Research and Development 

In this documentation I will be showing a combination of primary and secondary research. These research methods are a natural extension of my thought process for creating and designing the content in the unit. This page provides an edited platform highlighting the key parts of development towards my practical and research methods.

In the build up towards my content for the research report proposal I found that John Berger’s Ways of Seeing gave me some really interesting insights into how the context of images have changed through reproduction. Berger also talks about the lack of direct interaction between the viewer and the content creator. This interaction is now possible on modern video platforms including Youtube and Vimeo.

 

The screenshot that is adjacent to the text I find interesting because Ways of Seeing was originally broadcasted on traditional television in 1972. However the context for how the film is being presented has changed because the video is being presented on a modern video platform that supports direct interaction from the user and creator. The interface is a highlighting factor visually, presented on the image.

I went to the Electronic Superhighway Exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. I found some really interesting content for my project including John Knoll’s Jennifer in Paradise, taken in 1987 was the first full colour 8 bit image used and manipulated in photoshop by its users.

 

In this time because the internet was not a platform for content sharing like it is today, I find it incredibly interesting to have this void of time when we had a digital process of creating content but not being able to document and share it. Constant Dullaart has recreated the image which highlights this era in the design industry.

My Generation by Eva and Franco Mattes showed a collection of videos from the early years of Youtube and video content sharing over the past decade. The display shows some of the culture that existed in this time period which was at times humorous and uncomfortable.

 

It was presented to the audience in the context of an old CRT monitor, damaged and obsolete.

The videos were presented on large panels through projected film. The content was based around the narration of actions the user was making inside of the game world.

 

Farocki focuses on actions the user is making outside of the context of the game to form its own narrative with the viewer.

Life is Strange by DontNod studios is in my opinion a groundbreaking game in terms of interactive narrative. It gives the player a large amount of control between every scene in the experience and lets the user come to their own conclusion in the story.

 

Michel Koch, studio director has his background in Illustration giving some interesting insight into interactive development.

This talk from Bungie, a game studio located in Bellevue, Washington is a really interesting discussion hosted between the creative writer Joe Staten and a Graphic Designer in the studio. It’s a great example of how collaboration between writers and designers can emerge to build worlds. This shows the process of narratives being created and visualised, changing radically from feedback over the development time.

World building is about creating an environment which the users consist in. Martin O'Donnell who is a pioneer in interactive audio storytelling from the mid 90’s explains the process of creating and directing audio in games as opposed to working with film.

 

A key highlight is that in film the director oversees the visual and audio content of the production while in many games including the ones Martin has worked on including Halo and Destiny the audio focus has it’s own separate director.

When looking back at Norwich 2.0 which was the first project I created using a game engine last year, the core focus was creating an alternative version of Norwich which had some resemblance to the real version but was fundamentally rooted with giving the user a choice of exploration but also making sure the learning curve and barrier for entry was simple. This naturally lead to a more interactive experience of narrative opposed to deep muscle memory of remembering controls.

 

I think this is the beauty of games that has not been explored. The idea that a game always needs a direct challenge and a set genre to consist in. When directing a multithreaded narrative the audience can create their own stories to share.

No Man’s Sky is a game created by a small team which breaks from the mould of a set genre and focuses the users experience towards a virtually never-ending world of procedural generated environments. These have been solely created through an algorithm. A direct narrative created by a person which would be literally impossible to do so on the same scale.

 

I think it’s a step in a new direction and approach to narrative and world building with the idea that a world can be generated for the user determined by a set of mathematical rules.

Elly is a popular independent content creator. In this video I was fascinated with the success the title, Pokemon GO has had in western culture. It’s using augmented reality technology that gets users outside and playing the game in the millions.

 

Fundamentally it’s an incredible social experiment to combine games as an interactive narrative with experiences we can have outside in the context of the real world showing how viable the technology is and the potential it has to expand on these areas.

This is one of a set of images I have created for Nocturnal magazine which is an interactive online magazine.

 

The illustrations are based from contemporary versions of pin ups from the 40’s with influences of social media impact of today.

I’ve expanded these sets of images into a virtual environment where the user can interact with the images differently.

 

The images are presented in the context of an exhibition space although unlike in a physical environment there are no practical limits to how images can be shown.

I think there is potential to expand the content I am making in BA3a to be developed and presented in this format. 

I created these sticker designs in response to Amy Moloney’s workshop. My randomly given phrase was “Being Cosy” so the designs obviously had to have an aesthetic which matched.

 

I was quite happy with the outcome of these designs because my natural approach to visual design I would not class as cosy at all.

I made some quick short animations of the sticker designs to reference what they would look like as a live sticker. The process of changing still image into moving image in this case was very natural as I already designed them with the intent of being interactive.

The choice of colours with these sorts of designs is essential. I used the two toned colour scheme because the aesthetic would fit in well with contemporary interface design which is currently universally flat across Facebook, Google, iOS etc.

