This summer I had the opportunity to volunteer at the ICT Mixed Reality Lab (MxR)www.mxrlab.com Thanks to MxR, I was able to make a molecule viewer in Panda3D (www.panda3d.org) controlled by gestures using FAAST (FAAST).
Here’s my little video presentation of the Molecule Viewer:
[…Video Music: Frederic Chopin’s Prelude in B Minor No. 6 ‘Raindrop’, Op. 28
Overall I had a great time at the ICT. I met wonderful people and was able to go on a tour of some of the labs and see some project demos. They have tons of virtual people projects and a graphics lab. For example the Light Stage 2 is a fabulous project which makes your favorite movies (Avatar, The Amazing Spiderman) all the more realistic. It’s been used to make virtual people and simulates lighting simulations for CGI. I snapped a iPhone photo of one flashing all its colored LED lights:
What’s cool about the Light Stage 2 is that it runs on the same python programming language that I learned during my volunteering at MxR. Learning a programming language forces you to think differently and puts a lot of computing in perspective. Now I really appeciate the people behind our calculators, video games, etc.
If you ever get a chance to see a lab (or demos) like at ICT, you should go. Futhermore if you ever get a chance to volunteer at a lab- you should take it immediately. Fortunately, we’re at a point in history were we can make great things using python or iPhones or computers that we did not have access to back in the 80s or 90s. Making something with new skills (in my case office work and programming) can definitely give you a rewarding feeling. (: