MEDA WK 13

During this last week I took a large step forward toward the end of my project. I collated a number of items from my childhood/teenage years, and set them up to form the silhouette of a city being attacked by a Godzilla style creature.

20170529_110640.jpg

This multi-layered shadow play work used a forced perspective to create an image. It’s a culmination of the themes and processes used throughout my group and solo experimentation. From looking at how shadows interact in the first week, how the placement of objects effects the pattern of light in the second week and third week, the impact that shadows can have on how we view objects from the fourth week, bringing still objects to life/giving them new life and meaning from the fifth week, and the solo look and jamming of using silhouettes of city skylines to tell a story from the sixth week.

Feedback from this work was that the addition of interactivity or movement would help to cement the idea of play even further into the work. As such, I will be attempting to add a secondary light source which can move, to add an additional perspective.
The main aim of this project is to show how the perspective of someone playing is different to how the act of playing looks.
For example, a child playing with Lego creates their own world, even beyond what the blocks visually represent.
Often a person playing video games creature a further story in their head from what simply appears on screen.
Each of these and more are represented in the work by old school game cartridges, Lego blocks and toys, and other collated pieces from my personal growing up.

The final element that my project requires is that moving light source, which will be added through something like a train set, or anything that the audience can move to shift the perspective.

MEDA WK 12

This week the group continued to work in the same space and bounce ideas off of each other, but Jade and myself worked on separate ideas, while Izel and Isabelle worked together. Matt was absent again.

For this week I brought in a collection of items which I believed could help me with shadow play. These items included a roll of five cent coins, a container of mints, and other round, thin objects. Using these and a light, I constructed a silhouette of a city skyline. This week was a smaller scale project, but it felt more fulfilling than the past few weeks. I was not particularly fond of the groups ideas to use real organs, as I was more keen to work with light and see what we could do with it.
I was inspired in part by the popular web hoax “The Demon on the Hospital Bed”.
2014demonbed.jpg
This is an image which appears to be a dark figure dancing on top of a patients bed, as seen through an old monitor. The poster of this image claims that the person died a few hours after this.
This image is actually an optical illusion. The “demon” figure is actually a combination of a coat in the background, the patients leg, the guard rail of the bed and a few other objects placed around the room.
I worked with the idea of unreal objects in my cityscape, which is actually a series of different objects projected to look like buildings.

Initially, I constructed a small silhouette using only five cent pieces, however the scale for this was too small, so I expanded this and added other cylindrical pieces.

The feedback I got on this was mainly positive and I plan to continue this project in the coming weeks.

MEDA WK 10-11

I was absent in week 10 due to illness, however the group worked on light, using a single, swinging light to create animation. When I heard of this, it sounded really interesting and I decided to pursue it further in later weeks.

However for this week, the group decided that we should sit down and have a critical discussion on what we were doing. We felt that the group was unmotivated, and this was due in part to a lack of direction. We had kind of just been moving from one project to another, not really thinking as to why we should be doing what we’re doing. The group quickly dissolved as we began a mind mapping process, and all that remained were myself and Jade, which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We, along with Mat, managed to discuss a lot of interesting topics of light and dark, death and life, reanimation and ethics, as well as many others.

-Our mind map topics-

Jade and I also made the difficult decision to split from the group. We felt that we were being restricted by the others, as well as restricting them from what they were more passionate about. As such, starting next week we will be working on our own projects.

MEDA WK 9

This week was not the most productive. A busy week lead to stress, which lead to forgetfulness and as such, I failed to bring in any jars. As I was not the only one, this meant that Jade was the only one to bring in jars, meaning we had three. Well, four and a cup, once we scavenged from the kitchen.

The group has decided to project organs onto the jars to give it a laboratory feel. We decided to use fruit as placeholders, kind of like our mannequin head from last week.
To be honest, this week was kind of a bust. The projections didn’t really work well and the jars didn’t hold the image well. We tried experimenting with water, and then paper, but it didn’t really work because the glass of the jar distorted the image. Again, we included projected video and sound, similar to last week.

During our discussion Mat suggested that we should use less transparent projecting subjects, such as milk. He also questioned why we didn’t just use real organs, and I expressed that I felt the project was about projection more than it was about the laboratory feel. Our theme had been light based the whole time, and that was something that I felt we should continue.

Due to this, we looked a little bit at bringing life to the lifeless, in a similar was to our heart projected on a potato. We decided to continue to attempt to project life onto other objects in our next project.

MEDA WK 8 – Face Projection

This week we (Jade, Izel Isabelle and myself) continued to work well as a group, working to continue our process of projection and face hacking.

We continued our working with projectors, and Jade brought in a mannequin head for us to project onto. We did our best to match the faces onto the head, with varying degrees of success. We had a rotation of six heads from various sources. We included moving and still images, and each head had a backing track associated to it (for example the Pirates of the Caribbean theme for Johnny Depp and mechanical noises for the robot head). By far the face which worked the best was the robot head. It fit the general shape of the head well, and we managed to align the eyes, nose and mouth really well. Even those which didn’t fit the shape well (like The Hulk’s) worked well in terms of providing humor and life to the work.

