Charlotte Strethill-Smith

Digital Media Design Student

Salisbury Cathedral Trip — February 17, 2015

Salisbury Cathedral Trip

On Monday the 16th of February, we took a trip to Salisbury Cathedral. We were given a guided tour of the Cathedral and shown a replica of the Magna Carta and the King’s Seal. We also talked with one of the people organising the exhibition, he talked us through the brief again and went through a few ideas of his own which could be developed on.  He described either having an experience you could interact with before coming to the Cathedral or something you could use at the Cathedral to interact with people around you. He also liked the idea of using the theme of human rights. One issue would be that they do not currently have Wi-Fi installed and it would only be in limited areas, they would also need to set up a server and need a moderator to moderate the content uploaded as the aim would be for children to use the app as well.

It was bought up how they would like some sort of reference to Salisbury Cathedral within the Magna Carta app. I was inspired by the cathedrals history, in how the building and statues were originally painted. I think children would love to see how the cathedral would have looked, so an app where you could colour in various statues and parts of the cathedral which could then be posted to a gallery where you can view everyone’s coloured drawings would be interesting.

Another way to incorporate the Cathedral would be a kind of adventure trail children could follow. This could show them things they might miss, for instance looking at the pillars you can see tiny fossilised shells that make up the stone, or learn about the giant who won a battle when the flag bearer fell.

These ideas revolve more around the cathedral and it could be said the cathedral already has a small booklet of activities for children and this project revolves around their Magna Carta exhibition.

The three main points written in the document are:

– denied justice to fair trial

-the church shall be free

-no one can take ancient rights

it could be possible to create a type of whiteboard where people could write rights they think should be laws in modern day. However this could just be implemented via with hashtags and could go more global to gain more publicity.

Testing the Sketch — January 23, 2015

Testing the Sketch

I tested my sketch on one of the screens in the foyer at Weymouth house. This enabled me to see what my sketch looked like on a bigger screen, as well as adjust the proportions. I think I should have adjusted the brightness levels the camera picked up as well. After showing this on the screen the feedback I received was that I could have created a shadow to show where the interactions had been as well as that path taken.

My final sketch for the interactive Installation interprets the idea of John Thompson’s (1990,1995) Quasi-interaction, where the individuals are not linked directly but the interaction is stretched across space and time. My sketch creates moving dots to represent an individual that walks past the camera. I chose dots as in ‘The Virtual Community’ Howard Rheingold (1993) looks into the idea of social aggregations and personal relationships forming in cyberspace being similar to the real world but in a disembodied form. The dots represent ourselves in our disembodied state making many interactions with surrounding people.

my original concept ideas incorporated the use of sound. With this final sketch I attempted to assign a different pitch with each dot to represent our own sense of personality and difference. However this also explores the ideas of Theodore Adorno of the Frankfurt School who argues “Musical forms tend to reflect the society within which they exist.”(Giddens, 2009) this explores musical forms taking on predictable structures which train people to expect uniformity and repetition. I’ve portrayed this in my sketch as after a while the dots of interaction build up to form patterns of diamonds and other emerging shapes. This could comment on how anonymity strips any individual personality and shows a continuous repetition in daily lives.

For future reference I think making a more attractive looking design would attract people more and get them to ask questions for them to delve deeper into the theory of an abstract piece such as this. I would also like to develop skills further in this area as to be able to create large and more interactive and engaging installations. As I learnt at the London Museum of Science, the most engaging installations were the most colourful, loudest and boldest. They were attentions grabbing and although I am happy with the concept idea of this piece I do not feel it stands out to the best of its potential.


