Crude Utopia: The Performance of Energy Transition in Canada

A wave of energy-related theatrical productions and performances has emerged in Canada in the past decade. “Crude Utopia: The Performance of Energy Transition in Canada” analyzes eight such cultural and artistic productions, ultimately arguing that moments of utopia within them gesture toward possibilities beyond human dependence on oil. Such utopic moments allow audiences to “practice” how to transition from oil to more sustainable energy structures.

Dance Like the Machine’s Watching

We are proposing an investigation of techniques and technologies to support media-enhanced group performances that integrate different performative art forms (dance, theatre, clown, voice, choral) with responsive mixed reality technologies and public data sets. We will work with a group of young performers (13-17 years old) and a local Vancouver choreographer to deeply investigate, with embodied methods, the potential ways of creating a group performance that truly benefits from a layered digital reality.

Haptic API/SDK for Distributed Full Body Haptics

The research seeks to develop an easy to use and program SDK in the Unity software framework for the design and integration of expressive haptic effects for a distributed series of worn haptic actuators. The project’s central objective is to develop a cross platform composition tool for designers that makes it easy to integrate haptic effects into new kinds of XR-based immersive experiences ranging from games and VR experiences to full body, immersive room-based environments.

Insights into the creative workplace through 20 years of experience at Rethink Canada

Rethink is Canada's largest, national independent creative agency. As Rethink enters their twentieth year, they would like to formally collect the tips, tools and wisdom — 20 years of knowledge and experience — and share it with a broader audience interested in the creative industries and the process of creativity in general. Working with a humanities scholar from Simon Fraser University, Rethink will write a book that is accessible to readers both within and outside of the creative industry.

Teaching artificial agents to play complex video games from demonstrations

The goal of this research project is to develop novel technics to teach artificial agents how to play complex video games using reinforcement learning and demonstrations. Namely, we wish to propose a novel approach for learning from demonstrations, in which an agent simultaneously learns a behavior and the corresponding reward signal. This training procedure will rely on generative adversarial imitation learning in order to learn from expert demonstrations (in our case from players).

Analysis of factors impacting views and revenue of digital assets on YouTube

This research project will focus on factors increasing viewership and revenue on Boat Rocker Media’s digital assets on YouTube. Combination of datasets from various sources such as YouTube revenue reporting, YouTube data and analytics Application Program Interfaces (API’s), and social media will be used in an explanatory analysis and statistical modeling to get new insights. The project will involve integration of data from various sources as well as data cleansing.

Deep Generative Modeling of Character Animation

The goal of this research project is to develop novel techniques to solve different tasks for character animation using deep neural networks and generative modeling. Namely, we wish propose a novel approach for transitions generation, in which clips of character animation can be linked together with a novel clip. This transition will be generated by a specifically designed recurrent neural network that should make use of recent advances in adversarial learning in order to produce realistic animations.

Statistical Analysis of Women’s Representation in the Animation and Visual Effects Industry in Vancouver

The creative industry is one of the vital pillars of the Canadian economy. Furthering the careers of women in business, technical and creative roles in Vancouver can help promote the economic growth of BC creative industry and advancing women into higher roles. Our project is to track the real-time data of the female staff in animation and film studios in Vancouver and analyze the data. The methods for data collection include the traditional ways like making survey and doing interview, and the web-based way to make a database linked by a data collection website.

Adapting Human Performance Techniques, Illusion Aesthetics, and Specialized Apparatus from the World of Stage Conjuring to Contemporary Circus Disciplines

The vast majority of performance techniques, illusion aesthetics, and specialized apparatuses used by stage conjurors are still unknown and remain unexplored by the circus world. The tacit knowledge that magicians exchange amongst themselves is rarely transferred to members outside of their subculture, which leads to creative stagnation in their communities and beyond. The purpose of this project is to create an intensive and sustained collaboration between North American illusion experts and elite circus artists to produce new physical vocabulary for new equipment.

The Invention and Early History of IMAX

IMAX is a Canadian-born invention that has had little scholarly investigation despite its continued commercial success. The importance of this research project stems from the lack of scholarly research about the beginnings of IMAX as a Canadian-born invention and its place within the history media technology.