Creative Mind Podcast Episode 19: Phillip Kauffold Gets Real with Virtual Reality

Is virtual reality worth it? Philip Kauffold shares his optimism about the technology.

Phillip Kauffold studied animation at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco, then got his start in games working on Tomb Raider: Anniversary at Crystal Dynamics. While animating the Tomb Raider games, he also started rigging characters and props, and eventually managed the cinematics pipeline.

Following that, he worked on a variety of mobile games at DeNA – San Francisco such as We RuleWe City, and Dreamtopia. He also worked freelance on other projects, such as an avatar system designed to help people with hospital discharge instructions.

Phil started teaching character and creature rigging at Academy of Art University in 2012, and has developed curriculum for technical animation, animation, and virtual reality in the School of Animation & Visual Effects.

Virtual Optimism

On virtual reality Philip has some very optimistic opinions. “VR will change the way we view many events as well. If you’re a sports fan, you’re going to be able to watch your favorite sport from the best seats in the house. You’ll even be able to bounce around between different perspectives at the touch of a button, so you’ll go from behind home plate to the bleachers to right near first base. A large amount of data would need to be broadcast to make this happen, but it’s inevitable that the infrastructure will evolve to accommodate it.”

But is virtual reality worth it? A question that comes up time and time again. The answer is yes, but not just because we can make cool games. The answer is yes because what we will create with it that we have not yet discovered.

“Virtual Reality today is a new musical instrument that no one knows how to play just yet, but once we learn it we’ll produce songs and symphonies that have not even been dreamt of yet.”

Philip Kauffold, School of Animation & Visual Effects

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