Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Interactive Architecture Brainstorm

Interactive Architecture
I preferred the room with the delayed mirror because I thought it was interesting how it wouldn’t immediately play back your actions. To be completely honest, I didn’t understand what the other two rooms did at all. To me, it seemed like you just were supposed to talk to this machine that would show you completely random pictures and at the end you pulled the levers on a different machine with light up faces. I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of it, so the delayed mirror was my favourite. I think it would especially be cool to see what other people did in the mirror before you like an odd movie. It was unique because you would be standing in the exact same spot as they were when they did those actions.

I think that the giant LED screen could be considered a piece of interactive architecture because it temporarily transports the viewer to new world by surrounding them with visuals as they walk. They could feel like they were walking underneath a spaceship or as if they were underwater or on a mountaintop depending on the visual projected onto the LED screen.

This is a piece of art because it is a very modern and conceptual way to create the impression of being underwater. It is essentially representing the ocean through the medium of lights on ropes. It would take a lot of coordination, creativity, and work to create this piece of art.


a.      I think that the less-used stairs next to the cafeteria could benefit from coming alive. Not many people use those stairs, but if they did it would mean less traffic on the main stairs and less crowding in the east wing hallways.
b.      This space could be brought to life through the use of colours and sounds. When you go up the stairs, each step would light up in the pattern of your shoe print that would fade away after a few seconds. Depending on the speed of the person going up the stairs, the lights would be different colours. Green would be for a good pace and red would be if they were going very quickly. If you went up the stairs at a good pace, each step would play a note so by the time you had gotten to the top you would have played a song.
c.      The message of this is to slow down and enjoy life more. Today everything is so fast paced and you can get lost in trying to do everything faster and more efficiently. The song would be like a reward for taking the time to relax a little. It creates a conversation with the user because it responds to their movements, rewarding them for taking the time to ‘smell the roses’ and relax versus frantically rushing everywhere. It would be especially important for teenagers because it would, in a way, encourage them to be on time everywhere so they don’t have to rush.
d.      The viewer can interact with this piece of art simply by walking up the stairs. The stairs would respond to the speed of their movement.

Monday, 10 December 2012

One World Flag Reflection

Shawna P.
One World Flag
Adobe Photoshop
December 10, 2012

***Update November 17, 2015 ***
To people wondering if they can use my flag (or an overlay of it etc) on their Facebook or other media: I'm honoured that you like my work and want to use it. You're welcome to use it wherever you like, though credit and/or a link back here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much!

I found a lovely vector image of the world that was absolutely MASSIVE so I scaled it down and used the background eraser tool to take out the white background, leaving me with just the land. I scaled that to my liking and coloured it green, because green is the universal colour for earth and environment, so it wouldn’t be particular to any one colour. I crossed white lines across the screen diagonally, horizontally, and vertically, then combined them into a single layer and used the twirl option in the distort menu to twist it left, then right on another layer. I duplicated the layer again and twirled it less this time, forming a sort of web around the world. Next I found vector art of men and women and children to surround the world like paper doll cutouts. I had to add arms to the little boy and girl, which I just cut out from the parents and made smaller to add on.

I knew that I wanted to use circles in my art, and also convey that all people were connected. Thus I put the world inside a circle and had people surround it, holding hands in a circle. I hadn’t planned on using the web around the earth, however, that was a happy accident when I decided to fiddle with the twirl option. I quite liked the effects, so I altered it to my liking.

I didn’t have any particular influences on this project. I haven’t really seen any other renditions of a ‘world flag’, so any similarities to existing world flags are coincidental.

I balanced the composition rather symmetrically, except for the world in the centre. This is because most actual country flags that I observed were very simple and symmetrical. I drew attention to the map of the world in the centre by having all of the outside lines connect to it and weave around it like an interconnecting web. The bold black of the people surrounding the world is the next thing you notice, and because it’s in a circle it draws your attention around the ring and back to the centre, where the world is. I wanted the world to be the focus because this is a world flag and every country is shown within it.

