How I Made It: Gaming and Animation
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How I Made It: Gaming and Animation

August 26, 2019


>>SPEAKER: We have Mahir, did
I say it right? Many of you know him already. Alejandra is
going to come up and talk for a few minutes about the
program here at Santa Barbara City College, and then I’m going
to introduce our panelists here, as soon as I get my glasses on.
While I’m doing that, why do you think I wore my Santa Barbara
City College shirt today instead of my, you know, getting dress saided up for this
wonderful event? Anybody have any idea? Would you all answer
yes or no at the same time, are you a Santa Barbara City College
alumni? What?
(Laughing.)>>SPEAKER: I wore it to honor
orSanta Barbara our alumni alumni. Bioes. I’m going to start with Yifan
Shao. She’s a 3D artist with a company
called Age of Learning, Inc. She was obviously here at CC,
transferred to Chapman University, and she earned her
bachelor’s degree in digital arts. Right after college, she
got a job, yay, that’s a good thing, at a
small theme park entertainment studio,
and for from there, she moved to the Age of Learning, Inc.,
ABCmouse. com, where she’s creating 3D
assets and texture for games, and I’m going to assume that
some of you know what that means. Technical language.
Andrew Lindsay, on my far left, came all the way from the Bay Area
where NASA airborne Science. He attended UC Davis after City
College. I’d like you to pay attention to this bit; he is, he
majored in philosophy with a minor in cultural anthropology. That is you do not have to major
in digital arts, although maybe the
instructors might disagree with me, that they want to keep you
in their program. (Laughing.)
>>SPEAKER: But after that, he did pursue a certificate here in
animation and gaming, and he’ll probably tell you a little bit
about his journey, about that came about. Currently, he’s a
NASA contractor for Ames Research Center, which is up in
the Silicon Valley. Sado Raboudi, he got his
bachelor’s in psychology from UCSB, and there, he was
volunteering in the Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior, which
actually had an influence then, I think, on some of the things
that happened after that. He began working at WorldViz, a
company that provides virtual reality-based solutions for
business and research customers, and on my left here, the non-CC student, but Oberlin
College grad, got his degree in classical studies and
comparative literature, and one of the things they say about
working in technology is companies really want those soft
skills, they want the, and the hard skills related to, um,
being able to write and read and communicate, and some of these
folks have earned that through their degrees, for sure. Gabe
used to teach Latin in LA before getting his master’s degree in
education technology from UCSB, and he’s
launched his own virtual reality start-up, called Frame, so if anybody has kind of
an entrepreneurial spirit here, you’ll be able to get some
information related to that. With that, I would like to
introduce Alejandra Jarabo from our
multimedia arts and technology program here at City College,
and she’s going to talk about some of the certificates and
degrees and opportunities that you have here at Santa Barbara
City College, and she’s got her web page up here too.
>>SPEAKER: Hello. So, my name is Alejandra Jarabo,
I am the co-chair of the multimedia department with
Michael that is here. We have two different programs in the
department, one program in media arts, and one program in animation and
gaming, and we have similar classes in one program and the
other. We have very short programs. We have few
mandatory classes that are trying to cover the foundation
with the different technologies, and then we encourage students to do
independent studies, independent learning,
and to take other classes in other disciplines, so they can customize their
foundation, their background. You can see, you know, looking
at the back background of now those professionals, how diverse
those backgrounds are, and there’s actually, you know, any
type of knowledge can be applied to technologies. In our case, we try to
emphasize, you know, with this foundation,
you’ll be able to work with graphics, composition, be able
to work with still images and with animation, with video, but
you can have many other backgrounds, you know, a
background in biology, a background in basically anything
would be viable, because every field is integrated right now with
technology. It’s very important, what we said about
communication, in order to get a good job in this field, you have
to be able to talk to people, to make relationships with them, to
share, to give an impression of being excited about the product that you’re
working on, and all those are very outgoing characteristics,
that some people have it in ourselves, and some other people
need to learn, but I tell my students in my classes that the
most important thing that they’re going to learn in my
classes is not what I’m teaching them or what they learn in my
classes, the most important thing is the relationships that
they’re building with other students, with other students in
our department, and with other
students in the college. So, you know, being able to work
with students in computer science,
being able to to work with students maybe
in dance, in music, if you’re working in
3D. Interdisciplinary studies are
very, very important in our field, and personal connections
with people that are enthusiastic on any field, all
that is going to be highly valuable
by the time you go out. Um, so, I told you that we have two
different degrees, there are, you know, they seem to be, um,
specialized, but deep, they’re all dealing with new technologies and media
technologies, and if you go to our website that is
soma. soma.sbcc.edu and media arts, you can see some of the work thatour students put
together. We’re beginning to also have social media presence,
so you can look for our channel in YouTube, you can look
for, um, you can look for us in
Instagram or, um, in different media, social
media outlets. Here, we have a link to our
programs, and you can see exactly what are the classes that we offer. Our classes are a combination of practical knowledge of software
and foundation in concepts that you’re going to need when you work, and if
you transfer to another institution. Around 15, 12 years ago, it was
very easy to get a good job in this field without a bachelor’s, with an AA
or a certificate, you could go straight ahead, work as a
free-lance, even a company would hire you without a bachelor’s. Um, you have to understand that
right now, because it’s such a
powerful field, it has such a perspective of
growth in the short and medium-term, there
are many people trying to go for those jobs, and if you think of
a pool of applicants, people that have a higher degree, they tend to go ahead,
so it’s a good idea that you begin thinking maybe you have to
go for a bachelor’s. Now, something else that is very
important in this field, and it’s maybe not so crucial in other fields,
in our field, your degree may be
important, but what is the most important is your portfolio.
