grade.

Loss of 1 percentage point each day the project is late for the first week.
After one week, grade will be dropped by one full letter.
Grade will continue to drop by one full letter in subsequent weeks.

Throughout the course, students will be graded on effort, ingenuity, participation,


improvement, quality, and conceptual soundness.

(Course requirements may be amended or changed; such changes will be submitted in


writing with sufficient advance notice for completion.)

GRADING

intro

05% part I (paper on formal qualities of space)


world building

10% part I (first room)


10% part II (basic lighting)
10% part III (texturing and material files)
10% part IV (sound and particles)
10% part V (multi-stage surfaces)
10% part VI (basic scripting)

final project

05% part I (style sheet)


10% part II (proof of concept)
20% part III (final project)

COURSE SYLLABUS

(JAN 12)
Week 01: INTRODUCTION

Lecture - 'LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring' - a study on the formal qualities of space

Assignment - Introduction - part I

Write 2-3 pages about a fictitious environment or set (from a movie, a painting, a game,
an animation, etc.) of your chosing, and describe in detail how its formal qualities create
space and what meaning you can glean from it apart from its narrative.

---------------------------------------------------------------

(JAN 19)
Week 02: WORLD BUILDING

Lecture - Getting to know the DOOM3 editor and its associated file structure. We will
cover basic room creation and how to publish it as a *.pk4.

Assignment - World Building - part I

Build your first room.

Use the following structure:


s_swearingen_1.zip > README.txt + s_swearingen_1.pk4

notes:
Turn in on cd, storage device, or make available for download.
It should not exceed 10 MB.

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(JAN 26)
Week 03: WORLD BUILDING cont.

Lecture - Basic lighting.

Assignment - World Building - part II

Build a new environment with an emphasis on lighting.

Use the following structure:


s_swearingen_2.zip > README.txt + s_swearingen_2.pk4

notes:

Turn in on cd, storage device, or make available for download.


It should not exceed 10 MB.

---------------------------------------------------------------

(FEB 02)
Week 04: WORLD BUILDING cont.

Lecture - Creating textures and writing material files.

Assignment - World Building - part III

Build a new environment that is fully custom textured (no native DOOM3 textures).

Use the following structure:


s_swearingen_3.zip > README.txt + s_swearingen_3.pk4

notes:

Turn in on cd, storage device, or make available for download.


It should not exceed 10 MB.

---------------------------------------------------------------

(FEB 09)
Week 05: WORLD BUILDING cont.
Lecture - Adding sound and particles to your environment.

Assignment - World Building - part IV

Build a new environment that employs custom sound and particles.

Use the following structure:


s_swearingen_4.zip > README.txt + s_swearingen_4.pk4

notes:

Turn in on cd, storage device, or make available for download.


It should not exceed 10 MB.

---------------------------------------------------------------

(FEB 16)
Week 06: WORLD BUILDING cont.

Lecture - Multi-stage surfaces.

Assignment - World Building - part V

Build a new environment with at least 3 multi-stage surfaces. 'Multi-stage surfaces'


means no less than 2 stages.

Use the following structure:


s_swearingen_5.zip > README.txt + s_swearingen_5.pk4

notes:

Turn in on cd, storage device, or make available for download.


It should not exceed 10 MB.

---------------------------------------------------------------

(FEB 23)
Week 07: WORLD BUILDING cont.

Lecture - Basic scripting.

Assignment - World Building - part VI

Build a new environment with at least 3 scripted objects.


Use the following structure:
s_swearingen_6.zip > README.txt + s_swearingen_6.pk4

notes:

Turn in on cd, storage device, or make available for download.


It should not exceed 10 MB.

---------------------------------------------------------------

(MAR 02)
Week 08: FINAL PROJECT

Lecture - Style sheets.

Assignment - FINAL PROJECT - part I

Create a style sheet for your final project (in html or print).

Use the following structure:

[A] Abstract/description of what it is you will be creating.

[B] References (1) scale, (2) environment, (3) lighting, (4) surface quality, and (5) color
palette.

[C] Under each reference section, include a paragraph explaining WHY you are using
them. WHAT are their importance. HOW your environment will benefit. Apply what you
learned in our first lecture and consider the importance of spatial relationships, lighting,
surface quality, and what the audience can glean from them about your environment.
Give your virtual environment meaning, because without it, it is, well...meaningless.

notes:

Bring in a printed copy or email me the url. I will NOT take digital formats.

