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The 3D Creation Pipeline

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Explore and create : Creation lab

Christina Zientek  
Moving into 3D technologies can be overwhelming, but 3D printing, augmented reality and virtual reality are interconnected more than people realize. Learn about several points of entry into the 3D realm, and how to quickly adapt your 3D creations for multiple classroom purposes.

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Adobe Creative Cloud is recommended, but not required. Adobe Aero for mobile devices.
Topic: Augmented, mixed & virtual reality
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Creative Communicator
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this presentation is to simplify the concepts of 3D printing, augmented reality, and virtual reality by demonstrating how they can be interconnected to maximize student creativity while learning innovative skills. Attendees will:
• Create a 3D object
• Export a 3D object for use in 3D printing
• Explore how the asset can be used as a static object within AR & VR
• Learn how to animate 3D objects to add interactivity and interest
• Utillize the created assets to build an augmented or virtual reality experience
An overview of technology resources will be covered during each step to illustrate the flexibility of the design process. The goal is to make 3D technologies accessible to everyone, regardless of age or abilities,a nd will focus on analog options as much as digital ones.
The skills scaffold as the presentation unfolds, punctuated by collaborative showcases where attendees share their creations, receive feedback, and redesign their experiences. Attendees create artifacts in each phase of the workshop which can be compiled into a uniquely personal experience to share with others.


Introduction: Attendees will begin by exploring three AR experiences.
How it works: A brief lecture will explain an overview of how the experience was created, and the individual components that we'll be creating
Phase 1: The Object - We'll explore several 3D object creation options, including traditional art mediums and 3D scanning, to create a biped character. We'll discuss export options, and how to simplify the process for students.
Phase 2: The Environment - We'll explore the two types of virtual environments, and discuss how these digital environments can be used as a stand-alone experience, or combined with student-created 3D objects for added impact.
Phase 3 : Static Objects in AR/VR - We'll move our objects into the AR/VR space, and create a 3D scene. Participants who are willing to share will generate QR codes for exploration.
Phase 4: Adding Animation to 3D Objects - Participants will learn which technologies can add animations to their biped, bringing a new layer of movement and interaction to their creations.
FInal Phase: Bringing animated 3D objects into AR/VR spaces - This final phase demonstrates how the initial object can be manipulated to add life, opening up the opportunity to create diverse, personal stories in either the AR or VR space.
Wrap up - We'll review the pipeline, and if time permits, create a gallery walk of participant-created experiences.

Supporting research

Mills, K. A. (2010), Shrek Meets Vygotsky: Rethinking Adolescents' Multimodal Literacy Practices in Schools. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54: 35-45. doi:10.1598/JAAL.54.1.4

Educators Engage Youth With Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Real World Connections. (2016, November 2). PRWeb (USA). Retrieved from

Online Creation of Panoramic Augmented Reality Annotations on Mobile Phones. (2012). IEEE Pervasive Computing, Pervasive Computing, IEEE, IEEE Pervasive Comput, (2), 56.

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Christina Zientek, St. Jude Graduate School

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