So, you need to have, you need to be able to demonstrate that
you have creative work, that you have skills that are already on
your sleeve that you can apply, that you can produce work
with a variety of software and a variety of languages, that you
can integrate image and sound and animation and video, and all
that is classes that you need to take and work that you need to
produce in those classes. We don’t have tests in our
department, there are no exams, the quizzes are just for the fun
of it, they’re just like a little joke that we have in the
classes. What is really important is your
work, is your projects, and those projects demand a lot of
effort. They demand a certain amount of effort in order to
pass the class, but in order to get a portfolio piece, you need
to work much high harder, you need
to be able to do projects at home, re-work them, collaborate
with other people with other strengths, and that is the most
important thing that we do. We prepare people by helping them develop a portfolio that is
going to result in employment, that is
the most important thing we do, and we form groups of people
with different interests so they can talk to each other, and they
can begin collaborating, and maybe, you know, working in
future companies or beginning future companies. We’re at a
point that, you know, you don’t have to work for somebody else,
you can begin building your own company. Maybe it fails two or
three times, you come back to work for somebody else, and then
you come back to be, you know, to begin again with another
idea. So, it’s very important to think that once you get out of here, every
failure that you have in an enterprise
that doesant end working is something that you have on your
sleeve and that is guaranteeing your final success. That is
very important. You cannot think that you’re going to get out of here and everything
is going to be a field of roses, because if you look at people that have made it
big-time, they have made it after going, you know, failing in companies
in three, four, five times, so it’s important to think that you
learn from your failures, not from your successes, okay? So,
it’s something that we try to promote, that you have to work,
you have to improve, and it doesn’t matter if things don’t work out, what is
important is the spirit and the aim of
having clear, where do you want to go in the future. So, I just
wanted to add one more thing. For those of you that are
perspective students, um, our degrees are
very, are simplified, they’re only offering the core classes.
It’s good that you think of skills that you potentially have
that you can develop with certain classes. It’s also
important for you to think that you have to be capable of
learning yourself. You’re here doing two, three years, but
you’re going to be working during the next 25, 30 years,
and you’re not going to be going to class for the next 25, 30 years, you’re going to
have to learn things by yourself, and
it’s very important that you do that, because your job and your
good position and the good salaries that we can, that are
offered in this field depend on the fact
that you’re supposed to be a person that can teach yourself,
and we’re going to help you in classes, but you have to
understand that to work in this field, you have to be capable of
solving your own problems, discovering new technologies,
learning new technologies, by yourself, and it’s something
that my students tend to resent that,
like, what do you mean, I need to figure out that? Yes, that’s
exactly what you have to do, you have to figure out things, and
they’re going to pay you a lot of money to figure out things,
not for anything else, okay? So, I also wanted to tell you
that if you’re thinking of transferring
to a place for a bachelor’s, think that we have a good situation with the
Cal States, we have, you know, there are a number of
institutions that we have good relations with, and that if you
know where exactly, or more or less what is the place that you
want to transfer to, each institution has a number of
classes that are transferable, and they’re not the same ones,
and a number of classes that they demand as a first-level, so
it’s important that you go to see the counselors and say I
want to go to this place, I want to go to Fullerton. We have a
number of people that have gone to Cal State Fullerton, and
they have successfully completed their bachelor’s, and they have
got good jobs. So, if you want to go to Fullerton, you might
need to take classes here that are not the same classes that if
you’re going to USC or you’re going to San Diego or you’re going to San
Francisco, so you need to know more or less where is it you
want to go and figure out what are the classes that you need
required in order to arrive there and only do your last two
years for a bachelor’s, okay? If you have questions, Michael
and me are always open for people coming and asking. The
best thing is to do a combination of the counselors
and us. Sometimes, we know things that the counselors still
don’t know, so we can give you, sometimes, good advice, okay?
Thank you. (Applause. )
>>SPEAKER: That was wonderful, and I’m sure that our panelists
will be confirming and affirming all of the things that you’ve
just said there. So much good advice. I did want to let you
know what we’re doing today as far as the program. I’m going
to start out by asking the panelists some questions, and
then after that, some of them will have some presentations to
show you, some of their work and some other things. I did want
to let our live streamers know that we are going to cut the
stream when it comes to Andrew doing
his presentation, since he works for NASA, for privacy reasons,
we’re just going to end the filming at that time, but we’ll
all be able to see it here internally. So, with that, I’m
going to walk over to my chair over there, and then I’m going
to ask the panelists some questions, put them on the spot. All right, here we go. Gabe,
would you like to start with sharing your area of expertise
in gaming and/or animation?>>SPEAKER: Sure. So, um, I’m
a little bit less the person who does the 3D art and more the person who hires 3D artists to
do, um, the work that I envision for them. So, um, while I do
have a little bit of expertise myself, it’s really just enough
to be able to speak the language that you all speak, so that I
know how to interface with more technical people. So, the role
that I play, um, for instance, at my start-up, Frame, you know, I’m the founder and CEO,
so although not, um, cooking up 3D art myself, um, I’m kind of
guiding both the technical and the art team, so that I’m
ensuring they’re kind of working together and making the stuff
that makes our product tick.>>SPEAKER: Thank you. How
about you, Sado?>>SPEAKER: Um, well, I
actually started here at the, doing the multimedia program
here at City College, and that is a certificate in
animation, so that was kind of what first got me into the field, but then, you
know, went to TCSB and did psychology, and that’s where I
worked my way into virtual reality. Right now, I do a lot
of python coding when it comes to interfacing with the software
that we use, and, I mean, the 3D modeling, similar to what Gabe
was saying, I have to understand a lot about the 3D modeling optimization,
because, obviously, you can’t take a really dense model and
have it perform at the rate that you need it to in VR, so I have
to do a lot with taking stuff that’s created from a CAD program, or
maybe, whatever people use, and then being able to have a work flow that makes
sense to get it into VR.>>SPEAKER: Do you feel like
the classes that you took here prepared you for your current
job?>>SPEAKER: Oh, yeah,
definitely. I mean, being able to get a foundation using, my
understanding a lot of the terms and how the 3D modeling programs
work, that’s been really helpful.
>>SPEAKER: Thank you. How about you, Yifan?
>>SPEAKER: I do a lot of, well, mostly what I do is 3D modeling and
create texture for games, so I will create all the low poly
models for the game or VR game, whatever game that I’m
working on and paint the texture for the models, and since it
has to be really low poly, it relies heavily on the texture to
make it look realistic.>>SPEAKER: Gabe? I mean,
Andrew. Sorry.>>SPEAKER: Well, similar to
that, yeah, I’m actually directly involved with the
modeling processism I’m basically the resident modeler
for MTS, which is the mission tools suite for airborne
science, so that’s why they originally brought me on, was to
build the models, texture, and bring
them into a 3GS environment. So, I’ve ended up doing a lot
of, like, Javascript coding in order to integrate that, you
know, put it on the web, because it’s all web-based, these are
web tools, so, yeah.>>SPEAKER: Can you tell me
what your, what a typical day looks like for you? We’ll start
with you, Andrew.>>SPEAKER: Um, well, my days
are actually, one thing I like, too, is it’s, I have regular
hours, I just work straight from 8:00 to 4:00, I
get take, like, an hour break for lunch, pretty much just
modeling all day, unless there’s something else to do. It’s play
by the seat of your pants, I guess. Whatever comes up, I do
it.>>SPEAKER: What about you,
Yifan?>>SPEAKER: Well, um, I do have
a list of tasks that I’m assigned to,
so I would, um, pick the task that’s
on the top of my list, that’s most urgent, and usually, it’s a
3D model, so I would have to look for reference
pictures for these models I have to create, and usually have to
come up with my own design, because I can’t use other
people’s design, and then I’ll create the model and create the
texture, and sometimes, I have to bring it into unity, because it is a board
game, just to make sure everything looks right.
>>SPEAKER: What about a stress for deadlines? How is that
working?>>SPEAKER: Yes, there’s
definitely a lot of that, um, because at my company, it, um, I
am working on games, but they also have, like, a TV show
department, which is, um, which means a lot of deadlines, so I
will sometimes help them, and they would just come over, be
like can you do this right now, like, we need it right now.
