College of Art and Design
In late 2019, Shaun Foster received a $160,000 megagrant from Epic Games, the video-game developer behind Fortnite and other popular titles. Foster, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director of 3D Digital Design at RIT, holds nearly 20 years of experience in 3D Graphics and Interactive Education Design.
For this sponsored research, Foster is exploring Epic Games’ Unreal Engine software to develop cross-disciplinary excellence of real-time 3D graphics across RIT, promote collaboration and produce a free online 16-week course with tutorials to accelerate the knowledge of RIT’s incoming and current students.
Foster’s research is focused on the exciting nature of how learning, creating and designing with next-generation technology is dramatically changing the nature of 3D gaming graphics as well as the teaching process. His previous cross-disciplinary work using augmented and virtual reality has started to combine with mixed reality (XR) — which uses additional sensors and electronics — to enhance the tactile and immersive feel to simulations.
Foster’s multidisciplinary approach and early adoption of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is expanding the software’s possibilities in various areas at RIT. Working with multidisciplinary teams of students, he is developing a better understanding of Unreal Engine and its advanced workflows and ability to provide real-time feedback. His work is allowing the versatile software to be leveraged as a central tool for interactive visualization, next-generation filmmaking and training in many fields, including: medical, VR historical simulation/visualizations, interior and industrial design, virtual production, urban planning, geographic information systems, GIS and user UI/UX/HCI (human computer interaction).
Foster is also furthering the synergy between the 3D Digital Design program and the MAGIC Center to integrate his research in and beyond RIT’s College of Art and Design. He is dedicated to bringing this cross-disciplinary learning approach to all corners of campus as well as teaching the next generation of students who will continuously lead, learn and innovate in the future.
RIT College of Art and Design