Visualizing Virtual Worlds

Digital Studio students build a class imagebank, design avatars, and envision virtual worlds… Here are some descriptions of what they imagine:

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27 thoughts on “Visualizing Virtual Worlds

  1. For my virtual world, I imagine that “place” I have never been before. I envision a peaceful, yet mysterious, landscape. I see a place where the unexpected is part of everyday life. There will be mountains and water and plantlife placed in a natural and unique world. A river will be the central focus of my world and that is the way people will navigate the lands. There is water despite the land being a desert-like atmosphere. My color palette includes black, dark greens, blues, and reds. It will also have a spark of brightness in highlights of the landscape and inverted colors in the living animals and people to draw your eyes in. I imagine echoing, swirling noises, from the gushing of the river to the sounds of distant animals.

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  2. I want to express my dream home in my ideal world through my virtual world. Not just my house but also the whole area surrounding my house. It’s not going to be very out of the ordinary, just my ideal. It’s going to be a small, peaceful and serene city with nature and city life close enough for my needs but far enough away to not pollute my quiet little paradise with noise and lights. I love waterfalls and cliffs so my house will be on top of a cliff overlooking a cozy little cove created by a waterfall pouring over a neighboring cliff. I love witnessing wildlife so there will be plenty of trees, flowers, and animals exploring the landscape of my city. I also enjoy leisurely fishing, swimming, and exploring throughout the wilderness so my avatar will most likely be active throughout my little cove. My color palette includes very earthy tans, blues, and greens but my sky is going to be vivid and dramatic.

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  3. For my virtual world, I am going to be living down under, not in Australia, but under the sea. My three sections are going to demonstrate common activities that I enjoy doing in my daily life with a little bit of a mystic and non-existent twist to them. For the first section of my virtual world it is going to be a forest. There are going to animals interacting with me, literally talking and enjoying each other’s company. Another aspect of the forest is that the trees are going to have leaves of one hundred dollar bills. The second frame of my virtual world is going to consist of food. I love great food and an abundance of it. I am going to be sitting onto of a stack of my favorite foods. For my third frame I am going to be sleeping in the most comfortable bed seen to mankind. I am very excited to create this mystic and virtual world of my dreams!

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  4. I want my virtual world to reflect my love for nature, animals, and traveling to various places throughout the world. To incorporate all of these elements into my virtual world I will create a landscape with assorted environments for these animals to live. I also want to include plant life from these various places as another natural aspect of these areas. This world will be a place for adventure and creativity as well as a place for relaxation. Since I’ve always had a passion for adventure and experiencing new parts of the world or ways of life, I want my virtual world to be a facility for this. In my world all of the plants, animals, and environment will coexist together in harmony. My avatar will move throughout the world as a normal human should. Since my world is focused on using elements from nature I wouldn’t want my avatar to move throughout the world in an unnatural way. People will use this virtual world to give a better understanding of what a life full of nature is. It will also give them a better insight into how animals live in their natural environments. I also want visitors to this virtual world to be able to experience the beauty and adventure that exists in a world purely of nature.

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  5. For my virtual world, I envision a world that is a serene place to travel to. Where there is a mixture between lush and frozen terrain, where it never gets too warm but still allows a variety of flowers to flourish year round. This is a place that focuses on relaxation, reflection, fun and light-heartedness. It contains things, such as ruins, from the past, but also includes things from the present. It never gets too crowded or populated and is a place of solitude that you can go to clear your mind and explore. An avatar travels by simply walking throughout the world, although there are mountains available to go snowboarding, and other various activities to do, and a variety of water vessels available to cross the water present in this world. Overall this world includes my ideal climate, and provides me with enough space to relax without feeling alone.