>>SPEAKER: You have to be flexible, it sounds like.
>>SPEAKER: Yes, but I’ve learned to not panic, so do not
panic, if that happens to you.>>SPEAKER: Same.
>>SPEAKER: Because it will happen.
>>SPEAKER: Same, you said?>>SPEAKER: Yeah.
>>SPEAKER: Okay. Sado, how about yourself? Maybe you
could share some about your travels too.
>>SPEAKER: Yeah, my days are actually extremely dynamic,
because I travel all over the world, setting up virtual reality labs, and I could be,
one day in Moscow, and then another day, here at my desk in Santa Barbara, digging
through all these crazy hardware peripherals, trying to make
sense of what things we want to integrate with and trying to
stay on top of all the new technology. Other days, it
involves, like, doing meetings, but a lot of meetings we do is
actually in virtual reality these days, so we’ll spend hours
in a headset, talking to people all around the
world, having meetings, so sometimes, you don’t even know
where you are anymore, because when you take off your headset,
you’re like, where am I? What’s going on?
(Laughing.)>>SPEAKER: The future.
>>SPEAKER: Yeah.>>SPEAKER: What about you,
Gabe?>>SPEAKER: Um, just like Sado,
I spend a lot of time in VR, enough to
make you want to take naps once you get out of them, but, you
know, we’re trying to get users right now, and, um, a lot of
people haven’t been in VR before, and I’m trying to
convince them to meet me on my browser-based service and kind
of say hi in VR, and I show them around the tool. So, um, that’s
a lot of what we’ve done. We’ve just put out the alpha of our product, so we’re take taking a
little bit of a pause on feature development, doing a little bit
of environment work with some 3D models, but a lot
of time getting users and meeting them in VR.
>>SPEAKER: The starting up a company, how long ago did you
start up, and kind of where are you in that trajectory?>>SPEAKER: So, very earl e
early, um, I’ve been down this road before, before I started
working at WorldViz, I did a start-up, education technology
start-up that helped teachers and students come together in 3D
worlds. We raised funding and did okay. Now, I’m kind of more
of a back-seat role in that company. With Frame, it’s really early, I
just started this up about two months ago, so super early days.
I’ve put together the core team of me and one developer and one
artist, but we have what we need to get started, and, um, we keep
it lean, we keep it scrappy for now.
>>SPEAKER: And how’s that, what’s it like to start up a
company? I mean, do you just say, yeah, go for it, and it’s
easy, or, you know, everything just works great?
(Laughing.)>>SPEAKER: I wish. Um, I guess it’s kind of a ebb
and flow with me. I, um, with my first start-up, I really
loved having the freedom. There are a lot of different
pressures though that you, you know, you’re answering to
shareholders, these are people that have invested in your
company, and that’s a different kind of boss than your regular
boss, right? You feel really, um, invested in
the project in a way that you wouldn’t necessarily, if you
were just working for Microsoft or what have you, but then I did
find, you know, after a year or two of start-up life, I was
like, I wish I was at Microsoft, I wish I was at WorldViz, and
then I was at WorldViz for awhile, and then I got the itch
again to have more control and freedom. So, you know, I think
the dream job, you sort of find that balance where you’re able
to live out what entrepreneurial dreams you have, but you’re also able to, you know,
live a good life and a stable, secure life. So, it’s not the
path I’d recommend for everyone, for sure, but now is a pretty
good time, I’d say, to go out and try to start your own
company. It’s, um, it’s not as hard as it was ten years ago to
raise money. Silicon Valley is back in frothy
venture capitalist territory, where if you have a half-baked
idea, often, you can raise some money, so I’d say go for it
overall.>>SPEAKER: While you’re, um,
on there, Gabe, what do you like most and least about your work?
>>SPEAKER: Um, well, what I like most is maybe also what I
like least, in that this is new technology, I love that it’s,
um, kind of a new developing, budding space, but this is also
what makes it challenging, right? You’re trying to
convince people to adopt stuff that they haven’t adopted
before, it’s a nascent market, there aren’t tons of users
already out there, but that’s also kind of what’s exciting
about it, right? You’re trying to shape the space, you’re
trying to form the space. So, it’s kind of the same thing is
both good and bad about it, you know.
>>SPEAKER: Thank you. Let’s go down the row and answer that
question, what you like most and least about your work right now.
>>SPEAKER: Well, I get to play with a lot of cool stuff, so
that’s really fun. (Laughing.)
