Blog Entry #2 – Assignment 2

Through the workshops happened on Wednesday and Thursday, we listened to the tips and advice from industry practitioners about digital storytelling, audiovisual, VR, and AR. We were given few class exercises to come up with ideas related to the subject in order to improve our creative thinking and the understanding towards the subject given.

Initially, we have a hard time deciding the storyline that we could include in our project. But through the exercise given to produce a storyline in the workshop, we slowly find our way to include a short story for a better user experience. We were also introduced to project mapping that reacts to sound in an audiovisual workshop. Software called Resolume Arena was introduced and we were given examples of how the program can easily help us to produce music and visual at the same time.

In one of the class exercises, we were asked to come up with an art installation that could be used in MMU University. We came up an idea of projection of beach environment on to the floor on a resting area in MMU, accompanied with relaxing music. For our synopsis, the class environment could be really stuffy and stressful at times. Air conditioner inside the class could cause sleepiness for students. This projection is to encourage students of MMU University to gather and sit down under the big tree and enjoy the calm and relaxed environment projected to a floor.

For the progress of the project, we have already compiled sketchy storyboard in a notebook to plan ahead the shots and the scenes we need for the 2D animation. On Friday morning, I also helped another team to record the narration for their VR environment. One member of their team (Vlado) lent us a big hand in the sound design and let us use his own sound remix to our project. His sound will be credited at the end of our video projection. His remix gives the feeling of groovy and easy listening. The remix is captivating because in the beginning; it includes a fast finger tapping-like sound in the background but not too loud as the main focus is still the vocal of a girl singer. He included soft guitar, drums and electric keyboard in the remix that is supporting the vocal and enhances the grooves of the whole mood.

We are aware that music plays a big role in user experience, as a digital artwork without music will be dull. A good music can almost immediately drag the user into the world and the feel of the artwork. One challenge of our project has been solved as none of the members have any experience in sound design. And 2 weeks are really short in order to make our group’s own remix, while we need to draw and paint the assets and get ready to exhibit on next Friday.

Another challenge that we faced is, we are not sure the projector that we will be using and the height of the projection. As we need to keep in mind about the user’s body in our video, we need to know how tall is the user in the projection of the video. As now we can only preview it on our laptop, we need to know the difference of the ratio of the user in the laptop preview and after it’s projected on the white wall.

Both Nina and I are in charge drawing the background of the video, for example, the landscape involved in the video. While a member of MMU student, Siti, is in charge of designing the side characters of the video.

So far I’ve drawn few assets of video background from popular places around Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne. Those are twin towers of Kuala Lumpur, monorail interior, and Flinders street interior. Nina drew the car scenes and Melbourne landscape. The color scheme still remained unchanged with the color scheme we proposed (the split complementary).

The next step will be to finish up the assets needed for the video and quickly combine them together in after effect composition. After combining them, we need to animate the assets of some certain scenes, for example, the raining scene, the girls waving toward the user asking him/her to jump into the window, etc. And we need to solve the difference ratio of laptop and projection through experiments.

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