My Writings. My Thoughts.

Big Screens brainstorming

// September 24th, 2010 // No Comments » // Big Screens

Big Screens 2009

At this point for Big Screens, I’m just brainstorming some different ideas I’ve been thinking about and looking around for inspiration to provide as a basis for discussions on possible collaborations. Last week’s trip down to the IAC definitely helped in that respect too. So here’s a few things I’ve been thinking about …

  • Generally speaking, I’m interested in blending video/photos with animation and generative code in subtle ways.  As an example, I did some of this in Nature of Code last semester.
  • I’m also interested in exploring how my ICM project from first year could be adapted to the big screen in a way that takes advantage of that perspective.
  • Over the past month I’ve been working on putting together a camera array rig to create that bullet time effect.  I’m interested in how that could be used to create a greater sense of depth within the screen.  I like the idea of what that could like panning across the screen and seeing the 3D perspective of people frozen in time as the camera continues to move.
  • I’m intrigued by the idea of one really long slow camera movement through a space.
  • Instead of the screen having the experience of it being something we look into, there is a lot that can be done using the scale to create an experience of to content creating a sense of pressure on the class that could eventually burst out (ie. the water of an aquarium).
  • I’m also taking Mashups right now.  Have been thinking of how I could use what I learn there to be applied to the IAC screen.  Thought that could be an interesting way of avoiding the scaling problems that are encountered in testing for the larger audience expected for the final event.  Data from places like twitter could be used to influence dynamically changing visuals on the screen.  That way the traffic is handled by twitter instead of the machines/code we’re running on site.

Anyhow, those are just a few of the ideas I’ve been thinking about lately.  None are particularly flushed out, but I’m looking forward to seeing something materialize soon.


// May 2nd, 2010 // No Comments » // Interactive Television

Our Live Experimental Interactive Television class is coming to a close. All four of our episodes have now aired on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. It’s made for a busy but fun couple of weeks. Above are some of the highlights from our two episodes of UNITV. You can also check out some behind the scenes footage on my flickr page and check out the project in the ITP Spring Show.

Nature of Bokeh – Proposal

// March 30th, 2010 // No Comments » // Nature of Code


For my Nature of Code final I’m thinking of creating a video that would have a particle system interacting with the native particles from the source footage. Using the image above as an example, the blurred out lights in the background would act as the primary set of particles. A second set of particles would then be introduced in processing (using textures stripped out from the lights). Through a variety of physics simulations, the new set of particles would interact with the lights as well as any objects that are focused in the screen. The chair above for instance, could be turned into a mask, where the particles would treat it as a boundary and react accordingly.

Using one shot to start with, I will try to implement as much of the code as I need to have everything up and running. Once I get to that stage I will start testing that code with new footage and try to introduce some new features. One of which that I am thinking of, is to add an audio reactive element to the particles’ behaviors. I still have lots to do before I get there though. I have started to use OpenCV to see how I can track the particles with blob detection. I am looking into the best way to handle the textures. I also need to decide how to handle the workflow of the video (GSVideo, an image sequence ?). While I do all of this, I will also be thinking of what type of footage will work best with the concept and what kind of foreground objects I can use to help build a stronger conceptual framework.

Giant Stories, Tiny Screens midterm

// March 25th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Giant Stories Tiny Screens

the figure 8

I have put together a first iteration of a project I’m working on called The Figure 8. As this is a project I will be continuing to work on, I will break down where I am so far and what I still plan to do with it. To start, here a few different descriptions of the project:

Short Description
The Figure 8 is a database film that explores the connections between stories and the people that tell them.

Long Description
The Figure 8 is a database film that explores the connections between stories and the people that tell them. Created using the software Korsakow, the film presents a collection of personal stories that allow for viewers to navigate the database while exploring the connections that create the paths between them. The structure of the database draws upon the idea that there are only eight stories in the world and all others are a derivative of those eight. The people in the film were asked to share any story they would like to tell, with the only constraints being time and that they tell a personal story of their own. These stories are then tagged with which of the eight plots they relate to and connections are then made with other stories in the database that share those same tags. Through these connections viewers are able to construct a narrative path more suited to their interests.

