Todd Emma

Associate Professor for East Tennessee State University

Todd spent several years in Fort Lauderdale, FL where he operated his design studio “Voodoo Designs” and taught at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He later become the Director of Marketing and Web Design at Steeda Auto Sports while continuing to teach part time. Missing the world of gaming and 3D, Todd went back to teaching full time at the Art Institute in the Game Design department as the Game Engine Technology Expert. Working with the leading 3D game engine and 3D modeling software, he successfully lead graduating classes into successful gaming positions across the country. After a short stay at South East Missouri State University as a multi-media instructor, he is now helping to guide the gaming and interaction program at ETSU in new and exciting gaming areas including new work flows in the 3d pipeline, online interaction, effects for gaming, hud development, mobile gaming and 3d gaming production just to mention a few.

Panel Description:

Postmortem VR exhibit at the Gray Fossil Site and Museum
(Panelist include:  Jesse WillisBenjamin Riley, Robin KomanGreg Lyons)

East Tennessee State University’s department of Digital Media is currently working with the Gray Fossil Site, Dr. Chris Widga, and a small group of upper division Digital Media students to establish a virtual reality exhibit at the Gray Fossil Site and Museum.
The service project implements the latest VR and photogrammetry techniques inside of the Unreal Engine. The project highlights the exciting work being done in Digital Media at ETSU and Gray Fossil Site.

Current and potential end goals for the project are:
● creating an exhibit inside the museum.
● cross-disciplinary collaboration between the Gray Fossil Site and Digital
Media Department leading to several potential externally funded grant

Working closely with the Gray Fossil Site and Museum, the Digital Media Department created a simulation of the dig site. The Gray Fossil Site kept point cloud data for the fossils it located. Our lead scripter created a small plugin able to pull the coordinates from the database and use spheres to create a visualization of the site. This fossil’s “star field” is fully navigable in VR and PC.

The Gray Fossil Site has laser scan data for some of its recent fossils. Using Zbrush and photogrammetry we were able to create game ready assets for VR and PC.

In this presentation we discuss a brief history of the Gray Fossil Site and how this project came to be. We cover in detail working the database and photogrammetry tools and workflows needed to create the simulation. We will also discuss some hurdles and challenges we overcame in the creation of the final project.

Panel Description:

Simulation and Game Development Education Panel
(Panelist include: Marc TuckerBrad Swearingen, and Todd Emma)

The Game Industry, as always, is constantly changing and growing. The skills and tools that students are using also change with the ebb and flow of the industry. It has been a number of years since we, as educators, have gotten together to discuss our mission and shared opportunities. In this panel, we will discuss what the future holds for Video Game and Simulation education. We would like to share ideas and strategies to ensure that students are employable and gaining the skills necessary to reach their goals. We hope to have industry leaders and educational leaders attend to get the most out of this session. We want to discuss collaborative opportunities, PD opportunities for Faculty, work with Industry Leaders, etc. to ensure that we are all on the right track for the success of our students.