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ERIC Number: ED513731
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 107
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-7635-1
Educational Impact of Digital Visualization Tools on Digital Character Production Computer Science Courses
van Langeveld, Mark Christensen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Utah
Digital character production courses have traditionally been taught in art departments. The digital character production course at the University of Utah is centered, drawing uniformly from art and engineering disciplines. Its design has evolved to include a synergy of computer science, functional art and human anatomy. It gives students an applied experience in three-dimensional (3D) graphics and the computer science that helps to produce 3D graphics. Physical visualization tools are a part of most digital character production courses. In the context of the digital character production courses' curriculum design and evaluation, presented in this dissertation are three experimental comparisons between traditional visualization tools used in similar courses and newly designed digital visualization tools, which are typically less expensive, easier to distribute, easier to procure and easier to transport than the traditional tools. Traditional visualization tools include lifelike skeleton reproductions, wooden or plastic body mass structures, actual human models, and anatomy drawing books. They are used in conjunction with lectures, demonstrations and one-on-one lab instruction. The digital visualization tools that are contrasted in this dissertation are a layered anatomically correct, digital human model of skin, muscles, masses and bones adapted from several sources, and a VisTrails' MAYA version of a properly produced human figure that can be watched as an interactive animation of production steps. The digital tools are employed to replace the traditional visualization tools that are used in the same educational curriculum, which teaches students to design, model and produce digital characters for games, machinima, and animation. This study found evidence that the digital visualization tools were an improvement to the traditional visualization tools for training students to understand complex 3D graphics systems, 3D contour design and manipulation, 3D form description, and overall character production. The study also found evidence that the difference in visualization tools did not distinguish differences in the students' abilities to translate 3D anatomical form into two-dimensional (2D) drawings; however, there was evidence found that anatomical drawings significantly improved over the course for both study groups. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah