Registration is OPEN!!


The LSU Center for Computation & Technology and School of Music will host the 2015 International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, or NIME, May 31-June 3. This will be the 14th year that researchers and musicians from all over the world come together to share state-of-the-art musical interfaces and interactions for musical performance. 


The NIME conference is a unique and wonderful beast. Equal parts academic research, composition, technological discovery, performance art, interaction design, demonstration, theoretical discourse, art exhibition, and music; the conference is unified by an overriding understanding of the unique ways that music can touch us as listener and we can touch music as performer. 
We are very happy to host the keynote presentations of R. Luke DuBois and Sile O’Modhrain this year. Sile O’Modhrain’s work has focused on understanding the roles of haptic and auditory feedback in defining and influencing our interactions with music. Luke Dubois has approached the interface for musical expression through visual and data modalities. His works explore interfacing with all three media sources through beautiful and profound interactions.

We are excited to have the participation of the Shaw Center for the Arts, Glassell Gallery, Manship Theatre and the Digital Art faculty at LSU. We were able to curate a large number of sonic artworks that engage sound and interactivity in ways that extend beyond the stage and beyond a single performer. These works hold an interesting perspective on what our interaction with music might look like and what makes an interface expressive. A number of artworks will remain in exhibition at the Shaw Center for the Arts, Manship Theatre, and Glassell Gallery through the month of June.

The concerts are a place for NIME interfaces and music to shine. Twenty-seven performances and an open-mic session will be distributed across the campus. The LSU School of Music’s Shaver Theatre will present traditional stage oriented pieces to excellent effect. The off-campus Varsity Theatre will host intimate late night concerts. A special concert in the Digital Media Center Theatre will utilize the 92-speaker array to showcase various approaches to interfacing with space.
Workshops include:
Digital Stompbox Design using Satellite CCRMA
BeagleRT Embedded Audio Workshop
A Nime Primer
Cloud
Crafting Computational Percussion with Everyday Materials
Learning to Program Haptic Interactions using Max: Applications With Sound
Citygram
Making Music with Robotic Instruments
Performing with NIMEs
And, finally, at the core of the conference, the Digital Media Center will host the presentation of 106 papers, posters, and demonstrations of exploration in the world of musical interface. We were incredibly impressed by the quality and diversity of submissions. Through a thorough process of reviewers and meta-reviewers, we have collected an excellent array of cutting edge and innovative projects that both define the current state of musical interface and help shape the future of our discipline. 
To view the full schedule or to register, visit:  https://nime2015.lsu.edu/
NIME Conference Chairs: Jesse Allison, Stephen David Beck, Edgar Berdahl, Derick Ostrenko, Hye Yeon Nam, Daniel Shannahan 
Louisiana State University

Brought back to life by the mad scientists at LSU’s Center for Computation and Technology, the event formerly known as the Red Stick International Animation Festival returns after a two-year hiatus. Scheduled events, workshops and presentations promise to explore the ways in which digital media are shaping the way we view the world. Digital artists, makers, engineers, and entrepreneurs from Baton Rouge and beyond will gather downtown to present:

Friday
• 5:30 pm–10 pm: Performances by digital performance artists Evidence & Luke DuBois during a Steam Punk-themed gathering at the Town Lawn (North Blvd @ Third Street)

Saturday
• 10 am–noon: An Art/Tech Kids’ Lab event at the River Center Branch Library featuring a Lego lab, Minecraft and Arduino showcases, interactive art projects and live lab for ages six and up.
• Free workshops to introduce folks to Arduino (an electronics kit that anyone can use), Light Painting with iPads, and Cloudlet-based digital art collaboration. See redstickfestival.org for locations and times.
• 8:30 pm–’til: A Saturday night screening of Pitch Perfect, a film made right here in Baton Rouge, at the Town Lawn.

Sunday
• 3 pm–5 pm: A screening of selected animation pieces from previous Red Stick Animation Festivals. LASM, 100 S. River Road.
• 6 pm–8 pm: NIME @ Red Stick: An art exhibit taking place throughout the Shaw Center for the Arts and Glassell Gallery, coinciding with the opening of the New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference opening at LSU this day. 100 Lafayette Street.

redstickfestival.org to learn more.

30 seconds with experimental music professor Jesse Allison

by Jennifer Tormo

The LSU professor of experimental music and digital media spearheading this month’s Red Stick International Festival divulges what to expect at the technology-themed event.