// Imports //—————————————————————————————————- import*; // we need to import all the classes that allow us to hook up to a web cam // Data //—————————————————————————————————- Capture cam; // Camera object with global scope PVector position, velocity, centre; ArrayList agents; // This method is called once at startup //—————————————————————————————————- void setup(){ // set the size of the canvas size(600, 600); // Instantiate and start camera cam = new Capture(this, 160, 120); cam.start(); agents = new ArrayList(); strokeWeight(4); } // This method is called repeatedly until user quits //—————————————————————————————————- void draw(){ // Test to see if the cam is available and call the grabPixel() method if it is if (cam.available() == true) { grabPixel(); } for(int i = 0; i < agents.size(); i++){ Agent agent = (Agent)agents.get(i); agent.draw(); } } // This method will only be called if the camera is available //—————————————————————————————————- void grabPixel(){ //read the current video frame; //grab one pixel from the middle of the camera color c = cam.get(int(cam.width*0.5), int(cam.height*0.5)); //map the brightness of this pixel to a value between 0 and 1 float v = map(brightness(c), 0, 255, 0, 1); //test this value and call appropriate method if(v > 0.5){ bright(); }else{ dim(); } } void bounce(){ if(position.x > height){ position.x = height; velocity.x = -velocity.x; }else if(position.x < 0){ position.x = 0; velocity.x = -velocity.x; } if(position.y > height){ position.y = height; velocity.y = -velocity.y; }else if(position.y < 0){ position.y = 0; velocity.y = -velocity.y; } } // This method is called when the pixel is bright //—————————————————————————————————- void bright(){ background(255); // fill white } // This method is called when the pixel is dim //—————————————————————————————————- void dim(){ background(240); Agent tmpAgent; tmpAgent = new Agent(mouseX,mouseY,color(random(0,255),random(0,255),random(0,255))); agents.add(tmpAgent); } class Agent{ PVector position, velocity, centre; Agent(int x,int y, color c){ position = new PVector(random(1000),random(1000)); velocity = new PVector(6, 3); centre = new PVector(0.5*width, 0.5*height); } void bounce(){ if(position.x > height){ position.x = height; velocity.x = -velocity.x; }else if(position.x < 0){ position.x = 0; velocity.x = -velocity.x; } if(position.y > height){ position.y = height; velocity.y = -velocity.y; }else if(position.y < 0){ position.y = 0; velocity.y = -velocity.y; } } void draw(){ //higher number, less friction velocity.mult(1); position.add(velocity); bounce(); point(position.x, position.y); } }

Design Iterations First Attempts — January 6, 2015

Design Iterations First Attempts

First off, I apologise for the noise you’re about to hear, the videos didn’t upload to youtube well and the sound is pretty offensive. I swear in the processing sketch it is a lot smoother.

I took the sound experiments, which can be found from the post Processing Sound Experiments, and started to apply them to an interactive sketch. With my first attempt I used a sketch which uses the camera input to test if the middle pixel is bright or dim. If the camera input recognises the pixel as bright, the screen goes white and a synth sound is triggered. If the pixel is dim, the screen turns black and a lower pitched synth sound is triggered. The problem I face now is that I can’t stop the sound and both play at the same time. I have used an if statement but still unsure how to stop this.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 17.06.31Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 17.06.35

I changed method here and changed the sound from being created in processing, to importing sounds. This uses the same sketch but uses an imported wav or mp3 file. This means the sound ends when the recorded sound ends and also stops if the screen changes. However, the sound is being restarted every new frame because its in the void draw rather than void setup.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 19.52.17Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 19.52.21

I think from this point I may put the sound part on hold so I can build a substantial prototype and try incorporate the sound element later when I have a better understanding of the program.

Blender Wooden Cup — March 27, 2014

Blender Wooden Cup

Blender Wooden Cup

I started using textures and compositing them onto shapes. This has given a very interesting wooden effect onto a wooden cup form. I think moving the light source a little more would have added more shading to the inside of the cup and made it more defined as to what the object is. I am interested and enjoy working with textures and creating different materials on blender and hope to move on to using more translucent materials to possibly create realistic petals/ clothes. I would also like to work with elements more and create landscape terrains that can also be animated. This would be useful in the future if I were to create a games landscape environment.

