Dan Hume's Blog


Future Cinema Synopsis
November 9, 2010, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Future Cinema

At the beginning, this unit felt a bit daunting because you could chose to produce a broad range of different media to replicate an idea for the future of cinema. The project had to also in-cooperate some form of interactivity. This concerned me slightly as I haven’t produced anything interactive before, but I was up for the challenge. My mind was all over the place as there are many different avenues I could explore and I didn’t really know where to start.

Our future cinema group formed naturally after everyone pitched their own individual ideas to the class. Kavi and Gina’s idea had a similar approach to my idea, which is how the group came together. It was clear from the start our group was aiming to go further to try and produce more than brief is asking us to produce. We pretty much had a clear idea of what we wanted to produce and how we were going make it happen, on the same day we formed our group. The three of us each had our own specialist area that we wanted to be in charge of for this project. Kavi was going to be working on the interactivity. Gina was going to be working on the sounds/music and making animations. I was going to be working on the concept for the visuals and also making animations as well. From then on we started getting on with the practical work.

I actually enjoyed working on this project. I got to do some photography and video work and implement it into our installation, which was good fun. Using After Effects is always good as well. Although I wasn’t in control of the interactivity side of this project, I did get some understanding of how max/msp works. This was my first proper art installation project and it was true collaborative project. It was interesting process going through the design stages and then working alongside other people from different departments to help with the construction of the ideas. I thought this was good practice for future work.

Halfway through our project, we had a design change and decided that we were going to aim to make a small prototype of our initial idea. I think we were being realistic about this due to the amount of time we had left to complete this unit. Our initial idea was to produce a 8 foot wide enclosed cube environment, but we decided that we will avoid a lot of issues if we scaled the design down to a smaller size.

Towards the end of the project, things did become more intense. The patches in Max/MSP, up until the last moment, didn’t work. It was mainly due to the university IP addresses the laptops were running off that were causing this issue. To overcome this issue we created a small local network through our mac’s airport (wi-fi), which proved to be a success. Other issues were the camera sensor not responding when hovering over a trigger point. This was due to lack of light in our environment, because the visuals look much clear when it’s a dark surrounding. For this we had to compromise by having a lighter environment, to help with the sensor response.

On the day of the crit, we continued working on our installation right until the last moment before we presented it to the class. The finished product wasn’t as perfect as well all hoped but I was pleased with how our presentation went and I think the class understood what our idea was, which was the main thing. The main criticism feedback we got was the fact, it would have been much better if we managed to produce a larger scale model for a real immersive experience, which I think is a fair to say. I definitely think a bigger model would have executed the idea much better, but it would have possibly resulted in a lot of problems that we wouldn’t have been able over come in the time we had left. Overall it was a good first project with a great team!

Below is a virtual video created by Gina, in After Effects showing how the final outcome of our project looked.

I recorded a short video of the actual installation in action and will get it uploaded to the cinemerse blog.

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Cinemerse Blog
November 9, 2010, 1:06 am
Filed under: Future Cinema

Click below to go to our Future Cinema Project



Testing
November 7, 2010, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Future Cinema

Last week our group had been working really hard on running some tests on each of our laptops, to make sure everything will run smooth for the crit. The laptops will act as the sources to provide the visuals into the projectors to be displayed on our custom built screens. Each of the three laptops have been install with Max/MSP. Kavi has been really in charge of this area of the project, which enables this piece of work to be interactive.

Kavi installing the camera sensor

Our initial idea was to create a full sized scale cube, which would be 8 feet wide. This would have been a decent size space for someone to walk into to engage in our cinematic experience, however we’ve had some issues with the space available being to small for our project, so we had to re-think our idea. We came to the conclusion that it would be better to scale our installation to a smaller size; therefore avoiding any major problems that might prevent us from having the installation ready in time for the crit. We have now constructed a small virtual installation that consists of 3 screens, with wooden frames and lycra material as the surface to project onto.

This picture is showing my laptop, displaying the traffic animation from computer onto the centre screen of our installation.

During the past week we have had some issues with running the patches on my laptop and Gina’s laptop, however on Thursday may laptop managed to work fine with the patch. It responded to all the trigger points within the environment, which changes the animation. I have a feeling it’s been mainly linked to the IP addresses at the uni, because that’s how the software connects to each other from different computers.

Sneak Preview:

This a small clip showing two screens projecting the traffic footage I worked on. I’m really pleased with how it looks so far but I hope to work on a full video preview of our installation next week after the crit.



