Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Sunday, 22 July 2007
I have networked two computers so they can pass OSC signals between each other.
One inputs from a webcam using ‘Reactivision’ (this is what is on the left hand side of the video). I have then used Max/MSP to send this data out as OSC signals, which then get sent to ‘Isadora’ which is what is creating the visuals and to the other computer running ‘Reaktor 5’ which is what is creating the sound you hear.
The first two clips are a test of a simple type of ‘colour organ’. The Third clip is using a desk lamp to control the amount of light to the webcam. I have set Isadora to analyse the amount of light inputted then to output a value to control the sound and the imagery.
Monday, 16 July 2007
At this stage I am still unable to formulate a specific question.
I know the general area I want to explore.
This being the combination of music and imagery and it’s effect on a person.
Each form can trigger direct responses from our senses and minds and the combination of both delivers something that neither can on their own.
Does the combination trigger different responses in our brain.
‘Visual Music is an art form with a primary objective of intentionally activating the mind’s ability to fuse visuals and music into a “synaesthetic experience”.’
Is this an interaction in itself. Do our minds fuse the elements in the same way or do we each create our own experiences.
Does the combination of music and imagery allow more or less room for our minds to include our own imaginations.
I would like to consider two of what I believe to be examples of music and imagery having the strongest impact. These being film and television scores and VJ culture.
Within these examples, one form is supportive of the other. Although I would like to explore how each change an audience’s perception of the other.
Something else I have come across in my research is the combination of music and imagery as a form of psychotherapy, used to bring about a therapeutic change.
One organisations main approach is to play patients certain types of music in a relaxed state and ask them to describe any images that they experience in their mind.
I found this particularly interesting as this suggests that everyone has the ability to create images when listening to music. I would like to look in to this further.
Also I would like to look into possibilities for the future. Will there be a time when we will be able to see images created by a persons mind, are the images we see in our heads actual translatable images.
I am in a similar position with my practical project.
Yet to come up with a definitive idea.
I think so I far have been trying to combine too many ideas or functions in to one project.
User created visual music, emotive responses and the interaction between body and system are all the things I am trying to include and I am not sure if they will all work together. On reflection I think so far my ideas or too complicated and not instantly useable by an audience.
I have been experimenting with various technologies in the hope of giving my self some idea of possible interactions, spaces, sounds and visuals.
Most of these have been successful but in a way, haven’t helped because they have given me many more options and opened new avenues to explore.
Using the ‘pod’ screens as back projection screens I used a webcam and ‘isadora’. I played around with many different effects and images and user created visuals. All were fun and visually appealing but didn’t really have any effect or create anything particularly immersive.
Over the weekend I managed to get more control and interactivity in to the Isadora visuals. I used Reactivision to input data from the webcam, then created a MAX/MSP patch that converts splits the data up into separate objects for multiple controls, scales the numbers then outputs the new numbers to a port on my network. Finally I set Isadora to input data from this port.
I now have the problem of using all of these elements to create something simple but effective.
Playing with the pods (low quality phone photo)
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
In the discussion last week it became clear that it would be difficult to do something that hadn’t been done before. Also that the installations of this nature that have the biggest effect, are those that engage the user on an emotional level as well as just a cerebral one. This is something I have found from both personal experience and from previous research and so I fully agreed. I still want to incorporate some of my original ideas. Being, to incorporate the body within a space, using both sound and imagery to create a more immersive environment and hopefully explore the relationship between user perception and the two forms.
Since the discussion last week I have been thinking about how to gain a more emotional engagement with users. I have been researching previous works on the net most of which can be found in my delicious links below.
After lots of brainstorming sketching and day dreaming I have developed two ideas.
A single screen projection that places moving images on to the on-screen presence of the user. The closer the user gets or the more surface created by the user, the more of the image will be shown. Allowing them to explore the image using their body.
The images will be quite ambiguous and the main idea being that the sound content will react to the users movements. The more of the picture they reveal, the more of the levels of the soundscape will be heard. As the more levels come in, the soundtrack will change in mood and in turn hopefully change the users perception of the image.
The images will change over time so I can experiment with different moods and relationships between the sound and imagery. I think the more ambiguous the imagery, the more that user can ‘project’ on to it and bring their own imaginations too, hopefully being influenced by the soundtrack.
I have done some preliminary testing using a bed sheet, an i-sight camera and real time video manipulation software ‘Isadora’. I found it very playful and with the right images could be a nice experience in itself.
Here are some pictures.
