Over the last fortnight I set up the installation area, for the moment a projection room, and played around with using both projectors each throwing to a different wall.
While I was playing with the projections I also produced the first piece of work I’ve made in the studio. A drawing of the birds nest I found when the neighbours trimmed the hedge.
first drawing in the new studio
A simple charcoal drawing on heavy paper. I made a polycam model of the nest itself
Then later made an AR test with the downloaded obj file. The obj, or format of your choice, can be downloaded here.
I wanted to break up the projected images in the installation and decided to make some large circles to to hang in front of the screens. The images below use a projection of the geranium project film and a new red film made from camera trap captures that came out in shades of red, played in sequence and on a loop.
Red Circles from the right
The geranium film projected onto the large circles
Doing so meant I emptied my portfolio so I displayed the Durer’s solid drawings that are in progress.
The Durer’s Solid drawings displayed in the studio
The video felt too small in the space and I wanted to complicate the surface so I used both projectors and set them with the films overlapping by about two thirds of their width. I added in a line of smaller circles cutting across the space.
I took the plunge and moved into a new studio away from the house. It’s expensive but more professional!
I oved into the space above on Tuesday 2nd May.
floor covered with dpc plastic
On Wednesday 3rd May I got a roll of dpc plastic and covered the floor.
Moving in Day
On Friday 5th May I moved all the stuff down to the studio in a van and started to assemble the installation that will sit in the middle of the space.
A view of the studio with the installation
We’ve had a run of bank holidays, what with Charlie’s hat and so on, so I didn’t get back to the studio until Tuesday 9th May when I finished assembling the installation and a seperate space for storage.
First Coat of Paint
On Thursday the 11th I managed to give all the structures a first coat of paint and set up the computer and VR headset. I needed to do some gardening on Wednesday as it wasn’t raining.
I continued to work on the platonics app after the last post and whilst I’m not completely pleased with it I decided to put it onto the play store as a test. It’s remarkably easy and took a couple of days total. It’s a fairly involved process though so it’s worth making a list and preparing your materials. it is particularly worth creating a set of screen shots and getting your publicity materials in order before you start. It’s on as a test in that I’m not publicising it other than on here.
During March the first Northern Digital Storytelling Festival took place on line. The idea of a series of talks or discussions around digital storytelling was instantly appealing and I registered as soon as I could. I immediately encountered an issue when I saw the times of the talks, over lunchtimes (12:00-13:30) and early evening (17:00-19:30) which are just too awkward to contemplate. On the upside all the talks are recorded and available on the festival website and will be kept there apparently indefinitely.
I made a series of notes around some of the talks that I got the most from and I’m posting them just to keep myself on track with the gardens project.
Northern Digital Storytelling Festival 10 – Interactive Digital Storytelling.
Narrative concentrates on the experience of the player in game terms, ludo-narrative dissonance occurs when the game play works against the character of the player in the game story.
Standard explanation of the way characters context frames the choices the players make in the game. What is the goal? \what happens if I get it wrong? Etc.,
Key insight is the provision of visual information, or any information, gives the player impetus to proceed or not, too much information can be boring, too little can be frustrating.
Most of the talks suggest the general storytelling works akin to theatre, and hardly anyone seems to regard books as immersive. [This is a little bit disingenuous of me]
Interactive media is in growth and non-interactive in decline? Strange declaration based on the fact that gaming business has exploded where film and theatre have declined over the last few years.
Bright Black talking about nudge based interactions, branching narratives where choice takes you somewhere different and everything is scripted. No room for emergent behaviour. Highly functional open worlds, like GTA, where emergent behaviour can be the entire of the experience. Speculative Design, make a story world with a question buried inside it. Good branching diagram possible, probable, definite, probable, possible reading down off a central line. Black Bright – 1000 conversations about death, a combined virtual and live experience. Sussex University research into perspective found that first person gives the least accurate perception of that space. Mapping from above might give a good opening perspective for an experience before you enter first person?
Is there really a huge exodus into virtual space? BB presenting an alternative to life?
The idea being to enter a ‘flow state’.
They were looking at multi-sensory immersion because they were not making games but were making experiences.
XR_Stories ‘Game Like Experiences’ what defines a game? Competition? Environments that invite play. Involving film as well as sound and 3d architecture. Theatre!!!
Uses mobile phone (provided to the audience – attached to the seat in front) to get a section of audience to vote at certain points in the narrative to provide direction. The phone then gradually becomes a director of the actions. Play-on.eu
Audience Q&A ‘was it real?’ was that experience really interactive? It takes work to persuade them that this true. Demonstrate the effects of decisions before they matter. Give evidence to prove this is the case. Be very heavy handed.
Branching narratives are easy but expensive – audiences experience are inevitably linear.
Why interactivity when the experience is linear.
Maintaining Game Balance, how to ensure selections are made equally, often choices are obvious through the text.
Magic Circle – rules are different here, Lusory Attitude and a playful contract. Games as transgression. Space for spectating (how do the audience choose to spectate rather than participate?).