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  6. My virtual world is a colorful and realistic, yet abstracted space. I have played around with scale quite a bit, making buildings not so large in comparison to my avatars, and animals quite a bit larger than anything else in the world, when they would normally be around the size of a human.
    My plant-life, which would in real life, be much smaller than a human being, has been altered as far as scale goes, to be much larger than my avatars, the way a large tree would in real life. I have used color as a tool for not only unification, but also to add interest and give the avatars a way to look similar to one another, sharing the same skin tone.
    My virtual world also features two young children playing in an open space in a way that children would play outside in the yard of their home, while my avatar watches over everything from a short distance.

    -Taylor Twite

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  7. Visualizing a virtual world can be no easy task. Before putting things randomly in the world one must develop some parameters. An overall look and theme should first be considered. With my world, I really want to display a future or even post apocalyptic world where technology and transportation are being taken back by nature. There will be destruction but regrowth. The overall color scheme will back up the regrowth theme, with desaturated elements sprouting thick color throughout the piece to create harmony. Along with transportation and technology, I want to somehow establish a way my avatar interacts with the world it is in. I’m going to use multiple different styles including, real pictures and mosaic, hand drawn pieces, as well as vector objects. Although the virtual world I create will have it’s advantages and pretty aesthetics, I think I’ll stay on Earth.

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  8. I envision my virtual world to resemble the North Shore in Northern Minnesota. The North Shore has all my favorite things in nature, from beaches, to waterfalls, to pine trees, to “mountains”. This virtual world would be a place containing all of these things everywhere you go, where I could go to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. This place would have a limited amount of people, just hikers passing by every now and then with a few boats here and there. There would be no skyscrapers and traffic, no homework or due dates. Just nature and me. (And of course my dogs, too.) I’m tired of living in a world where everyone is becoming more and more materialistic, and forgetting about taking care of and appreciating the environment that we live in. I want to be able to visit this world to get away from all of that, to go hiking, biking, canoeing, cliff jumping, and all of the other outdoor-related activities that I wouldn’t get to do every day in a city. Plus, being a nature-based photographer I would be able to take pictures all the time of this beautiful place. I just want a place to go to where I can forget about the stresses of every-day life, forget about the carelessness of people, and just…relax.

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  9. My virtual world would be mostly rural areas, such as fields, filled with wild game to hunt and eat. There would be geese flying around constantly in the air and one could hunt whenever they wanted. My avatar’s skin would be camouflage and could blend in with any environment. My house would be small, kind of like a shack. Fields would surround it so that I could get up and go out hunting without having to drive anywhere or pack anything up. Also my virtual world is always daytime. So it doesn’t matter when I want to do something. Hunting is my life and I like to share that with my friends, family, and others, so they would be in my virtual world too. I also am into history and aviation so planes would probably be flying around too.

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  10. My virtual world is an impossible one, and it exists in a place of contradictions. I wanted to create a space where opposites coexist in harmony, in the way that contradictory elements can often times be most complimentary when juxtaposed (such as colors across from each other on the color wheel for example.) In the same time I want to incorporate my method of illustrating portraits, most likely as my avatar, so that a normally flat, 2-D figure is interacting with the photos around ii, which are generally of 3-D objects. To further emphasis this idea I want to play with complementary color schemes to create an overall harmony in the piece. In the same way I want to also add in the idea of doorways/and staircases scattered at various points throughout the piece in order emphasis the idea of this world as en escape route, or creating entrances to imaginary places through the visual elements.

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  11. My virtual world is based on avatars living in trees. I call it the Tree Top Village. It has long decks across and between trees that avatars can walk on and get to other sections of the virtual world. It has a great view of water stretched out beyond the trees. The overflow of water has caused the avatars to relocate to higher ground. You can swing on tire swings into the water and visit with others that have moved to the Tree Top Village. My world is solely created for recreation, fun, and relaxing. The world is peaceful and carefree. The avatars are to move through the world visiting with others. There are ladders that lead to docks below to go boating, sailing, or jet skiing. The water and the sky meet together as an unending stretch of water. The sky is upside down to represent that this is no ordinary place. The color of the sky is pinkish to represent the sun setting in the distance. My virtual world is a fantastic place to visit for an enjoyable time.

