3D Live Puppeteer Animation Software Featured At Webb Center For Communication And Learning
Courtesy of Webb Center For Communication & Learning
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — Local children with autism and their therapists will get a boost from interactive avatars and special software created by 3D live animation pioneer Gary Jesch of Carson City. His pressing dream of providing interactive avatars to help kids on the autism spectrum improve their social, conversational and language skills will be realized with the upcoming introduction of the “3D Digital Puppeteer” this Friday evening at Webb Center for Communication and Learning in downtown Gardnerville, NV.
Webb Center for Communication and Learning is a therapy clinic for those with autism, speech and language disorders recently opened by Enid Webb, M.A. CCC-SLP, who has 17 years of experience in Nevada and California as a professional certified speech-language therapist. She is assisting Jesch’s new company, Invirtua Inc., by testing and using his 3D live animation system with some of her clients with autism.
“So far, we’ve been really excited to see just how well Enid’s kids take to the software. It’s like they are having so much fun and don’t even realize that they are learning things and improving their lives,” Jesch said. In a Webb Center session, Jesch will operate his own interactive avatars to let the child observe what positive behaviors and learning look like, and then he will let the child take over and control the digital puppets himself, demonstrating the same positive behavior and showing what he’s learning.
“We use two rooms – one for the audience and one for the controls – the puppeteer, or ‘avateer,’ as I like to call him,” Jesch explained. “That way, it seems more like a real puppet show, and this technology of live animation has been used by Jim Henson and Disney’s ‘Turtle Talk with Crush’ to create first-time experiences of people interacting with animated characters. So far, kids with autism really like it, and all kids do, actually.”
Invirtua and Webb Center for Communication and Learning are hosting an open house and demonstration of the 3D Digital Puppeteer avatars for autism technology, this Friday, May 29, from 4-6 p.m. at Webb Center for Communication and Learning. Webb Center for Communication and Learning is located at 1538 US Highway 395 in Gardnerville (In the Stratton Center).
Jesch recently incorporated and launched Invirtua, after spinning it off his other Carson City company, CHOPS & Assoc. Live Animation, which serves the marketing professionals of large corporations around the world by providing traffic builders at trade shows and live avatars who become actors in corporate meetings, special events and experiential marketing projects. Jesch started working with interactive virtual characters in 1993 with his first character, Virtual Mark Twain, who was initially performed by McAvoy Layne, the local Mark Twain look-alike performer.
Jesch has been working on the current version of his software for about a year, and in January, he showed Webb his new character, a little boy with ASD, based on one of her clients. CHOPS has created more than 25 virtual characters over the years and plans to provide fascinating characters, interactive software and Dell computer hardware in his complete packages for therapists and parents of children with autism. His new system will also be available to police trainers and flight attendant trainers, so they can work with avatars of autistic children without causing anyone any damages.
Invirtua Inc. (www.animationforautism.com) is a new Carson City business with software engineering specialists in Austin, TX and Los Angeles, CA. Jesch is also the CEO of CHOPS & Assoc. Live Animation (www.chops.com), formed in 1996 in Incline Village, NV and moved to Carson City in 2007. Jesch is a recognized pioneer in live animation and virtual characters, with performances all around the US and other parts of the world, including China, South America, Mexico and the Philippines.