First Blender Animation — March 26, 2014

First Blender Animation

After playing around with blender to learn the basics, I started following some tutorials to learn how to animate using blender. This very basic technique involves using particles and forcefields to push the particles around to then be dissolved by decreasing their size. I like the look of this technique however, I think it would look better with a shorter name as the particles twist a bit awkwardly because of the length.

I also experimented with making the word ICE look like it was melting and made of ice. Unfortunately, I saved the final animation in a temporary folder which was deleted when I closed the program.

Personally, I really like the poly and isometric style which can be achieved in blender. However, I want to move towards a realistic style to begin with to understand the program better.

First Blender Attempt — March 22, 2014

First Blender Attempt

First Blender Attempt

We started learning a free 3D animation software. This is my first attempt at an isometric style shapes using basic cube shapes to build up landscapes. It could be progressed further by creating bigger scenes with more objects and adding a river. whilst i like this style i think it may be a bit too simplistic for what I want to do with this program. I have also started work on poly graphics, which is similar in style but a bit more detailed.

Gravity Project — March 6, 2014

Gravity Project

For this weeks project we were asked to use Adobe After Effects to create a short video using a clip from the new film Gravity’s trailer. We were then asked to overlay text on a background in time to the script.

White text on a black background created a contrast that also related with the space theme of gravity. It shows the isolated, almost haunting feeling of being alone in zero gravity. I also like the effect of letting a few phrases stay on the screen whilst others are being said. It created a hurried and panicked feel which suited the tone.

I think I will carry on with this idea and use a short piece of music and maybe change the background colours in relation to the timing of the piece. This is similar to what I did in my previous short animation project. I should also experiment more with changing the size of text to fill the screen more as I think this is something i could have improved with this video.

Alphabet Photo Project — February 26, 2014

Alphabet Photo Project

Alphabet Photo Project

For this weeks one day project we were asked to take a camera out and take pictures of things that looked like letters of the alphabet. This is to put towards an ongoing portfolio project where we present different final pieces which have been made using different media. I think I will develop this on further and mix it with a previous typography project I did on my Art Foundation course. This would be similar to the Morning picture I created. However, I hope to use other materials than food, possibly paper craft to form letters and make it into a word or phrase. It would be interesting to make it more related to the course and use themes of both digital and traditional art.

Short Animation for University — February 19, 2014

Short Animation for University

I was asked to create a short 15 second animation in a canvas size of 22mm X 16mm in flash as well as create a short 15 second music clip on garageband. This is my outcome and personally I think I overcomplicated it too much, some bits seem rushed at the beginning. I think maybe by focusing more on abstract shapes it would have been quicker to produce. However, I like the colour transitions in relation to the music and chose to use complementary colours throughout to create a contrast between background and animation

Channel Project — February 12, 2014

Channel Project

Here is the link to the newest unit we were given. We were put into groups of 6 and given the task to create a website with video logs about a futuristic product of our own design. Our group designed a contact lens that would not only feed information to the user directly but also become a tool to teach the user different skills. Originally our videos were going to be instructional videos on how to use the product and we were going to overlay information on top of videos. However, we thought this would mean editing would take too long and chose a simpler idea of infomercials which depict an everyday situation and someone hilariously bad at it. We would then show that our product can improve your life drastically, although in hindsight this could have been improved by showing exactly how the product will improve it rather than just cutting directly to the user being better.

Our website features a very minimal design which works on mobile devices, which was one of the specifications on the brief. The background is a picture which represents the building the company convex would be using. The site is supposed to show minimal information on the product and has a very long disclaimer about side effects of long usage. This was to raise awareness over the negative impacts on a product that would completely invade your personal life and share your information with everyone around the world. By creating a seemingly fun and innocent front the company actually takes on a sinister persona in not revealing much information on a product that reveals all your information.