Charlotte Strethill-Smith

Digital Media Design Student

Processing Week 4 — October 26, 2014

Processing Week 4

This week we learned about inputting images by declaring the image data type and manipulating the image pixels by calling loadPixels. For this example I loop through all the pixels but skip every n pixels along the y- axis, I also create a sort of shimmer effect by moving the images pixels as small rectangles which move back and forth. I used two colourful pattern images which created a nice effect in the background. Another important thing we learned was calculating the 1D location from a 2D grid by knowing that the LOCATION = X + Y*WIDTH. 

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We went over using mouse functions to load an image on top of the original image when a button is pressed, it was also useful to note that its possible to assign this function to a key on the keyboard. We also looked at drawing text to the screen in which this example was developed further using strings to not only cycle through the letters of the word ‘PROCESSING’ but to also run the correct time and date and draw it to the screen.  Another feature added was if the mouse goes to the left side of the screen the text turns red.

This lesson was useful to learn how I can not only create patterns using shapes and rotating them but also distorting images to create new patterns. The time feature is also good and could be used in the installation as a possible stop watch or time keeper in a bigger experiment.

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Design Iterations Poster Feedback — October 24, 2014

Design Iterations Poster Feedback


After finalising the posters design we presented it in the Media School. We originally put it next to  the seating area, however not many people were even glancing at it so we moved it to the pillar next to the cafeteria. After analysing the space it was clear that people who were waiting for coffee/food, waiting for/meeting up with people and people going to the bathroom were the people who would look at and even analyse the poster. It became clear very quickly that there were windows of 20 minutes every hour where people were leaving and going to lectures. It was a very fast moving environment with a few specific channels or movement. It was also clear that people didn’t like to hang around for too long.

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One thing noticed was how there were more lecturers than expected with around 20% being lecturers. They were also more interested than students in the cause behind the posters and hearing more about what each poster represented. The majority of traffic was students however and if they did stop they did notice the posters. This is good to note due to an upcoming project where we will using the same space.

Feedback from students and lecturers indicated that the majority liked the poster. However some criticism was about the text being hard to read and it looking more like a film poster. Another student was angry at another poster as he thought it had a “BNP Vibe” and wanted to rip them all down in protest until someone pointed out what the project was about.

thing we learned was that the area was well lit and had warm colours so out poster which was lit up already and had similar colours to the wall it was on didn’t stand out as much as it could, which could have been remedied if we had thought about this within the design at the start. The poster as well needed to be larger than A3 as it was hard to stand out against many larger screens and images. The text could have been bigger to draw attention to what the message and slogan was from a far. All in all I am very happy with how the poster turned out, I think our group worked really well together and our ideas fulfilled the needs set out to meet.


Processing Week 3 — October 18, 2014

Processing Week 3

This week in processing we went back over what we had learnt in previous weeks with for loops and creating shapes. We first expanded on our knowledge by creating a function that will draw the same house shape every time the function house is called. We also learnt about creating a colour palette so we could generate a random palette of colours rather than all the colours.

Thinking about this in relation to a project where we will create an interactive installation. This could be used to create a sort of community built on by the number of people walking past cameras. The amount of people in the building would correspond to the amount of houses in the screen.

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Design Fictions and Other Worlds: Research — October 17, 2014

Design Fictions and Other Worlds: Research

After losing steam with my previous idea I decided to look into strange worlds people have created to gain ideas. I found an interesting podcast called Welcome to Night Vale which describes it self as “Twice-monthly community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events. Turn on your radio and hide. Welcome to Night Vale.” This podcast is written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. It is a mock radio show which describes the events that go on in a strange deserted town as if they are normal.

Design Fictions and Other Worlds: Initial Ideas — October 15, 2014

Design Fictions and Other Worlds: Initial Ideas

Building on the ideas from last week my initial idea is a device set in a world where all natural resources have run out. So if wanting to communicate via technology, it will drain your own life resource and shorten your life span. I thought this would be a comment on how much we use technology and would make you think if it’s really necessary to use your phone all the time.

However, I have been finding it hard to visualise the device and after sharing this idea, it was said this was very similar to the concept of the film In Time. In Time is a film set in a dystopian future where time is currency and is shown in the form of an inserted device in the arm.

After thinking about this idea i am unsure wether to pursue it further due to not being able to why only technology is effected by the extinction of natural resources.

Finalising Poster Design —

Finalising Poster Design

After sending the files to my group they started playing around with the background and typography, resulting in a poster which different layers were then printed on acetate and put together in a frame with lights behind.

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The result was an eery looking poster in which the resulting layers looked like fog setting in against the backlights. The one issue was one layer had overlapped the word ‘Dorset”, to resolve this we cut out the overlapping colour and put everything back in place.

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Overall I am very happy with the result, We wanted to create a 3D Poster to stand out against the others and I think we have achieved this. The only criticisms I could make is some text is hard to read, this could be resolved by making all the text transparent so it would shine white. It is also possible this looks like a film poster rather than fighting for independence. It will be important to get feedback when we hang it in the Media School.


Poster Design Drafts — October 12, 2014

Poster Design Drafts

After a group meeting we decided to go with the castle silhouette with a wyvern idea. I started by roughly tracing an outline of Corfe Castle and played around with layers. I wasn’t too happy with how the first one came out as I didn’t think the landscape and positioning looked right. I tried again with a different picture and thought the overall effect was what I wanted so sent it to the group for feedback.

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After receiving feedback from the group , we decided we liked the layered look but wanted it to be on more of a hill than a long landscape. After changing the scenery I started sketching a wyvern by looking at the references from the Wessex Wyvern and other detailed drawings. I realised afterwards, the first sketch looked too protective over the castle and the others suggested changing it to look up at the empty space next to it and for it to fly to symbolise freedom. After reviewing with the group again we decided to change a layer to have trees and bushes to keep it from looking like a mountain and also changed the wings to be longer and tattered.

wyvernoperation countryside.psd operation countryside

Processing week 2 — October 11, 2014

Processing week 2

This week in processing we learnt about creating rotating patterns using shapes as well as changing the colour mode and translating the point of axis to change the rotation patterns.

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This next pattern is very simple to code and shows use of for loops to create a screen full of squares without having to code them out individually. By using random on the fill command it turns into a kind of static. Another useful feature is the saveFrame function which saves each individual frame so you can stitch them together to create an animation. You can also use this feature in an if statement so you can save at the click of a button.

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Design Fictions and Other Worlds: Starting Research — October 8, 2014

Design Fictions and Other Worlds: Starting Research

For Media Theory and Perspectives I chose two options, one of which is Design Fictions and Other Worlds. For this essay we can take two approaches and I have decided to choose the first in which I need to imagine a future/ other worldly communication device and describe (in 1000 word equivalent) a scenario in which this device I have imagined will be used.

I started looking further into the different futuristic worlds we could create, the main ones being Dystopian and Utopian. Utopian is a type of ‘paradise’ world “it traces the genealogy of ideal, planned societies as envisaged from Plato to science fiction. The appeal and the resonances are obvious and rather powerful: religious roots in paradise, political roots in socialism, economic roots in communes, and so on.”- Gordin, M., Tilley, H. and Prakash, G. (2010). Utopia/dystopia. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, Part 1, Chapter 1, p.1. Dystopia is not the opposite of a Utopia, that would involve it being a deliberate or completely unplanned attempt at making a world terrifying and awful. Rather Dystopia “is a utopia that has gone wrong, or a utopia that functions only for a particular segment of society.” – (Gordin, Tilley and Prakash, 2010)

Michel Foucault uses the term heterotopia to describe places and spaces that function in non-hegemonic conditions. Heterotopia is considered to be the third space. It can be said that “heterotopia embodies the tension between place and non-place” – Dehaene, M. and Cauter, L. (2008). Heterotopia and the city. London: Routledge, p.5.

I was interested in looking into heterotopia further to try and develop an idea for a futuristic communication device.  I was particularly interested in ‘Heterotopias of deviation’ which are institutions we place individuals whose behaviour is outside the norm such as asylums, prisons, cemeteries. I could design a device to communicate with the deceased or a device to communicate with a world which seems better than the place you are in but still somehow the same.

Learning Processing — October 5, 2014

Learning Processing

This week we started learning processing. This is an open source software that enables designers to create patterns/abstract design ideas using code. as well as interactive pieces. We are learning this so for a future project involving using screens to create interactive installations around the uni that show infographics.

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I started working on this in my own time by going over the basic things we learned in our workshops. I changed the screen size, background colours and inputed lines and shapes into the code.

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I then went on to some basic tutorials. This one outputted a screen in which the user can draw freely by using the mouse. This shows the beginning of using basic interaction such as a mouse click to interact with the audience.

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I went on to a more advanced tutorial which shows a triangle slide which gains more shapes when you move your mouse over from left to right. Its simple but  effective in its design and would be good reference for ideas in upcoming projects