"Derrick Woodham "
The Evolution of D.A.A.P.
(University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning)

2 pm - 3pm PST - November 21, 1998

shard: Hello everyone, Bonnie DeVarco has asked me to introduce...
shard: Derrick Woodham
shard: Our Next Speaker
shard: Please all wave... and prepare...
shard: to take in a wonderful talk...
Derrick W: Hello everyone. I'm Derrick Woodham, a faculty member of the School of Art in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. I teach sculpture and electronic arts, and practice as a sculptor.
Derrick W: I will give you a brief history of the development of DAAP, respond to any questions on the presentation, and then invite you to tour the site. You may open your text windows an inch or so to accommodate my speech. Please let me know
Derrick W: if I'm going too fast!
Derrick W: The images behind me are scrolling through DAAP, My first exhibition page, and Comsclex, the Computer sculpture park page for DAAP
Derrick W: You can bring up the current DAAP home page in your url window by clicking on the linking weblink to your right on the stage here. This contains links to most of the sites and url pages I will be referring to today
Derrick W: DAAP, the online sculpture world of the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati, began during the spring of 1996, shortly after Alphaworld first went on line. I had initially heard of AW through an announcement in PC Magazine, which recognized AW as the most promising application of 1995 in their new year issue.
Derrick W: I was a sculptor just beginning to explore the viability of the computer as a tool for designing sculpture, enjoying the modeling and animation capabilities of 3DStudio, and excited about the possibilities of the internet for publishing artwork.
Derrick W: All of the basic ingredients of AW were already there when I first visited, such as multiple user access, avatar identity, text communication, building with objects, and I wanted to try out some models of my own.
Derrick W: Danny Viesco, a designer and developer with the team at the time, encouraged me to try my hand at converting my 3ds models to rwx format, and I tested these initially by installing them in AW off-line.
Derrick W: I built an environment in AW called Piazza, at 449S 39W 180, which I used for this purpose. Images of these installations are displayed in my Piazza url page. After a while I asked the CEO of Worlds, owners of AW at the time, to let me set up an educational zone, and DAAP was born.