What can visitors expect to find at this year’s festival?
LSU’s Center for Computation and Technology is going to present seven events over three days. The opening gala, with a carnival-type feel, will be an industry/business gathering featuring steampunk as well as a performance by a world-renowned digital artist. Other events will include a kid’s lab and expo/maker fair, both sponsored by Electronic Arts; Drones, Drama & Drinks sponsored by NOVAC, in which we explore the rising potential (and controversy) of the flying camera; an outdoor screening of Pitch Perfect; an animation retrospective of previous Red Stick Animation festivals; and the opening of the NIME @ Red Stick art exhibit (read more on that later).

Any exhibits or events that you think locals might get especially excited about?
The East Baton Rouge Parish library, which has been a big supporter of the festival, is hosting the Expo & Maker Fair at the downtown library on the afternoon of Saturday, May 30, at River Center Branch Library. We are expecting exhibits from Electronic Arts, NASA and local robotics clubs, among others, and a maker fair with booths from various local makers. Acadian Robotics, the only 3-D printer manufacturer in Louisiana, will be demonstrating some of their products.

What’s the one part of the festival that’s a must for any attendee?
Celtic Studios is presenting a movie night, and we are showcasing a film made right here in Baton Rouge, Pitch Perfect. We are going to show it downtown at North Boulevard Town Square on the evening of May 30.  We encourage everyone to grab a blanket, come down and watch the movie.

How long has the festival been running for? How has it evolved over the years?
Stephen David Beck and Stacey Simmons of LSU’s Center for Computation and Technology created the Red Stick International Animation Festival in 2005 to show the importance of high-performance computing through a popular medium—computer animation. The last Red Stick Animation Festival was held here in 2012. Last year, we decided to rebrand and retool the festival to an event focused on digital media (including but not limited to animation), maker fairs, experimental music concerts, digital art exhibits, game jams and other technology-derived events. Last year’s showcase was called FutureFest. Our goal this year was an open-source festival, with the community helping to shape the events. So we decided to keep the name simple—The Red Stick International Festival.

The festival overlaps with another international conference, New Interfaces of Musical Expression (NIME). How is Red Stick International Festival collaborating with NIME?
We have a number of NIME @ Red Stick crossover events that will allow festival attendees to get a glimpse into recent developments in the music world. The grandest of these is the NIME Art Exhibition Opening Reception on Sunday, May 31, 6-8 p.m. Many of the artists/attendees from NIME will be on hand for the opening, and we also plan for some of the NIME classes and workshops to be open to Red Stick attendees.  As Red Stick ends, the NIME conference (May 31-June 3) continues the creative technology events with demos, presentations and concerts that are open to the public. For more info, visit nime2015.lsu.edu.


The Red Stick International Festival festival starts May 29 at 6 p.m. with the opening gala and runs through May 31. All events are free. Events will be held at various spots downtown, including the Shaw Center for the Arts, LSU Museum of Art and North Boulevard Town Square. For a full schedule and to learn more about the event, visit redstickfestival.org.

 

http://www.225batonrouge.com

Show your work at the Maker Faire!  Sign up here:  https://redstickfestival.org/

We invite you to show your creative digital media projects or DIY experiments at the Red Stick Expo and Maker Faire, scheduled for Saturday, May 30th, at the River Center Library, Downtown Baton Rouge (2PM-6PM).

Red Stick International Festival 2015 –
Where Creativity Meets Technology:
“We want to inspire the next generation to look at Science, Technology & Art in new ways and come up with innovative ways to solve problems. Engineering is not only for building bridges, but it can be used to design new music, new approaches in digital media and new tech that you wear with flair. Art is not only for drawing pretty pictures, but rather Artists are discoverers as well as creators. They can use technology to create art and investigate new science – giving us a new perspective on our world. It’s a place to introduce and celebrate Louisiana’s achievements within Science, Technology & Art. A place for people to learn about new opportunities developing right here in Baton Rouge.”
For more information, visit:  https://redstickfestival.org/
ART 2220 / 4240 Moving Image

Summer 2015 | 9:00 – 12:00 MTWTF | Derick Ostrenko

All Majors Welcome

Moving Image is a project based survey course focused on building a strong foundation in animation, 3D computer graphics, and visual effects. Emphasis will be placed on learning animation principles such as: squash & stretch, staging, anticipation, straight ahead & pose to pose, follow through & overlapping, slow in & slow out, arcs, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawings, and appeal. Topics in computer graphics will include: modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering. These will be combined with issues in visual effects including: compositing, rotoscoping, mattes, image acquisition, keying, and match moving. The varied scope of subjects covered in the course will allow students to gain an integrated understanding of current approaches for the creation of time based media.