A more personal approach based my own emotional responses to a certain recent events.
A dual screen projection, on opposite sides of a small dark room.
The basic idea being to use the same image on both screens and use music to create a different perception of the moving image.
As the user turns around to face a screen the music changes accordingly.
Some of the things I want to reflect are the feeling of isolation the inability to change a developing course and also a sudden change of everything you thought you knew.
An image I have in mind is a tunnel, a looping clip going further and further in with a distant light at the end.
The music will hopefully convey whether you are going further in or whether you are getting further out.
I am then thinking that if the user stays looking at one screen for enough time then an ending will play out. A rough idea is that.
The bad ending will be that the tunnel fills up with water or starts to crumble, the screen behind them will also change and hopefully make the user feel trapped, all the time the music getting more chilling and louder to a climax where the room will suddenly go dark.
The happy ending will be that the tunnel reaches the end and the both screens fill with brightly coloured euphoric imagery and the music will getting louder and be as euphoric and colourful as the imagery.
I like both ideas or I at least think they perhaps have potential, but need some guidance in the tutorial tomorrow. I think that the first idea has a more playful nature and would enable me to explore the relationship between sound, imagery and user perception. The second idea, if done well might gain more of an emotional response. I understand that they are both probably single user experiences, but I think that in itself works with each concept.
Any thoughts or comments, please let me know.
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Saturday, 2 June 2007
By chance some of the exhibitions were very relevant to what I have been learning on the course. So I've posted what I saw so you can have a look too.
The first was at the Liverpool World Museum. The Exhibition was entitled Animated Adventures and it aimed to take you behind the scenes of animated film making, right from the ideas stage, to set design, cell painting, stop frame, CGI and sound design. It’s main feature was Aardman and the making of their last film – Curse of the Were-rabbit.
I thought the exhibition was fantastic. Not only because I love animation but also because the exhibition itself was so good. It was a brightly coloured, easily accessible, fun multimedia exhibition. It mainly comprised of covered walls with snippets of information, pictures, video footage and actual sets and puppets from the film. All arranged in order of the process of making the film.
The best bit came at the end, when you were allowed to ‘play’ with the interactive parts of the exhibition. These ‘booths’ aimed to demonstrate how animation is created by allowing users to create their own.
Using a very simple interface and a stage with props such as toys and letters. You simply placed or moved items on the stage and pressed a big red ‘record’ button to record a frame. When you had finished you simply press play and your animation is shown on a large screen above the booth for you and other visitors to see. The other booths included cell painting in which you colour your own animated characters and sound design where you press buttons to trigger sound over some animated footage. The interfaces were very easy to use and while I was there I saw people of all ages using and enjoying them. These were highly interactive, multi user, informative and very immersive interfaces.
Link to the website HERE
The next exhibition I saw was entitled ‘Centre of the creative universe. Liverpool and the Avant-Garde.’
It aimed to exhibit a unique account of Liverpool’s art scene and how the city has inspired a diverse range of nationally and internationally renowned artists.
For me the exhibition did exactly what it aimed to do, I saw many diverse works and learned how the city had inspired each one of them.
The best bit about the exhibition though was the design of the map which showed all the links between the Avant-Garde and the city itself. The map was used as promotional material for the exhibition as well as covering the entire wall in front of the doors as you enter the exhibition. I thought that it was a good example of well designed information architecture.
The final thing I got to see was at the Walker art gallery. The gallery has recently built a new facility called ‘Big Art’. It’s objective is to get young children, up to age 8, to engage and understand more about the art on display in the museum. The designers constructed things like trails and quizzes for the children to take part on their visit. Within the facility itself the children take part in different activities, ranging from dressing up as people in the paintings and taking photos of each other to using touch screen interfaces to play different games related to specific works. Among other interactive areas, there was one where the children had to pair up and work as a team. They communicated by phones on different sides of the room. One had to describe objects in boxes on the wall next to them, each object could be found in a painting in the gallery. The other had to draw it on an LCD screen, based on the description from the other child, when they drew it correctly they could open another box.
The website for ‘BIG ART’ can be found HERE.
I thought that there were some really good examples of interaction design. I thought that they would get young children excited about going to the gallery and in turn learn more about why the paintings are important, how they were created and more about the people in them.
Thursday, 31 May 2007
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Recording police interview questions and cutting them with each persons recorded answers.
Police letter, Jonathans flash face, new relationship map, club questlist Jonathans buisness card. Audio interview.
