Well everything certainly did not go well, I feel like everytime we think we’re on top of everything we run into new issues.
Issue 1: Nothing saved! so whilst I thought I worked out how to save the presets, it didn’t work. All the layers are there but the sources and configuration are not.
Issue 2: We loaded the footage into the program no problem, but none of the videos play in sync which is crucial for our work to create illusion. I need to work out some way of triggering them to play at the same time.
Issue 3: The content when projected onto the box does not look like an optical illusion, just an image projected onto each side of the box. Although it isn’t what we were aiming for I actually liked it, it striked me as funny that we had put so much effort into the mapping of the box to make it look realistic, we hadn’t thought about what a man trapped inside a box would realistically look like as someone moves around the box.
We did make some progress this week however! Chris started converting a plinth with the dimensions that needed into one we could also project onto. Amazing what some white paint and ripped cardboard can do.
Lots of work to do in the next two weeks before we present our final work, but the end is in reach!
This week I knuckled down and focused on the finer details of mapping whilst the rest of the team started filming content in the studio. I think the biggest difficulty in this kind of software is wrapping your head around the 2d screen -> 3d space. The image below shows the output from the computer (2d), where the right side is being projected from one projector and the left side from the 2nd projector. Pretty much you have to imagine the output screen as a cylinder.
So we finally have all sides of the plinth covered with projection!! Next challenge is to work out how to save progress in the software. Ed is editing the footage captured this week, all I have to do is swap out the video and fingers crossed all goes well.
Finally this week we managed to workout the video splitter issue with the mac and IT WORKS! Apparently turning everything off then on works a dream in most cases.
After struggling with the technical aspect for so long we hadn’t even discussed what we would actually project. We wanted to do something different than a typical light show and focus more on the optical illusion aspect. So we decided to trap a man in a box.
This involves filming with 5 different cameras: DSLR on each side and a gopro from above. To get some content and an idea of dimensions we just filmed Tommy in a quick demo shot with one camera.
We will also need to find a better plinth to work with because the two we are using are different heights and distort the projection. So for next week I need to keep ironing out tech issues with VPT7, it’s turned into a bit of a baby of mine now so I think the team is happy to let me run with the tech side of things while they produce the content.
So this week we got working on our prototype to present at the end of class. During the week I had looked into some tutorials and the VPT7 manual so I could finally wrap my head around the program.
The numbered circular buttons at the top represent layers that can be manipulated separately in the preview screen. The list on the left hand side is made up of preset configurations that I’ve made.
These drop down boxes allow you to select source files to manipulate and project onto a surface.
We had a lot of technical issues from the get go, especially trying to set up a dual projector installation. Because the program was already on my mac we decided to use it for the remainder of the project, however it became complicated when trying to connect the projectors using a splitter, only one projector would display an image and if I tried to incorporate the other one the image would just change from one to the other. We then tried using a windows computer with two ports, but the VPT7 software would not work at all. Needing to present something at the end of class we decided that we would just show that we could use the software effectively with just one projector.
Today we managed to narrow down our creative ideas and themes by looking at some examples on youtube. At this stage we are still not addressing the practicality of the installation just the ideas.
We discussed that one of the main features of projection mapping is optical illusion, and recreating an object. This point pretty much eliminated most of our brainstorming topics which was very helpful and narrowed it down to exploring an object with projection.
We were asked to start thinking of a prototype to set-up and present for next week in class. I looked into different software what could be used to create the effect and found the best was VPT7. After downloading the software I panicked for a moment looking at the dashboard…..
I decided that I would learn the program at home because it would take a while, so instead we worked out the logistics of the prototype. Nothing fancy, just a box in the room with two projectors and an image projected. Like most prototypes it was essentially to make sure what we wanted to do was plausible.
Today we participated in a kind of speed dating style of forming groups for our self directed major project. While half the class went to the carriageworks for the sydney biennale last week the remaining starting brainstorming ideas for or major projects.
1. Data/Digital in the Real: investigation relationship between materiality and the immaterial (Emily)
2. Finding Affect: exploring intensities in media modes (Kelly)
3. Concrete Immersion: Immersion beyond/before the VR (Faiyaz)
4. Mirroring and Identity (Trent)
5. Marshmallow Laser Feast and early projection mapping work (Chris Palmer)
6. Sensing, immersion, responsiveness and meditative: experience through new media devices (Daniel De Fillippo)
7. Figurative sound: Sonification of data and experience (Liam)
8. Future Cinemas and Critical Media
The people who thought of or showed interest in each of these categories made up the stationary “inner track” alongside a volunteer who was interested in the concept they proposed. The remainder of the class formed the moving “outer track” which rotated around to each group to discuss and develop ideas from a fresh perspective.
I volunteered for the projection mapping work because it is completely different to anything that I have ever done before and I was curious about how it worked.
The process was pretty interesting and I think that we quickly discovered not to tell the outer track person too much about everyone else’s input because it just seemed to polarise the ideas. Most of the brainstorming moved away from projecting on solid opaque objects and instead onto glass, smoke or even water. There were a couple of ideas that suggested creating a scenario that the viewer walks into, simular to a video game. After the “speed dating” we formed more definite groups of people who are interested in each project and started to develop the ideas further using prezi.
