February 11th-15th, 2019:

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

DSN 6400 (DAIM Graduate Studio):


This week began the first week of our new 5 week project. I have attached below what I put in my Phase I planning:

Phase I Proposal:


Summary of your Thesis Thread and its Purpose:

○ How to Design (Direct) for Emotive Qualities of Performance Capture and Actors within a Narrative Composition

Description of a proposed (scaled 5 week) prototype and explanation of its relationship to Thread: ○ For Phase I of our project proposals, I will focus on the technical problems my side of the thesis project has been having, or those issues that haven’t been given enough attention – the emotive states of the bodies and facial features of Lucille Bridges and the Government Official within the car scene. I have a lot of motion capture data to work with, clean up, and polish for proper staging, fluidity, and purpose. By this I mean, right now those (digital) characters are not performing in the style I am aiming for. Compared to the original capture and footage of the live performance, and mirrored into the digital performance, it can be pushed for more emotion, better body language, and period acting. I need to spend time working in MotionBuilder and Maya to tweak both body motion and facial motion, given that these characters have very different performance styles.


Lucille Bridges: woman; silent; primarily focusing on body language; back seat placement

What should they elicit for the viewer?

○ A source of recognition in silence, uncomfortableness, fear, and confusion. Lucille’s body language performance is almost stoic, but can be interpreted in different fashions to different viewers. The performance should construct poise but underneath be read as unknowing.


Government official: male; lots of voice acting; primarily focusing on facial emotions; front seat placement

What should they elicit for the viewer?

○ A source of recognition in firmness, worry, and intensity. The Government Official is there to conduct order both verbally and in his assured body language. The performance should construct a composed, deliberate order of authority.


I also want to conduct research in some of the case studies I’ve listed below. Researching and analyzing the design choices in performance for these VR projects will help influence my own path in this project. So setting aside time for that study will be helpful.


WEEK 01: 2/12 + 2/14

○ Lucille Bridges: body design; posture; uncomfortable

○ Case Study Research Analysis : I Am Man

WEEK 02: 2/19 + 2/21

○ Lucille Bridges: body design; posture; uncomfortable

○ Case Study Research Analysis : 1000 Cut Journey

WEEK 03: 2/26 + 2/28

○ Government Official: body design; posture; intensity; authoritative

○ Case Study Research Analysis : Rosa Parks

WEEK 04: 03/05 + 03/07

○ Government Official: body design; posture; intensity; authoritative

○ Case Study Research Analysis : Carne y Arena

SPRING BREAK: 03/09 - 03/17

WEEK 05: 03/19 + 03/21

○ Prototyping/Testing Data

○ Case Study Research Analysis : Project Syria

Approach:


Unfortunately I was out on Tuesday (2/12), so I know that I am a bit behind on this work, but I approached Thursday with organization of where I needed to begin with Lucille Bridges' character. I have a lot of data that I have captured since starting this project and it has appeared in many places - so I knew first I needed to get organized. I created a Thesis Folder specifically for this project at OSU, and then dived deeper into that in organizing by scenes and assets.




Choices Made:


The scene that I am focusing on for this week deals with Lucille Bridges - so that is the car scene. Within that folder, I found the data specifically of her without any character on it, and wanted to see what that looked like in MotionBuilder and Shogun.




From here, I have been working on reading the body of it. What is my actress Lillian doing? Is her speed too quick? Is her posture 'period' like? Do I want her continuously looking at the 'user'? Or would I rather her seem more fidgety? Fearful? It's with these questions in mine that I begin to tweak the data. I'm hoping next week I can post a side by side video of the pre-cleanup and post-cleanup work to see if my peers notice a difference in the expressive body language of the data.


Next Steps:


My next steps include continuing on Lucille Bridge's character. I have my schedule laid out so that she gets 2/5 of the weeks devoted to her character. I know next week, I can push the work on her body a bit more to get an uneasy feeling, but she can't vocalize it - so that message must come through her body. The user might feel inclined to look at only her for the duration of the car ride - so her expressive gestural actions must read correctly.


