Research Grants

Grants as Primary Investigator

“Multi-platform Game Innovation Centre” Awarded 10 million SGD, a transdisciplinary research project of which 460k is granted to my research as a Primary Investigator for subtopic “Game Design for Entertainment” (2012-current). – Focusing on content development and borrowing from contemporary games made for consumption in popular culture; we examine technical aspects of game design, integrating it with research that examines popular trends. We incubate game research by working with unique visuals and game-play concepts. Our research will looks at appeal in visual characterization and interaction, e.g. visual, aural, and interactive design. Our hypothesis is that there are particular archetypes used in popular game design. Their influence on the appeal of any particular game is measurable. This research strives to understand more clearly what these elements of game design are. In furthering an understanding of the mechanisms that determine how design for games forms a compelling narrative our case studies will result in materials that have a popular appeal and success in the marketplace. We will investigate the following:

  • Analyze and understand trends in the marketplace,
  • Develop content that matches the needs of contemporary popular culture,
    Push production and technical development to lower costs and streamline production.
  • Key Tasks: Research on popular game genre, technical aspects of game design, and develop a prototype supporting a proposal demonstrating the research investigated.
  • This research will develop and nurture locally significant, creative properties, technical pipelines, and insights. This research will attempt to create a viral website that expands the viewing platform for outlets of animation content. Our focus is on creating internationally recognized innovative works within this unexplored content area.

NRF2008IDM-IDM004-003 1.7 million SGD, National Research Foundation/Media Development Authority, “Cinematics and Narratives: creating stories within real-time visual toolsets” (PI) Resulted in the award winning short animated film [Vengeance + Vengeance], numerous papers and students trained (Dec 2008 – Dec 2011).

SUG/NTU 90k Grant 2006 Project Period – “Don’t Do That, Do This” Explor­ing Real-Time Authoring Toolsets and Addressing Socially Relevant Issues with the Medium of Digital Animation, Primary Investigator, 90k Singapore dollars. Singa­pore Prison System at Kaki Bukit Prison School in collaboration with and Co­ordinated with SCORE (Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises), this project is part of the “Yellow Ribbon Project” promoting skills and creative learning with storytelling in Machinima for the student inmates as part of their rehabilitation. (volunteer work supported with government supplied hardware and software), (2006 – 2012)

RCC2/ADM 5k Grant 2006 Project Period – “Creating Socially Relevant Content in the Digital Animation Form” 21 November 2006, 5K Grant proposals – This project explores the use of animation as a framework to investigate culturally relevant issues in the current social climate of Singapore and Southeast Asia. The outcome will be an awareness of the use of the medium to address important issues (2006).

The Symbolics Corporation 1988 – received a grant in the form of a high-end Symbolics system to execute advanced computer generated imagery for Master’s Thesis work, (1988).

Grants as co-Primary Investigator

NRF2008IDM-IDM001-030 – Intelligent Agent-Augmented Multi-User Virtual Environments: Research into Designs for Learning Environments of the Future (Co-PI), This project will conduct a program of learning sciences research involving a new class of educational interactive and digital media (IDM) that integrates computational intelligent agents with the functionality and affordances of a 3D multi-user virtual environment. The first aim of the project is to enhance the functionality of a prototype 3D IAAMUVE (intelligent agent-augmented multi-user virtual environment) that is called Virtual Singapura, which is a 19th century virtual Singapore for secondary science and geography education. The second aim of the project is to conduct learning sciences research with this system to explore ways to enhance IDM enabled science and social studies education in Singapore schools and in teacher education courses at NIE. (Dec 2008 – Nov 2011)

NRF2007IDM-IDM003-068 (NRF/MOE grant approved, 1.3 million Singapore dollars) – Serious Immersion and Embodied Learning: Traces of Dinosaurs in Earth System Science (Co-PI) Immersive Virtual Environments: The main purpose of this project is to conduct a research and development program for an immersive interactive and digital media (IDM) to support learning of Earth system science for Singapore’s secondary level Geography content. Working with students and three intended full-time staff to create the visual look of the project and other related imagery (2007).

