DSN 6400 (DAIM Graduate Studio):
This week in 6400, my head has been wrapped up in three areas:
1. Graduate Fellowship Application + CV development
2. Thesis to-dos and expectations
3. Phase I development
The first area, with the fellowship, is something I'm trying to give a lot of attention to because it would allow me to focus more on the other two areas. Norah came into the class to discuss where she thinks all of our projects would fit into the discovery theme framework, and gave feedback on what to include and not include in the grant. After her visit, I have a better understanding of where I need to change certain choices of my argument in the grant.
In the second area, the thesis to-dos and expectations - this portion I think got about 10x heavier this week. Abby and I had a thesis meeting with Vita, Maria, and Jeanine on Tuesday, and then another with Scott on Friday, in order to get all of our committee members on the same track of where Abby and I think we may be going with our thesis. At the end of the meetings, a lot of questions and new considerations arose:
○ Goal: When we meet for our meeting in April, have the experience set up so that each committee member can experience it
○ I am writing about the pipeline, the design process that I am going through. Break down my third bullet point into a diagram
○ IRB – What are you learning about yourself in each encounter? Each scene?
○ Tie your goals to the things you are doing
○ Why are you doing those tasks in relation to your goals
○ Tie your theories to your goals – answer why?
○ Testing – you both will need some kind of feedback
○ Are those goals working?
○ Write your goals in relation to these theories
○ What is it you are testing for?
○ What do we gain/lose in each of these steps; what do we need to control it; to modify it?
○ What are the challenges in the goals?
○ How do you prepare your user for their responsibilities?
○ Look at other work and do critical analysis - you can be the critical viewer – which needs to be part of the paper
○ Ask/reach out to the designers of the experiences we are studying/case studies
○ Projects to look at: CMA Back of the Bus
○ People within the community to look into: Hale Center v. MLK? Underground RR Museum? - Write about how their involvement influences your work
I created the diagrams that we discussed in my work above. The first diagram is for me to have a good flow-chart sense of where the vital parts of the design process are. I think there are 5 crucial points in combining these mediums and they need to go in this order to be successful. But within each of them, there are sub-points that need to be accomplished before moving onto the next one.
The second diagram showcases the wholeness of the mediums. The first layer begins with directing - giving the live actors direction on how I anticipate their performance for each scene. What emotions they should be enveloping. Where their staging needs to be. How to invoke more action in one portion and not the other. And I colored this to be blue so that it appears to be 100% live action data that is being directed via words and practice right now.
From there it goes into the second layer which is is performance capture - once they get into the motion capture suits. Here, the performance from live action into motion capture diminishes dramatically - it isn't a one to one relationship. But as you can see, this has had two changes - in quantity and color. The decrease shows that some of the performance has been lost in this layer. It isn't just the live human performing for an audience. They are more so just doing the scene regardless of audience. And the color change - being purple - indicated that there is still some 'blue' within the piece - the direction that I gave in the first layer is still present - but now with motion capture we are adding this new tool, altering the look of the performance.
Third layer - remapping. This layer is still purple because it still deals with using the main medium of motion capture to look at the data, just now onto an avatar character so that I can actually see the move process on a body. Seeing not just the bones, but also the mesh and skin of the subject adds a bit more substance to the piece.
Fourth layer - the animation overlay. Here is the big kahuna. This is where I really add the personal touch and design to the animation experience of the motion capture data. Because it isn't a one to one relationship of getting live action into motion capture data, there needs to be clean up and additive layers of animation to make the piece 'mine'. To make it work within the medium of animation and develop into a successful piece.
Fifth layer - This is where I see if the first four steps have worked. Does the VR platform showcase a functioning 360 degree landscape performance? This pushes the process into a heightened experience because of the 'immersion' factor and potential for emotional reactions of 'empathy', or even less dialed down ones.
The third area, the Phase I development, didn't receive as much of my attention this week due to the magnitude of the other two sections, which only means I am going to have to crank through a lot for Thursday's demo to the class on our progress. Updates to come.
Maria sent Abby and I a to-do list for the upcoming week on how we need to approach the steps taken for our thesis project to develop. Instructions included:
1. More clearly define the pipeline and intervention that happens from acting/directing to capture to cleaning and mapping to animation layering for expression
a. Include ""It certainly depends on the audience member here and who is looking at the data" research.
b. "It's just a matter of what is more important - cleaning the data and teaching myself that technical skill of pushing emotion, or trying to get as much authentic human out of the first take and tweak less later?
2. Make your weekly reviews of VR projects more critical - use more analysis of what you see and why you think it is the way it is. Reference your theory list to make your points.