I’ve been experimenting with deconstructing images through broken lines of code before but for this project I wanted to procedurally manipulate a single image, then represent it multiple times.

 

This is done by replacing the code inside of the image file with different sets of commands that will produce new variations of the original content featuring technical, visual inconsistencies. This is not strictly designed by me because I have no visual representation of what the designs visual identity will consist of. There is an interesting comparison to the process of making an image on manipulation design software like Photoshop where I have full controls to the visual outcome.

I designed and produced this animation which consists of the outcomes from my initial corrupted image sequence. It’s a process I use in order to find a narrative and visually construct it.

I attended the workshops Pablo hosted using After Effects and Premier Pro. I was thinking about artificial intelligence and constructing a narrative around the process of travel with the use of sound directing the imagery.

 

The use of jump cuts and uncomfortable sounds result in a narrative that I think asks the viewer questions afterwards because of the composition and layout.

In this trailer that I have designed focuses on interchangeable design, taking elements from the world environment I have made, putting them in a set perspective with an outside viewer. This gives some context to how the content is shown in a video format presented on a 2D screen.

 

I have used the image of Jennifer in the corner of the screen to represent another perspective towards the content. I was thinking about the context of the image and how it represents the current digital age of manipulation.

Artificial assistants including Siri and Cortana use voice commands as a method of interface.

 

I find the process of visualising the identity and process of the algorithm interesting because they only consist around vocal inputs for the user to interact with.

Some illustrations of objects were created in collaboration with Nancy Peart.

In my visit to the Serpentine Gallery, London. Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s Enough Tiranny is a set space which is changed by duration and time with the people participating affecting the narrative.

I found the context and method to the work incredibly interesting because I feel it overlaps areas of design and thinking about space.

 

The interaction of the user through immersion delivered through a completely different narrative and technical output. Everything about the design is considered and they need each other to deliver the experience.

This is a screenshot from the video game; Bioshock written by Kevin Levine, Irrational Games.

 

In terms of an image without context it tells us about the time period and environment that the user consists within. The image tells us through the aesthetics used within the design alongside the overarching narrative which would have built up for you as the player.

In terms of a live space and worlds consisting within a world, following from Chaimowicz’s work that I previously talked about.

 

The interaction between the player and the content based around a narrative that is driven through space and context to the actions that you make renders the scene incredibly unique as a narrative design path.

In between making my content I’ve had a good amount of time to think about the positioning and design layout of the exhibition space including the narrative structure of the images in relation to the user movement in the world.

It’s important to me that the space which the users and viewers consist within is based on a narrative experience with no technical barrier for entry.

 

I’ve added QR codes which the viewers or active user can use in the space to watch interchangeable videos/information related to the adjacent content. This specific QR code will bring the user to this page which I think shows the connection between these worlds.

I have designed this site and the other QR links to be a coherent design across Desktop, phone and tablet.

The first person perspective gives the active user access to viewpoints like in a real physical environment but without the practical limitations to scale, size and gravity.

 

This lets me think more openly about how and where objects are placed in the context of the viewer in the environment.

A large focus on this unit for me is about building my skills for using Virtual Reality and testing different methods to use the technology.

 

This is the process I’ve used to create full motion 360 degree images. I’ve used a 2:1 aspect ratio specifically at 6000x3000 pixels.

When the compositions are made and saved as a JPEG the metadata or “code” from the image needs to be altered in order to be projected as a 3D image. 

Platforms like Facebook support this new technology and pick up on the metadata to render the image in 360 degrees.

The process of creating Virtual Reality and 360 degree videos is similar to making the images however the process of making the content takes a lot experimentation.

 

Google provides content creators with tools to help the videos convert into 3D with the metadata.

This is a video example of a virtual reality animation I have created. The content is not refined but it shows the potential I can have with it on the project with shaping and forming the interchangeable narrative.

The video will only work in 360 degrees on Google Chrome, however it is best viewed on a phone or tablet with the YouTube app for the better experience. VR capabilities for headsets work on Google Cardboard which is very affordable and more expensive devices like the Oculus Rift. 

This screen capture shows the foundation of potential for a user generated narrative which is completely unique to each interaction.

Currently in an experimental state.

This is a 2D video of me using a design I created for 360 degree motion. When images and text are put into a composition of a 2:1 aspect ratio, the images scale correctly when using the metadata inside of the image file.

This is my interview transcript with Daedalic. It’s great how open to communication a lot of these independent studios are with talking about their work.

I was at the stage when me and my reader group started talking about the presentation for the end of unit exhibition.

 

I presented my ongoing version of my interactive exhibition. The rest of the group thought it was a great opportunity to create and present their work in a virtual environment because there is far more room to present the work and they seemed to like the interactive element that it naturally brought with it.

This was also the first demonstration with the game controller being used to form the connection between the user and the content.

Mitch from our group created some 3D objects for his project so naturally on a 3D platform with Unity it lets the viewer experience the objects in a virtual space.

