Thursday, 31 May 2007

Interactive Narrative - Storyworld

Just finished A.C's police interview.
I recorded both voices and used Logic Pro's vocal transformer to make each sound different.
I have uploaded it for your listening pleasure HERE

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Storyworld - 7 sins - Tasks for next week

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.

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

Networked Design - Flash Site

I have just uploaded the new version of my Flash site. After the last critique I have made the following changes:

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

Useability - Group project

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

Interactive Narrative - Storyworld- 7 Deadly Sins

My Alter ego for the seven deadly sins project is A.C or Andrew christopher Edian. My sin is Sloth and his name is based on the latin word for Sloth - Acedia.

His myspace page is

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

Networked Design - Flash Site

Since the final critique of the flash sites I have made some changes to my design.
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

Interactive Narrative - Video Shoot

Sunday 29.4.07 - I recorded the footage for my interactive music video. I shot it in the video studio at Sion Hill using 5 JVC DV cameras and the lighting rig with coloured gels. For the interactive video to work I needed to have one camera on each member of the band, allowing ample space for them to move around in shot. I also needed a wide angle showing all four members. I had to make sure none of the cameras were visible in any of the shots. Apart from this positioning the cameras was fairly simple. The main problem was the wide angle camera, I couldn't place it where I wanted to (directly in the middle) because the room isn't deep enough. So I placed it on top of the sound booth in the corner, switching the camera to wide mode. This shot was high above the 4 members but looked across them. Although this wasn't what I originally planned. I did like the shot and each member was clearly visible.

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.