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VR/AR and Immersive Media

October 11, 2017

The Digital Media’s new minor in Interactive Immersive Media will introduce experiences that are fully interactive, allowing students to manipulate and navigate digital media through the immersive experience, rather than view it passively. With immersive media, instead of looking at a rectangular screen in front of you, you're completely engulfed as a participant in the active media. Think about your experiences or interest with the Occulus Rift, the HTV Vive, projection domes,  CAVE systems that utilize the walls, floor, and ceiling, or even our Pearlstein exhibition of Philly Radness where artist Chris Mulhern and professional skateboarder, Ed Selego turned the gallery into skate-able, projection-mapped, generative art that completely responded to attendees. The technologies applied in immersive media have existed for well over a decade, and our Digital Media department has been involved from the very beginning, but only in recent years has this technology been accessible for mass media to actively utilize. In recent years there's been unprecedented demand for immersive media in the medical, nursing, education, marking, and criminology fields, and this demand has led to exponential innovation in the field. "The ability to make – to routinely create – content that has the type of impact that immersive media can is very difficult, it requires specialized skill-sets, and that's exactly what we teach," wrote Nick Jushchyshyn, Animation & Visual Effects Program Director.

Immersive media is a growing industry with strong demand in a variety of industries. Rather than using camera or rendered animation, immersive media is created using interactive game engines like Unity or Unreal, but can also involve custom code development similar to interactive digital media such as web and mobile applications.

Students interested in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality might consider taking Interactive Immersive Media, which is taught by leading faculty who have field experience in this platform. Most classes will involve production. In the past, classes have visited companies that manufacture new technologies for this sector to see the behind-the-scenes technology utilized in their creation and implementation.

Click to learn more about the Animation & Visual Effects or Interactive Digital Media programs.