Where is jonathan? exhibition posters, flyer for the club. Audio interview.
Images of jonathan, map of london. Audio interview.
Grahams buisness card, financial info from newspaper article about Jonathans company. Audio interview.
CCTV footage. Audio interview.
Police interview questions.
Name, age, address and occupation.
1. How do you know Jonathan Spillers-Guinness?
2. When did you last have contact with Mr. Spillers-Guiness?
3. Where were you on the night of the 26th of May 2007?
4. How would you describe your relationship with Mr. S-G?
5. Are you aware of Mr. S-G's finanacial situation?
6. Can you think of any reason for his dissappearance?
7. Have you any idea where he may be?
Sunday, 20 May 2007
Replaced the key with coloured icons.
Made a Pre-loader.
Changed the font of the body text.
I realised that the surfboard at the top of the interface was slightly confusing. My original design was to have the board always visible, with extra lines appearing to illustrate links between different categories. I think the confusion came from the fact that these lines appeared to show illustrate the path the user had taken, but in fact this often happened by fluke.
So I decided that the board wouldn't appear at the top from the start, instead the user would 'build' the board by exploring the links. So when they had viewed all the information the board would be complete. This also illustrates the path that the user has take and the links between the categories.
To realise the design I used flash and Dreamweaver. The interface, made in Flash, brings in external XML files, which contain the text information, created in Dreamweaver.
I built an ‘engine’ that displays the selected information on the wave, places any links in the oval patch on the sand, moves the chosen link from the sand to the map at the top and the other unselected links to a random place on the beach.
So when a link is selected it simply tells the engine some required information and the engine does the rest.
This probably doesn't make much sense so please try out the site HERE and let me know what you think.
I have left the previous version online so you can see the changes. HERE
All I have left to do is to tidy up the grammar of the XML files.
Friday, 18 May 2007
I've just updated the group Wiki for our Interactive Map project. It includes a brief description of the making of the flash interface, and includes a link where I have uploaded the current Swf. It has a few bugs, but I'm working on them.
The page is HERE
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
His myspace page is www.myspace.com/a_c_edian.
I have been thinking more about how to display all the information. I like the idea of a crime scene investigation surrounding jonathons dissapearance. The installation could be set up to look like a detectives office, with a whiteboard covered in small snippets of information eg pictures, e-mail printouts etc, perhaps linked in someway. Then a computer on a desk, which could be logged in to jonathons myspace page. This would act as an interface so the user can visit all the characters pages. Hopefully the user will then be able to piece all of the information together, and perhaps have their own thoughts on who is quilty and who isn't.
Here is A.C's backstory so far.
Andrew is 30 years old. He is currently unemployed but living off his redundancy pay after his old workplace, blockbuster shut down. He worked there for a few years after finishing University. He got a very low mark for his degree in geography, and has done nothing with it since. He went to university at the age of 23 after a string of jobs and a year out to ‘find himself’ and go travelling. His travelling consisted of staying with friends who had gone to university. Now he drinks a lot, eats badly, doesn’t really care for his personal health and spends most of his time in front of the television playing computer games. When he finds that too energetic he simply just watches.
A.C met Jonathon in his local pub. A.C was having his pre dinner pint, whilst reading a magazine.
Jonathan had had a long hard day in meetings across town and needed a drink before he went home to his fiancée. The pub wasn’t very busy and Jonathon pulled up next A.C at the bar. A.C was reading a film magazine, Jonathon likes to collect DVDs to watch on his giant HD television. After a few drinks, they chatted and discovered they had many common tastes notably in films and real ale.
Jonathan likes a drink and knows that his fiancée isn’t a keen, even less keen on him coming home drunk. So when A.C offered him a place to crash, he gratefully excepted.
Since then Jonathon has stayed at A.C’s once or twice a month. A.C doesn’t mind this, as he knows that Jonathon is well off and likes to repay A.C with food and beer.
Monday, 14 May 2007
The first being the font for the bulk text. It became clear that although the font I had chosen suited the surf theme, it was too intricate and would prove difficult to read for some users. So I have experimented with a few, and for the moment I am using the very simple '_sans', but this may change.
The other criticism was that the key was perhaps unnecessary, and that it would be better to have icons representing the different categories, for a more immediate feedback. This was something I had considered in an earlier design, but replaced with the pebble shaped icons to fit with the wave idea.
Below are the icons I have designed. I will update the flash site soon.
