These tutorials are part of the University of Pennsylvania's ViDi Center and its effort to merge the power and visual impact of modern computer graphics with research questions in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
These tutorials are aimed at anyone who is interested in computer graphics or wants to use computer graphics as a tool in their own field. The tutorials should be accessible regardless of one's background.
This is so important because modern computer graphics has succeeded in virtually reproducing visual reality to the extent that the distinction between real and virtual is visually indistinguishable in today’s movie and game media. We seek to bring that level of realism into reconstruction of ancient sites and artifacts, even to the virtual re-population of large scale environments. A thorough understanding of modern computer graphics techniques is therefore necessary for accurate portrayal of what is known – and also of what is unknown or conjectured. In no case should visual artifacts play a confounding role in the presentation of such materials. These course materials will raise awareness levels and thus the sophistication of the Penn research enterprise. Ongoing collaborations with Anthropology, Art History, the Digital Humanities Forum and the Penn Museum (among others) will directly benefit from these materials.
The ViDi Center will fundamentally address the connections between visual analysis and re-synthesis problems, primarily involving 3D objects and environments that pose significant and interesting questions in the Humanities (but also in Medicine and Engineering). The ViDi Center will bring together Engineering and Humanities faculty to embark on deeply collaborative investigations to discover new Computer Graphics modeling and animation methods and apply the best and most appropriate techniques to modeling and visualization challenges presented by human artistic, structural, and cultural artifacts.