Reflections

The link below is a slide show from our final presentation:

Final_Presentation

For our final presentation we had to make some changes. Due to the weather we decided to move our installation inside and shrink it down. We made a 3.5ft cube and suspended it from the ceiling with fishing line. Although this made it so that only one person could view the cube at a time, it also made it more personal and immersive.

While we faced many problems throughout the project and had to find solutions or just start over on things, im very happy with our results. I really liked how the video turned out and that we accomplished our goal of making a very immersive environment with sound and visuals.

 

Cubes and VPT

With the video segments done for our project we needed to turn our attention to building the actual cube. We decided that building the cube out of PVC would be the best option for a portable cube. It would allow for easy takedown and transportation. We went to Home Depot and bought 12 8ft long 3/4ths PVC pipe and 8 corner pieces with a 1/2 to 3/4ths adapter. Once we had the shell of the cube made, we needed to find the material that we would actually project onto. We tried a few types of cloth and found that the image was not very clear when doing rear projection and that the threads really showed through. Next we tried using painters clear drop cloths. We bought 2mm thickness and found that it worked very well. The image was very clear when rear projected on, even clearer than it was when looking at it from a normal projection. After some test we decided that we would definitely use the drop cloth as our screen. The next challenge we faced was how to connect the cloth to the shell of the cube. We decided to burn a loop on one end of the sheet so that we could slide the pvc into it. As for the rest of the sides it worked best to tape them to the shell so that it would be tight and easy to disassemble. Here is a short diagram of the building process:

With the box now built and the video parts done, it was time to try projection mapping. We looked at a few different programs including MadMapper and vvvv, but decided to just go with VPT in the end. Since we had used VPT in the second studio project we knew most of the basic controls and how to map a video onto one plane. The challenge in this project was to learn how to map one single video onto two separate planes. Using the mesh editor tool in VPT I was able to add anchor points onto the video and manuver them to match the shape of the cube:

Silhouettes! and other things…

Since the last video I changed what I was going to do for my video segment. I still really wanted to work with black and white imagery, but focus more on creating a story. I decided to go with straight silhouettes kind of like the itunes commercials:

I decided to go ahead and storyboard a love story between a boy and a girl. I wanted it to be about a boy falling head over heels in love with a girl who just doesn’t feel the same way. After a couple attempts to win her heart, he finally decides to give her his. At the sight of his heart in his hand she screams and runs away. Due to the lack of a heart in his body and the sadness of denial he falls dead. After realizing that she might have been to harsh the girl returns to look for the boy. Seeing him lying dead, she offers up he heart strings to share with him in order to give him life. After they are together he offers his heart one more time to try to win her heart. Finally she gives in and the two live happily ever after:

I shot footage on the blue-screen in studio A on the 4th floor with a friend to create the silhouettes. Besides the silhouettes I wanted to add graphics to give the video some more life and show the emotions of the characters. I created simple graphics in illustrator and imported them into After Effects:

  

After some test in After effects editing the footage I finally got the results I wanted on the silhouettes. Finally I had to animate the graphics on the silhouettes which ended up being more time consuming than I thought. With silhouettes there is nothing to really track for movement, so I had to individually animate everything. The main thing I used is the pin animation tool in after effects. With this tool I was able to basically puppet all the images I was using with the silhouettes.While the footage still needed some tweaking before the final, I was happy with what I had:

Due to other circumstances that came up in late in the game, I had the task of coming up with an outro in 12 hours for our cube. The outro of the song is very soft and calming but has instances where it has intense electronic sounding clicks. I decided to create an image that was made from multicolored triangles:

After editing in After Effects this is the final product:

Concept 2

Since the last post we have split up the song into three different parts so that we can each work on our own section of the song. I am going to be creating all the visuals for the verses throughout the song. I’ve been listening to the song trying to visualize what I want to project on the screen and haven’t been having much luck. I know I want to try to incorporate both kinetic type and some animation in the video but not sure exactly how. I have played a little bit with after effects just to get an idea of what I wanted to do and what kind of vibe I wanted. Heres a very short test:

If I do typography im hoping to get an effect like the one in the video below:

I hope to get a lot more of a concept over the next couple days so i can really start on the visuals.

Concept For Final

For our final we decided to create an installation piece that would be an abstract video to Sufjan Stevens “Age Of Adz”. The video would not just be projected on a wall though, it would be project on a large cube that people would stand in and be immersed in the space. We would project the video on all four sides so that the audience would have to be turning and paying attention to each side to see everything. The idea is to have the viewer feel as though they are having an out of body expierience and are completely immeressed in the space and video.

Here is the Age Of Adz:

As far as our visuals in the cube, we want to play with typography and abstract shapes and visuals. We still have some development to do as far as the visuals are concerned but we have an idea of what we want. We have been looking a lot at Kanye West’s video all of the lights and the intro to enter the void. We also looked at the trailer for clockwork orange done by pablo Ferro.

As far as our space goes we were looking for a desolate place somewhere around langford. We found that the little atrium area behind Langford C would work best for our project and work good with the artist intention behind the song. He’s reported to have explained the song as being “about love and the apocalypse. How loosing a love can feel like the end of the world and be so dramatic.”  We want the space to be desolate so that they can be completely focused on the visuals and sounds. Much like the emotions of lost love or other tragedies — or, conversely, great success — the experience is completely personal but consuming.

