Thursday, November 29, 2007

who the heck needs a title or "Change means nothing when nothing wants to change" *

Today when I awoke I was drowning in black bile before even noticing that the sun was out.

I also wonder how far away I came from the ideas I had in the first place.

Anyway to avoid too much thinking I do a post and show some more pics.

Here you can see an experiment projecting onto a corner. It wasn't that amazing. Furthermore it carries with it the appearance of something like a nice designer lamp thing. I could imagine it working on big scale. But mostly I have to think of using it as a kind of fish tank or something. Could be nice as an interactive piece maybe. With strange creatures coming closer towards the “wall” once you come closer to it, or something like that.

Also I tried to project into a kind of half pipe. Mhm, you get around the problem with the sharp corner and you get a slight feeling of depth. It probably would work good on a large scale. Like a whole wall/room. But as you might recognize if you pay attention to the lines. They are kind of wiggly.

* “A wish for wings that work” by Poison The Well

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

more tests and more nothing

Fuck! I just can't believe that it's already 10 days since my last posting.

And what do I have received? Nothing!

Still trying to trick the eye. You can't really get elements to be appearing in space when they're just projected onto a wall. Our brain seems to smart. However I came pretty close and if it's dark enough the angles right and you do some other tricks maybe it could look like magic.

But all in all I'm pretty fed up with the testing by now. I would like to set it up somewhere and start creating. Knowing that I will not have to change the position of the projector again and so on.

Whatever you guys hate reading all this abstract, wannabe emo shit, I know. So here are some vids and pics.

In this you can see, that I actually lined up the shape in the projection according to two real strings that I put up.

Next thing is a projection onto a black blanket. I wanted to see if for one thing the black suits more and if a blanket would soften the corner edge. The video is a bad joke.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

the depth of disappointment or the rise of histrionic

I tried to figure out if the ring would actually look like its flying to the foreground. I distorted the way the ring would appear when flying in front of the cube. I added a car two to see if it would look a little bit as if it would roll on the second shape.

Here's the original file:

and here's the projection:

I tried out if a smaller shape would decrease the non illusion of depth. Also the wall and the shape should have similar colours.

Maybe I should rename the title of my work to “In search of depth. A never starting journey.”

What I wonder is, why I always loose the interest in things so fast. Even if they really kicked me in the first instance. It always happens that, as soon as the first experiments don't turn out the way I imagined I loose motivation in continuing. Of course that's what happens all the time, but shouldn't you usually, even if something doesn't work, still have the will/passion to go on? It makes me wonder how much I'm convinced/positive about my own ideas.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Some more tests

I did some more tests. But I really should stop now. There is no way to achieve the kind of depth I want. As long as you project onto a surface, it will always look that flat no matter how good you design. So there has to be another way. Time is running very fast and I still can't decide.

Anyway, here are a view videos of the testing.

First is an animation projected onto a corner and then manually distorted in the right manner. There is a certain oddity about the way the projector works. It basically lines the lower edge of the projection up with the bottom of the lens. I would have thought, that the lens would be in one line with the middle of the projection. Thats why, when projecting onto the corner, just the upper edge gets stretched. (you cant' see it here, because I distorted it so it isn't showing up) Oh, by the way the video actually looks kind of better then the real projection.

Another funny thing is, that our eyes seem to readjust slightly. The video you see above is adjusted to what I saw/felt is straight. This video below is distorted so the upper edge looks straight in for the camera.

Another thing I wanted to test was using two projections, that basically, project onto one screen/gauze from opposite sides. I also was wondering, if you could project onto a monitor/flatscreen to create the illusion of a second layer. Hard one to explain, so I let it be. I'm pretty sure I'm already confusing you a lot. Well, here's the result. The ring was projected (you can see how dirty my screen is).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Of course not. But I really feel like. Over the last days I have been trying out projections again. I used the already built scene and simplified it again. Meaning I threw out the animations and placed lines on the wall. I was pretty sure I could get the right angle by measuring everything. Well, I didn't. The projector and the camera within AE is working differently. At least not the way I thought.

