I haven’t posted since the initial post for this blog because I have been busy helping with the latest edition of some friends’ sourcebook on the Roman Republic and writing some encyclopedia entries for an upcoming Greek Warfare Encyclopedia but I thought I might write a brief update on my own work into some new course development.
I am planning on creating some Udemy courses but want to make them stand out somewhat, I note that there isn’t a lot of humanities style courses available and Udemy seems to be focused on IT and job skills style courses but I am interested in developing some courses in the ancient history area and seeing if there is any interest out there.
But I don’t want to deliver only talking head video or voice over powerpoint, which will both have there place in the course but I want to take the opportunity to try something a bit different so I have been looking into 3D modelling software and game engines. After some research I have installed and started teaching myself Blender and Unity 3D. Although it is still very early days I am really enjoying experimenting with these tools, and with the help of MakeHuman I was able to create a fully rigged male avatar for use Blender in less than an hour.
At this point I am able to pose the avatar any way I like, including some very unnatural positions, and can use him as a virtual mannequin to display anything I might need a male model for. In my courses that will mostly be clothes, armour and weapons, I am considering my first (very simplistic) approach might be to photograph material I possess and superimpose it onto the model, but in time I will build 3D versions of the objects within Blender.
My ultimate goal is to have a 3D environment and characters that I can animate and utilise in my teaching creating a high level of engagement with distance students, by allowing them to explore the environment and characters to reinforce learning goals.
I will start posting more often and show how the course and modelling is developing.