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  12. My virtual world is what would be my dream world, a place where there is always something to do. It is for recreation, a place to come and enjoy yourself. On the left side is the boundary waters, where you can swim, canoe, kayak, jet ski and relax on the lake. There is a huge waterfall that people often jump off of. My cabin is on top of the mountain, surrounded by trees. I get the whole lake to myself and no one lives around me. Across the lake is the beach with a city in the background. That is where I work, do my shopping, and chill on the beach. You can only get there by boat or other types of water transportation. Mainly it is a place where my friends and family can come to get a mini vacation. You get the best of both worlds, the city and natural environment.

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  13. My virtual world is based on my favorite places and seasons. The three basic parts of my world are the sunset beach in Hawaii, a nice sunny day on the beach and a beautiful fall day on the duluth lake walk. I merged the water from the center pictures to flow into all of the pictures to create unity between the images. My avatar looks very similar to me, I based the avatar off of a real photo taken of me. My color palette is mainly focused around the colors orange and blue and the hues that go along with them. My world includes my dog. In my virtual world the feeling is a very relaxed feeling of a utopia. The weather is always great morning, noon and night. I extended the brick on the sidewalk into the water to show both the texture of the waves and the texture of the brick work and how they work together. My virtual world is a place where all your stresses vanish and you can do what you want when ever you want. You never know the time in my virtual world because the time does not control the way of life.

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  14. I want my virtual world to be a peaceful place, a place I can go to when I am stressed and just need to relax. My landscape is clouds, which to me are relaxing and I love watching clouds pass. The color palette is very bright to provoke happiness, which the trees and flowers are meant to do. I also really love animals, and I’ve placed a few throughout the world. The lion really seems at peace and looks very gentle rather than aggressive like most people would think a lion would be. The monkey in the foreground is also very relaxed. I wanted to add interest above the horizon line so I added a few birds flying. The birds represent a feeling of being free. I also love to read, so I have placed myself on a stack of books so that I have something to do while laying about the clouds. I didn’t want anything in my world to add chaos so I’ve made it pretty simple with just the essentials within it.

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  15. Starting out on this virtual world assignment my mind starting bubbling with a whole different amount of ideas. To narrow this jumble mess of ideas was I wrote all of them down and then picked and choose which ones I really liked and thought would make a good composition. Next, I started to do sketches to try to put the together. My first idea was to actually turn the UMD campus into a fantasy world, however my photos did not add up to looking good at all in a panoramic way. Moving on I looked through the photos I originally had and found when I went to National Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, which I absolutely love to go. I have been there three times and would love to go back. Then I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate that scenery in there since I love it so much. Yet, it needed much more. I wanted to stay with the same theme as fantasy, so I drew dragons, added me and another girl into the scene, and had us “turning into dragons” with patches of our skin and clothes different colors and scale looking like the dragons. Next, I added a boat, since I really like boats and a shark along side it to make it look cool. I wanted to be able to go a ride a boat down a river when I want to in my virtual world. I also added flowers to the dragons with riders on them, and made it look like a collar thing with a pretty touch. However, I didn’t want the dragons to be pets so it is a very subtle simple touch. Afterward I tried to change the background colors to being night and day on different sides. However, I am still working on the project and have no real idea how to do this, however with my failed attempts, so I have no idea if that will be added or not. Overall, I wanted my virtual world to show my love of nature, fantasy but in a very simple way. I wanted to incorporate my photography with my hand-drawn work as well. I wanted to create a place that I could go and have an adventure yet also go and relax by the water too. Overall, so far I am happy with it and think that I would love to go there.
    -Meagan Hunstad

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  16. Megan Wetzel
    My virtual world is where I want to go to have some time for myself. My landscape is a hotel in Disney World, my favorite place ever. My world revolves around animals and flowers because that’s what I love photographing. I move through my world just as I do in normal life. My flowers are quite larger than real life. Basically in my world I just relax with my animals wandering around me and I get to sit back and enjoy the beautiful flowers. My color theme is all bright and exciting colors that make me happy when I look at them. Disney World is crowded with people so it can get a little stressful, but my hotel in Disney World is crowded with animals and flowers making it a nice peaceful place for me to relax.