Derrick W:The virtual sculpture surrounding ground zero in DAAP are all made from my models. some of them are copies or derived from sculpture I have already made, such as Geo Venus and Twisted Crystal and Rotating Cubes.
Derrick W: Others, like Twister, have led or will lead to new work. All were converted from 3ds models, with significantly higher polygon counts than usual for AW models.
Derrick W: Conversion to rwx was not a snap. I learned quickly that 3dstudio Boolean functions on objects resulted in the loss of geometry during the conversion process, and had to reconstruct almost everything I converted to some extent, using mesh editing functions instead.
Derrick W: In Cincinnati I've been lucky enough to be able to work with Benjamin Britton, who created the first high resolution interactive virtual reality environment, modeling the Lascaux Caves in France
Derrick W: These caves were recognized for years as the finest examples of Neolithic paintings in the world, and had been closed to the public recently
Derrick W: being exposed to contact with the outside environment.
Derrick W: He had made a CD-ROM based model of a small section of the cave, including an extension designed to display photography by his wife, Lisa, which he called Meander
Derrick W: My next project in DAAP was to convert this into an underground environment. I was pleased with how little modification was necessary to produce the installation.
Derrick W: The lower resolution of the bitmaps is the only noticeable change. These have improved since the high rez version has been issued
Derrick W: I hope to see even higher rez in Activeworlds soon. Images of this are collaged into the current DAAP home page, and there is a url link to Ben's Lascaux pages activated as you enter Meander
Derrick W: I brought Activeworlds into my coursework at UC in the Fall of '96.
Derrick W: I have used it as an on-line venue for the presentation of work made for courses in Computer Sculpture, Modeling for 3D Networking, and Fine Art Media Foundations
Derrick W: The first two courses combine graduate and undergraduate, experienced modelers and novices, and initially attempted to solicit external on-line participants
Derrick W: Although I met a few interesting people on line, preoccupation with the daily problems of the resident group and our facilities have prevented much from happening external to the college
Derrick W: Dealing with the preconceptions of ambitious students was also a challenge
Derrick W: Simpler and less expensive 3d modelers, like Truespace 2 for example, provided all the necessary modeling functions at least as effectively, and at much less cost
Derrick W: but try encouraging a student to try something less that the hottest available modeling app!
"Bill": hello bonny
Derrick W: In my own case, the challenges of working with an on-line application in an institutional, staff run computer lab are proving difficult to overcome
Derrick W: Administrative protocols and security concerns have competing objectives with on-line accessibility
Derrick W: when the lab spends most of its time supporting internally dedicated modeling and design work, and multi media is only being catered to an the Mac platform.
Derrick W: We are still working without a dedicated multimedia PC lab in DAAP
Derrick W: The first course models for DAAP were produced by students in fine art and design. though they were not all designed with sculpture in mind, I included all in the sculpture park
Derrick W: Half had no experience of 3DStudio, so these models are their first projects.
Derrick W: Everyone was invited to choose a modeling approach, either using geometric primitives, lofting shapes, editing meshes, or combining and or modifying existing models
Derrick W: The images in Computer Sculpture Park show the results. A link to this page is activated when you pass through the teleport gate to the park from Ground Zero.
Derrick W: Further Models have been added to the park by students In Modeling for 3D networking, and in both courses I have begun to use an area in Alphaworld as an environment where students can explore the building
Derrick W: and interactive potential of the application as a preparation for work in DAAP. GZ for his area is AW 2000S 250W
Derrick W: The Fine Art Media Foundation Class was given an introduction to using Photoshop 4 and 3D Studio MAX, and publishing a web page using Netscape Composer
Derrick W: Each student produced a self portrait in Photoshop, a simple sculptural model in MAX, and two brief descriptive statements on their projects, to be published with renderings of the artwork through Composer
Derrick W: I installed the portraits in the DAAP Gallery, and the sculpture around the gallery, linking the sculpture to their web pages