>>SPEAKER: I like that. I like traveling, I mean, it gets exhausting sometimes, when I’m
going too many international trips in a row, but it’s
exciting to see the world, and I just like being part of a
growing technology and watching it evolve, because I’m also just
a fan of the technology, so I’m happy to really be apart of
watching it evolve.>>SPEAKER: Um, I like that I
get to make design choices when I make my models, and also, I
get to make a lot of cute stuff, because it’s a game
for younger kids, so I would make, like, stuffed animals and
stuff, and they’re really cute. Um, what I like least about my
job is probably organizing my files,
which is very important, you should all
organize your files , your folders, your Photo Shop
layers, name them correctly, it will really help.
>>SPEAKER: How would you, what does it mean to name them
correctly? How would you name them? Do you have advice?
>>SPEAKER: Well, for example, if I was making a teddy bear, um, I would
have my Maya folders, there’s a source
images folder with my textures, and an images folder, where I
will usually put my reference pictures in, and for
my, um, Photo Shop layer, I will usually
have a base color and a texture that’s
overlaid on top of that, and probably some highlights and shadows, and
probably some wireframe in there. This is very specific.
(Laughing.)>>SPEAKER: But, yeah.
>>SPEAKER: Thanks.>>SPEAKER: So, I don’t get to
make teddy bears, unfortunately. (Laughing.)
>>SPEAKER: So I don’t honestly have a lot of design input in
the process, since basically, what I’m modeling are NASA-owned
aircraft that already exist, so I’m basically, um, I can’t
always get schematics for these things, so I’m always sort of scrounging Google
images, looking for reference material. Occasionally, they’ll
give me, like, a CAD model to work off of. The one I’m
currently working on, I’m using a CAD model, just kind of
working over it since the typology isn’t useful as it is,
but, yeah, so, what do I like most and least? Um, I
definitely like the consistent hours, I like the work life
balance in my particular position, which is actually kind
of rare for Silicon Valley, I hear. Yeah, I just, I was recently
able to telecommute, I’m now
telecommuting Mondays and Fridays, so that’s pretty cool.
One of the other things too is there’s sort of a lack of
oversight, I wouldn’t say a lack of oversight, but it’s very open
and experimental, the environment, which can be both a
good thing and a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose
focus, and you have to sort of, you know, let go of ideas, if
they don’t work out, so it’s a double-edged sword, but yeah.
>>SPEAKER: How did you get your current job?
>>SPEAKER: How did I find it?>>SPEAKER: Mm-hmm.
>>SPEAKER: Um, networking, people. So, um, this job almost came to
me, because I happen to know, let’s see, it was my girlfriend
at the time’s best friend’s ex-boyfriend worked for
NASA, and he’s an engineer, and, um, he ended up posting this
job opening on Facebook, like, hey, guys, anybody out there,
like, you know, want to check this out? So, I looked into it, and I got
the job. So, networking, sometimes, it’ll come to you, if
you network with people outside your area of interest.
>>SPEAKER: Very nice. You can also, if you have a Linked In account, we have Linked In
workshops at the career center, or you can
just drop in anytime at the career center too, and we can
help you create your profile, and you can find alumni from
Santa Barbara City College who are in the
industry and connect that way too, so networking, that’s a
great way to find a job. How about you, Yifan?
>>SPEAKER: How did I find my job?
>>SPEAKER: Mm-hmm.>>SPEAKER: Networking.
(Laughing.)>>SPEAKER: Okay.>>SPEAKER: Really, um, the
person that recommended me for this job was
an executive producer at my last job. That’s how I got my job.
So, she moved on from my last company to my current company
and hired me from my last company.
>>SPEAKER: Good deal.>>SPEAKER: I think we
definitely have a theme here, because for me, it was a hundred
percent networking. I, um, started renting a room from one
of the founders of the company, and I was playing in a band with
someone that was working at the company, and then I started
going to all of the office hours of a person who had a lab that
was using the company’s technology, so I was working all the networks that I
could.>>SPEAKER: The most important
thing that students do is find friends
and make friends and make connections. It’s 50 percent.
>>SPEAKER: Both within, within your own discipline and outside
of it.>>SPEAKER: Exactly. Right.
So, we’re so happy you’re saying networking, because we talk
about it all the time in the career center.
(Laughing.)>>SPEAKER: Same with you,
Gabe, do you have a different story, or no?
>>SPEAKER: Maybe a little different. When I’m not just
starting up my own crazy projects and have gotten more
connectional jobs, it’s been through kind of what I’ve done
before, and this kind of weaves into what your professor said
initially about how important your work is, and I think you’ll
find, you know, the jobs absolutely are out there, right,
it’s not just in the VR space and the games industry, what
have you, 3D modelers are in absolutely high demand,
animators, modelers, what have you, and it’s not always about
the degree that you have, if you go to them with work that you’ve done, it speaks
louder than anything else in the world. I just said, look, this
is what I had done before at my old start-up, and the world is, people said, okay, um,
you know, I didn’t know them before or anything, I didn’t
have any other connections, so it’s often networking that does
it, and I absolutely value that approach, I’m always doing it,
just in case, it’s the kind of thing you just continuously do, but work on
your stuff. It’ll serve you well.