Time lapse video
November 5, 2010, 7:14 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Future Cinema

As part of some other visuals I made, I created a time lapse video of traffic at night. This was quite a long process. I went to three different locations in Bournemouth and did about an hour of shooting for each one.

I had with me my camera, tripod and intervalometer. An intervalometer is an external device which you connect to the camera. It allows you to program your camera to take photographs at specific moments automatically. Here are some of the photographs I took from the first shoot at the roundabout, along Bath Road.

Settings:

Shutter: “5

Aperture: 5.6

Interval: 4 (seconds)

The most important thing to remember when doing a time lapse photography is to roll your shutter, meaning having a longer shutter speed. This creates the blurriness of objects moving in the image. If everything in shot appears clear, then when you come to putting the video together, it doesn’t flow as well as when you capture movement in the images. The second thing to remember is to have the settings set to manuel, otherwise if you set your camera to automatic, all the images will have different exposures and the animation won’t look smooth when you playback.

I took about 430 shots at this location, which will give me roughly 30 seconds of video at 15 fps. After I had captured the photos off my camera, I opened up quicktime player and went to file, open image sequence and imported the images. There were a selection of different frame rates I could use for the video playback. I chose to use the standard video 15 fps, which always seems to work well with stop motion photography.

Here is what the video looks like:

After Effects


I imported the video into After Effects to polish it off. I added some echo effects, which makes the animation flow even smoother. I also played around with the colour balance to get this really nice green/yellow colour. I mirrored the video to see what it looked like and I really liked it. Because of the angle I was shooting at with the cars moving, mirroring the video creates a vanishing point in the centre. I did two other time lapse videos and I applied the same effect to each of them, this way when it comes to putting the three videos together on a three screen projection, it will give the illusion that the traffic from each video is passing into one another.

Final Edit:



Post Production in Progress
November 3, 2010, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Future Cinema

Ok as you can see from the picture above, we’ve reached the post production stage for our group project. I’ve captured all the footage that we recorded with our rig and I’m currently tweaking it to make it look a little bit attractive to look at.

Car Park Footage

Below is a short clip of the original footage recorded at the car park.

I imported the footage into after effects where I was able to tweak the colour and contrast of the footage.

Edited Clip

Here’s a clip of the edited version. I wanted the footage to have a cold look, so I gave it a blue tint. It kind of looks like a scene from a crime program, which I like. I increased the exposure a little more, to make the lighting look a  bit more dramatic. The contrast was increased as well to thicken all the dark and white areas.

I haven’t had to edit much compared to the original, but I don’t think it needed much editing. I think the next step would be the accompaniment of sound to finish it off.

Abstract Smoke

At the Bristol Science centre, I cam across this nice little installation of small ice chunks reacting in some concentrated liquid. I placed the lens of my camera onto the class surface and just left it to record. I thought this would be a nice piece to use for this project. It’s quite immersive as a visual because it’s abstract.

Going back to my first project I did on this course. I used the same technique from the night out video and applied it to this new video. It’s a very simple technique of having two layers of video, overlaying each other. Then I used the mask tool to create a circular shape around the top layer.

I then feathered around the mask edge so it blended into bottom layer.

I thought it would be better to differentiate the two layers by having one a different colour. I used the colour balance effect to create a green colour on the top layer.

I felt the visuals needed something more to add that extra immersive touch. I am very fond of using the light burst effect, so I thought, why not use again. I think it really works well.

The biggest problem I faced with this was the rendering time. I recorded the footage at 720p at 50 fps, so it was very glitchy when trying to preview the footage during the editing. If I had more time and a more powerful computer, I would have liked to have a perfected it a bit.



Production Begins
October 26, 2010, 10:24 am
Filed under: Future Cinema

On Thursday night, we began filming the scenes for our project. We went back to the tunnel walkways near Asda, as we really liked it as an environment to use for an audience to explore.

We didn’t know how well the footage would come out with our custom built camera rig, so we basically experimented freely in hope that we will get some really interesting footage to use.

We also used the car park at Asda as a different location.



Projection Materials
October 25, 2010, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Future Cinema

Last Thursday, we started the production side of this project. During the day we started researching materials that we would use to project the visuals onto. We found that lycra is the best material to use, because the visuals appear clear and you can stretch the material to create a complete flat surface with no creases.

Here are some pictures of our small set up for our testing.

Projecting onto tracing paper

The visuals looked a bit dull when projected onto tracing paper.

Projecting onto Screen Boards

The visuals on the screen board projected much more detail than the tracing paper, however the surface wasn’t flat as there where a few creases in certain places.

Projecting onto Lycra

Lycra proved to be the best for displaying visuals in great detail and with a smooth surface.




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