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  17. Through my virtual world I wanted convey what I dream of living in. I always say I wish I could have my country home in the middle of know where, but right next to the city. It really does not make sense, until I created my virtual world. I want to mix color with black & white to show my love for black and white photography. I want my avatar to just be relaxing in this virtual world. In the real world I am so busy and stressed all the time, so I want my avatar in the virtual world to be relaxing. I placed myself on a bench next to an old man with a lot of character who is also relaxing and enjoying life. I also incorporated a lot of animals and to this world not only to portray the county aspect but also because I am an animal lover. Chicago and New York are my two favorite cities so to represent them I put the bean and strawberry fields. Everything I have added to this world is what I enjoy the most in life.

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  18. In my virtual world I want simplicity to show. Where I love to be is in the city at night. My avatar would be in between buildings representing that I was in the city and between all the chaos. The fast pace and busyness of the city is shown by the cars moving fast and the lights in every so direction, which covers the paper. The background of the sky is a little different though. I wanted it to show that there are good days and bad days referring to nature (nice blue sky and cloudy days) in the city. The brightness of the colors I’m choosing, represent the happiness and the playfulness the city has to give me. I just want a place where there is simplicity, which is why I have no clear identification on each of the buildings or myself. No one knows really who you are in a big city and I wanted to show that.

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  19. Virtual World Information
    My Virtual world is going to be like no one else’s. I want it to reflect the Mind, Body, and spirit of myself. The Main design is going to be all-illustrative instead of using Photoshop. I want to experiment using the Wabcom tablets more and further my skills of using illustrator. In my virtual world I am going to portray a place where I can go and exercise and be very peaceful out in nature. I want it to be a landscape scene of me out rock climbing and really being one with nature, not lot buildings or people around just my natural surroundings and me pretty much. I want my composition to show my train of thought and the things that are going threw my head when I go climb. I also want to show just a serene place that I can go to be peaceful and or a place where I can just think.

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  20. My world is more than just a fantasy; it is something of a memory. In 2003 my family took a vacation to Australia to visit relatives. My world is made of some of the places we visited, and things we saw. There are buildings, including one of only two black lighthouses in the world. Another place that is here is the Sydney Opera House, a place that is recognizable any were in the world. There are some of the animals we saw including, a kangaroo, Koala, and a Kookaburra. This world is a place for fun and relaxation, as well as a place to meet other people who want to travel to a place that is a distance memory, whenever they want. As on any other beach it is great to walk through the sand and the waves, but a boat is a great way to get out and get connected with the fish in the reef.

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  21. In my virtual world, I made my avatar snowboarding because that is my favorite thing to do so I decided to incorporate some snowboarding and skateboarding into my virtual world. Also I love music so I wanted to add a music scene as well into my piece. I put the white forest on the bottom to add to the snowboarding effect. I went with the color scheme I chose to add a pop art style to my piece as well. The background image is one I found in the image bank of Duluth and I chose to use it as my background because I love this city and I wanted to represent it and show my real interests along with it. I’m also very interested in graffiti art so I wanted to incorporate some of my own street art into my piece as well. I really like how it all turned out but it was really difficult for me to put the pieces together.

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  22. When I began to envision my virtual world, I knew I didn’t want something photographic, or even tangible for a normal human to just “walk through”. My vision is heavily influenced by music and the aesthetic it creates in my life when I plug the RCA cords in. Imagine sitting in the middle of a room with your favorite music on as loud as it can go in the most comfortable chair you can imagine… That is my world. It is an aggressive, yet peaceful place that I feel most comfortable in. Others might not find it a conformable place and may feel uncomfortable about the decisions made in my world, but that’s alright with me because my world is about freedom and self expression. It was a cool assignment to try and visually portray this vision, and I had to make a choice right off the bat that would effect the entire outcome. I chose to make it a complete 2D surface.. flat you could call it. The colors I chose throughout the piece are complimentary for the most part, and very unified throughout the piece. It was a challenge to only use images we created ourself or images from the image bank, but I successfully “remixed” the image bank to work for me. I admit though that i did use one image from the internet–Abe Lincoln. To me, this element represents the unity and freedom that music provides for us and our entire healing process and that’s why I integrated him in to the piece. In the end, I am happy with my piece and just like music, there are imperfections within every world.

