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Beijing Uni of Technology Digital Art Conference

Beijing Uni of Technology Digital Art Conference

Beijing Uni of Technology Digital Art Conference

27-Oct-2011

Last week (19th Oct 2011 - 20th Oct 2011) the Beijing University of Technology held an international forum on digital art. Jonathan Strugnell, one of our teachers, went along to give a lecture on changes in Australian game education and to listen to what other universities and colleges around the world are teaching in these fields. The conference included commentary on digital art, virtual reality, and game art and animation, and included experts from mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, USA, and Australia. Its aim was to promote the exchange of digital media technology, and co-operation between countries.


Many interesting topics were covered, including the emergence of Transmedia and its importance in digital distribution. This began with promoting films and games with 'viral advertising', but now we have games, films, websites, blogs, books, and interactive displays in art galleries all coming together to tell a story. A reader's response to an internet post might change the storyline of a web series, or people visiting an art gallery might solve a murder case from a  television show. All of these feed back into each other to develop the narrative.


One speaker demonstrated a software he had developed that used a very basic scripting language to direct computer generated characters to perform a scene. Using a library of animations, it was quick and easy to create a small show (based on a news-reading format) with characters talking to each other and speaking whatever words were written for them. The English voice simulations still sounded rather robotic, but some of the Japanese voice simulation were astonishingly realistic and suggested that news broadcasts could actually be done like this quite soon.


One of the things that emerged most strongly from the forum was the importance of skills being transferrable across countries. We all tend to move around a lot more than we used to, and with the rate of technological change it is to everyone's advantage for new advances and training to be available to everyone. Hopefully the wishes of the Beijing University of Technology will be realised, and this conference will lead to exchange of ideas, training resources, students and teachers.