Virtual Audience 2.0

Photo by Nighthawk7

I’m creating a new version…

I’ve been receiving a LOT of emails recently, from teachers, students, musicians, Toastmaster members and even a few psychologists asking for the link to be able to download the Virtual Audience.

Unfortunately, the existing version of the Virtual Audience has been removed from he server and is no longer available for download. BUT, I’m creating a new, better version, using HD Video with more features. The new product will meet different kinds of user’s needs rather than just being a generic audience. During the creation process I’ll be inviting users in to help me test, and to provide feedback. If you are interested please email me:
britt_carr (at) advancedauthoring (dot) com

Nude Pose Series for Art Institutes

After some consulting for Art Institutes Game Art and Design program, I was asked to create a series of nude pose tools for their figure drawing course.

In a few meetings, it had come up that students taking these courses had difficulty getting models to pose for their nude sketch assignments. In a traditional face to face class, nude models often sit in front of a course and pose for a standard amount of time while students make their sketches. In an online environment, there are a few logistics which complicate this issue: rarely can all of the students “meet” online at a specific time while a model is “streamed” to the sketching audience. Students take online courses for convenience of their schedule. So it’s rare that an entire class can meet at the same time. In addition, most students learning at home can’t afford their own private nude model. And of those that can afford it, few models are willing to have their photo taken digitally so that an artist can “use” it for comparison later.

So I was asked to create a tool that would make this assignment much more doable by students working, and sketching from home. The request called for short and long pose assignments, and an evaluation tool  for each that would help faculty assess the sketches.

For the Short Pose activity, students get 30 random poses for a time limit specified by the faculty, say 1minute. Each pose is proceeded by a pose number which is recorded by the student in the corner of the sketch. The associated pose is shown for exactly one minute, then on to the next pose.

The Long Pose activity lets the students take as much time as they need to sketch a pose. In addition, the activity lets the student choose the model they wish to draw. The viewing angle can be set by the student by rotating the model in 360 degrees.  And finally, adjust the light to deepen shadows on the model. The faculty can then recall either short or long pose numbers to show what the student was viewing while making their sketch.

As usual, I designed the activity to be reusable by any class, by simply swapping out media assets (example: nude pose for still-life) making the activity useful in almost any Art Institute course where drawing or sketching is called for.

© 2012 The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Online Division. Republished with permission from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Online Division. Unauthorized copying or use prohibited.

Interactive Diagram for Art Institues

Last year I teamed up with the Media Development folks at Art Institutes to create the Virtual Studio. The project was a success, which prompted AI to call me for second and related photography course learning object. This stunning interactive teaches students the fundamentals of three-point lighting in a still-life photography setting.

In the activity, the student assumes the role of assistant to a famous photographer, and will be helping him compose and light a shot, based on a diagram. The student first has to construct the set by dragging and placing all the elements to their appropriate spots. Next the student needs to set up and adjust the lights. This portion allows students to manipulate each shadow as it falls on the scene. The photorealistic effects were achieved by using Flash Video and allowing the user to manipulate it’s playback in real-time. The students  move interactive lights in the background of the scene, and their shadows appear in the foreground of the scene showing the camera’s output.

Subsequent modules involve setting other lighting and camera options to create the proper mood for the final shot.

© 2012 The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Online Division. Republished with permission from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Online Division. Unauthorized copying or use prohibited.

Transition to Consulting

Advanced Authoring

Friday, August 6 is my last day as an Instructional Designer and Technology Specialist, on campus, at Miami University.

I’ll be moving my family to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I will be serving as a consultant and Creative Director/Founder for Advanced Authoring LLC. I started Advanced Authoring in 1996 to create websites and presentations. But, after the successes at Miami and several external requests for interactive learning activities, Advanced Authoring will move into the online and hybrid learning space. I’ll helping a number of universities and businesses fulfill their e-learning, mobile and educational game needs.
Some on the list include:

  • Art Institutes
  • South University
  • Argosy University
  • Southern Methodist University

In addition, I will continue support the faculty at Miami.

It’s been a great nine years at Miami. I’ve worked with some incredible faculty and made some great friends at Advanced Learning Technologies. I’ve also been blessed with a team of very talented student workers that help me create these learning activities.

Thankfully, my management always supported my ideas, efforts and creativity to make learning activities more meaningful and engaging to the learner. I also have to thank them for encouraging professional development. I’ve learned so much over the years. Thank you Gail, Carolyn and Robert.

Thank you Miami and A.L.T.!

Integrity Quickstart

iQ screen cap

“Integrity Quickstart” is a reformatted, more dynamic version of the Miami University Academic Integrity training. The scenario-based tutorials are designed to inform students on issues of academic integrity and the benefits of building character by making the right choices now.

Each scenario introduces the student to a new topic with a animated Flash video, a set of links to resources for the student and a self test designed to assess the students understanding of the topic.

The individual assets were created with Flash and embedded in presentation template using

See the Integrity Quickstart!

Demo of Virtual Audience at Adobe’s HQ in San Jose, CA

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Demonstration of Virtual Audience“, posted with vodpod

Here’s a bite-size bit of video of me presenting our Vitrual Audience software at the Adobe Education Leaders’ Summer Institute at Adobe HQ in San Jose.

Here I demonstrate how the computer’s camera watches you “perform”. When the computer senses you’re finished, the audience claps. Sometimes more than others!

Thanks to Ian Usher for capturing this video!

**11/12/12 update- If you are interested in the V.A. download, please see this post.**



Theater Professional ‘Shadowing’ Experience: In Development


The Shadowing Experience came out of the need to have Miami students meet and observe theatre professionals during the course of their work.

The challenge was the fact that there were 1200 students per semester, and only about 30 professionals in the southwest Ohio region that were willing to be shadowed for a day. The result is a logistical problem that could frustrate the professionals and provide scheduling headaches for faculty and students.

When discussing this problem with a faculty member, I came up with the idea of a videotape shadowing experience. This could be achieved by placing ‘fly-on-the-wall’ cameras throughout the physical space that the professional works, at various critical times throughout the professionals work-flow. For instance, in a play, the directors role spans the entire life of the play. Casting, design meetings, rehearsals, etc. By recording and editing each of the key moments, you could compress the time it takes to show the director’s work process into a five minute video piece.

The result could be an online interaction that resembles reality TV, a cross between Cops, Big Brother and Survivor. And by incorporating the video with Flash, assessment questions could be turned on at random intervals to ensure student participation.

I’ve been asked by one of the faculty to develop a “mock-up” of how a shadowing would look and feel, so the department chair could review and decide if the activity would be appropriate. Since I am not in the theater,  but my job process follows a similar work-flow, I decided to shadow myself as the example.

Theatre Etiquette: In Development


I was asked to pull together a quick training module designed to remind students that their conduct in a theatre performance should be different than how they would act at a movie, or a concert or a sporting event.

The original plan was to develop a training in the paperworks style like we produced for the eScholar training. The outcome will be slightly different.

The students are introduced to a bad behavior (which is designed to get more annoying as the scene progresses). At some point the user will be asked to eliminate the cause of the behavior or ignore it.

Adam Baumgartner (Digital Media) wanted to try a new animation process by scanning the storyboard frames, touch them up using Photoshop, and animate them using Adobe Premiere. The resulting video file (an FLV) will be streamed into a Flash file that allows users to interact with the scene and eliminate or ignore the bad behavior. Ignoring the annoyance only plays the movie (and bad behavior) in an infinite loop.

See the first pass here.