Friday, October 22, 2010

Motion & Modelling week 1 + 2

The course I haven't introduced you to yet is Motion & Modelling, in which we learn about different mathematical theories that we later on put to use by creating a screensaver. In the first week, we have learned about manipulating functions (shifting them up & down, left & right, making them bigger & smaller) and about differentiation and integration. In the second week we have learned how to work with Matlab, a program designed for mathematical computing but also suited for animation purposes. For the screensaver I have teamed up with Dmitri Kazachkov and Jelle Galgenbeld. We're not entirely sure what kind of screensaver we want to make, we will decide on that next week.

Also, it's weekend again, so time for some nice music. I recently found out that the music to the song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", performed by, amongst others, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel, is also used by Amy Winehouse, but with totally different lyrics, for the track "Tears Dry On Their Own". You can watch both of them below. Enjoy!

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Programming for CreaTe

In Programming for CreaTe we learn how to make an animation with Processing, a visually-oriented programming language based on Java.  The advantage of Processing is that a lot of things are done for you, while you would normally have to program these things yourself. For example, to create a window for the output of your program, all you have to do is specify a size, and the rest is taken care of automatically.

In the first lesson, we learned about the drawing functions, and the final assignment for that day was to make a create that can be animated by moving your mouse. You can find my creature here. Today, in the second lesson, we learned how to use variables and loops to animate something. To check whether we understood the explanation properly, we were asked to make an animation of a ball that bounces between the left and the right of the window it is displayed in. It is up to you to judge whether I succeeded with this...

Here it is!

Let the video editing commence!

After we finished filming last Tuesday, editing has come to full force. So far, I have edited the first scene, as well as the meeting with the park manager. There are a couple of things that struck me during editing: firstly, it is difficult to get your movie to tell the story you want it to. You want to give the viewer enough information so that he or she understands what is going on, but not make it too obvious, for example by putting in a text explaining what happens, because this breaks the immersion in the story and is also a little insulting to the viewer, since it is a way of saying that the viewer is unable to figure out what the message is without any further help.

The best way of conveying a message clearly is by good dialogue, but the person who edits the video has no control over that, since you have to work with material that is already there. What can be done by the editor is putting in a voice over that explains the situation to the viewer. Another thing that is possible is to zoom in on a certain part of the video to emphasise its meaning.

The second thing that became apparent is that music is of huge importance for the atmosphere of the movie and the message it sends out to the viewer: it has the power to make or break your video. As a result, a lot of thought goes into finding music that fits with what you want the viewer to experience. For example, we have a scene in which a fisherman tells about the problems with the lake. What kind of music would fit with that? This poses a great challange, but it is a fun one to solve, since you get to listen to lots of music, which, in my opinion, is always a good thing.

I'm looking forward to presenting our final product on the 29th, and as always, be sure to check the project website to watch our progress.

Portfolio Progress & Worst-page Weirdness

This week I have added a connection with a MySQL database to my portfolio page using PHP. The message on the main page, as well as the links in the left sidebar are requested from the database behind the scenes. I have also added the first assignment for "Programming for Creative Technology" to the portfolio.

What I plan to achieve in the end is a homepage, with a word of welcome, some information about myself, and the most recent assignments, and next to that a page per subject. In the end I also want to make a search function for the website, so users can easily find my work. Another thing I'd like to add is an editor to upload my work in an easy way.

Next to the portfolio, we also have to create a "worst page" for Web Technology, and I have started with that assignment this week.So far, I have made a page with ugly colours (plain yellow and red), that generates a set of pop-ups, but I don't think it is presentable yet. As soon as I have something presentable I will update this blog to show off the "worst page" in all its atrociousness.

Long time no see... - redux

It has been a while since I posted anything here (again), but since I want to continue to write down my experiences with Creative Technology, I thought it was a good time for a brand new post.

Last week we started with a new set of courses. I have already introduced you to Web Technology, for which you have to make a "worst page" and your portfolio. The second new subject is Motion & Modeling, which is a combination of mathematics and programming. At the end of the course we have to present a screensaver that is based on physics / mathematics. The last new subject is Programming for Creative Technology. This course is actually related to Motion & Modeling, since you have to program animations as well, so in the end we can combine the knowledge we gained from Motion & Modeling with Programming for Creative Technology.

Although we have started new courses, we are still working on two assignments for We Create Identity. The first one is the interactive video project, which will be presented on the 29th of October. The second assignment is the essay, which I still have to start. I have a couple of subjects in mind, but haven't decided which one to write about yet. You can read about the new subjects as well as the final assignments for We Create Identity in more detail in the upcoming posts.