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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Don’t forego VizaGoGo

The Texas A&M University visualization department has earned a reputation within the realm of visual art and design. With alumni employed by industry giants such as Dreamworks, Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney CGI Group, Industrial Light and Magic, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Electronic Arts, the visualization department has a proven track record of developing quality visual artists. To this year’s crop of students, the sky is the limit for where creativity and skill can take them, and now they put their best work on display.
Today through Saturday the visualization department will be presenting the exhibition VizaGoGo – a visual art exhibition spanning everything from color photography, computer generated imaging and stereo images to animated videos, games and interactive simulations.
“It’s a really great show, whether you know anything technical about computer graphics or not. There are a lot of impressive things in the show, and it’s great to see what the department has been up to in the past year, and reveal it to campus,” said Bobby Huebel, a graduate student in the visualization department.
“This year’s show marks the 16th presentation of VizaGoGo, but the very first since visualization became a department of its own,” said Karen Hillier, a professor within the department.
The event is student-run with Hillier’s supervision.
“The idea of the event is a showcase of the students in the visualization department. It is a celebration of their work,” Hillier said.
Aside from looking at and appreciating the work of the visual artists, spectators will be given an opportunity to participate the games and interactive programs such as an adaptation of ping pong – body pong.
“Some games you play with your whole body, and some games you play by sitting at a computer and working with an interface,” Hillier said.
Huebel said that each year’s VizaGoGo has a different theme, and this year’s is Superheroes vs. Supervillians. They have developed a story line that will be revealed piece by piece over the course of the exhibit.
In order to help advertise for the event, they have hung masks and capes on statues around campus, with University permission.
Hillier said representatives from Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic, George Lucas’ company that animates the popular Star Wars films, will attend the event in order to present a scholarship to the graduate students.
The students presenting work at VizaGoGo plan to start a professional career in visualization and animation. A&M graduates have worked on notable films such as “Kung Fu Panda,” “Wall-E” and “Shrek.”
“We’re really actively reaching out to people beyond the University community,” Hillier said. “We want people from Bryan-College Station to come as well as people from Dallas and Houston. Former students working in the movie and gaming industry will be there as well.”
VizaGoGo 2009 has an official rating of PG-13.
“People should come see it because it is a celebration of art, visualization and animation work that our department has done,” said Naureen Mahood, a graduate student in the visualization department. “We would like to showcase our students’ work.”
When and where8 a.m. – 5 p.m. – May 4-9Art Exhibition, Rudder Exhibit Hall4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – May 8-9Gaming Demonstration, Rudder Exhibit Hall7 p.m. – May 8-9Screening of Animated Videos, Rudder Theater

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