I wanted to see if I could create a professional-looking flag with very minimal pictures and texture, and I think that I succeeded. Most of our Media Arts assignments focus on blending pictures and putting it all together so that it makes the viewer think, but this assignment was more of a challenge because it had to be direct and simple, yet still interesting. It was a challenge I gladly took up.

Critical Assessment
I was very happy with how the web behind the world turned out. Because I created it by just experimenting, it made me very happy and was a nice surprise to have it look so nice. It worked for the picture as a whole because it represented how everything was interconnected in a web.
I originally had the background as white and the outline of my circle surrounding the earth in black, but by changing the background to blue and everything else to white, I was surprised by how much things popped. Suddenly the whole picture was much more eye-catching and appealing through a simple change of colour.
I would have liked to come up with a better colour for the people surrounding the earth, since I think that perhaps the black is too bold and should be toned down slightly. I originally had tried colouring each person a different shade of grey to represent how everyone is unique and no one is simply black and white, but the resulting effect was not what I had wanted so I discarded it in favour for the black.

Monday, 3 December 2012

One World Flag Brainstorm

Do a Google search of World Flags.  How many colours does the average flag have?  What are some characteristics of flags?  (Ex. Solid colours, clean edges). 

2.  Brainstorm five words that make you think of world unity.  Beside each word, write the name of a picture that could represent the idea of world unity.

The average flag has red in it and some black and white, either as outlines to objects or as stripes, stars etc. Everything has clean edges and there are no gradients or merged colours. Each colour is distinct from those around it. Most of the shapes that they use are very simple, too, such as stars, moons, and triangles.

World Unity:
-All races
-Peace Symbol
-All the continents together
-Holding Hands
-Cycle (arrows in a circle) 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Artist Resume

Well, I do have my Artist Resume done, however, I don't particularly want to post it on the internet for all to see. So this is simply a post saying that if you happen to want to see it, just ask me, since I have it on my USB.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Interactive Architecture Reflection

Shawna P.
Interactive Architecture
Photoshop, camera, WavePad Sound Editor, iPod Touch, Flash (sort of), and Windows Movie Maker
November 28, 2012
I took forty or so pictures of Lisa walking up the stairs that I wanted to feature in my interactive architecture assignment. I edited each of them in Photoshop by adjusting the colour to eliminate the yellow hue and to remove Lisa from the background. I made a glowing footprint in Photoshop using tutorials that I had found online that involved using a gradient map and gaussian blur. I distorted each footprint to make it appear to be on the staircase behind Lisa.
I also recorded sounds with my iPod from my piano that I could play while Lisa went up the stairs, then edited them to get rid of any background noise in WavePad Sound Editor.
I decided to animate the stairs so that they would light up when someone walked on them and play a note, eventually playing a tune by the time you got to the top.
Of course, this would have been much easier if I could have just gotten Flash to work. Instead, it decided to crash on me so I had to put it together in Movie Maker, and the sounds do not match up as I intended. I would have liked a button at the beginning so that you could click on it and watch Lisa go up the stairs quickly (‘Too Fast") and another button where she went up at the right pace ("Perfect Speed").
I once went to a ballet in Toronto where they had frosted glass stairs. As you climbed them, you could look above you and you’d see the shoeprints of the people climbing the stairs above you. That encouraged me to animate something similar, only this time the shoeprint would linger on the stairs and light up.
Lisa’s footprints are the main focus of the animation because they light up. The sound enhances this effect because each time she puts her foot down, the shoeprint lights up and a note plays. This is the main piece, the part that makes it interactive, so I want it to be the focus. Its colours differ from that of their surroundings, making them stand out. They also fade as time goes on, and because they are always moving they capture your attention.
I always thought that it would be neat to have light up stairs, and this was a way to test my photoshopping abilities to make something light up in a real-world setting. I had to use a few filters and brushes and feathering to achieve the effect I wanted, as well as altering online tutorials to my needs, which helped me learn more about making objects glow. I want to use this technique in future pieces, so I wanted to include it in my interactive architecture so I could learn how to do it.
Critical Assessment
The animation runs smoothly and does actually seem like she is going up a set of stairs, which is what I wanted. I was surprised with how well the glowing footprints looked, and how well they turned out when I was saving the pictures of them because I slowly reduced the transparency with each picture and the effect turned out better than I had originally imagined.
Of course, I was upset that Flash would not work for me and would have greatly preferred to put it together in there. However, with the resources I had, I am glad that I was able to produce a solid animation that ran smoothly. If I had additional time, I might have changed the ‘slow’ footprints to green instead of yellow to better introduce the fact that it is the ‘perfect’ speed.