>>SPEAKER: I’m going to mix it up here a little bit and have
you talk first, Yifan. What traits are important to have for
the work that you do? What characteristics?>>SPEAKER: Um, I would say
definitely keep an open mind, because it doesn’t matter how
good the work that you do, um, some people might always
have other opinions and send it back to you for changes. So, don’t be too attached
attached to your work, because it will be changed. Um, what
else? That’s the most important one.
>>SPEAKER: Anybody want to chime in?
>>SPEAKER: Well, I’m kind of on the flip-side of that. Um, sometimes, you need to have
sort of an eye for what your customer wants to see, and maybe
that, sometimes, is a little less than what you would
normally have put into it, say. Sometimes, there’s a wild factor
for people outside the industry who aren’t familiar with, like,
you know, in-depth texturing and things like that. Okay, for
instance, the people who are in charge of these research
missions really like to see their planes shiny and clean.
(Laughing.)>>SPEAKER: Which as we know in
CG, that’s a little bit less effort than adding all the dirt,
so I guess where I pick up the slack there is I’m probably
going to do, like, a second pass and sort of add rivets and other
details, but probably not dirt. Not so much scratches and dust,
because they like to see them clean, so, yeah. It’s kind of
interesting.>>SPEAKER: Yeah, I definitely
think in a fast-moving technology, I would say the
number one thing would be adaptability, because it’s,
things are just moving so fast, it’s, even
one week, you could have to change everything and start
adapting to now, like, different tracking technologies, even with
3D modeling, we have, like, GLTF and PBR shaders, and it’s like
we’re always having to shift things around and adapt. I
would say the other things would be patience, because things
don’t always, I mean, most of the time, they don’t work right
away, and it’s frustrating, but you have to have patience and
work through it, and I would say, lastly, creativity, because
it’s not always defined, what you’re supposed to do, so you
have to be able to look at it in different ways.
>>SPEAKER: Do you have to be, is it helpful to be a
self-initiator, to be able to run your projects and,
you know, just to start projects on your
own, or is there a lot of oversight over what you do?
>>SPEAKER: No. I mean, it’s definitely, you have to be able
to take the initiative, because, like I said, things aren’t just
clearly defined, so you don’t sometimes know what you’re
supposed to do, you just have a goal in mind, but you don’t know
how to get there, so it’s really, you have to be a lot of
self-initiative, I would think.>>SPEAKER: Gabe, you’re
nodding your head.>>SPEAKER: I mostly agree with
all of the above. Also, ditto on the ability to just learn new things on the fly is
really important. There’s always going to be that new
software tool that comes out that gets traction in the middle
of your career, and your ability to, you know, pick up on that is
going to be key. Otherwise, you’ll just be kind of left
behind pretty quickly. So, just that attitude of, um, not just
being able to learn new things, but also, kind of wanting to and
staying hungry, I think is important.
>>SPEAKER: I want to back that up, because at both my current
job and my last job, I had to learn a new
softary software when I started the job, so yes, that’s very
important, to learn new stuff.>>SPEAKER: So, was it, they
wanted to hire you, even if you didn’t know that specific
software, that they were willing to train you and all that? If
you had to do something over again as far as your education and
career or company choices that you’ve made, what would that
look like, if you had to do something over again, or what
sort of advice might you give the folks out in the audience as far as what kind
of education or decisions to make when they’re choosing jobs? Whoever wants to go first.
>>SPEAKER: I think learning time management skills at an
early age is a good one. I mean, I’m a big procrastinator,
this is, like, the one area where I
don’t procrastinate in my life, so time management is a good
one. Or, you know, I do wish I had
some more early experience with a more regimented job too,
because I grew up in a rural area, I had to travel, like, 45
minutes to be able to work, if I wanted to work as a cashier or
something, so I had to work for, you know, my dad. My dad’s not
a very strict manager, let’s say, so, yeah, getting that
early experience with, like, just a regular regimented job.
>>SPEAKER: So, that worked for you, you’re saying?
>>SPEAKER: No, if I could go back, I wish I’d put in more
effort to do that.>>SPEAKER: Okay, got it.
Yifan?>>SPEAKER: Um, well, I was
here for two years, and I transferred to Chapman, which I thought was a very good
choice, because I saved a lot of money, instead of going to a
four-year university. Well, you’re all here, so you’re
already making a better choice. Um, what would I do differently?
>>SPEAKER: Would you have done the same path?