WEEK 02: 2/19 + 2/21

○ Lucille Bridges: body design; posture; uncomfortable

○ Case Study Research Analysis : 1000 Cut Journey

ACCAD 5194.01 (Performance and Narrative in VR):


Today in class, we discussed the articles for our third Short Paper covering the topic of VR in Skill Training with Avatars. Reading these articles along with watching these (disturbing yet knowledgeable) videos got me thinking about two things. First – how to design for VR (the very big question we have been discussing in class). And two – what it’s like not just creating something for peoples’ interests, but for their bodily functions and occupations. It’s literally about getting them moving. I know that sounds obvious, but I was thinking in terms of comparing it to a film. When one creates a film, there is typically some sort of indication of who the primary audience is. You design for said audience, and have them watch your decision making with passive participation. But with VR, the entirety is about getting some sort of motion, not matter how bit or small, involved. With the autism project, the job training for UPS, military, medical students, even KFC – the creation is specific to the participants’ livelihood, but as a designer, we could swap out those training tasks with different narratives and similarly get the same result. And even audiences can be changed, but still be impactful. Have we created stereotypes in VR yet I guess is what I’m mainly questioning from these articles. Or is this medium so new and in development, that we haven’t found our cliques within the projects, rather everything is still mind blowing and fascinating to us. My head jumped around a lot with these. I’d really enjoy doing the VR football experience with STRIVR, or see what the school shooting experience is like. And it isn’t because I’m super into the genre of sports or the danger of dramatic tragedy – but because it’s still fascinating to me as a user and designer.


VR Training Next Generation of Workers

Exceptionally Social: Design of an Avatar-Mediated Interactive Ssytem for Promoting Social Skills in Children with Autism

Teach Live

Transcending the Self in Immersive Virtual Reality





After the in class discussion on these, we proceeded to go into the Motion Lab where a couple of different stations were set up, to introduce those to who may not have know about our resources and projects, about motion capture and virtual reality. We had the "Sharpie" marker tutorial for showcasing MotionBuilder and particle effects with props. We had the Larry character to showcase Puppeteering a multi-segmented prop within a motion capture system. And then we also demonstrated the Cyborg project and the Marcel Marceau project, to give the newcomers an opportunity to see what it's like working with pre-recorded Avatars and embracing the same spacial area as them.

FILM 7001 (Feminist Film Theory):


This week's topic was over how Valentino changed the game as the star stud of Hollywood during the 20s. We read the two articles linked below, and also watched him in The Son of the Sheik from 1926. Our in-depth class discussion focused on how these two articles viewed him through historical and cultural lenses, both with male and female spectatorship of the time.

Miriam Hansen - Pleasure, Ambivalence, Identification: Valentino and Female Spectatorship

Gaylyn Studlar - Discourse of Gender and Ethnicity: The Construction and De(con)struction of Rudolph Valentino as Other



GRA (Graduate Research Assistant):


During this week's GRA research, I finished up Gloria's poses and blendshapes for her emotions. I needed to make blendshapes for these final 3 so that they would be able to transfer into Unity and then be blended together to create even more poses.


I did this be duplicating those four poses (extreme pain, pain, worry, and panic) and then just referencing them as targets to the original mesh for blendshapes. The video is attached below showcasing this.



I also helped Vita this week with the Dementia project. Because some actions in the scene are changing, locations of the furniture within the Unity project are no longer correct - specifically the chairs and table in the kitchen. We now have the user facing the window, rather than having their back towards the window. So Jeremy, Vita, and I all worked within the scene using Orion and the Vive to try and replace the locations of the objects in the kitchen.


We also did a few run-throughs with Alex and Dan so that Dan can get placement and timing of the script down a bit more. This is something that will be practiced every Wednesday at this point.

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