Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Group Project: Olfactory Bulbs

In the human brain, the olfactory bulbs are responsible for the perception of odors, ie. our sense of smell. This function will be represented symbolically in the design of this section of the 3D environment.

The two olfactory bulbs will be represented by small, long thin chambers that may be entered from either of the temporal lobes. These chambers will be made to resemble small scientific laboratories or perfumeries. Each will be a long narrow space, with benches along either side, on which a variety of scientific and measuring equipment is on display, eg. test tubes, filters, distilling equipment, drip bottles, bunsen burners, small medicinal bottles.

The style of these small laboratories will be quite old fashioned, with most objects made from wood and glass. The lighting scheme will reflect this old-fashioned feeling, with warm soft yellow lighting and deep shadows. Imagine a mad-scientist’s basement laboratory a hundred years ago. The ceiling will be low and sloped, disappearing into the shadows.

Group Project: Right Temporal Lobe

In the human brain, both temporal lobes are used for processing auditory perception, and for processing semantics in speech and vision. They also play a key role in the formation of long term memory. The right temporal lobe in particular plays an important role in non-verbal memory and thought processes. These functions will be represented symbolically in the design of this section of the 3D environment.

Both the left and right temporal lobes will be represented by a large chamber, within which a series of internal walls and surfaces give the impression of a maze. The surfaces of the right temporal lobe will be mapped with graffiti-like images, drawings, and other strange subjective, personal, non-rational, surreal or inexplicable images. The passages in this maze-like chamber will have the appearance of graffiti filled laneways; the walls will be textured with peeling white paint and occasional glimpses of brickwork, and covered in graffiti images and childish hand-painted drawings.

This region will contrast the straight walls and neat, structured texts of the Left Temporal Lobe with curved and meandering walkways, and messy, incongruous images and drawings. Imagine a child let loose in a laneway with several cans of colored spray-paint.

Group Project: Left Temporal Lobe

In the human brain, both temporal lobes are used for processing auditory perception, and for processing semantics in speech and vision. They also play a key role in the formation of long term memory. The left temporal lobe in particular plays a major role in speech, verbal memory, and other language functions. These functions will be represented symbolically in the design of this section of the 3D environment.

Both the left and right temporal lobes will be represented by a large chamber, within which a series of internal walls and surfaces give the impression of a maze. The surfaces of the left temporal lobe area will be mapped with text, in particular clippings from lists, dictionaries, manuals, instructions, newspapers, essays, and other non-fiction, objective, or scientific sources. The maze will be formed by a series of straight-angled internal walls, on which the text sources will be mapped as textures in Unity.

The architecture of these tunnels will be slightly old fashioned, with arched doorways and pillars, reminiscent of old university or religious buildings. The colour scheme will be off-white (with some areas faded to yellowish/brown) with black text, with some contrasting regions made to look like chalk writing on blackboards, ie. white text on black.

Imaginary concept pitch for Group Project;

This is a pitch I posted on the Group Project Blog a few weeks ago:

The beauty and wonder of nature have provided inspiration for artists and architects for centuries. Since the 1960s, the increasingly evident degradation of the natural world and the effects of climate change have brought a new urgency to their responses. The 2011 AIM Group Project will draw upon this legacy, working with ideas that have emerged out of Land Art, environmental activism, experimental architecture and utopianism.

The Project will involve an interactive 3D cityscape, based upon inner city Melbourne. However, our familiar city will be transformed into an imaginary dystopian future, in which oil and food resources have been depleted and the landscape has fallen into decay. Viewers are invited to interact with the work, and to re-invigorate the shattered cityscape through processes such as recycling and urban agriculture. Through thoughtful interaction, the cityscape may be transformed from a decaying wasteland, to a fruitful and vibrant metropolis. Objects scattered throughout the decaying city may be transformed, by the participant, into useful vessels and materials for urban agriculture. With every plant that is grown, the quality of air and life in the inner city will increase.

The Project will address our global context, in which over 50% of the world's population lives in cities. By 2015,about 26 cities in the world are expected to have a population of 10 million or more. To feed a city of this size – at least 6000 tonnes of food must be imported each day. Urban agriculture addresses this problem of food distribution, and the growing poverty of low income urban dwellers, by bringing the means for food production into the inner city. As such, it provides both a utopian vision for the future and a practical strategy for living in the now.