>>SPEAKER: Yes. I would definitely do the same thing.
Um, and I was, I also think that it’s good, because I started as
an intern at my first company, I mean, it’s
good, if you can find a full-time, paying job right out of college, but, um,
keep an open mind to internships.
>>SPEAKER: When you transferred over, did you
already have your degree from City College?
>>SPEAKER: No, I didn’t have a degree, but I completed a lot of
the general education.>>SPEAKER: Thank you.
>>SPEAKER: Yeah, I spent six years taking classes at City
College, but I definitely don’t regret any of that, because I
just thought it was fun, just taking random classes here and
taking my time, but, um, I mean, I guess if I had to go back and
prepare myself better, in my specific job, I’ve had to do a
lot of catch-up when it comes to programming, so probably taking
some more computer science classes, because I jumped into going and having to do, um,
like, training sessions in python and
doing coding while I was kind of learning it myself at the time
that I was having to do trainings, so that was a little
scary. Um, I guess outside, I mean, also, maybe specific to my
job, maybe learn some more foreign languages, because I
have to go sometimes and have that weird —
>>SPEAKER: Sometimes, you can’t predict which ones you
should learn though, right?>>SPEAKER: Yeah, exactly, but
that’s the same as programming, which
languages do you learn. C plus plus is a good one to start
with.>>SPEAKER: Good point. Gabe?
>>SPEAKER: I don’t think I would change anything. As
mentioned in my bio, I was a classics major, I studied Latin
and ancient Greek, my first job out of college was teaching
Latin in Los Angeles&a lot of people ask me, don’t you wish you had done more
technical training early on, and the
answer is no. I’m able to do hot a lot of this
stuff online, and I think the
education that I have has served me really well, just in shaping
me as a person. So, um, I don’t think I’d choose any other
path, to be honest.>>SPEAKER: Great. All right, from here, weir we’re
going to go ahead and start our presentations. So, Gabe, we’ll
start with you, which means you’ll need to turn on
your microphone there. All right, you got the thumbs
up there, you’re good to go.>>SPEAKER: All right. Um, so, Frame is, it’s a web VR
tool, so it’s browser-based, you can open up the tool from a computer or a
mobile device, and, um, it’s all web
VR, so it’s coded in Javascript, and all the 3D modeling is GLTF, so, um, this
is the format that is getting a lot of traction these days.
We’ve fully embraced it, and it’s actually the native format
for the web VR development framework we use called A frame.
There are a lot of web VR development platforms out there
that are really exciting. I like A frame myself, but
Microsoft has one called Babylon JS, and there are a number of other ones. The
overall idea of Frame is you come into this kind of home world,
and it’s, it doesn’t look very pretty right now, I know, but
you can kind of bring in your own models, I have a few example
models, you can check out 360 photos, and importantly, you can
come in with other people, so if anyone else puts
in this URL right now, they would be in this space with me.
So, on the one hand, it’s designed for kind of, like,
collaboration, um, inside of a browser in VR. You can use
desktop or mobile, but the beautiful thing about web VR is
that if you have a VR headset plugged into your machine, you
can click that button on the bottom right corner, and it
renders it, um, stereoscopically, and you can
put in your headset, and you’re right there. So, the benefit of
web VR versus, like, unity-based applications, I love unity, but there’s very low
friction to introduce experiences, it’s just put in
the URL, click the button, and you’re there. Um, beyond this out of the box,
like, experience that we have that is still just in alpha and
very early days, um, we also do kind of, we’re like a custom web
VR development shop, so, um, more and more people are
browsing the web in VR, this is this kind of strange thing, like
all these oculous go devices, you see Sado has one there,
people are using the web in VR, and most websites show up as a
2D panel in VR, they don’t really take advantage of the
medium, and web VR is really interesting, because a web page
built with web VR takes advantage of the medium, so
companies can use their existing websites to deliver immersive
experiences, and I think that’s really exciting. So, we’re also
kind of doing custom development in the meantime to keep the
lights on while we develop this product, Frame. So, that’s kind
of Frame in a nutshell. I was going to do a more, like, a
multi-user demo, because Sado is in here, in the world on his phone,
but, um, no reason. Yeah, there’s, like, the avatar kind
of, like, face down there, but if you’re interested in checking
out Frame in any other capacity, you can
go to frameVR.io is the URL, and you can see what’s going on
there. So, yeah.
>>SPEAKER: Thank you. Sado, you want to show the tools that
you brought?>>SPEAKER: Oh, yeah. I could
start off here and then show some pictures up there.
>>SPEAKER: Whatever you want to do first.