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(MAR 09)
Week 09: FINAL PROJECT cont.

Lecture - Low poly modeling, UV mapping, and texturing.

Assignment - PROOF OF CONCEPT - part II

Begin working on your final project.


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(MAR 16)
Week 10: FINAL PROJECT cont.

Lecture - Importing fully textured models into DOOM3.

Assignment - PROOF OF CONCEPT - part II cont.

Continue working on your final project.

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(MAR 23)
Week 11: FINAL PROJECT cont.

Lecture - Work day.

Assignment - PROOF OF CONCEPT - part II cont.

Prepare your proof of concept presentation.

Use the following structure:


s_swearingen_7.zip > README.txt + s_swearingen_7.pk4

notes:

Turn in on cd, storage device, or make available for download.


It should not exceed 25 MB.

---------------------------------------------------------------

(MAR 30)
Week 12: FINAL PROJECT cont.

Lecture - Proof of concept presentation.

Assignment - FINAL PROJECT - part III

Continue working on your final project.

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(APR 06)
Week 13: FINAL PROJECT cont.
Lecture - Work day.

Assignment - FINAL PROJECT - part III cont.

Continue working on your final project.

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(APR 13)
Week 14: FINAL PROJECT cont.

Lecture - Work day.

Assignment - FINAL PROJECT - part III cont.

Finish virtual environment focusing on concepts contained within your proposal.

Use the following structure:


s_swearingen_8.zip > README.txt + s_swearingen_8.pk4

notes:

Turn in on cd, storage device, or make available for download.


It should not exceed 25 MB.

---------------------------------------------------------------

(APR 20)
Week 15: FINAL PROJECT cont.

Lecture - Presentation and critique of final projects.

Assignment - end of class

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

The following policies are in the UTD Catalog and pertain to this class.

Incomplete Grades: A grade of Incomplete may be given, at the discretion of the


instructor of record for a course, when a student has completed at least 70% of the
required course material but cannot complete all requirements by the end of the semester.
An incomplete course grade (grade of X) must be completed within the time period
specified by the instructor, not to exceed eight weeks from the first day of the subsequent
long semester. Upon completion of the required work, the symbol X may be converted
into a letter grade (A through F) by the instructor. If the grade of Incomplete is not
removed by the end of the specified period, it will automatically be changed to F.
Extension beyond the specified limit can be made only with the permission of the
instructor and the student’s ADU (or the Undergraduate Dean in the case of students
without declared majors). A student may not re-enroll in a course in which a grade of X
remains.
Students may obtain a petition/documentation form for an Incomplete in the office of the
student’s ADU. The form is to be submitted to the instructor from whom the Incomplete
is sought. Students should be aware that an Incomplete is only appropriate for work
unavoidably missed at semester’s end. Students should contact their school office for
school policies on Incompletes. If a significant fraction of a semester is missed with
cause, see the section on “Withdrawing from and Adding Courses”.
An instructor assigning an Incomplete must submit the petition/documentation form
containing a description of the work required to complete the course to the ADU of the
school offering the course. Upon approval, a copy of the petition will be forwarded to the
student’s ADU to be retained with the student’s academic record. The instructor alone
will be responsible for determining whether the requirements for completion are met and
for assigning the grade in the course.
However, if the instructor who has signed the Incomplete is no longer associated with
U.T. Dallas and the work is completed within the time allowed before the Incomplete
lapses to an F, the Associate Dean of the instructor’s college may assign a committee of
appropriate faculty to evaluate the material and/or obtain any other information which
may be required to assign the grade in the course.
Academic Dishonesty
The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty.
Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work
done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high
standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.
Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related
to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s
own work of material that is not one’s own. As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty
involves one of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying
academic records. Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary
proceedings.
Academic Appeals
1. Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and
Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. In attempting to
resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of
academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to
resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom
the grievance originated (hereafter called “the respondent.”) Individual faculty members
retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. If the matter cannot be
resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a
copy to the respondent’s school dean. If the matter is not resolved by the written response
provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the school dean.
If the grievance is not resolved by the school dean’s decision, the student may make a
written appeal to the dean of graduate or undergraduate studies, who will appoint and
convene an Academic Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is
final. The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved
parties.
2. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean
of Students where staff is available to assist students in interpreting the rules and
regulations.