Category Archives: Spring ’12 Project



Animation and Interaction Convention is an event sponsored by Animation and Interaction at the University of Iowa (AIUI), a student organization. We have invited several guest speakers from the animation and games industries to speak at the University about their career paths, working in the industry, and to offer advice.

We are offering this event free to students and the public alike so please come to the event and get a unique chance to hear from professionals:

David McGraw – Business in the Arts, The University of Iowa.

David is a lecturer in the Division for Performing Arts at the Tippie College of Business. He holds several degrees in the arts including an MFA in Theatre Arts and an MA in Arts Administration.

Edwin Chang – Simulation Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios.

Edwin graduated from Brown University with a degree in Computer Science and Art Semiotics. He has since worked at Pixar Animation Studios, first as a Simulation Lead Engineer and currently as a Simulation Technical Director. Edwin has also had work published in Data-Driven 3D Facial Animation, a book focusing on the techniques developed over the last 10 years for facial animation.

Matt Rix – Founder of Magicule and creator of Trainyard.

Matt created the game Trainyard in his spare time and published it to the iPhone. He continually improved upon the game and lowered the price, eventually causing it to reach #2 on the Apple charts. At that point it was getting 40,000 downloads a day. In total there have been 750 thousand paid downloads and 4 million downloads of the free Trainyard Express game.

After the success of Trainyard, Matt created Magicule. He has since learned many lessons about application development and how to succeed on a market with 400,000+ applications.

Mike Winter – Along with famous game designer Will Wright (Sims™, Spore™), Mike co-founded Stupid Fun Club, LLC 2001. SFC created Bar Karma, a successful crowd-sourced TV series, along with toys and game concepts. Their upcoming Ant Farm toy was ranked high at the New York Toy show and will be sold by Uncle Milton this holiday season.

Michael Winter founded Crazy Research in November 2009. Crazy Research developed a new ‘relaxed’ interface to web TV, an Android based bicycle safety device, an Android powered toy robot that squirts water, and a smartphone controller of architectural and consumer (Christmas tree lights) LED lighting.

Before that, Michael founded a series of software startup companies, all successful. In addition he has pursued his interest in making robots and gadgets:

Robot Wars combat – won first place.
ABC Master of Champions show – won first place.
Discovery Channel Modern Marvels – featured on gadgets episode.
Two films won acceptance into the first Robot Film Festival in New York in 2011

Michael currently works at Stupid Fun Club designing TV shows for the big 3 networks, mobile games and mobile based toys.

Event Details:

Location: Pomerantz Center C20

Dates and Time:

Friday, April 13, 2012

3:00 – David McGraw (Business in the Arts, The University of Iowa)

4:30 – Edwin Chang (Simulation Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios)

6:30 – Refreshments in lobby

Saturday, April 14, 2012

2:00 – Matt Rix (Magicule, via Skype)

3:30 – Mike Winter (Stupid Fun Club)

5:30 – Refreshments in lobby

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Hey all, 

Below are the details for the AIUI sponsored Game Jam coming up March 23rd to March 25th. 


Location: Studio Arts Building, Iowa City, IA (old Menards building), room 1610. 

Date/Time: March 23-25, 5:00pm start on Friday, ending with the Show-N-Tell at 6:00pm on Sunday

Theme: Smuggling

Parking: Free, large lot in front of Studio Arts building. 

Food: Snacks and beverages will be provided. We are open to suggestions 

Sleeping: Sleeping bags can be rolled out on the floor, although it is uncarpeted. We plan to bring a few cushioned benches into the area. Aside form that a hotel is always an option, couchsurfing, or trusting a local (we don’t bite). 

Computers/Software: 8 PCs have been given local account access for non-students to use. They have the latest Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk 3DS Max, Mudbox, and AutoCAD. Small Wacom tablets are also attached to each computer. If you wish to bring your own tablet, we can’t guarantee it will work without administrative privileges. Programmers, you may want to bring your own PC, we are limited as far as development tools go. Please bring extension cords, we will have a few on hand. Internet can be taken from one of the cords plugged into PCs on site that isn’t being used. 

Schedule: Chris Renaud will be kicking off the event at 5:00pm with a talk. Following that will be idea pitching and team formation at 6:00pm. There will be a Google Hangout for those who can’t make it here physically. After the team formation, it’s game-making time! Show-N-Tell is 6:00pm on Sunday. 


If you have any questions please forward inquiries to Nick Silhacek,

It’s going to be awesome! See you there. 

Spring 2012 Team Project Updated Position List


Storyboard Art:  Andy Hummel

Sound Design – Storyreel:  Genevieve Decker

Concept Art:  Jeremy Brown, Andy Hummel

Character Modeling:  Jeremy Brown, Nick Silhacek

Prop Modeling:  Weston Slater, Zach Arenson

Environment Modeling:  Yuanbo Chen, ChingFang Chuang

UV/Textures:  TBD

Rigging:  Dave Senter

Character Animation:  Dave Senter, Nick Silhacek

Sound Design – Cinemation:  Genevieve Decker

Cameras:  Dave Senter

Lighting:  TBD

Effects:  TBD

Editing/Compositing:  TBD


Character Art:  Xindeling Pan, Tianfang Wang, (Andrea Jackson)

Prop Art:  Andy Hummel

Effects:  Rani Kumar

Level Design:  Yan Wen, (Rani Kumar)

UI Design:  Rani Kumar, Jeannie Deschamps

Sound Design – Game:  Jessica Kizzire


Game Programmer:  Ryan Holtkamp, Fidi Nagy, Sephra Byrnes, Ryan Nieland

UI Programmer:  Siwen Guo

Social Programmer:  Joe McKenna, Angel Peet

Monetization Programmer:  SM Sajid Al

QA Tester:  Renxuan Xiao, Angel Peet


Web Design/Development:  Xindeling Pan, Yuanbo Chen, Jeannie Deschamps, Megan Mathews

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Spring 2012 Project Positions

Following are descriptions for all of the positions available for this semester’s project. There are three teams: Game Art, Game Tech, and Cinemation. Listed separately is a fourth team, Web, which is not part of the project but will function in much the same way. If you are applying for two positions, please consider the timing and intensity of the positions. Continue reading

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