HCC Digital Arts class to showcase 3D shoes on Dec. 7

Dec 6, 2022


Here’s a new, high-tech twist on final exams: 10 students in HCC Central’s Digital Arts class will showcase their wearable 3D shoes on Wednesday, Dec. 7 for their final grade through the college’s state-of-the-art XR (extended reality) lab.

The shoes, which include sandals, sneakers and other styles of footwear, were designed in VR using Gravity Sketch and be 3D printed in the XR Lab and West Houston Institute Ideas Academy. Each shoe took at least half a day to complete and are now completely wearable as printed objects or as smaller shoes to display on a shelf.

“My current class is fearless with this technology, and it shows in the quality of the four projects (including the shoes) that we were able to achieve in eight weeks,” says Digital Arts and Photography Professor Bennie Flores Ansell. “My goal is for them to be well versed in these new technologies so that in the future they will proudly say they first learned VR at HCC.”

Students were asked to create their shoes by learning to use Gravity Sketch and conduct 3D scanning using a 3D laser scanner. The assignments executed at the XR Lab included making a VR environment based on a Surrealist painting, a Virtual Reality gallery space, and a self-portrait sculpture, which they also 3D printed.

The last assignment was a 3D shoe design that will be showcased Wednesday.

Ansell believes her students will have a distinct advantage in their careers because of their experience with HCC Central’s XR Lab.

“Using a virtual gallery, or making artwork in the virtual reality space, are real-world applications that will put them on the cutting edge,” Ansell says. “They will be seen as a more well-rounded and well-versed candidates for future jobs in the art and design industry.”

HCC Central’s XR Lab is one of the most well-equipped virtual reality and augmented reality spaces in the Houston area. It opened in 2017 under the leadership of Ruben Duran (the Center for Learning Innovation) with primary underwriting and support of HCC Central president Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi.

The XR lab's goal is to infuse new, virtual technologies in the classroom and in industry. Scores of college professors, instructors and visitors have used its resources for learning and understanding virtual reality, its components and its possibilities.

Pre-recorded video is available for distribution of the 3D shoe-printing process. Students will be on hand for interviews.

For more information, please contact Duran at ruben.duran@hccs.edu.


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