Category: NTNM Lecture Notes

5/2 Lecture Notes

12:30-12:40: Field test and Vision Paper

  • Both the field test and vision paper are due Thursday, May 11 midnight.
  • The vision “paper” is not a paper, it’s a a short scifi story about what your media career looks like 5 to 10 years in the future as influenced by the technologies we have covered.
  • Here are a couple examples:

12:40-1:10: Sensor Journalism Presentation

1:10-1:15: Arduino demo

1:15-1:50: Assignment 5

Thursday’s class:

Remember, as mentioned in the syllabus, we are required to meet one last time and that is scheduled for Thursday at the same class time as usual. If you can’t make it because of a final exam, consider that your “one class you can miss for any or no reason.” If you can make it, we will meet in the innovation lab and you can use the time to work on your field test.

4/20/2017 Lecture Notes

12:30-12:40: Review

On Tuesday we started learning how to create chatbots. Here are links to the info and services we went over.

Your Third assignment is to create a Facebook Messenger chat bot using The topic of the bot should be something informational. This could be a topic in the news, information about an event (future or historical), a science topic, information about Newhouse, etc.

12:40-1:10: Amazon Skills

Today we will look into voice-based assistants, specifically Amazon’s Alexa and Alexa “Skills,” which are like voice-activated apps for the Amazon Echo.

  • Demo of how Alexa works.
  • Installing Alexa Skills.
  • Creating a conversation tree with PullString, and (theoretically) how to publish that as a voice-activated Alexa Skill. You can also use PullString to create a basic chat bot for other services.
  • You can also try creating an Alexa skill using Amazon’s new Skills kit and its Builder Beta tool.

1:10-1:30: IFTTT

4/11/2017 Lecture Notes

12:30: I’m back! 

  • International Journalism Festival report.
    Watch the session here.
  • See my 360 videos of Assisi and Perugia, two previously warring city-states in Italy.
  • How 360 in YouTube works with Cardboard (send out link, everyone views in cardboard)

12:55: Walk to Innovation lab

1:05-1:50: 360 video

  • Shooting on Samsung Gear360 and Nikon KeyMission
  • Transferring videos
  • Stitching videos (Samsung only, Nikon is automatic)
  • Processing and exporting in Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adding 2D text effects in SkyBox VR Tools plugin
    —> You can access this software in the lab, or in 206B or 205A.
  • Only 206B has Skybox.

On Thursday:

  • You can shoot a 360 video with a team, or …
  • Learn how to create computer-generated environments in Unity

4/4/2017 Lecture Notes – welcome!

Welcome! Here’s the presentation from the first class.

4/26 lecture notes

12:30-35: Quick updates

  • Check out Carla Sertin and your professor on Channel 9 news last night!
  • Remember your field test. Will meet with each of you on progress on Thursday. Don’t wait until the last minute.

12:35-1: Drones presentation

1-1:50: SkyWorks Project in the innovation lab

4/19 NTNM Lecture Notes on the 3D Web

It’s 3D week, and this week you’ll be learning all about the 3D web, “reality capture”  (making real-world stuff digital) and 3D printing (making 3D digital content physical). Like this 3D scan of Otto the Orange.

12:30-12:40 Housekeeping

  • Updated  class schedule.
  • On Thursday we meet at the SU Makerspace. It’s in the computer lab on the bottom floor of Kimmell hall. The entrance is off Waverly Ave.
  • HoloLens will be in the innovation lab, but in a locked cabinet. You must arrange with me to use it (for now).
  • New HoloLens discovery: Holo Studio, which lets you create 3D scenes in the air.

12:40-1: What is the 3D Web?

  • WebGL, a Javascript API that lets modern web browsers display 3D content in 2D web browsers.
  • ThreeJS, an open source library that’s used to create applications that display 3D stuff in web browsers.
  • Chrome Experiments, a site Google maintains to showcase cool Webgl experiments.
  • And looking ahead, WebVR, a Javascript API that sends VR content to VR headsets from web browsers.

1-1:10: Cool 3D projects

  • Comet 67P, which you can also 3D print to hold in your hand.
  • Buzzfeed Open Lab’s Ben Kreimer, who uses drones to create 3D models which are annotated and uploaded to Sketchfab.
  • The Smithsonian’s X3D, which displays 3D-scanned objects from their collection. Some have annotated stories next to them, making the site almost like a digital museum.
  • And to see where reality capture is headed, check out 8i, which combines video and 3D capture to create moving 3D animated characters based on real people. has cameras that can capture environments.

1:10-1:50: Now let’s make some 3D stuff!

Use these 3D tools for dummies:

  • The 123D Catch app and the Structure Sensor for capturing 3D models from the real world (you can use the Structure Sensor from the lab).
  • TinkerCAD, for creating 3D models.
  • SketchFab, for sharing 3D models on the web. You can also annotate parts of a model to create a kind of flying, descriptive slideshow through it. Sketchfab also lets you view the models in Google Cardboard, and it’s supposed to  work with the HTC Vive as well.
  •, which lets you animate 3D models, including your own 3D scan.
  • Unity, which is a 3D gaming engine that lets you export scenes in WebGL to upload to a web server.

Assignment 3: Do one of the following. Due Monday.

  • Capture content from the real world, process it and 3D print it at the Makerspace.
  • Upload your 3D model to Sketchfab and annotate it to tell a story about the object.
  • 3D scan yourself and upload your model into Mixamo to create an animated version of yourself. Put yourself into a Unity scene and publish it for Oculus.

12/1 NTNM Class Notes

12:30-1:15 — The 3D web and storytelling

WebGL — what is it?

Chrome Experiments:

Example experiment: global population globe

The Galaxy:

Ben Kreimer’s Nairobi dumpsite story

3D renders of prehistoric Irish monoliths

The Smithsonian’s X3D:

L.A. Times Discovering Gale Crater

1:15 – 1:45— Using Sketchfab

Find a free model at CGTrader:
(Use the heart as an example)

Upload to Sketchfab.


Embed in a blog post

Fun fact: if you put /embed?cardboard=1  at the end of a Sketchfab URL, you can view it in 3D in Cardboard.



1:45-2: BREAK

2-2:30 Innovation lab.

– 3D scan yourself or an object
– Open in Meshlab, save as Collada .dae format
– Also save as .STL for 3D printing, and put it on a USB stick.
– Import into Unity project
– View in the Oculus.

2:30-3:15 Head to SU Makerspace to learn how to use 3D printers.

NTNM Class 2 Lecture Notes

12:30-12:45: Your field test ideas

12:45-1:15: Overview of VR

  • Google Cardboard (NYTimes VR, DiscoveryVR, others)
    • Best for 360 video
  • Oculus and HTC Vive
    • More immersive

1:15-2: HTC Vive experience!

2-2:10: Break

2:10-2:30: Stitching our 360 video

2:30-3:05: Creating scenes in Unity and exporting 

Assignment 2:  Create a scene in Unity and export it for the Oculus Rift, OR create and stitch a 360 video and upload it to YouTube to view in Google Cardboard.