Sunday, 18 November 2012


a.       Yes, the navigations are easy to read, understand, and click. In the main screen, the menu is very visible and it is clear which button takes you where. In each screen, I will have clear buttons to return you to the home page, and what each button does is obviously labeled. Although I want the visitor to enjoy looking through my portfolio, I don’t want them to get frustrated when they can’t get where they want. I also have used readable fonts so the visitor won’t have trouble reading the information.
b.      I will always have my menu displayed at the top of each page. When the menu is not incorporated into the artwork, it will be in the top right corner every time. The page you are currently on will be highlighted in the menu or otherwise emphasized so the user is aware of which page they are on and which ones they can ‘jump’ to. This will make it easy to get to each screen.
c.       On my pages, the text will always contrast enough to be clearly legible. If the background is too busy for the text, a square will appear behind the text so that it is still visible. While the focus is on the text, animations will be fairly minimal so it’s not distracting. Animations will not run in front of the text while you read it so it is not blocked.
d.      This design is creative because I have put my own twist on things I love: video games! It is also creative because it includes animations (and if my knowledge of Flash becomes more extensive, interactive gameplay portions!). It will stand out because my interests are clearly displayed throughout my entire portfolio. My portfolio will be interesting to look through as well as informative, which will make it stand out from generic informative.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Sketch it Up

Menu page of my portfolio

What I'm modelling it after
For my portfolio, I want the first page to resemble that of the old Pokémon game battle screen. For this reason, I am using simplified drawings made up of visible pixels and a very clutter-less layout. From this page, you can select which section you would like to go to. The Idea Thief would move up and down and probably open and close its mouth a little, and the girl would throw the light bulb in her hand out onto the screen much like the boy throws the Pokéball in the actual video game.

In this, the mailboxes are like the ghosts and the envelope is like Pacman. The pieces of paper (letters) are like the large circles you can collect so the ghosts turn blue and you can eat them.

The Resume button would immediately take you to my resume, which would go to a relatively distraction-free screen with a background that is Pacman themed. It would have a movie clip showing a mailbox chasing a letter around the screen much in the same style of the actual game (I don't want to plagarize, however, which is why I'm changing it up a little).

Obviously I would only have one character on the screen at any given time, but I put the three on there to show that I have more animations for the character.

An example of a fact that may show up if you hit a mystery box.

"About Me" would take you to a Mario-themed page where I am the character being controlled. Preferably, I would really enjoy being able to make it controllable, i.e. you can make the character jump and hit the question mark boxes. Each question mark box would reveal a new fact about me. If not, I could have it play in stages, so when you clicked "next" the character would play as a movie clip and hit the question mark box to reveal a fact.

What I'm basing it off of ;)

"Portfolio" would take you to a screen similar to the Pokémon selection screen, only each 'Pokémon' would actually be a piece of art I did and clicking it would allow you to zoom in for a closer look.

The Artist Statement Screen

...which is based off of this.

Finally, "Artist Statement" would bring you to a Tetris-style screen with an animation showing different sentences and words coming down on each of the blocks and fitting together to create the entire artist statement. A solid base of blocks and words would already be in place so that not too many would have to fall down and be put into place.

The transitions from page to page will include 'vintage' transitions from old video games, mostly pixels blocking out sections of the portfolio and sometimes flashes of light and then pixellation.

Whew! That took a lot time to make, it's making me wonder how long it will take me to make the actual portfolio ...