Drexel Digital Media Undergraduate Research Lab

Summer, 2020

Mission

During the Summer term of 2020 a small group of undergraduate students of the Department of Digital Media participated in a newly formed research lab to learn basic research practice, evidence based inquiry, and research informed creative experimentation. The students were asked to identify topics of interest and propose a method of investigation supported by literature, methodology, and experiments appropriate to topics.

The goal was to work independently and to create an intellectual space to freely express ideas and questions related to the field and beyond, to foster cross-disciplinary and critical thinking.

Outcome

During the 10 week term with weekly meetings the group intensely worked on the topics to finally conclude the findings in a poster and in an oral presentation.

LGBT Representation in American Animated Entertainment

Elijah J. Bates

Are LGBT characters represented in media proportionately to the existence of LGBT people in the real world? The representation of LGBT characters in American media is on the rise - in 2013 4.4% of recurring characters in television were confirmed to be LGBT (glaad, 2020), while in 2020 it has reached 10.2% (glaad, 2020). But, where is the animation industry in the midst of this increase? Does the representation match the existence of real-life LGBT individuals?

 

With Great Lighting Comes Great Responsibility: An Investigation of the How’s and Why’s Behind 3D Animated Lighting and the Power it Has Over its Viewers

Kate Euting
 

This study investigates the fundamental artistic and design considerations of using color and light in achieving a meaningful emotional impact in the viewer. While advanced digital applications allow an immense variety of choices, it still remains to be the artist’s job to decide what combination of choices will be applied for the intended result and experience. Though understanding and studying cross-disciplinary aspects, such as psychological, cultural and sociohistorical, it is evident that all connections need to be carefully evaluated when design decisions are made in regards to color and light. While the technology is almost limitless, it does not provide any solutions in this area, only tools. This work is an attempt to provoke a deeper inquiry and discourse among digital artists in order inspire new trends.

A Concept for Procedurally Generated Narrative based on User Engagement and its Practical Applications

Anjelikal Rogers

This study explores the implications and practical usability of computational technology trends that integrate artificial intelligence (Ai) in generating narratives. Computational creativity is still being considered as a sensitive topic in the traditional arts including literature, music, performance and visual arts. In the past, the evaluation of originality has always been perceived as the impact of human intellect and the product of a creative process that originates from humans. Today’s technological trends suggest that the intrusion of Ai in the guided creative process can have the tendency to the lead the output and contribute in a substantial way. Therefore studies that evaluate the practicality and usability are necessary in order to determine what level of originality is achieved.