The eight basic plots:

  • Sacrifice
  • Rise and fall
  • Transformation
  • Revenge
  • Chase
  • Quest
  • Romance
  • Competition


  • A personal story
  • No other narrative constraints or suggestions
  • Told by by someone else
  • 30 seconds to 3 minutes each
  • One shot
  • No cuts
  • Source audio only

Problems encountered in this version:
The filming of this was all done using equipment I don’t have much experience with. As a result I had some audio issues to work through. I have since worked through all of these issues and will have to reshoot some of the material. I also encountered some hurdles with Korsakow. Mainly some compression issues that caused a few problems but I was able to work through. The one thing I couldn’t figure out though was how to create a lead in and have that move on to a starting clip. Ideally what I would like is for a title sequence to play (without the thumbnails at the side) and then randomly pull a clip with an associated start tag to follow. Not sure if this is possible yet.

Things to do:

  • Film more stories
  • Create promotional material to give to storytellers
  • Reshoot the stories with bad audio
  • Look into using conditionals and try to work text/tags into preview thumbnails
  • Create new preview thumbnails with rollovers
  • Create a new title sequence that includes a more in depth explanation of the project
  • Create other pages for the site (about, manifesto, credits)
  • Integrate links to other pages in the interface
  • Integrate title in the interface

View the Project

The Figure 8

// March 3rd, 2010 // No Comments » // Giant Stories Tiny Screens

korsakow For my midterm in Giant Stories / Tiny Screens I’m going to be putting together a project using the Korsakow software.  The content is going to be very general in using the structure of database film to it’s strength.  The database of clips will be short (1-3 minute videos) of people telling stories to the camera.  The constraints of which will purposely not be much more than that.  I don’t want to influence the telling of their story or their choosing of which one to tell.  In doing so I am drawing upon a few thoughts.  First, I figure that everyone has at least one interesting story.  As well, I feel that most people enjoy telling stories.  On the other side of things, I find that people are often just as interested in the person telling a story as they are in the story itself.  This is why I don’t want to interview people and simply just ask people to tell me a story.  Leaving all of the decisions to them, I feel lets the story come from a more sincere place.

The next thought that all of this led me to was how I can connect all of these stories in a meaningful way.  This brought me back to an idea I had heard before.  Various people have written how they believe there are only a few amount of stories in the world and all other stories are just derivatives of these.  This concept is something I’m still doing more research into, but I’ve already found one of these references that works really well with what I would like to do.  Nancy Kress wrote an article on how she believes there are only 8 stories.  She listed them as follows:

  • Sacrifice
  • Rise and fall
  • Transformation
  • Revenge
  • Chase
  • Quest
  • Romance
  • Competition

The other thing that I really like about this list is that it falls into 8.  I like how the figure 8 encompasses all of the basic plots, yet as you turn the figure on it’s side, it represents the infinite possibilities of all the stories these 8 basic plots can be turned into.

Taking these 8 plots, I plan on tagging all of the stories I enter into the database and using them to draw the connections between all of the clips.  Ideally, the more stories I can enter into the database the better.  Once I have good amount of videos to start with, I also plan on opening the site to encourage others to submit stories they’ve filmed themselves (whether it’s of themselves or of others).  In this sense I like that the piece becomes stronger as the database grows.

Audio Reactive Particle System

// February 24th, 2010 // No Comments » // Nature of Code


For Nature of Code I’m hoping to work on an audio reactive particle system.  I started in on this, but still have plenty to do.  I still need to spend more time with the beat detection to get a closer relationship between the two.  I also need to work out the details of rendering sketches and maintaining the synchronization of the audio and video (instead of using screen capture software).  As for the particles, I’ve just started off with one for now.  Next up, is to start to bring in more particles and apply more complex physics to them.  For now, you can click through the image above to watch a video of where I am at so far.

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