Wednesday, 2 May 2007
Here is a diagram of the room set up.My idea for the video is to have two states, which the user can choose between as well as the camera angles.
State 1 - Good rock video, played well, energetic rock poses etc.
State 2 - Bad documentary type video, tired and bored band, mistakes, technical difficulties etc.
So I needed a good take of each. I decided that it would be much easier to mime to the pre recorded track, rather than record both audio and video on the same day. So I 'bounced down' a mix of the track with a metronome click so the band could stay in time. After a few practices we went for a take. I switched all the cameras to record, announced the take number out loud and clapped my hands. This would make it easier for editing and syncing. We did two takes of the good state and one of the bad state.
Here are screen shots of each angle.As you can see the angles vary in colour quite dramatically. This should be fixable with colour correction in Final Cut Pro, seeing as I am not editing any other aspect of the video it won't be a problem. So all that is left to do is......Export the footage making it as small as possible without loosing too much quality. Seperate each audio track. Then, put all the media in to Director with the interface graphics I have made in flash. Hopefully it will work. Although I originally planned for this piece to be able to be viewed on the web, due to the amount of rich media I don't think this will be possible. I am hoping it will work from a CD rom and so can still be used as promotion for the band.
Monday, 23 April 2007
A wave will wash in. It displays a short piece of information and also washes up some 'pebbles'. These 'pebbles' are links to other information, from the information currently displayed.
Once you have selected a pebble, it will appear on the Board at the top, displaying your route.
The leftover pebbles will be cast aside on the Beach, but you can select them at any time. Along with all the links placed on the Board.
I have uploaded the flash file to the link below for testing.
Monday, 12 March 2007
Sunday, 11 March 2007
I built it in flash so if you have flash player installed you should be able to use it. So far it is only a demonstrator, so I have only used still images and not included any sounds.
please get in contact if there are any problems.
The four faces at the top are the buttons to select which member you watch. The widescreen symbol, top right, changes the view to widescreen. In this screen there are 4 extra buttons enabling you to mute sound coming from a certain member.
So far I quite like the idea, but I would like to include more narrative. So I am working on a short story based around the events prior to the bands video shoot. This will also be interactive. I am looking in to how much work will be involved in the technical implementation of the video before I decide whether to take on the other part of the film.
Thursday, 8 March 2007
My first idea is a chronological structure, based on a timeline.My second idea is influenced by the narrative structure of Robert Coover's Babysitter.My third idea is an attempt to relate the structure to the object I have chosen.During this exercise I found it hard to envisage a structure for the information due to the fact that at this stage I can't visualise all the information I have collected. It's now clear I need to finish my research and then map out what I have found. Indicating all the links and if needs be further research to find more links between the information I have found.
So far my favorite idea is the 3rd structure. I need to develop this further after mapping the information, and hopefully come up with a way of linking the information between catergories.
Friday, 23 February 2007
Some of my ideas for objects:
A pen or writing implement
I decided to stick with my initial idea of the surfboard. I think the surfboard could be quite an interesting object to research. Its usage has been traced back to as early as the 1700s and is used by millions of people all over the world today. Its invention lead to an entirely new culture, lifestyle and fashion. It has spawned many of the other ‘extreme’ sports that we know today and is key element in a now multi-billion dollar industry. There are many angles to consider. So far I have found the following links, which I have organised in to categories.
The History of the surfboard and its design
Tracing the evolution of the surfboard and the effect of technology on its design.
Surfboard manufacturing and Environmental issues.
Modern Surfboards are made from very harmful materials. In 2005, Clark Foam, the company responsible for 90% of the worlds surf board blanks, had to close due to pressure from the government over their waste output. This called for new ‘environmentally friendly’ materials to be considered.
Surf culture, lifestyle and fashion.
In America in the 50’s and 60’s surfing really took off. The sports popularity created a new genre of music, film and fashion. The media latched on to the cultural boom and spread the surf lifestyle all over the world.
Other Extreme sports that have evolved from surfing.
Skateboarding, originally dubbed ‘Side-walk surfing’ began due to surfers not being able to surf when there weren’t any waves. So using planks of wood and shopping cart wheels they made the first skateboards.
I intend to find out more about :- proffesional surfing competitions, famous surf spots, differences in surfing around the world and the big surf brands.
Thursday, 22 February 2007
- Flash website containing interactive map.
- A prototype touch screen map for information booths around the city.
- A short film, showing how information could be sent to a portable device from the website or a city information booth.
Week 1. Aims and objectives. My personal tasks are in bold Italics.