Check out some awesome ideas on the websites listed below:





Concept Development

PROJECT BRIEF: Space and Environment


Space and environment are some of the defining elements of digital and interactive media. Spatiality is a particularly significant issue in the 3D worlds of contemporary computer games and multi-user platforms, however it also plays an important role in the design of 2D animation and interactive systems. Space can be used to indicate changes in mood, time, and setting, and be an important narrative element in its own right. Film has always exploited the potential of space to tell stories, establish context, and add depth and meaning to the narratives that take place within it. The advent of new interactive technologies, however, has opened up our understanding of on-screen space; we are no longer limited to what we see on the screen but are able to move freely into different spaces, choose different paths, and explore screen worlds from all sorts of different angles at our leisure. This new type of space has implications for how we understand narrative on screen; single linear narratives have given way to divergent spaces, in which users generate their own experience by moving through virtual space. These spaces may be evocative, they may explicitly tell a story or establish an open ended situation, they may be contested spaces or spaces for exploration, battle, socializing, creativity or game play. An understanding of the potential of space and environment is essential to our ability, as animators and game designers, to create worlds, communities, and ideas outside of our own.


You are to create an environment which may be navigated by a single user, either in a 3D game engine or as a 2D image which can be navigated through devices such as scrolling and zooming. The world you create should contain at least TWO distinct environments. Consider how the space you create may function to suggest narrative, obscure or reveal information, convey thematic or emotional content, or suggest changes in time and place. The environment you create can be as abstract or as concrete as you desire; it may be logical and realistic, or it may be surreal, bizarre and imaginary. Consider how factors such as lighting, composition, colour, scale, texture and motion can be used to convey meaning within this space. You might choose to use the screen as a type of window into a virtual world, or as an entry point to an ‘infinite canvas’. Consider in particular how your choice of layout, sequence, and composition, can strengthen the communication of your ideas. You should also give some thought to how the user should interact with the space you have created. Is it a narrative space? A space for exploration or puzzle-solving? A space for relaxation or a space for challenges or battles? The type of interaction you wish to provoke in the user should be reflected in your design.


The chosen media is up to you.

Linear submissions need to be quicktime movies at 25 fps, 1280x720, audio at 44.100 kHz.

Interactive submissions will have varying formats/technologies, but if possible use 1280x720.

Submissions need to be submitted to the AIM server, clearly named and titled. Each project submission requires a completed RMIT submission form.

Submission Date: April 27th 2011

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Works in progress

Time and Perspective

I decided to try and kill two birds with one stone by frantically trying to finish the Mumbai video clip I've been asked to make in time to submit it as my Time and Perspective Brief. I've been using loops to animate things like the falling rain and the movement of the waves, though I'm finding that collage animation is not really the best medium for looping. I had only done less than 30 seconds of the clip, so this week has been a crazy crazy mission to try and animate the remaining 3 long minutes (total insanity I know). What has become very clear is the difference between what we're learning in class, the kind of professional standards we are or will be subject to, and what I'm used to in my own creative community, which is much more relaxed and D.I.Y. My clunky collages look terrible alongside smooth professional-looking Flash animations and 3D character rigs! But on the other hand, the type of animations that I admire the most, and what really got me into animating in the first place, is not this slick professional look but the more hands-on aesthetic, like the work of Martha Colburn or William Kentridge. Here's some polar bears I made yesterday:


TV on the Radio

Whoa, this Tv on the Radio video clip is amazing! I can hardly tell whats digital and whats handmade. I love the colours and patterns so much, and the combination of abstract and figurative elements. I wish I'd seen this before I started the Time and Perspective Brief, it makes such good use of loops and repetition. Follow the link above or find it here, since YouTube won't let me embed this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv0G5ibi3VY&playnext=1&list=PL02C9F9696C0D49A9

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

World's smallest stop-motion animation!

I love this tiny tiny little stop-motion animation. It was shot using a Nokia N8 smart phone equipped with a CellScope, a diagnostic-quality microscope that was invented by Daniel Fletcher at the University of California, Berkeley. The CellScope allows a doctor working anywhere there is a phone service to capture and transmit images of blood samples anywhere in the world. The technology could help diagnose disease in developing countries where it can be difficult to access doctors and laboratories.

The film tells the story of Dot, a girl who just 9 millimeters tall. She wakes up in a world that seems to be unraveling. Fleeing an encroaching wave of loose threads, Dot runs across coins, pins, nuts and bolts and jumps on a bumblebee to fly away. Finally she saves herself by knitting the threads into a sleeping bag. Because Dot is so tiny, her body was cast using 3D printing in a variety of different positions, which were then used to animate her movement.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Form and Image

Here is my final submission for the Form and Image Brief. I don't know the first thing about creating generative artworks so I really struggled with this one. The final result is a drawing generator which creates 196 different possible outcomes from 14 original drawings, arranged to form a circular image. Here are some of the different patterns you can create by clicking through the different drawings: