Arden’s Industrial Technology innovator is the shape of things to come

Posted on March 22, 2016

Matthew Jigalin’s HSC Industrial Technology work, Verge, is currently on display at the inaugural Shape exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.  Shape was launched on Friday 26th February, 2016.  The Powerhouse Museum advertises the exhibition as “Discover innovative projects from 2015 HSC graduates that will shape the future of Australian design.”  

The annual exhibition showcases 25 outstanding projects from Design and Technology, Industrial Technology and Textiles Technology courses from the 2015 HSC.  Mr Trevor Bridgland, Arden Anglican School’s Head of Technological and Applied Studies (TAS), said “This is an incredible achievement for Matthew Jigalin to be selected from the almost 10,000 students who were enrolled in these courses in 2015!”  He continued:  “Congratulations go to Matthew under the expert guidance of Mr Simak for his wonderful achievements in ITM.  He has established a standard that will inspire Arden students to aim for excellence for years to come.”

The Arden Anglican School 2015 HSC student created the virtual reality computer game as his major project for Industrial Technology:  Multimedia Technologies (ITM).  This achievement is in addition to his success in achieving first place in Industrial Technology: Multimedia Technologies in the 2015 HSC.  He has also accepted a place in the prestigious Bachelor of Information Technology/Co-operative Scholarship Program at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Matthew’s work, Verge, is described by the Powerhouse as:

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When asked about which skills what he learnt during the creation of his ITM Major Project, Matthew listed the major skills as follows:  

“I learnt how to:

  • Video edit, as I needed to make a trailer for the game, and a number of short films for within the project. For this I just took to the internet and watched what others were creating and also a number of specific tutorials on effects and techniques
  • Code, as the whole project needed to be created from scratch to avoid plagiarism. There were a number of official Unreal Engine documentation sites which specified how certain functions and areas of Unreal worked, and just by googling and researching my issues I learnt how to use the program inside out.
  • 3D Model, which is essentially thinking up items, objects or players I want in the game, and then creating them out of virtual polygons. To learn 3D modelling I just found something I liked, for example a table in real life, took pictures, then translated that into the modelling software. By drawing on real-life objects I had seen, it made visualizing it much easier.

These were the main and hardest skills I learnt, but some others I learnt included Texturing, Sound Recording, Sound Mixing, Script Writing, Filming, Level Design, Graphic Design, Logo Design and Portfolio Skills.”

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Matthew has been invited to share his strategies for success with current Year 11 and Year 12 students at the Shape seminars presented by BOSTES and the Powerhouse Museum during March.  When asked for some general advice for Year 12 students about subject choice, Matthew shared:  “Do subjects that you love, and subjects you’re interested in.  This subject won’t feel like work at all, it will feel like free time, so you will excel in this subject. That’s what I can credit my success in ITM to, I loved doing the subject, so I poured a LOT of time into it.” 

From the Verge creator – Matthew Jigalin

Verge is a multimedia project formulated around the pinnacle of modern multimedia: Virtual Reality.  Verge is a 3D computer-generated game which takes players on a journey through time exploring technology through the ages.  The game opens with an expansive prehistoric world where players need to harvest resources such as wood, stone and sandstone to create makeshift tools: the earliest form of technology.  The game continues to the player finding themselves in a blacksmith’s workshop from the Middle Ages, where technology has evolved to refined metals and tools: crafting weaponry.  Once again, the player is transported through time where the player is now in one of the first ever cinemas known to man, from the 1920’s: enjoying the modern technology of film.  The player finally moves to a surreal museum of modern multimedia production, showcasing modern visual effects.

This journey is played through the use of the virtual reality headset called the “Oculus Rift VRH DK2” (Virtual reality headset development kit two), where the player’s eyes are covered with small stereoscopic screens which as they move their head, the display updates, meaning as you look around in real life, you are looking around in the game world as well. Not only do players feel as though they are in the game world from the virtual reality headset, players also receive sensory feedback from picking up objects through the use of a muscular tracking armband which has been tailored for Verge to allow players to make the motion of picking up an object in real life to be transported to input within the game world. This project in essence is a combination of all areas of multimedia: Video, Audio, Still photography and Animation: which are then formulated together in the platform of a video game, viewed through virtual reality.  This is the experience of Verge.”

When asked why his work was titled Verge, Matthew Jigalin explained:  “After my teacher Mr Kris Simak and I had just thought out the biggest, most impossible idea possible for a game I said: ‘This is crazy’.  Kris said back to me, ‘Yeah, well sometimes you have to be a little crazy to do something significant.’  The title Verge seemed appropriate as “Verge” is defined as: ‘an extreme limit beyond which something specified will happen.’  I had decided that I was going to push myself to the extreme limit, and reach the verge of modern technology: Virtual Reality.”