Derrick W: Last fall I invited members of Intersculpt, a group of professional sculptors working with the computer, to share DAAP as a virtual exhibition site in conjunction with Intersculpt'97,
Derrick W: a transatlantic exhibition hosted jointly in Philadelphia and Paris. Christian Lavigne, co-founder of the group in Paris, sent models, and invited DAAP to join the exhibition.
Derrick W: This spring we collaborated with the International Sculpture Conference in Chicago, and developed a site in DAAP which included work by additional artists for the conference
Derrick W: Most of the sculptors interested are currently working in Autocad, Stratopro or Alias / Wavefront, and I have had only limited success to date converting dxf files, but I'm working it out
Derrick W: I'm about to distribute invitations to anyone interested in exhibiting with us next fall in Intersculpt'99. Anyone interested here should email me via our DAAP home page for more information
Derrick W: Until this quarter I have not been successful in attracting the interest of other faculty or students to AW. Their already established interest in other applications has been hard to overcome
Derrick W: However this year a new group of graduates in Architecture and Planning are joining in, with Fine Arts Media students working in 3D animation
Derrick W: A number of experimental models are presently being installed just beyond Ground Zero. these include to the West a model of the college's new Reed Gallery, which we hope to use to test exhibition installation plans;
Derrick W: to the North an urban cathedral environment from a 3D animation project; to the East very large models of downtown Cincinnati buildings.
Derrick W: These, still under development, and other models soon to be installed of historic and future sites in Bulgaria and China, will open the doors for more extensive, dedicated investigation of AW's potential to support professional education.
Derrick W: To summarize, Working with DAAP has been a great adventure so far, testing myself, and everyone around me, more that we expected
Derrick W: . Finding a place for something so new in an established hierarchy of interest and applications is hard work, even in something as new as Computer applications in art and design,
Derrick W: especially when the old adage of what's bigger is better still prevails
Derrick W: But the more we understand bout the potential of this kind of application, the better it seems to be Derrick W: and the burgeoning AW community is proving it's point. DAAP will very soon outgrow it's space, and we've only just begun.
Derrick W: As an Internet2 institution, the University of Cincinnati is saying that the next generation of experience enhancing initiatives in networked interactive multimedia and virtual reality
Derrick W: is going to come from the Arts. I expect Activeworlds will be a part of the equation for us.
Derrick W: Any Questions?
Derrick W: That was a lot of cut and pasting!
"John Bray": Applause
Derrick W: Thank you, thank you!
HenrikG: Are you working with other world owners?
Derrick W: I'm helping Ben with his MOON world right now
"rriner": :ds from Flagstaff>
Derrick W: And trying my first avatars, but I need more texturing
shard: Is Ben working in AW (sorry, I couldn't tell from talk above. BTW, I know Ben from his days at Boston Film/Video Foundation)
Derrick W: No. H'es trying to develop a higher rez app with built in avatar scripting and interactivity
shard: his moon world, tho?
Derrick W: I'm still promotin aw for one aspect of his project, which is why MOON is still up
Derrick W: Ben is very committed to higher rez work
Derrick W: He hopes the standard will be there in '99
HenrikG: isn't that for the future? I mean for the ordinary internet user if today..
Totoro: I've spent *many* hours in DAAP. I find the contrast between the pleasant, orderly, fairly ordinairly park and the unique and sometimes wild sculptures to be compelling. Great slides, BTW.
Derrick W: I anyone is interested, and you,ve got the daap homepage in your url window, we can visit daap now for a look at some of the new object?
"John Bray": Can I ask a technical question. How did you do the slide show that appeared in the panels behind you?
Bonnie DeVarco: There is also a teleport to Daap right outside the gate behind us on the bottom of the teleport pyramid.
Derrick W: I've tried to keep the environment simple so far, to allow the high poly models room to move. Thabnks
Derrick W: Thanks Bonnie, for making the slide show work!
Bonnie DeVarco: The slide show was cut and paste from the pages of piazza and daap
HenrikG: wise derrick:) high polygon models actually work in aw.. with the proper sorroundings
Bonnie DeVarco: you are welcome!
"John Bray": Did you have some kind of carosel ready, or were you interleaving the cutting and pasting of pcitures with the text?
"John Bray": If the latter, I'm most impressed with your dexterity!
Bonnie DeVarco: web page was perfect for it -- so shall we follow Derrick to DAAP World?
Derrick W: The Architects are looking at ways to produce large and small object composites of buildings, to keep bumpability without losing their interest in extraordinary scale!
HenrikG: Thats doable Derrick
Derrick W: Ok, I'll see you there.
Totoro: I'm game to see the new objects in DAAP.
"John Bray": Hello Reed, it seems very Bizaare going to a Contact conference from my spare room!
"rriner": "John Bray from CONTACT?
"John Bray": Yes, this is my first go at a virtural world.
"rriner": "Hi! I have terrible lag, here however.
"John Bray": After Bruce Damer's talk a year or so ago, I tried virtual worlds then, but my machine wasn't
"rriner": "My machine isn't up to it, I guess.
"John Bray": up to it. The new hardware makes it quite practical now. It certainly has a conference atmosphere.
"rriner": "I couldn't see the slides, for example.
"John Bray": I had no problem on a AMD K6 200, but the large monitor helps a lot to fit it all in.
"John Bray": I'm not sure the technology is quite up to the last yet, but if we could do audio, and slides in a
zg: you can do that john
"John Bray": seperate window, you can get a real feeling of being with the speaker.

About Derrick Woodham:

Derrick Woodham first encountered Active Worlds in 1995, while searching for venues to present virtual reality models of sculpture on the internet, and has since installed models of his own work, and art and design work created by his students and other artists in DAAP, the first Active Worlds on line educational zone at the University of Cincinnati. See his brief biography here:

Back to CCon Home