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Blog Post 3

After completing the functional aspects of the code, the immediate task at hand was to create every possible linked page, make sure that page had the correct functionality required (ie. Looping with possible choices, auto URL load at end etc.) while also having the correct links from each page to the appropriate page. Without this the user would be able to jump randomly from page to page or not be able to access any pages at all, needless to say neither of these functions would be useful for a narrative driven relatively linear artpiece. While this task was not overly complicated, it was time consuming and imperative to the functionality of the piece. After completing testing to a satisfactory level (using stock videos) this was set aside to begin looking at the other aspects of the project and where I’m able to assist while awaiting the assets required to complete my other tasks.

This meant taking on the sculpture design for the makey makey interface. After deciding on the hammer and machete interface, it was necessary to find a way to make the hammer look worn as well as integrating the wiring necessary for it to function in an aesthetically pleasing manner. As the piece depicts a relatively desolate world, wherein ‘primitive’ technologies have been abandoned, we though a somewhat steam punk style was appropriate and decided to show the wiring wrapped around the outside of the hammer, instead of hiding it by channeling a groove down the side. To age the hammer we decided to use flame treatment as well as mild whittling with a knife and knife cuts across the handle. The end result was extremely effective and fit the aesthetic we were aiming to achieve perfectly.

After completing this the next task was to set up what we could of the physical installation at e-gallery MMU. This required a lot of time and became a collaborative effort with Winnie and Nina’s group as they were using the space directly next to ours and needed to set up a fairly similar rig. The idea for both our set ups was to block at as much light as possible using black out curtains to emphasize the projection work, though their space was to be brightly light from colourful projections and hanging fairy lights, while our space was to be as dark as possible and invoke a sense of discomfort or a ‘spooky’ feeling in the user.

The only issues we came across were related to finding black out cloth of the right size, at certain points my group was forced to stitch together several clothes to ensure they reached the floor, though in the end this actually added to the spooky feeling and complimented the worn out aesthetic of the tools quite nicely.

After setting up the space, we tested the visuals we had at hand through the projector and determined that it looked exactly as we had hoped. The next task was for me to begin sewing the audio and visual parts together through adobe after effects. So far the only issues that have arisen are the slow processing speed of my After Effects (nothing a few updates won’t fix) and The lack of transparency in Liyana’s animations. To get around thuis we have devised to possible solutions, weaving the stationary images and the animation together in separate parts of the video as they become relevant (as opposed to overlaying them) OR finding a method to do a kind of blending layer as the animation is entirely stark black or stark white. I am currently looking into finding methods for blending, though failing that I will have to resort to the first method. This method will still be visually pleasing it just won’t be the exact method we had in mind while planning everything out.

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