Tier1 grant #200604393R, $50,000 SGD, Academic Research Fund, Exploring kineto-audio-visual parameter mapping in virtual instrument performance and interactive installation, Singapore, March 2009 — February 2011, co-PI

Grants Proposed But Not Awarded

GAMBIT 2010 Local Call-For-Proposal – Character Constructor, We propose to develop a toolset that will allow the hobbyist and professional to author and deploy intelligent, animated characters. These characters will have personality that though seemingly simple to author will have a depth of personality to them that is only limited by the imagination of the user (2010)

Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund (AcRF) TIER 2 (2/2008), A Toolset for Building Cognitive Agent-Based Emotion-Sensitive Systems, as co-PI. The aim of the proposed research project is thus to investigate and develop the computational models and technologies required for real-time emotion understanding and modeling through user monitoring, and their use in the realization of future generations of intelligent systems.

“Detecting Autism in Early Childhood” – exploration study – Currently in collaboration with the School of Computer Engineering’s Center for Computational Intelligence, we are implementing a project that will develop reactive characters to derive somatic data to detect autism in early childhood. (Tier 2 Grant Applied for as Co-PI) (2007)

NRF2007IDM-IDM005-004, “Creative Learning with Animation (CLA),” invited proposal, written as Primary Investigator, an interdisciplinary research program designed to develop technologies that nurture creative intellectual insights, provides an integrated approach toward animation. With a focus on “Learning of the Future,” our aim is on building, growing, and promoting animation in universities, industry and research centers, consolidating knowledge and providing it to the larger community. While developing curricula, we will create a repository of animated works for study; build structures to contextualize these works and design a means for extracting, remixing this and new original content, to gain an understanding of meaning from historical, and contemporary creative contexts (2007).

“The Discovery Center’s Virtual Hostess” 4 January 2007 Proposed – This project comprises the creation of a character that would recognize and greet visitors to the centre. We would thereby establish a brand-able character for the centre in the form of an intelligent virtual agent that remembers the persons interacting with her; interacts with them with stories songs and pictures about Singapore. The character created from an existing character database will be further authored to encompass Singapore specific costumes, vocals and colloquial expressions that are pertinent to the context at hand (2007).

“Self Aware Characters” (Cognitive Cinema) proposed – The aim of this research project is to create self-aware intelligent virtual actors. Characters that can, in a given situation, improvise and perform like human actors. This is an effort to combine creative character development techniques with current artificial intel­ligence technologies; with the intent of creating a filmmaking toolset where much of the repetitiveness of current digital animation techniques become automated. This focus is on how personality of each character is revealed in specific con­texts. Engaged in research that encompasses the creation of real-time characters with AI backed personalities. (2006)

Tier 2 Grant Proposal Fall 2006, Episodic Explorations in Cinema, Creating Movies with Real-Time Media – The goal of this research is to explore episodic cinema with real-time media focusing on an interest in developing narrative works based on original stories developed in media aided with artificial intelligence (2006).

SIPA/MDA Collaborative Grant Opportunity, Exploring Real-Time Authoring Toolsets and Addressing Social Issues in the Medium of Digital Animation – This project explores the use of animation as a framework to investigate culturally relevant issues in the current social climate of Singapore, Thailand and Southeast Asia. The outcome will be an awareness of the use of animation as a  medium to address important issues. Research will be conducted to find solutions to pertinent and contemporary problems (2006).

“Digital Info Technology Pte Ltd” 24 July 2006 – Proposed directions for possible collaboration: Create a web presence that uses real-time 3D characters marketed towards children. Have the functionality include email chat and role-playing modes. Conversational character that aid in storytelling, definitions, tour guide through major cities with an user expandable and shared database, games and general entertainment. Do ongoing market studies to refine product characterization and functionality. Expand from a real time 3D character to smart toys maintaining brand identity. Once we have developed these markets we will expand to other arenas.  Materials targeted for different age groups. Develop licensed properties and existing characters not exclusive to the Hollywood style (2006).

“Directions for possible collaboration with HGI GAMES” 24 July 2006 – Proposed a collaboration that included the integration of a library of humanoid real-time 3D characters with the ability to modify their likeness to suit your taste. Encompassing libraries of interchangeable action, movement streams including motion capture, facial and body expressions, fully automated lip-sync, all using animation synthesis techniques for believable non-repeating performances. Content detection technology with adjustable emotive dials for on the fly character, scene and sequence manipulation; a library of sets in both texture and geometric formats with an ability to add your own sets; anthropomorphic characterizations e.g. talking animals (2006).