Science & Tech

Visualization Students Vying For Top Spots In Global Competition

July 6, 2017


Michael Bruner was part of the team behind “Paw Parade,” a game that was made during Texas A&M’s Chillennium.
By Richard Nira, Texas A&M University College of Architecture

Video games and virtual reality environments developed by former Texas A&M visualization students are contenders for top prizes in the final round of “The Rookies,” a global competition for young designers, creators, innovators and artists.

A jury of leading industry professionals hand-picked the entries for the final round of the contest, which includes virtual reality, graphic design, digital animation, and gaming categories, as examples of exceptional creative and technical skills.

Winners in the Autodesk-hosted contest, vying for coveted software development licenses and the latest hardware, will be announced July 7, 2017.

One of the finalists Michael Bruner, is part of teams that developed three VR apps:

  • “Willow,” which employs a multitude of sensors tracking a participant’s physical movement within a space to alter the virtual reality experience;
  • “Forest Friends,” which tracks users’ interactions with virtual characters in a colorful, otherworldly environment; and
  • “Transient Station,” in which a customer service agent is tasked with moving travelers in limbo to their final destinations.

In the gaming category, Bruner also has two submissions:

  • “Paw Parade,” in which a player tries to gather a group of wayward cats while moving to a new home, and
  • “Neverland,” in which a player helps rescue a group of boys kidnapped by Captain Hook.

Another finalist in the VR category, former viz student Preston White, was part of a team that created a virtual, rotating model of a dog’s front leg with anatomical labels as a tool to help educate veterinary students.

With virtual buttons, a user can activate, pause, and vary the speed of the limb’s natural motion and control its rotation. Users can also walk around the limb to see it at any angle.

Bruner and White earned Bachelor of Science in Visualization degrees in May 2017.


This story by Richard Nira originally appeared in ArchOne

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