3D Origins: The Cornell Box and Beyond PBL Project
How are realistic depictions of lighting, materials and physics simulated in 3D Software?
Realistic 3D animation is used in numerous industries, from medical imaging, product design and prototyping, television and film making. Films using Autodesk’s software has won numerous Academy Awards (http://news.autodesk.com/2012-02-16-14-Academy-Award-Nominated-Movies-One-Thing-in-Common).
In this challenging series of lessons, students will be introduced to 3D software (Autodesk’s Maya) and learn how to create realistic three dimensional computer generated imagery. Students will be introduced to the software with a skill building project, before proceeding to create what is called a Cornell Box. The Cornell Program of Computer Graphics has become best known for its research on physically based rendering. They believe that computer graphics simulations will never become predictive of reality unless we can correctly model the physics of light reflection and light energy propagation within physical environments. Students will first model the box, then create realistic lighting, materials and light sources and render their scene using an advanced render engine called Mental Ray. Finally, students will create an example of simulated dynamics and attempt to create a Newton’s Cradle.
Autodesk's Maya is free for educators, set your lab up with this powerhouse software package beforehand. This software can be challenging to use (it is very complex) but there are many resources online in video and written format.
This project is brought to you by Seth Wilson (CTE) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Team Lead Gayle Nicholls-Ali.