Sunday, August 12, 2012

One year teaching Unity3D

About one year ago, I started to prepare Unity3D teaching materials. Everything started with the development of our first Unity3D game, SpinningTop Adventure, developed with Unity3D for iOS and Android.

With two very good students (Pau and Juan Carlos), SpinningTop Adventure gave me the chance of working again in the game development sector, an area I started with when I was a teenager, many years ago ;)

Thanks to the development of this game, I felt prepared to teach Unity3D, at least introductory courses. University CS students are maybe the perfect target for introducing Unity3D.

Game development is in a very good moment and students need special training in this area. The main advantage of Unity3D is that you can offer them the opportunity to create something in only an 8-hour course.

I was able to introduce the basics of Unity3D in only 8 hours in two courses I taught in the University of Applied Science of Lahti (Finland) and the Universitatea din Oradea (Rumania). It was really incredible to see their awesome outcomes in a so short course.

In Spain, I have had the chance of offering two Unity3D courses, one in our Campus of Alcoi of the Universitat Politècnica de València (40 hours) and another one, just a month ago, in our main Campus in Valencia (30 hours). By the way, the classroom I was teaching in Valencia was quite special for me, since the very last time I was there I was a student (yes, more than 20 years ago ;).

In both cases, the results have been really incredible, letting me to interact with very talented students with a lot of stamina ;)

This year I'll repeat the experience. It will try to offer Unity3D teaching again in Finland and Rumania, and of course in my own University here in Spain. Maybe I'll be able to include other European Universities we have agreements with.

I'm still in love with the processing project ( a book of which I have started last year (in Spanish, although I'm at the 40% of it).

However, I have to recognize, Unity3D is focusing almost all my time right now. As a matter of fact, I have decided to start writing an introductory book to Unity3D in Spanish using my current material. 

Anyway, the evolution of my teaching material depends on the time I'll have, taking into account that I'll be starting new games this September and a very promising project with a Norwegian University. 

So, after this deserved holidays I'm enjoying right now, new adventures with Unity3D are coming ;)

Friday, March 09, 2012

Unity3D and game development

Many months without writing anything, and one of the reasons is the amount of work we have had here lately.

I have been still working with new tools in order to work with computer graphics applications and games, and although I'm still in love with processing (my teaching material is still available), last year I was working with a new environment that has become my current love ;)

I'm talking about Unity3D.

Unity3D has a lot of incredible advantages when creating games and multimedia applications:
- It's framework is Mac and Windows and has an incredible environment to help us in producing outstanding games, multimedia and 3D contents
- Regarding developing, it is based on Mono project, which means many advantages: we can use either C#, Javascript or Boo, and we have a great collection of the .NET framework possibilities
- Develop once, distribute to iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and consoles. Really awesome.
- It has become the most popular game development engine, with thousands of developer and apps
- Scalable, well-documented, incredible ecosystem etc.

Why I am so excited ? Well, because as a matter of fact I was involved last year in the development of a game for iOS and Android. You can see it here in action and we developed it for the Swiss company x-fund ag. It is called SpinningTop Adventure and it is available in the AppStore and Android Market (or should I call it 'Google Play' now ?)

After developing a complete game and intensively using Unity3D, we are in a position to say that is really a very interesting choice, if not the best, when talking about games, multimedia and 3D systems, for mobile, desktop, web or console platforms.

Our current work ? Well, once covered our introduction to Unity3D we are working right now in applying this technology in the development of serious games, games for education and solutions for disabled people. I hope I'll be able to show you something soon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mobile and Web are the key point in teaching computer graphics

This year I have experienced a really difference in my Computer Graphics course. I'm still using processing in my laboratory work, but I have introduced a new unit called 'From Desktop to Mobile and Web'. You can check it out, with my all slides and materials of the course, at

Any difference from my previous courses ? Many. Students were really more motivated and I have received a brilliant collection of good little projects: games, augmented reality examples, image viewers and so on. Why were my students so motivated ? Because they were able to port their processing application to Android and the Web, using and processing.js.

World is changing, and mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are going to be the items everybody will desire and buy this year. It is really interesting to offer our students the opportunity of working with these new hardware, and processing allows it. We can make the most of their sensors (accelerometers, magnetometers, camera etc.) when creating a game or app.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Why Mobile Augmented Reality doesn't work

I came back yesterday from Sweden. There, I was in an international conference where I had a work to present.

Being a Nexus One owner, I was very excited before the trip. Applications like Layar and Wikitude would be helping me a lot there, in Stockholm. I didn't know anything about the city, so this Augmented Reality (AR) apps could have been helpful, but it didn't.

Why ?

Are not those AR applications useful ? Yes, they are. But in order to use them, as well as Google Maps, Navigator and Googles, you need internet connection. And here it is when my problems arise.

Enjoying here, Spain, a 3G data connection, I asked about prices in Sweden. They're cheap as far as you have a swedish telephone company, but coming from abroad the things are really different. How much different ? 10 euros / 1 Mb. Yes, it's not a joke.

And that's not something between Spain and Sweden, it seems it is a common problem when traveling in Europe. Fantastic.

So Google and others are providing fantastic solutions and we cannot use them when we're in the perfect situation to use them: when we're abroad.

Thanks we're in a European Community !!! Just enjoy the following picture you can see at Layar website. See the world ! ... if you don't mind to pay a lot for it ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New ways of reading books

Following my previous post, here another example on how iPad and the new tablet devices are going to change the way we read, learn and interact with books and magazines:

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Multitouch devices and education

We have been discussing a lot about the possibilities of multitouch interfaces, speculating about their real advantages over traditional interaction paradigms.

But now, with the current explosion of the iPad and a huge assortment of new multitouch tablet devices to come, we have now real and fully functional applications.

The example of the following video is really very representative. It's really a good example on how these new devices, multitouch enabled, with the new refreshing way of approaching to user interfaces, can undoubtely change fields such as education, magazines, books etc.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

AR at SkyNews

A very interesting AR demo from Total Immersion at SkyNews. Visit this specialised AR French company website for additional online demos and videos.

Without any doubt, Augmented Reality is becoming more and more popular.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Do you want to learn processing ?

Very nice set of 5 tutorials with which you can follow an introduction to processing.
In the last one, a final little demo is generated using input audio and displaying the different band levels in an interesting fading effect.

Created by switchboard (Andy Best).

Processing Tutorial #1 from Switchboard on Vimeo.

Processing Tutorial #2 from Switchboard on Vimeo.

Processing Tutorial #3 from Switchboard on Vimeo.

Processing Tutorial #4 from Switchboard on Vimeo.

Processing Tutorial #5 from Switchboard on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yes, it's still a prototype, but ...

In the following video from a company called TAT, you can see a prototype of an AR mobile solution of theirs really fantastic. It is a prototype but it looks potentially very interesting.

The problem is legal issues and private rights. What do you think ?

Augmented Reality in one hour

I have discovered a very interesting video describing AR technology in about one hour, focusing on mobile solutions. It is part of the youtube O'Reilly channel. Although it is difficult nowadays to have one hour free, and the sound is very bad, it is really worth watching it.