I first started by projecting from the front. The lines did kind of fit though. But because of the floor plate the projection was cut of. It's logical and seems silly to not think it would. The important thing in this case was, to see, if the beamer is adjusted the same way like the camera in AE is and how it would look. - It didn't look at all.

Next step was to put the beamer up and start projecting from a diagonal direction.

I measured everything again and applied it to the coordinates within the software. Don't have to tell you that it wasn't right.

The distance turned out kind of funny. The model was far so far away.

Mhm, now that I did a screenshot to show you, I realized that it actually might as well be correct. There was a large error in my reasoning. I had so much during the last days of experimenting.

Well, I got it kind of nearly right, tried out a test with the graphic/animated version. And figured out this doesn't work well. I realized, that it gets distorted in a specific way. Something Jr. Prof. Ben Sassen was explaining to me a view times and I understood. But I didn't realize till yesterday or so. Alright, so I thought about trying to inverse it. By this I mean to digitally project the video on the inversed model/scene. (in the picture: 1. side view 2. camera view 3. cam view video projected)

It didn't work either.

The distortion of the projection is fairly complicated. Of course with a fixed position of the projector and the model/scene, you could adjust everything and probably create a good illusion of depth and space. But what if you want to present it in a different location, were you have to set up things differently? But trying to achieve automation for the projection or in other words making it work everywhere means dealing with complicated math and whatever.

Whatever, I think I will step back from this topic for a while. Maybe start to think of more simple ways of achieving depth and creating beautiful visual experiences. Most important rethink if continuing with this will support what I want to express. Or if it could be done better differently.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Some research on related works.

This post is to show you some works that I found during research. That can be that they use techniques I want to adapt and/or enhance or that they have similar themes or topics. Maybe I just think they're nice.

Let's start with a video of a work shown at the ars electronica. This one projects a video/animation of the digitally recreated model onto the actual model, creating in association with the sound an interesting experience of space.

Augmented sculpture from saar on Vimeo.

Second one is interesting and beautiful. He created fairly basic animations/motion graphics, to enhance an old traditional shadow theatre. What I like about this work is, that it is not as abstarct as the augmented sculpture and a lot of the media art projection works you see.

Check out Takashi's Seasons website and the video of the piece.

Another work shown at the ars electronica. Phantasm is, besides the way too much seen adaption of butterflies in graphics, beautiful and simple. The set up is not to complicated. They used a layer of half transparent fabric, so the projection goes through and is projected not only on this layer, but also on the wall behind the person. This creates a quite impressive depth. They find a good way to use a light to track the motion of the person. Because if you hover the light the butterflies disappear. I really like it because it is kind of simple and simply works. Even though, just one person at a time can use it, it can be seen from all people. Although they used a light for the motion tracking it is well integrated. It's good and everyone loves butterflies don't you?

Phantasm from saar on Vimeo.

Some things I did

Some things I did

It's already been a while since my last posting. Shame on me! I mean, one main reason for setting up this blog was, to have a tool to keep records of what I've been doing. So by now it must look like I don't do much at all. Which might be partly true, due to small crises of doubts and decisions. But still I do much more then this blog is reflecting.

I really have to document the progress much more. It will help me later on, because I have to hand in a kind of documentation along with the final work. Another thing is, that it shows me that I actually did things when I feel blue thinking I didn't achieve anything at all. I don't have to mention that it works the other way around, too.

Anyway, enough of boring you, let's get to the point.

I basically build a very simple model, that I want to experiment with by projecting onto it.

Then I rebuild the scene by using related distances and measurements (millimeters equal pixels). After that I filled it with graphic shapes and some basic animations.

At last there was the part of projecting it again onto the model. Which did not work at all. I could by no means find the right angle to fit the projection properly. And I can't tell by now if it is because it was a too extreme angle or because the camera within After Effects (Software) differs in the way it captures the scene from the way the projector lens projects it onto the model. I have to take several steps back and start with a really simple video/still from the scene. Where I will use simple marks on the model, to see how they fit and distort when being projected.