>>SPEAKER: I might as well start here. I’ve actually been doing virtual
reality since the 90s, and things back then were massive, giant
headsets, cost, like, $150,000 just for the
headset, and things have obviously scaled down a lot over the years, and now, you can
get a $200 all in one headset, if you’re just wanting to play
around with it and be in there with your friends, but we
still do, mostly concentrate on high-end VR labs, so we, this is is, like, a
new 210-degree field of view headset, has built-in
eye-tracking. This is, I don’t know, maybe $5,000, so still a
lot cheaper than it used to be, but, um, we use different types
of tracking systems, so this is a, um, tracker that we build
ourselves, that we can put on to any headset, do
full body tracking, we could track people,
we have a basketball size, like an area the size of a basketball
court, where somebody can walk around in VR, um, down
to, like, sub-millimeter accuracy,
have these fun little ways of tracking your fingers. This is a data glove. So, lots of different ways you
can add interactivity. These are about $100 a piece,
these vibe trackers, and you can do full body tracking that way. This is actually a new, um, 360
camera that we just started playing around with. This can actually live stream
360 3D videos, and it does realtime stitching, and some
other various, just things people are using these days,
but, um, I could actually jump up and show some images of some
other stuff. Yeah, if anyone has any
questions or wants to check any of this stuff out afterwards,
you can talk to me. This thing still on?
>>SPEAKER: No, I muted it.>>SPEAKER: So, while he’s
getting setup, get your questions ready, because we will have a Q & A time, and
then there will probably be a little bit of enough time even
to stay after, if you have some specific questions for some of
our panelists up here.>>SPEAKER: Is this thing on
right now? Yeah. This is an example of how
WorldViz started. This is our founder who was
doing some tests at UCSB, so this is
obviously ducktaped, some weird headset on to a scooter, and
they were doing tests of navigation in VR, and so that
was kind of where it started, and, like,
the old virtuality headsets back in the
90s, big, bulky, expensive things, but it was still pretty
fun back then, and, yeah, this is a set of conference from a
long time ago. I guess we get to travel around, do various conferences, this is in
Vancouver, so we were showing off the star VR headset and
doing some interactive demonstrations. Um, this was neuroscience in San
Diego. This was an installation I did in Moscow, so they got to
do this virtual walk the plank thing we like to show, where
people walk out on to a virtual plank, and then even though you
know that you’re completely safe, most people won’t actually
walk forward, because your brain is stopping you, because you
think that you’re somehow in danger, which is always fun to
let people get scared. This is a, one thing we do a lot
of is actually projection VR, so this is, you have a series of,
um, short-throw projectors all around you, and they project in
3D, and you just wear shutter glasses, and theirer they’re
actually tracked, so you move around, and it actually moves
the environment, so you get the perspective that you’re
in that, um, world, and it’s a good thing, if you have a lot of
people too, because if they stand roughly behind where you
are, they get the same perspective, and they’re also
wearing 3D glasses. It’s a little bit more pensive
than just doing headsets, but a lot of our customers do that, so
there’s another example of that. We just did one actually at
Yale, it was 14 projectors, but it’s,
like, probably a room, like, maybe twice as big as this,
everything just stretching out, just projectors all around
all the walls, so it’s kind of crazy. And, um, oh, there’s Gabe
wearing the gloves. This is actually the one I was talking
about. This is a system in Miami, Ohio,
where they have, um, the whole basketball court is hooked up
with our tracking, and this person’s walking around, wearing a backpack PC, so
they’re doing tests on redirected walking, so if you
have a hard enough space, you could look like you’re
continually walking straight, but it’s slowly incrementally moving you in a circle, so
you’re walking in a big circle, but you look as if you’re
walking straight. Um, this is me doing the full
body tracked avatar. We have our own proprietary
software. This one is more for the non-coders, people who want
to drag and drop in their models and put together a presentation. It’s kind of like trying to be a
go-to meeting, Skype a VR, so it’s a very simple, easy one to
work with, and this is some examples of that,
doctors using it, and this is one that’s more
research-focused, where you have to basically code everything in
python and setup your models, but you add
all the interactivities in python, but that one’s used a
lot more by the, um, researchers, because they want
to be able to get in and do a lot
more, add a lot more details, and that’s basically about it.
So, yeah, afterwards, if anyone wants to check any of this stuff
out, let me know.>>SPEAKER: Thank you. That was really interesting. So, I think from here, um, we
need to ask you to put your phones down,
no photography, no cameras, and we’re going to say goodbye to
our live streamers, and we’re going to have Andrew setup here
to do his presentation for some of the things that he does at
NASA.>>SPEAKER: Can you hear me?
All right. Okay, so , I figured I’d just show, like,
a couple things on this flash drive, some of what we’ve been working on.

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