WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:
Pitching a well-thought out proposal for our four-week project and completing the explainer video seized the time of this week.
Overall with the proposal, I pitched the Ruby-Bridges motion capture and virtual reality scenario that Abby Ayers and I conjured up. I went into explanation of what the project would involve, the mechanics necessary, and what questions/skills we still need to learn. But, I approached the proposal with the idea in mind of long-term goals rather than realistic, attainable four-week goals (for now), but it will benefit me in the long run to start thinking about where we want to take this project once it’s on its feet.
I need to focus our idea to a more manageable goals, such as the ones Abby addressed:
Recreating scenes from these books and placing students in a position to explore at their own pace
Interacting with elements through the scene for further information and clarity,
Provide another medium for students to understand their readings
These are in association with my desire to renew an already told story in a new medium, give the audience a change to explore on their own time, and have interaction.
After talking with Maria, I need to revise my initial concept, and get into a more specific need for this semester rather than a broad range of hopes and dreams for the project. She also suggested that we use our peers and other students of our own range to play-test first due to the logistics of working and studying with children.
So this week/weekend I will continue to rewrite where my proposal is at, confer with Abby, and solidify a set plan.
With the process of the explainer video, I recorded a version on Monday evening with video and sound, rather than just voice over, to get a feel for the look that I wanted in the end product. And due to the length of my script, and my lack of memorizing it, it showed in the video that I was very much reading rather than speaking to an audience, so I knew it needed to be recorded. But this laid the foundation and future aesthetic for where my video was headed. So on Tuesday in class, I re-recorded myself, having looked over my lines at this point. This was more successful in depict me as a professional artist who wanted to share her story with a connected feel to the video.
I then began cutting pieces together and overlaying my artwork over the pauses and detailed parts, hoping to finish it by the end of the week to review for next week.
My approach had me thinking over:
What are the specifics of these four weeks?
What do I want to learn? What do I want others to learn?
What do I need to learn in order to carry this out?
What are manageable mechanics?
For me? (Mocap related)
For Abby? (VR related)
What research do I still need to conduct?
What is the schedule for Abby and I?
Do we want real actors?
Moving forward with the pitch proposal, I want to revise it and then go over it with both Maria and Abby so that we are all on the same page moving forward.
What layovers do I have of video?
What layovers do I need to do of work/words/visuals?
Are the requirements being met? (Resolution/sound/etc.)
Tying up this video will round off the weekend, just making sure that it meets all of the necessary elements and gives the information necessary to show who I am as an animator.
WHO WAS INVOLVED IN MY RESEARCH FINDINGS:
Given that Abby is my partner on the proposal project, she and I have been working together to figure out our specific needs per each portion of our project, both as a pair and as individuals. We will be moving forward to figure out the final proposal though.
Maria has also guided us in a more manageable way of handling these four weeks for a prototype. She’s sent us articles and inspirations, but also informed of us what we can and cannot do. So right now we are still in the early stages of even finalizing a concept, so after that, there will be more to document on.
In regards to the Explainer Video, Kevin and Bruce were in my team group, so they helped out in documentation and recording of getting things set up for the video/audio.
WHEN/WHERE I CONDUCTED ALL OF THIS:
When/Where: My time researching this was mainly in class, but I spent most of my time at ACCAD doing so, along with time during the weekends.
In relation to the choices I made for the week, I executed my proposal with more attention because I knew that it was the focus of this course. This was a choice of consideration towards which needed more time management and thought (the proposal vs. the explainer video) for the week. It showed me how broad I go though in explanation, and how I need to narrow down ideas, look at the capabilities and schedule, and proceed on a reasonable course of action.
I also made the choice to reshoot my explainer video for better quality and connectivity. I wanted to have a feeling of documentary and breaking the fourth wall to let the audience know that I care about what I am explaining, and want them to feel engaged in the video as if I am there presenting in front of them.
Maria gifted Abby and I three new articles of her own findings, a couple required readings for class, and proposal advice for our upcoming project which all have supported our research and findings thus far.
In addition to the readings from Maria, I have discussed with Vita on how to live stream from Motion Builder into Pegasus (aka the middle-man software) into Unity so that Abby and I can start the mechanics of the VR scenario and see how this scenario-play works in a way. We will need the assistance of Lakshika though to get the testing done.
I have also reached out to the Performing Arts department to see if there is any possibility of us collaborating in using some of their Theater majors to act out some of the scenes we want (mob scene from Ruby Bridges’ story), so still waiting to hear back from them.
LIKELY NEXT STEPS:
From here I would like to continue to do research on immersiveness within virtual reality and how experiencing a (mocap) performance within it can change the way people perceive stories. This is going to take work in reading more articles that deal with how kids learn, why they are learning what they are, if immersiveness is more likely to work on them as a target audience or not, along with many other technology and reaction related questions. Also this requires Abby and I to go out and discuss things with groups involved in whatever children’s story we choose along with getting permissions and grants to help grow this area of study.
I also want to gain more technical knowledge within Unity and streaming into it for motion capture and virtual reality. Those are the two primary mediums being used for the Ruby Bridges project we want to do, so I need to understand the software more to get it working in our prototype.
What was the most difficult thing about the work this week?
Trying to get down what I am trying to say in this project proposal has been the most difficult. I know what I wanted to say, but I think that I was trying too hard for the overall view rather than the simplified area.
What was the most satisfying thing about the work this week?
Getting the explainer video down is the most relieving thing this week because I will no longer have to listen to myself promote my work. I mean that in a good way, because it 1. Is hard to listen to the same thing over and over and try to tweak it and 2. I want to remain humble, and not start over analyzing my work