Module Identifier SG31330  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Miss Rebecca A Mitchell  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Other staff Mr Simon J Banham  
Pre-Requisite SG31730 , SG21520  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1. Individual, self-determined CAS project and presentation. The individual project will be conducted on the basis of parameters agreed with the course tutors and should enable demonstration of a sophisticated facility in the manipulation and employment of virtual space to formulate and present scenographic propositions; OR to create web-hosted aesthetic events , OR to generate interactive elements for live performance. The project is ultimately the subject of a twenty minute presentation and fifteen minute viva.70%
Semester Assessment 2. Research Document (2000 words). This document is submitted in support of the above project and should articulate the aims, strategies and intended outcomes of the project, contextualized within current trends of computer scenographics.30%
Supplementary Assessment The modes of assessment permit repeat submission (in response to a new project brief) during the August re-sit period.100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.

1. demonstrate a sophisticated individual facility in the manipulation and employment of virtual space to formulate and present scenographic propositions; OR to create web-hosted aesthetic events , OR to generate interactive elements for live performance .
2. demonstrate an awareness of current and potential applications of computer-modelled space in contemporary performance practice and to place their own work in relation to this context.
3. engage and exploit a range of industry-specific and broadly transferable IT skills.

Brief description

This module aims to develop a sophisticated individual facility in the manipulation and employment of virtual space to formulate and present scenographic propositions; OR to create web-hosted aesthetic events , OR to generate interactive elements for live performance. In addition the module examines the existing and potential applications of interactive and immersive computer-generated environments within contemporary performance practice, and fosters and develops a wide range of industry-specific and transferable IT skills. Teaching is conducted through a series of tutorials designed to facilitate and respond to individual strategies of software application within the parameters of the above aims. The lecture/seminars demand and support research into concepts and practice relating to the interface between computer scenographics and performance. This learning is consolidated and assessed through a substantial, self-determined CAS project, supported by research documentation.


In essence this proposal seeks to raise the credit weighting of the current SG30920 Computer-Aided Scenography (2) module to 30 credits. This is in response to feedback from staff and students identifying the steepness of the IT learning curve involved, and the potential benefits to learning of (particularly) more student study hours being dedicated to the subject. This optional branch of the degree scheme should equip students with consolidated skills applicable to a number of employment environments.


Group tutorials are tailored in relation to the general and specific requirements of the self-determined CAS projects, offering guidance through the recommendation of specific exercises to gain greater command of relevant aspects of the software programmes employed. Seminars are focused upon the supporting research assignment and involve presentations from both the course tutors (which draw attention to the theory and practice of significant figures such as Brenda Laurel, Mark Reaney, Claudio Pinhanez, George Coates and Mika Tuomola) and from students following the module. As a general guide, the tutorial content would typically cover the following areas, making advanced study of the possibilities of animation and representation within the 3D environment:

1.   Animating the figure using Mocca and Soft IK
2.   Volume effects [fire, water, mist smoke] using Pyrocluster
3.   Advanced Render 1: to include vector motion blur and subsurface scattering
4.   Advanced Render 2: to include ambient occlusion, texture mapping and radiosity
5.   BodyPaint - painting and advanced texturing methods in a 3D environment
6.   Movement Dynamics 1: soft bodies, wind and self collision
7.   Movement Dynamics 2: gravity collision, rigid body springs 1 & 2
8.   Movement Dynamics 3: gravity collision, constraints, and collision detection
9.   Movement Dynamics 4: gravity collision, soft bodies and plastic soft bodies
10. The animation of mass groupings in response to external forces using Thinking Particles.

Module Skills

Problem solving * Identify conceptual problems * Identify factors which might influence potential solutions * Develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving * Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions * Construct a rational proposal in response to a problem  
Research skills * Understand a range of research methods * Plan and carry out research * Produce academically appropriate reports  
Communication * Read in a specific context * Communicate through specific software application * Speak in different contexts and for different purposes (inc presentation and discussion) * Listen effectively  
Improving own Learning and Performance * Devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies  
Team work * Knowledge sharing through discussion. * Understand the concept of group (seminar) dynamics * Play an active part in group (seminar) activities.  
Information Technology * Use a range of commonly used and specific software packages * Present information and data * Manage storage systems * Use email /internet appropriately and effectively  
Application of Number * Tackle problems involving number within IT data handling  
Personal Development and Career planning * Whilst not an especial focus or assessed element of teaching and learning, the module extends a range of conceptual, creative, and IT specicfic skills, and students are made aware of the transferable applications of these across academic and career borders. The skills of three-dimensional, animated, computer-modeling have a particularly high industry value.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Bachelard, Gaston (1994.) The Poetics of Space Beacon Press,
Beardon, Colin (ed.) (1999) Digital Creativity (Vol. 10, No. 3) Swets & Zeitlinger
Benson, Phil and Toogood, Sarah (2002) Challenges to research and practice. Dublin: Authentik Language Learning Resources,
Carver, Gavin (1996) Computer-Aided Scenography, some observations on procedures and concepts Studies in Theatre Production No 14, 20 � 33,
Carver, Gavin ((2000)) Designing by Numbers: the use of computers in the development of designs for the stage. Scenography International No. 3
Laurel, Brenda, (1991) Computers as Theatre Reading, M.A: Addison-Wesley,
Payne, Darwin Reid (1994) Computer Scenographics Southern Illinois University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 6