Friday, 9 November 2012

Aria Trailer

I'm happy to show you my project trailer - Aria.

Aria is an interactive art projection using kinect to experience 4 minutes journey of growth, and to discover the unknown species of flowers and sounds that will randomly generate from the tree by doing simple gestures along the air and treasuring every moment of it.

Sound by Casey Hartnett

Programing by Trent Fealy

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Air Tree Plan

Asset List

Concept Art

 Sound (Casey)

New Interactive Project - Air Tree

Air Tree

Major Project Treatment and Flowchart
(RMIT AIM Studio: Master of Creative Media)

Air Tree is an Interactive projection installation presenting an audience with a virtual plant. It will be using Unity, Xbox Kinect, a Projector, a computer, Zigfu and an artistic mind.

The concept idea of Air Tree is to let you to interact with the virtual “tree” to experience the journey of growth, and to discover the unknown species of flowers and sounds that will grow from the tree. The project is inspired by the PS3 game – Flower.

And the beautiful use of patterns uses motion graphics in Erica Haowei Hu (Season) where he gives the viewer an incredible sense of growth and prosperity. I like the idea and feeling and beauty that come with constantly expanding natural constructs as they grow bigger filling a wider space. So I was thinking maybe it’ll be cool to make a project about growing a tree by bumping air to make it higher and higher up into the sky. The idea maybe a little cliché but I think sometimes it is better to tell a story in a straight forward manner.

This project will be interactive not only because I’m interested in interactive creative work but also I think it will be a great experience to get people to involve in it.
Due to the objective of Air Tree, player has to give air to the tree. I don’t want player to use a mouse or keyboard or controller. I want them to simply swinging their hand upward to let the tree breath. I strongly believe the simpler the gesture, the better it will work. Mainly because it is not a project about frustration and I think it is a great gesture to symbolize the idea of growing higher. It is also inspired by a scene in Totoro by Hayao Miyazaki in which two girls wave their hands up and down to grow a tree while Totoro sings along with them.                    

It was one my most memorable and favourite scenes of all time, and it is a movie that had a big impact on my childhood. So yes keep swing your hand high up to the air.

The motivation is the visuals and the sounds of the tree. Just like you are watching a firework’s show in the sky. Simple colours, patterns and sounds are strong enough to create a strong sense of joy and you will always want to see more. Therefore the art will be the main focus in this project. And I intend to do something similar to Ana Somnia’s work.

It will be a black background with white lined objects or white silhouettes, because that will make it possible to get enough work done to make the idea come alive within the time restraints. Also I want to do something in an abstract style that I did with my last few interactive project which mainly only used shapes and lines and patterns to build up the object’s form. Perhaps like the art style of James Jean.

In this project I’ll also focus on more randomization of different “flowers” that will bloom randomly on the journey of Air Tree. It is used to surprise the audience but also used as a reward for the audience. These “flowers” can also be interacting with hands. They are like toys hanging from the tree. They play sounds and behave differently when you touch it. Some may swing. Some may pop. Some may spin. Refer to “Game space metaphors” (Laurie Taylor). This Air Tree should be like a garden. During the Labyrinths linear play style, there should also be some freedom to the audience to explore. Like those “flowers” should be the maze like small puzzles. After you solve the puzzle the reward will be beautiful particles and spark around the air tree. So maybe the sense of progress will be stronger. I also intend to put the 4 season in the journey of growth to make the experience more engaging and less repetitive. At the same time, I believe the transition between seasons to season will also heighten the sense of progression too.


The sounds used in this project will be soft and quiet. And I will cooperate with a sound student for both music and Foley.  The ambient sounds will be echo-y like it is sound originating from within a wide open space. At the same time, the melody should give the impression that you are floating in space to highlight the theme – Air, which also builds up a stronger sense of the setting. Also the sound will always have long pulse randomly in between each set of chords to make it unpredictable as the Air Tree will bloom and blossom randomly. And those “flowers” will sound different according to their size and shape e.g. small flowers will have higher pitched music. However, it won’t be a long and full-on melody. It should be simple and match perfectly to overlap the ambient sounds.

What I find also beautiful about firework is they only last for a short amount of time. Every explosion of each firework feels special and memorable which bring us to the embedded message behind the project. A message centred on ones ability to influence their nature, however an inability to fully control it. The Air Tree will slowly die in the end. The only influence you have is how fast it will die depending on how much “air” you gave it. We just have to accept the fact and learn to let go and enjoy the moments in time when it was alive. Plus, watching something get old and crumble is part of the beauty of life. And that is the message I want to send to my audience.

So the plan of Air Tree is to let you to discover and enjoy the journey of growing the tree up to the sky by doing simple simple gesture and treasuring every moment of it.

Other similar Project references:
Puppet Parade

Night Bright

Funky Forest

tweetpositive project

Nervous Structure

Monday, 7 May 2012

Space + Environment

Space and environment is one of my favourite element in film or interactive project or game. Without a good environment is like food without a tasty flavour. It is the key to bring a story alive, is by creating a great world.  A stunning space and environment can easily engage me into the story.  A good environment will not only be pretty but also help to set the mood to heighten the character and situation. A good environment will also tell an embedded story itself.

Bioshock did a great job by using environment to capture the setting of the story.
The design and outlook of the environment are not only pretty and well thought. They use poster, sculpture and video projector skilfully to shape the setting of the world without using any long and clumsy or too much dialogue.  It tell us about some key characters, the style, the time.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Form + Image

A Kaleidoscope is one of the best examples of interactive form and image that I have enjoyed so far. The whole visual experience is created by simple colours and shapes contained within its scope and they create stunning patterns and forms. They can be quite abstract and their abstraction catches people’s eye and makes them wonder what it is they are actually looking at. The audience just needs to simply rotate the scope and the beautiful patterns will start dancing in front of their eyes.

I really enjoy the continual transition from pattern to pattern, it is just gorgeous. And now technology is more advanced, I am constantly shocked by how amazing the generative animations are getting these days. It is amazing seeing the structures generated by autonomous systems such as 3d fractal patterns creating something so beautiful and complex that it puts one almost in a trance. Just the simple idea of all of the little patterns and details which would take someone forever to reproduce can be created on the spot is amazing. This generative art style has lots of potential in the future of visual interactions.

 I know there are a lot of people who have already experimented or based work on these ideas but I still can’t imagine how amazing the results could be if we grew virtual trees which were not only an animated 3d mesh, but by generative fractals and each time you grow the tree, it will look different. I believe this “autonomous systems” will be a golden opportunity for the future sandbox games, because it can give more randomness to the environment. And I believe that this is something that sandbox could really improve on – to make environmental changes in more of a situational sense rather than a spacial sense, e.g. seasons or weather (Like moss growing in the city when it has rained too much).  

Nevertheless, after seeing all this cool autonomous system visuals, I started to feel excited but also a bit scared of its potential. It is like when artist first see the Photoshop. What if autonomous systems can also generate high quality rigged characters and creature blueprints with random gender, skin textures, hairstyle and fashion? Does it mean we won’t have a need for any more 3D artists? Or I am just worrying too much, and autonomous systems can never take the place of an artist and they are merely a tool to save time.