Here are some photos from the space:

Tagline

Since the last post we have completed our projected and were very satisfied with our results. As you saw in the previous post we started with finding our space in langford A stairwell. When looking for our space we really wanted to find somewhere that not only would be a great place to try projection mapping techniques but also would be able to support a strong narrative and make the audience feel as though they were immersed in the performance. As I said in the last post, we really wanted the audience to feel as though they were in a Disney ride, so really having a strong narrative and good concept for how we would execute the performance was important to us.

Here’e the final video:

We started by having Owen write a script and then we went on to filming ourselves for the silhouette sequence of the project. None of us had ever experimented with filming on a green screen trying to create silhouettes so it was a real learning experience, especially when after reviewing all our film we saw that we needed to reshoot to get the results we wanted. Before our second time shooting on the green screen we made sure to go record our script in the sound booth so that when we shot our second green screen video we would be able to get all our timing right. Here are some photos from the green screen process:

After we got our live action footage we worked in after effects to get the style we wanted our live action footage to appear like. We went for an itunes add type of style and as you will see in the final video I feel like we really got it.

We began to start working in After Effects and other Adobe products to start getting the walls texture and background spray paintings set up. We would work in Illustrator and Photoshop to make the texture and then import them into After effects. After multiple testings at night to make sure that the video was matching the space we began to work on the more technical portions of the project. Owen began using after effects to animate the spray paint that we paint onto the wall during the live action sequence. Using Maya Oscar created and animated the monster that would break through the wall and go on his rampage. Also im Maya we experimented with the wall shatter effect. After putting them together we created a short test video:

Heres progression of the monster from concept to final render:

Along with using Maya to create the monster we first tried creating the wall destruction in Maya. After trying to manually break the wall piece by piece and getting results that were not up to par with what we envisioned so we tried looking for multiple plugins. After much trial and error we decided to try using After Effects to break the wall. Looking at some tutorials and tweaking them for out own use, we came close to the final result we wanted. After adding some little effects like dust falling and atmospheric dust clouds we were more than happy with the final result.

Once we had all the video compiled and rendered we began to work in VPT. Using what we learned in our exercise at the beginning of this process we were able to map the video to the space pretty easily. Learning how to output the sound with the video was a little bit of a challenge though. Using the soundoutput tab in VPT and tweaking a couple things in the sources tab I was able to get the sound to play through with the video. Another problem on top of the sound was finding a way to start all the videos at the same time from the beginning. After looking at some forums online I found a way to create a start preset that would allow me to just click it and it would start all the videos how we wanted them to.

Here are some screen shots from VPT:

Once we VPT working how we wanted we moved to our space to map it to the wall. We found that it was difficult to get the results we wanted as far as quality on a couple videos due to the position of the projector. With limitations created by the space we had to angle the projector towards the middle of the projected space instead of actually having the projector directly in the middle of where we wanted to project. With more time and money we would try to create some sort of scaffold system that would allow us to place the projector in the middle of the space.

Our final touch to everything was creating a fun environment when we actually presented the project.  We made sure to wear all black like in our video and ushered in everyone as though we were going to go spray the wall. As they entered we gave them empty spray cans to “spray” the monster with when we needed their help later in the video. I think this added immensely to the actual presentation because it gave the audience a feeling of being immersed in the environment in more than just a visual way.Heres some shots during the presentation:

Through the whole process we tried to keep true to our theme and keep an almost ominous, unknown, and adventurous mindset. We were never too sure if we were actually suppose to be messing around in the stairwell we were in the whole time. Every time we would go into the space to test our video it would be late at night and we probably looked like we were up to no good to anyone who saw us. This project really helped me to learn the importance of setting up a strong narrative and concept before starting on anything in Maya or After Effects. I think the reason our execution went so well is because we had a strong vision before we started. Along with this I learned how to operate VPT and learned new things in Maya, After Effects and some videography techniques.

Roles:

Owen: After Effects Master, Sound Bandit, Actor, all around great guy

Oscar: Maya Monster Pro, Destroyer of walls, Actor, Legend

Mike: VPT Specialist, Beta tester, Actor, stunt coordinator

Concept For Projection Mapping

This past week we were assigned a short exercise to learn how to use the VPT projection mapping software that we are going to be using for our project. we decided to do 6 different projections on a surface in hope of creating a mysterious dark tone. We created 6 unique videos to play on each panel of the projection. Combined with the audio we saw that we had achieved our goal of setting the tone/mood we wanted.

With our new found knowledge of the software and how much we thought we would be able to handle when when it came to time and abilities for the project we came up with a concept. We plan on creating a performance art piece that is almost similar to a disneyland type of ride. We found a space at the front of Langford A that we feel like will be a good place to set the mood and hold our projections for the project. Its a very large staircase with balconies on every half floor. Here are some pictures:

Our main idea as far as the narrative aspect of the piece goes is that some kids enter the space with the intention of spray painting all over the walls. As they are doing this there is a sudden loud noise and a giant Monster bust through the wall. He is the “protector” of the space and is there to keep people from disturbing the peace and has no intention of letting the kids spray paint there. I have done a few concept sketches for the monster but I think we may try to move more in the direction of a rock oriented monster so ill be posting later with more sketches.

In The technical sense of things we are planning on using maya to create and animate our monster for the video and plan on using green screens and after effects to create the spray paint scene. The imagery were going to is kind of dark and ominous, the feeling of uncertainty. To do this we have pulled some reference photos and will get to that later on when it come to texturing and video editing and compositing.

Skip to 17 sec:

We plan on starting some of our basic tasks now and further developing our story and style as we go along.