We still have a long ways to go to come to the level of our inspiration:

 

There was a bit of disparity in the work loads this week, as it felt like Jade and I contributed more than the others, as the struggled to get on board with the ideas and workings. We also had an extra addition to our group, Matt.

We also continued to collaborate on a theme, which we previously had not looked at. During our class discussion, Mat suggested that perhaps a face isn’t what we want to map onto, due to technology constraints. We then discussed and developed the idea to project onto jars filled with water, which we decided to do next week.

MEDA WK 7 – Projection and Shadow Play

Beginning in week 7, Izel, Isabelle, Jade and myself began to work on some interactive projection based works.

Our first concept was to look into projection mapping and shadow work. The group decided to make two elements to feature this week; A multiple light source work which focused on shadows, and a projection based work which I was more a part of. Both of the works were a re imagining of Olafur Eliasson’s Your Uncertain Shadows.

In the project that I helped work on, we aimed to showcase a prototype of a potential future project. Eliasson’s work uses the person’s shadow as the projecting device. As the person cuts off the light, the shadow changes and the image is different. We decided to make a video in Premier which had a silhouette in the middle, representing a person walking in front. The aim was that we would use sensors to track the persons movement. Then, as they walked across the projection screen, they would remain in shadow, but the background would continue to have trippy colorful fractals. In a way, it is a reversal of Eliasson’s work.

We also made the silhouette that of The Incredible Hulk’s, just for a bit of flair.

Outcomes:

  • Our group will need to research how to use arduino and sensors if we wish to continue this path
  • Editing from the projector is best, as it allows us to check and change on the fly easier
  • The colours were clearer in the projection work, but the shadows were more effective in the light based work
  • The group worked well together. We decided what we wanted to do, did it, and discussed it really well.

 

Jade suggested that next week she brings in a mannequin head to project onto, and we as a group agreed that that’s a good step forward.

DIGC335 – Artefact

AI are often thought of as tools used by industry to bring robotic butlers and self-driving cars from fiction into reality. However, they already see prominent use within video games as Non Playable Characters and directors running the game in the background, determining what goes where, when and how. Within this Podcast, several case studies are examined, including examples of good use of AI, like Left 4 Dead and Alien: Isolation. There are also examples of AI being used or made poorly, like in the original Dead Rising.

The project has veered a bit from the previous DIGC335 blog post. The project was previously about Mechs or Mecha, giant fighting robots. The rationale for this change is from an early presentation, where one of the questions posed was “Why use a Mech (which is piloted by a human inside) when you could use a remote controlled drone or an AI robot?” This question began a chain which lead to the concept of AI being used, and especially how they are used in video games.

The Podcasts discusses some of the various uses of AI within gaming and uses case studies of games as examples.
The games included are:
– Halo: Combat Evolved, for the use of AI which seem to want to ‘live’.
– The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, for the use of AI NPC’s who respond realistically to the characters actions, as well as the ID system used to determine where an NPC should be and why.
– Grand Theft Auto V, for the use of dynamic interactions with NPC’s and a realistic and immersive world due to this.
– Left 4 Dead, for the AI known as the Director, creating dynamic games and an experience that felt fresh every time.
– Alien: Isolation, for possibly the best use of a singular AI in a horror game, or any game.
– Dead Rising, for some of the worst AI NPC’s and a frustrating permadeath mechanic for them.
– EA Sports titles, for their “rubber banding” and ‘unfair’ game deciding AI.
– Guess Who? in Garry’s Mod, for its use of intentionally bad AI NPC’s which mimic/emulate human players.

The Podcast furthermore discusses how these AI can make or break immersion, a quality that many games seek to attain. Immersion is a feeling a player experiences when a fictional world is able to bring them into it and make them feel as though it is real/realistic.

The Podcasts concludes that AI, which many believe to be an element of the future, are present right now, and are done well in video games. Games contain characters who respond to stimuli and react in a realistic manner, and often in ways which the players may not even realise are realistic. This realisation is discussed in the Podcast, and is just one of the ways that AI in gaming create a realistic and immersive world.

References:

Kotaku 2014, The Unpredictable Alien, Blog post, viewed 3/06/2017, https://www.kotaku.com.au/2014/07/alien-isolations-worst-aspect-the-unpredictable-alien/

Hanson Robotics 2016, Sophia Awakens, online video, viewed 29/5/2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LguXfHKsa0c

AI and Games 2014, In the Directors Chair: The AI Director of Left 4 Dead, online video, viewed 2/6/2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbHMxo11HcU

Left 4 Deak Wikia, The Director, wiki page, viewed 2/6/2017, http://left4dead.wikia.com/wiki/The_Director

Elder Scrolls Wikia, Console Commands/Characters, wiki page, viewed 2/6/2017, http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Console_Commands_(Skyrim)/Characters