* Students may sign up for either ART 4240 or 2220 depending on which course best fits their degree audit. If you have any questions feel free to email the instructor at dostrenko@lsu.edu.

Before Ken Wesley ever made a digital tornado twist or a computer-generated hovercraft blow back trees, he liked to sit and watch the rain fall at home.

Wesley, 55, now an instructor at LSU, worked for three decades in the early days of computer generated imagery — CGI — creating scenes for “Mission Impossible,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and several other blockbusters.

His childhood in rural Foxworth in south Mississippi created a foundation for his work.

“I had a lot of time to watch rain fall or watch grass blow in the wind or natural phenomena — leaves falling from trees,” he said. “Those are the things that, as a visual effects artist, I became known for, recreating natural phenomena in the computer. That’s what I love.”

In January, Wesley became an instructor in LSU’s Digital Media Arts and Engineering program, which teaches master’s level students to create digital 3-D images for films and video games. They learn what Wesley taught himself to do, translate the natural world into a computerized language.

Since the 1980s, Wesley has helped develop much of the animation that his students have grown up watching.

“Ken brings decades of experience from the very early days of CGI to a group of students who grew up with it and take it for granted,” said Marc Aubanel, director of the program.

Wesley became interested in art at an early age, taking painting lessons as a 12-year-old after school. As a teenager, he knew he would attend the University of Southern Mississippi in nearby Hattiesburg, but he didn’t have plans for a career.

One night before his high school graduation in 1977, Wesley was leaving his parents’ house when he saw a few minutes of a “60 Minutes” segment on a new medium — computer animation — that featured a program at a university in New York.

“I looked at the TV as I was opening the back door,” he recalled, “and I said, ‘That is what I want to do.’”

He majored in computer science and minored in math. As a senior, he sent out just one resume — to the New York Institute of Technology’s computer animation laboratory, the program he saw on television years before.

Unexpectedly, they hired him.

Wesley started working on some of the early 3-D computer animation sequences, television commercials and title sequences for CBS Sports programs.

“It was new then. It was cool then,” Wesley said. “It’s expected now.”

Eager to work on bigger projects, Wesley moved to Germany before being hired at Industrial Light and Magic, the visual effects company founded by George Lucas.

In the mid-1990s, major films began to use computerized visual effects regularly. Wesley worked on one of the best-known segments of “Mission Impossible,” a fight atop a high-speed train, and an effect in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” where a villain turns to ash.

Wesley’s work is equal parts art and mathematics. Starting with an image, he can create a computer program that creates an entire world.

One leaf of grass can become a field, each blade unique in the way it twists in the wind or curls toward the sun.

“One of the things I still like doing is studying some natural phenomenon or some process and then trying to figure out the mathematics that are at play,” Wesley said.

After nearly a decade at Industrial Light and Magic, Wesley left computer animation and California. He moved to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, to paint.

Long hours at a computer had begun to alter his mind, he said.

“I am in the virtual world inside the computer doing stuff,” he said. “I am operating in a space that really exists inside my head, but it seems to be inside that monitor.”

He often longed for the rain, the grass, the nature with which he had grown up.

“I struggle with balancing that artificial technological influence on my life with the thing that makes grass grow,” he said. “It’s a huge struggle.”

When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, Wesley lost everything at his home in Bay St. Louis. Since then he has moved between California and Mississippi, alternately painting and working on movies.

CGI experts are no longer hired longterm, he said, instead working on a less-secure contract basis.

Last summer, Wesley finished work on “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” and was hired to teach at LSU.

The new job offers security and the opportunity to work in the future of computer graphics. Wesley said he believes that films as we know them will die out. In the future, viewers will desire more interaction, like a video game.

“Every single person is going to have a different experience with that product,” he said. “I want to do that. I want to be involved in that.”

Teaching the next generation of visual effects artists, he has his chance.

 

By:  Kyle Peveto| kpeveto@theadvocate.com

Stressed out by upcoming final exams, come unwind and join us for a FREE movies at the Digital Media Center at LSU.  We will be featuring Godzilla and will feature a talk by Visual Effect Artis, Craig Houston who will discuss the ins and outs of stereoscopic compositing.

DMAE Film Series 

Next Screening:  Saturday, April 25th, 2015; 7:00PM (doors open at 6:30pm)
Film Title:  Godzilla (2014)
Guest Speaker:  VFX Artists & Lead Compositor, Craig Houston
Where:  Digital Media Center Theater

https://www.facebook.com/events/716972468420321/?ref=3

Director Gareth Edwards mimics the original in playing coy with the title monster—and mimics its Americanized forebear by shifting much of the action and heroism stateside. But for those with a high tolerance for action-movie bingo and CGI carnage, Godzilla’s reverence for the King of the Monsters oozes from every track mark, snapping cable and thundering footstep.