- Obtain a map that can be adapted for the project.
- Gather information about the places we will use - pubs/restaurants/hotels/tourist attractions/services.
- Begin work on interface.
- Gain an idea of the coding needed to implement the project.
Wednesday, 21 February 2007
You are to consider how we learn to trust information. Reflect on real life experiences and map these onto your experiences in the virtual world. How do you know what to trust and what may be faked?
Summarise your experiences of three websites, pick ones that you trust and consider why you trust them.
Music equipment online retailer
A website I trust because.
The home page assures you that experts are behind the site.
It encourages phone enquiries, so users can question anything on the site, safe in the knowledge that they don’t have to rely on the digital domain.
The site includes some 'sleek' adverts, for big companies or national music events. I think that this portrays the retailers to be 'connected' to well known, big, trusted companies eg Apple.
The site states clearly that they will compete on price. Most of the time, people probably wont check, and with all prices being in bold red type, I think most users will probably believe them.
Internet movie database
A website I trust because.
Straight away, the home page hits you with lines like - ‘Visited by over 42 million movie lovers each month’, ‘earths biggest…’, ‘Award winning’. Statements like these give the site it's value. Whether or not the site is trustworthy, I think users will trust the judgement of other users. 42 million of them.
The homepage has small, rather pointless sections like, 'Born Today', detailing actors birthdays. Extras like this show that they know their stuff, or that they are ‘in touch’ with the movie world.
Each film/actor/director has a message board, for reviews/comments. This adds value because users can give their opinions. The site is clear and concise, with many, many links.
It is almost overwhelming, too much to click. But this adds to the overall feeling that there is much content on the site.
This is an example of a website I don't trust.
The site is supposed to, and used to be a valued daily surf report site.
The reason i don't trust it (anymore) is because the site started small and was the first in the area. As hits went up, the author realised that he could advertise products on the page. More and more products and adverts appeared, the actual report became less and less of a feature. The page is scattered with products, which makes it hard to find what you visited the site for, which de-values the information.
The actual report is the authors personal opinion and the photos are taken from a different place everyday, not live, taken at different times, and only once a day.
plurality and diversity of digital narratives.
Façade is an artificial intelligence-based art/research experiment in electronic narrative – an attempt to move beyond traditional branching or hyper-linked narrative to create a fully-realized, one-act interactive drama.
Façade is like a game in that, using your mouse and keyboard you control your movements in an artificial space. However it is unlike a game, in that the narrative is dependent on your actions and interactions with the characters. Making it more realistic to everyday life than a standard computer game. You play the part of a long-time friend of a couple. They invite you for dinner one evening and you quickly become involved in their troubled marriage and they start arguing and attacking each other. Gradually different problems are revealed depending on the path of the conversation. You will often be asked difficult questions with only yes or no answers, or be provoked to take sides. The outcome will depend on what you say. They will either break up, stay together or throw you out.
My first impression of the game was that the graphics are very simple and quite crude.
However after a short while I forgot the simple graphics, as you move around the perspective changes and the characters follow you. They will turn to face you, ask you questions often and step in front of each over to gain your attention, demanding you to interact. I was lucky in that I could input my own name, so it was more personal and when I came to play the game properly, I actually felt a kind of connection with the characters. A strange feeling but I couldn't help trying to please and help them. Sometimes they will question your friendship or tell you that what your saying is helping them. This kind of feedback made me feel as if I was really taking part in a two-way interaction. Saying the right or wrong thing was affecting their feelings and they were telling me. Sometimes one of them would storm off if you sided with the other. This made me feel bad, as if I had done something wrong, so I immediately would try to correct my mistake.
On most occasions the characters understand and respond to what you type. When this happened I felt a strong connection with the game and its characters. After my second play I managed to save their marriage, they thanked me and said that what I had said really helped.
However, another play ended abruptly as I got thrown out. I’m not really sure what I said but they didn’t like it.
Tom, look around this apartment. It's got everything anyone would ever want. But, Grace, oh no, she's never satisfied.
Trip, ... ugh ... I'm so sick of this.
what are you sick of?
Alright, Tom, that's it, you've got to leave.
Overall I think that this game is more emotionally involving than most computer games I have played. The objective of the game is not to save their marriage. There isn’t a goal that you must reach in order to complete the game. You simply take part in the ‘one act drama’ and the outcome depends on your interaction. So perhaps this isn’t as fun or entertaining as a normal computer game. But in some ways, just as challenging and engaging.