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  23. My virtual world combines the world I currently live in with the world I dream, and one day plan to live in. What is it I need? Give me the outdoors, mountains, some snow, a lake and I’m in my dream world. The scene is a panorama landscape shot of a campsite I stayed at in the BWCA this fall. The lighting is the sunrise and chosen because it gave me a great range of shadows and made for a great shot. My avatar is simply me. No fancy clothes, in fact long underwear and a sweatshirt as its the outfit most warn since my activities consist of spending time outdoors and snowboarding. The animals show my enjoyment of nature and the outdoors, well as does pretty much everything in the image, however the mountains represent an area I dream to live at someday. The snow on the mountains represents my passion for snowboarding. Overall I wanted to have fun with it, while keeping it simple because its the little things like a sunrise on a lake in the north country that are my greatest interest.

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  24. For my virtual world, I wanted it to be a place that only I would understand. My favorite season is winter and that is I due to my obsession with snow. So I want it to be pretty much a winter wonderland with the entirety of the place being snow. Along with the snowy landscape, I want my virtual world to be somewhat like a video game where you can roam and do your own things, so I will be using my avatar that I created on my Xbox. I also want to include things in spherical shapes that will give my world depth and uniqueness. Along with that I want cartoon pets that will accompany me in my virtual world, they will all be the same creature due to them being the only species able to survive in my virtual world. Also I like having the feeling of no sense of time, so I want to include a bunch of clocklike objects that represent no certain time. This virtual world is meant for basically myself where I can roam freely with not a care in the world.

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  25. When i first started thinking about my world i knew i wanted to incorporate what really is my virtual world the world of halo. Most of this aspect actually went into my avatar where i put my self into the armour of a Spartan soldier (A main character in the game). After that the whole aspect of halo really is not that apparent. Instead i tried to show a world that moves form natural and calm to very intense and then to manmade and virtual. The first frame is a natural shot of a calm lake superior with a different world like planet and sky in the background. That then moves to a very volatile and damaging view of waves crashing all around my avatar symbolizing the power and strength of the avatar. this then moves to man made buildings that morph into buildings found within the game and also an X-box control my tool to control this world. My final addition were the white grid like lines found in the image. I put these in to represent the kind of rendering or creation of the digital world like i was just imported into my avatar body and the world is forming around me. As for what this world would be for? A battle grounds for the most intense virtual warfare.

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  26. I imagined a world where you can walk through and draw in anything you want. There are no laws of physics. I imagine a place where there is lots of water but not normal water. In my world you can drive a car on top of the water or drive it along the sandy bottom of a lake. Feel like walking on water? go for it. want to swim? you can do that too. leave something at home? draw a new one. what ever you want can be drawn in in a second. I want this world to imitate my cabin, but with so much more. I want it to be a relaxing get-a-way where you can do what you want when you want.

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  27. My virtual word is a word of controlled chaos. It is a place to go to look around and find your own adventure and explore. I like the cutout collage composition aesthetic. Everything feels different but as a whole is unified. I love the city life but when it comes to snowboarding and mountains, there is no comparison. I wanted to add pieces of places I have been as well as places I plan on going in my vast future. I try not to be serious all the time so my virtual world is a playful positive place. Also, the thought of a ‘virtual world’ to me means unlike anything we, as a whole, have seen before. I really wanted to make it abstract. I wanted my world to take its own personality and be unique to anything else. Prince looks on the scene with quiet contemplation. My love for Prince will definitely continue onto y virtual life. Overall, my virtual world is a place I can go to explore and have fun.

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