I made a quick demonstration of these objects in a virtual space to experiment with the design, seeing how the immersion factor is used in the scenes.

This is the pre production stage where we started to plan out the design of the content for the group in the space.

 

Having 2D images projected onto walls in corridors feels like a natural extension to see the images while the 3D objects from Maylott and Mitch would require a separate space to differentiate the work coherently from each artist.

The yellow banner signs that I am using in both exhibition spaces are referenced from generic signs like this one.

 

The use of black on yellow is a natural extension into the virtual spaces because they are synonymous in real life.

These are early production images for the design of the exhibition layout. I started of by laying out Ellie’s images and working with her to create a design she was happy with for her abstract designs.

This is a birds eye perspective of the design in progress. I think it’s quite interesting to reflect on the architectural aspects to the layout when building a living space.

I’m happy with the connection the spaces naturally have alongside each other, it presents a nice interchangeable element and method to creating images as well with a completely different context to how they were originally individually designed.

This was also an older build of the exhibition which included shadows. It was a design choice from me to turn these off because there were scenes of inconsistent lighting on some of the groups work. It is an interesting affect to experiment with the lighting process.

It was really exciting to create the first build version for the rest of the group to experience, the integration of the controller makes it a very social experience because of the interactivity and sharing experiences verbally.

I created this trailer for the group exhibition. I made it to show the narrative process of curating and designing the layout in a video format using the arrows as a navigation tool between image and context which the viewer would experience in the virtual space.

This short video shows the connections Farocki is making with image, film and game content.

 

“The era of reproduction seems to be over, The era of construction of new worlds is here” (Harun Farocki, 2016) 2:10.

This is a refined version based on analysis of the previous film. After testing the video inside of VR I noticed that having moving imagery together with user movement creates a very jarring experience. The current version has fixed this issue.

 

This version lets the viewer experience the images on a moving 3D environment however it’s paced with artificial loading screens to bridge the gap between scenes in the exhibition space. These scenes extend the pace of the narrative but also consist of an active mechanism in the design.

Again the VR and 360 degree capabilities only work with Google Chrome and the YouTube mobile app. Not safari or any other web browsers as of now.

You’re Surrounded: Graphic Design in the Real World is an article from the Adobe talking about understated design. Specifically it highlights the uses text and image have in the real world with navigation used as a wayfinding mechanism with an active purpose.

 

Margaret Calvert, a graphic designer who worked on the original sign post in Englands roads in the 60’s is quoted here:

https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/youre-surrounded-graphic-design-in-the-real-world/?segment=design

It’s an incredible way to think about visual unification of layouts and designs in a set composition.

This is a video capture of me exploring the updated group space from my own perspective and at my own pace. When another user experiences it the duration is very different because it’s based around user choice.

Mitch, a group member has also created a soundtrack that has been added to the space. It's a fantastic ambient connection to have when moving around in the environment. 

Some of the group members have integrated QR codes into their featured designs based on the use I previously talked about them with.

 

Mollie has extended the use of type and design layout that I originally created. She has unified it into the presentation her work when using her QR code. I think it works really well because it’s a strong consistency that we have built within the design.

 

The QR codes are made to provide a context for the imagery that would then extend outside of the experience with the potential to have outputs from multiple users.

 

For example the user who is moving in the experience could find a QR code which then could be used by another viewer to gain the context of the designs. This also opens a new social aspect between the users involved and the information that is being shared between them.

On the first day of the exhibition my own interactive exhibition was on display. This was adjacent to the physical items that will form into the Disconnected group exhibition on the second day.

 

The TV was presented at a similar level to where the average persons head would be so that is a natural extension into the environment.

This is an image of the physical presentation on the first day.

My role on both days was very hands on. Talking with people about the work that me and the group had created. I was also ready incase any technical problems occurred which they didn’t, both days were very smooth.

This allows the users to experience the designs from new perspectives, in a different environment.

 

The small geometrical 3D shaped objects Maylott has created have transformed from being small physical objects to massive structures that bleed outside of the walls the users consists within. This is made possible through interchangeable design software standards.

A developed version of the virtual reality content that I created previously for the exhibition was on display for the second day. It was great to see people try the device on and express the variety of emotional reactions to using VR.

 

The virtual reality content was a good extension of the exhibitions narrative which I will expand into BA3b. 

At this point reaching the end of BA3a it’s interesting to look at the 3D layouts I have created and see them in the perspective of stand alone images.

 

As a process for image making I find the relationship between process and interchangeability fascinating. 

At the end of December 2016 my pin up designs from the start of the project have been published in issue V of Nocturnal interactive magazine which can seen and read here: http://www.nctrnl.co.uk/nocturnal-magazine/issues/issue-v/

In issue V I have also designed the layouts for wall museum posters that are featured in the magazine. these can be seen from page 48.

 

I will be continuing to work with Nocturnal in BA3b. It is a great interactive platform for publishing content. I am planning on working with AR and VR content there in the future.

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