Can the audience fail? How and when?
It occurs to me here that I made no note of what the actual piece was that these notes referred to and I’d need to rewatch the talk to find out.
Analogue game called train – packing people into trains – presented without reference to it but clearly about the holocaust.
Psychological techniques to industrialise killing. Internalises the idea that we can all do wrong. Reminded me of a flash game I saw years ago where you were an American drone pilot trying to kill terrorists in an Arab village. Everytime you target the terrorists in the market place they walk away and civilians take their place, I can’t find it online anywhere.
Ben Kirman noticed that Theatre people solve problems, don’t think about what might go wrong, suck it and see.
Films that blend story and technology together so that you forget you’re in a headset.
Topic, children of alcoholics, personal experience. Made a passive experience in VR after losing her mother to stage 4 liver disease when a teenager. The space works through the stages of grief as if speaking to her mother. A set of 5 chairs around the room that speak to you when wearing the headset. Always important to ask why use VR? Is it about the way you – the audience – are addressed? What reaction are you expecting? The experience is not just about the headset, it’s about the whole experience.
Northern Digital Storytelling Festival 13 – The Metaverse and Digital Storytelling – Empathy and VR
Richard England from Reflex Arc spoke about the lack of accessibility for blind, partially sighted and deaf people throughout the interactive media architecture and industry.
Josh Naylor from HTC Vive, for an immersive experience don’t give me an abstraction, give me something I know not a cue I need to learn.
Also talked about embodiment – make me walk in someone else’s shoes.
Lots of the potential solution are suggested as being entirely prosaic, showing recipes when cooking, seeing a screen of additional stats when watching the Grand Prix. etc.,
JN good explanation of AI – anything that has been done loads its good at, not innovation, so it will leave creators free to invent and innovate.
Northern Digital Storytelling Festival 15 – Virtual Production and Its Place in Digital Storytelling.
VR Production at Production Park Wakefield has open entry facilities that are allegedly not expensive?
Northern Digital Storytelling Festival 16 – Digital Storytelling in the Real World, AR and Overlays.
Damian Tomaselli, Post Doctoral Scholar, Visual Identities in Art & Design, University of Johannesburg.
Initially the idea is presented that AI functions as a kind of montage of the Real and Virtual with its own character. Eisensteinidea of montage.
Alice’s passage through the looking glass places her in VR, this side of the looking glass is Real Space (Physicality) so the mirror itself is AR if you can see through it to the other world.
Narrative will inevitably run slower in AR than in VR and agency is very different. AR can render the audience from passive to active, from observer to influencer. Ended with talking about Ludo Narrative Dissonance. The way you can miss the mechanics in games if you’re involved as a character, and you can miss the emotions you need through following the plot.
Teaching through storytelling, using videos, characterisation, narratives in the classroom. The manner of using the experience needs to be carefully designed for individual/group, spatial awareness, degree of individual agency, language.
Warren’s project is based around the platonic solids(?).
Collaboratively built app around climate change. Different features linked to a cardboard pop up exhibition.
Sound became very important in terms of engaging young people and giving a literal narrative.
Shreyans Jain – Vologram – Volograms will allow users to record a full body message and send it to someone through the app who will then be able to make AR content in their location.
Bethany Watrous from Experience Heritage – they make apps that use Location and Target to give you an animated character describing what you’re seeing.
Northern Digital Storytelling Festival 17 – Trans-media Digital Storytelling
Tomaselli – talks about how trans-media (which he says doesn’t really exist) works. Start with the difference between storyboard and comic, the latter is never intended to be real.
The ‘stage’ what are the compositional requirements, how does the space relate to the storytelling. Blocking etc., Tactics what are the rules of the world and how do they work as patterns and familiarise the audience with them? How do we teach them the role of the participant? Act 1 is the orientation phase, where rules are baked into the game and expectations are set. Once the audience knows the roles they can be undermined if desired.
Interactivity – always writes it with inverted commas because the terminology is too broad to work with the diversity of storytelling we now have. Each Character has different rules, how do we measure their development/ establish a distance so that we can build relationship with the character through interactions or movement. Working towards narrative character relationships through interactivity.
In transmediation the space is an actor, the theme needs to be spatialised. No space for clutter as overloading the senses with information means things, details get lost. Think about level maps in games (he uses Mario Bros 3 as an example). Used the 3 act heroic quest arc as a reference in previous talk. Agency of the user, interactivity, runs the risk of taking away from the things the narrator sets up and works against the story. When working with Mayfire(?) they worked on windows of animation within the comic they were working on, DC comics said let’s do an interactive comic. DC ended up creating an interactive story with multiple endings and it wasn’t what they wanted. The company had wanted to have just windows illustrating elements of one story arc.
Question on using user generated content to bring you in to the story?
Myra Appennah and Simon Wilkinson – BrightBlack. They do brilliant stuff and are well worth a look.
Durer’s Solid – Ink & Chalk on Amazon Carrier Bag
Northern Digital Storytelling Festival 18 – Digital Story Telling with No Budget