Improving reality

Computer science student uses motion capture to augment reality

Brendan Rood will tell you he’s not the most creative person, but he loves using computer science to bring more efficiency to the creative process. “I love enabling people through technology, that’s probably my main motivation,” said Rood.

Rood is studying computer science and German studies at UMD. After graduation, he hopes to move to a German-speaking country, and pursue a career in augmented and virtual reality. He’s also a student worker in the Motion and Media Across Disciplines Lab (MMAD Lab), where he collaborates with students from other degree programs.

Most recently, Rood is assisting with a motion capture project called “How to Fly,” which aims to capture the motion and improvisational dialogue of UMD Theatre students and apply them to animated characters in virtual environments. He loves working in the MMAD Lab because it allows him to interact with students outside of his major and apply the theory-based lessons from the classroom to real world situations.

His advice to new students?

“Just get lost. Go down that weird hallway that looks like it goes nowhere because you might find something really cool that will change your life.”