Blog Entry 3 – Assignment 2

As the project slowly gets closer to the end, so as a team we are putting our utmost effort to complete the collaboration project for the final installation experience on Friday. To recap what we have completed so far is that, footage from both sides of the countries have been collected and mostly edited, the soundscapes, sound effects and triggers are almost nearly done and will be linked up with visuals and the video clip loops. The generative visuals for the overlays are completed from my end, even though they are not perfect; I am satisfied with the results as they are not something I would create normally, and this was a great opportunity to learn new things. Learning how to create generative visuals sparked a new interest for me and I hope to continue to create more and better visuals when we return to Melbourne.

An example of a visual I made as an overlay.

I have not touched After Effects since the beginning of my first year because of the subjects I took that mostly involved virtual reality which only consisted of me using the program Unity in the recent year. I learnt I could not have produced any proper generative visuals without using a plugin that would allow me to make the required art. As I have previously mentioned in my last blog post, upon research I had found a plugin called Trapcode Suite produced by Red Giant. This plugin is extremely helpful in terms of making motion graphics and visual effects in which is perfect for what I needed to produce for our project. I have yet to fully figure out the plugin, but I do understand the basics of which is enough for me to make visuals in the limited time span we do have left.

Along the way of figuring out the plugin, I did encounter a problem in terms of exporting the visual files to be used in Resolume 6 (Resolume 6 is a VJ software where they can create and control visuals to be in synch with sounds and music). When I exported the files thinking the background would be transparent, it turns out it wasn’t, so I had to figure that issue out. To fix this, I had to toggle the transparent grid on and then in the rendering settings set the video output channel to RGB + Alpha. Also, in Resolume 6, we had to figure out why the visuals were so washed out, so by using the noise filter and reducing it would return it to its normal state.

Testing the visual overlay over video.
Video playing only / testing out the projector.
Our installation area. I covered the whole floor with black fabric in order to blend for when the room is dark allowing for the feeling of engagement but yet seclusion.

Since my team member Akash was in charge of using Resolume, it made sense to give him my visuals to test out on the program to see whether they worked out or not. All the visuals did appear visibly better and clearer by toggling with the noise filter. We worked together to see which visuals worked together in terms of the scale, when they appeared, the visual effects and so forth until we were both on the agreement. For my visuals, I only used bright colours so that they can stand out from the background of the video being played in the background. That way there some contrast between the two overlays hence the user can differentiate the foreground from the background.

Here’s a short snippet of the visuals and sounds in action

Overall, even if we are in for a time crunch; as a team, we can figure it out and get it done in time. For what we have accomplished so far is satisfying enough and hopefully, we can get to improve on it when we get back.

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