Because here, Godzilla’s most important character is the radioactive sea-dweller. The lumbering legend’s rendered in painstaking detail, from jagged spikes to melancholy mien. It’s a microcosm of the movie’s visual thoughtfulness; Edwards has a knack for the frame within the frame—rearview mirrors reflecting eerie abandoned streets, windows offering incomplete glimpses—to heighten both the atmosphere of dread and in-the-moment tension, so that the final standoff captures some real thrill. It might not be enough to clean up all the loose ends, but for monster-movie fans, Godzilla offers a loving look at the old guy back on the big screen.
” – Genevieve Valentine, Philadelphia Weekly
With stereoscopic production becoming more and more common (Oculus announced a film production wing), stereoscopic compositing is affecting how movies are shot and post produced.  Come listen to Gener8’s Craig Houston and find out how this affects movie productions moving into the future.  For anyone interested in film post production, compositing and Nuke – this is a must see screening.
Come join us for a night of FREE movies at the Digital Media Center at LSU. We will be featuring Revolution OS.

DMAE Film Series – Revolution OS

Screening: Wednesday, March 11th, 7:00 pm
Film:  Revolution OS
Where:  Digital Media Center Theatre
Guest Speaker:  Dr. Robert Kooima

DMAE & CCT are proud to present Revolution OS. “The film is a documentary that traces the twenty-year history of GNU, Linux, open source, and the free software movement. Directed by J. T. S. Moore, the film features interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.” – Wikipedia.  Dr. Robert Kooima will discuss what has changed since the movie was made and put it in a modern context with today’s challenges.

“This in-depth study of important developments of the computer industry should make it required viewing in university computer science departments for years to come. Just on a practical level, it indicates the community-oriented approach is not only the fastest way to fix problems, but can lead to a sort of “Natural Selection” method of improving software. Intellectually, the movie explores some fairly lofty ideals and demonstrates their implementation in a capitalist environment can be much more successful than you might think. It kind of gives you hope for the human race. As Open Source and LINUX realize their potential to exploit Microsoft’s weaknesses, Stallman and his comrades might actually fulfill one of their other dreams – to become Bill Gates worst nightmare.” – Ron Wells, Film Threat

Robert Kooima is an Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Louisiana State University and a member of the faculty of the Center for Computation & Technology. He studies real-time 3D computer graphics, interactive display technology, digital imaging, and image processing. For more information, visit: http://csc.lsu.edu/~kooima/research.html
For more information on the LSU Digital Media Arts & Engineering Program, visit:  https://dmae.lsu.edu/
Louisiana Public Broadcasting is seeking entries for The 2015 PBS Online Film Festival. They had an entry from Louisiana make the national stage and would love to see another this year!
If you are a budding filmmaker and want to show off your work, LPB is seeking local short films for the 2015 PBS Online Film Festival. This national online festival encourages independent filmmakers to submit their unique, thought-provoking creations for possible entry to the national PBS Online Film Festival. The only restrictions are that the films must be between three and 15 minutes long and must meet the technical criteria for the festival.
For more information, visit:  http://www.lpb.org/filmfest
All entries must be received by Friday, February 20, 2015.

Over the weekend, video game developers converged upon LSU for 48 hours of straight jamming.

Happening in 78 countries across the globe in 524 sites, the Global Game Jam video game creation competition, the world’s largest event of its kind, was held at LSU’s Digital Media Center and had about 20,000 participants worldwide.

Thirty participants, who ranged from college students majoring in gaming to adults who have made it a hobby, created six video game concepts during the weekend at LSU. A local event organizer said last year, a snowstorm derailed plans for LSU’s first Global Game Jam, but this year, weather did not stop the show.

Furthermore, “this is a must-have for educational institutions,” said Marc Aubanel, the director of LSU’s Digital Media Arts and Engineering program who helped organize the weekend of events. “These types of marathons are happening in business and academia all over.” Aubanel said similar events are taking place within colleges and major companies including Facebook and Google.

The events breed innovation, he says, although only about one or two out of a thousand of the ideas make it to market. “You don’t get a complete game from these competitions. Just the blueprint. Sometimes it takes several years to develop.”

. . . . . . .

Renita D. Young is a business reporter based in Baton Rouge. Email her at ryoung@nola.com or call 504.352.2548. You can also keep up with all of her local updates on Twitter @RenitaDYoung and on Facebook.