Todd Kesterson has taught in the New Media Communications Program since 2004. He currently teaches courses in 3D modeling, animation, visualization, virtual world design, and X-Reality history and trends.
Kesterson holds a BFA in Visual Design from the University of Oregon, an MS in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University, and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.
His personal creative work explores the relationship between internal and external landscapes and our interwoven connections with time, place and community. Research interests include immersive education and spatial storytelling. He recently completed a research study funded through the OSU Ecampus Research Fellows Program to explore student interaction and collaboration in virtual reality.
In Summer of 2024, he will be guiding a group of students on a Faculty Led Program to Scotland. The class will explore how 3D scanning is being used to digitally document and preserve Scotland's cultural heritage.
Students are co-creators of their own educational experience. For that to succeed, production coursework needs to allow for individualization of class projects. Classes should present a framework that supports creative expression, while also providing a foundation in the concepts, tools, and techniques necessary to succeed as communicators in an increasingly complex digital world.
Student Work Selections
Individual student project compilations
This promotional piece supported the Oregon State University Robotics Department’s research on a self-driving wheelchair for people with extreme motor disabilities. This video was included in the application to the first Robotics for Good competition in Dubai. It was designed for a lay audience instead of the scientific community. The video primarily features live action footage, with 2D and 3D animation included to visualize the operations of the programmed wheelchair and to add emotional appeal. This research project was selected as a finalist in the competition.
Salmorine - VR
In Salmorine, you play as an intern researching salmon and their habitats. Through this immersive VR experience, players collect dietary samples and explore the complexities of a river system. This was a playful educational experience that brought together the storytelling and design skills of our students with research on aquatic ecosystems conducted at OSU and other universities.
Mindstates - VR
In Mindstates, the player enters the virtual world through an underground tunnel. From there, paths lead to worlds designed to represent anxiety and calmness. These large themed spaces were created collaboratively by students in the Advanced Collaborative Experience class. From either of those worlds, players can enter smaller spaces created by individual students in New Media 3D (NMC 483). Each space represents personal expressions or anxiety and calm. The hope was that this process would encourage students to explore ways of transitioning from states of anxiety to calmness in their own lives.
Noctis Evadere -VR
This was one of several projects that resulted from a collaboration between OSU New Media Communications students and students from Stuttgart Media University. Teams of students were each tasked with creating an educational / experiential game about robot sensors. The purpose was to help players understand the capabilities and limitations of various types of sensors. The player sees the world and makes decisions based on the limited information provided by the sensors they have access to in the game.
The Story Pouch - A Journey Remembered
The Story Pouch is 3D computer animated short film about a man alone, unable to express himself creatively. This begins to change as he is pulled into a multidimensional space of dreams and memories. Through this journey he remembers what it is like to live the dance and is at last able to tap into his own creativity. The project was a collaborative effort by students and faculty from OSU and the University of Oregon. This short animation is an abbreviated version of the originally scripted story.