I think that the ideas we have developed so far are really interesting and would be amazing for a major task but I feel that we have strayed away from projection mapping to something else entirely, hopefully over the break we can rein it in and work out the ‘why’ when it comes to projection mapping and start fresh with direction.
This week had us travelling to Sydney Carriageworks to explore the Biennale exhibition. We only had one and a half hours to explore the works so it was a bit rushed but amazing all the same.
One work that I found particularly interesting is by Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga as seen in the image below.
Ice cubes are sitting in the centre of the table slowly melting away, surrounded by various potted plants. The first impression I got from this work is the wastefulness of the water being channeled around the plants and simply being stored in large glass containers. Nkanga often focuses her work on environmental issues which could mean that this is a comment on society’s wasteful and illogical use of water and storage.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul is the artist of this incredible work, I found myself sitting completely absorbed in it for at least 20 minutes. It involves a ball of burning fans being projected onto glass with a thin film resulting in the illusion of a meteor suspended in the air in front of the audience. The reflective nature of the glass also left a filtering light effect on the floor. This work was just mesmerizing, it seemed to me more of an experiment of the medium than a particular message or comment.
Five weeks down and I never thought I’d be so happy to finish this assignment! Whilst on the surface it looks like a pretty simple non-time consuming task to complete each day (which is one of the reasons I chose it), in reality it was spawned from hell.
Below I have written a summary of the past five weeks and all insights gained, enjoy!
Aim:To write one sentence and draw one picture everyday for five weeks with my left hand
Hypothesis:according to the internet I will become less stressed, smarter, spiritually whole and of course ambidextrous.
Method: I had several ideas for my practices project, one being to draw a flip animation each day. But knowing me I decided to go with something much simpler that would fit a busy lifestyle, learning to write left-handed. I set up parameters for the project:
Must write one sentence a day and one sketch
The sentence must be about something I learnt that day
The sketch must be of the same object to record progress
Progress will be documented each day via images and compiled into a blog once a week.
From there I picked a notebook that I would write in each day and a sketchbook in which to draw.
Results: The results are interesting to say the least, most people got a kick out of trying to read my sentences and would congratulate me when they understood what it said, never thought I’d be praised as an adult for the comprehension of my writing.
Below is a comparison from the first and last week of the sentences I wrote and the drawings I drew.
Discussion: From the results I can see a slight change in the ‘neatness’ of the sentences though it is not very consistent, the letters aren’t as shaky and there is a notable decrease in mistakes. I also noticed by looking through my writing that I became more social and attended more events per week toward the end of the project.
Although my drawings became more defined and neater as my writing did, I actually think that I like the drawings from week one better. The only reason I can think of to justify why is that they are just (unintentionally) different drawing styles, week one is a bit abstract and rough but that’s why it works, and week five is more precise but nowhere near good enough to fit the style I was aiming for.
Through researching each week I learnt that there is a lot of controversy over whether or not learning to be ambidextrous is beneficial and the stigma and lore surrounding left-handedness. I can confirm that I neither feel smarter or am having learning difficulties, I feel as enlightened as I did before the project and sadly I have not suddenly possessed psychic abilities.
I did learn a lot about my routine however and how I prioritize tasks. I found that if I have several things to do that day I’ll estimate how much time each will take and then decide when to do it accordingly. E.g. If I have to go to uni in two hours then I will choose to do a task that will take about an hour instead of this practices project which takes about 10-15 minutes. This may seem effective but I found that I kept putting off the task and didn’t have time for it. Now that I can recognise this I can change the way I prioritise tasks and hopefully be a bit more proactive about Uni work.
Conclusion: Although the task was pretty tedious and my project was not necessarily successful I did learn about a lot about my own routine and behavior patterns. If I were to do this project again I think that I would try to enforce a time of day to complete the task or even completely switch to left hand writing so the results are more interesting.
Final week! Not much to report other than that I think progress over the 5 weeks is very minimal but it will be interesting to compare the content with week one.
NOPE, nope nope. I attempted colour this week and decided it was a terrible idea. It is a completely different ball park of skill and is not a linear step in my project. Other than that however I’m quite happy with progress this week, my drawings are becoming more uniform and much neater although still nothing like the original.
I saved this research topic for last because it’s quite entertaining: Myths, legends and spirituality of the left-handed and ambidextrous.
Left-handedness has a strong stigma when it comes to religion, especially in Christianity being mentioned several times in the bible as a sign of being led astray or rebellious. It’s not just handedness that folklore refers to but the left side of the body.
“Evil spirits lurk over the left shoulder – throw salt over this shoulder to ward them off.”
“A ringing in the right ear means that someone is praising you. In the left ear it means that someone is cursing or maligning you.”
“Wedding rings worn on the third finger of the left hand originated with the Greeks and Romans, who wore them to fend of evil associated with the left-hand”
“When dressmaking it’s believed to be bad luck to sew the left-hand sleeve onto a garment before the right sleeve.”
There are also some who believe that left-handedness or ambidexterity is a sign of the spiritually superior and more likely to possess psychic ability. A study has found that being born left handed can be traced to an anomaly in neurophysiological structuring they called “anomalous cerebral dominance”. This is said to be an important psychic trait which leads to a more developed right side of the brain, where psychic ability tends to arise from.
All in all most of these superstitions and myths are not recognised in today’s society and modern research disproves the theory of left and right brain dominance.