3. Movement Reference https://www.youtube.com/user/endlessreference/videos
1. Define terms/vocabulary - actor, ?, ?
a. confirm you both have already done CITI training http://orrp.osu.edu/irb/training-requirements/citi
b. Write 5-10 (sample) questions that you want to ask museum content designers
c. Write 5-10 (sample) questions that you want to ask VR designers whose work you are reviewing
d. Devise a testing protocol, and get it ready for IRB approval. Plan to test at least once, but 2x is better. The goal of testing is to improve your work via feedback and iteration
2. Goals: define your goals for the project and for the platform (Abigail) or method (Tori)
3. Challenges: list the current challenges for each goal
4. Theoretical Framework: Explain how the theories you cite influence or impact the choices you make or the directions you take in your work
a. Include existing, exemplary VR projects as part of your theoretical framework
With these steps in mind, I plan to focus my attention on this design research and actually writing out what I am trying to articulate in my subject matter of the paper.
For Phase I, we have a review on Thursday to see process updates. I am going to try and create a video displaying the progress I have made on Lucille. It will have a side by side view of the live action, the unclean data, and then where I am at with the clean data.
ACCAD 5194.01 (Performance and Narrative in VR):
Class this week was a struggle. The first hour of it, Vita and I tested and tested trying to set up a demo for the dementia project to show the other students in the class. It kept giving us negative results, lagging data, loss of tracking, and streaking. So once we finally got even a portion of it to work, we tried showing it, and only got maybe 2 minutes through it before the headset went out. The Vive did not like working that day. Regardless, the students were able to get a sense of the feeling of what our final project is supposed to be like in terms of having a narrative and a live performer in the scene with the user. From here, we were to do a round robin like discussion of our initial narrative pitches.
I pitched my idea saying all I truly wanted to explore is haptics. Regardless of the narrative choice we all make, I wanted to figure out if some way we could incorporate either physical touch, smell, or even taste.
Some pitches were made and by the end of the discussion we somewhat formed teams based off of a PTSD narrative and a Ghost Story narrative. We only have about 4 weeks to work on it post spring break, so it causes a little bit of anxiety. This upcoming Monday though, we are going to refine these teams and these narratives, and set the true expectations for what this project is supposed to look like.
FILM 7001 (Feminist Film Theory):
- Screening: Imitation of Life (1934)
- Screening: Imitation of Life (1959)
- Reading: Heung, "What's the Matter with Sara Jane?"
- Reading: Petty, "Bill Robinson"
- Reading: Petty, "Louise Beavers and Fredi Washington"
- Discussion Questions:
Heung, “What’s the Matter with Sarah Jane?”
○ Pages 309-310, the final paragraph describes Annie’s working status and it’s lack of a definition. The final sentence of the paragraph is, “Thus, while neither scene clarifies what Anni’s true status is, both lead the audience to conclude that seeing Annie as a made would be an error.” So is viewing Annie as a maid/caretaker “wrong” morally or literally here? Or both? In regards to Heung’s specific point?
○ Page 312, Heung writes, “Such strategies in Imitation illustrate D.N. Rodowick’s point about the “ ‘eloquent silences’ of the domestic melodrama which map out the network of resistances in which its narratives fail.” Are these ‘eloquent silences’ like the ambiguities of the writings of Petty in our previous week’s reading? That there is stuff being written between the lines about melodrama in relation to the films we are watching, but its not directly stated?
○ Page 313-314, that final paragraph (beginning on 313 with “In discussing Imitation, and ending on 314 with forms of mass entertainment.) – Can we just go over this paragraph’s meaning and understanding of it in relation to the film? Break it down for me to comprehend a bit more?
Petty, “Bill Robinson”
○ Page 99, the first real paragraph begins with, “A dearth of pertinent primary source materials essentially means that a concrete, composite picture of the moviegoing practices of African American children remains elusive.” This paragraph continues to shed light on some of the challenges Petty encountered in her research of primary source material here. Is this practice common to include the challenges of the research in a section like this? (Asking in regards thesis/dissertation material/writing)
○ Through the discussion of identification with characters on screen, which physical trait do we think was second most important (following skin color) in relation to being ‘accepted’ – hair, gender, eye color, etc.? This question stems from some of the interviews involving spectators wanting curly hair like Shirley Temple, or blue eyes to appear whiter. (Referencing pages 110-111-ish).
GRA (Graduate Research Assistant):
This week, most of my GRA hours went towards the dementia project and testing for it. Vita and I tested both hardware and software, in preparation for our demo next week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
On Friday though, my hours were geared towards making a dope sheet for the MCIVR project with a video recording provided by Alex for me. Below are the dope sheets in reference to the frames and timing of the sound bite.