Angel David Nieves, associate professor of Africana studies and co-director of Hamilton’s Digital Humanities Initiative, recently attended the Summer Institute for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities at Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. The three-week program was supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant.
Nieves and 17 other scholars attended lectures and hands-on lessons and tutorials to learn to use 3-D modeling software, a game engine and multi-user virtual environments to create real-time visualization projects. They learned how to convert photographs taken from different viewpoints into three-dimensional virtual models that can be used for research and analysis as well as instruction.
According to the Institute website, participants were “provided with a conceptual roadmap to the difficult but intellectually productive issues that surround the academic use of game engines, including the balance of immersion with accuracy and strategies for storytelling and graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in ‘serious’ games while grounding institute participants in the intellectual issues that arise at the intersection of gaming and academic visualization.”
Nieves used his new skills to create a virtual tour of South African townships before Apartheid.