Stop Motion // “Nonsense”

For our stop motion assignment, Nico and I were inspired by a few of Nico’s toys, including a pair of elephants, toy cars, a soccer ball, and penny.  The elephants reminded of us of Ionesco’s absurdist play, “Rhinoceros” and we decided to roll with the randomness of these objects to create tension between the elephants and their surroundings.

We used Dragonframe to shoot 2 frames at a time and used a green cloth as their set and chose a colorful sky to comp in as the background to match the surreal, whimsical feeling we were going for.  Because our process was entirely about playing and having fun, the story came to life as we improvised with the objects.  We took a few risks, including the pink string at the end, which was hard to control frame by frame, but to our pleasant surprise, we thought it turned out great! The toy vehicles also made a great deal of noise, so we got a zoom recorder and recorded them for sound effects and found a track inspired by elephants on freesound.org.

Overall we had the best time working on this, and it was really cool to experience the process of having to wait to see the final product develop at the end. In a way, it felt like we had a ton of control frame by frame but also a total lack of control in the overall outcome, as this was our first try and we couldn’t quite anticipate how it would all turn out.

Here’s our film below:

Fab // Cat Tags

I made cat tags for my laser cutting assignment because never got around to getting tags for Uni & Schnitzel and I wanted to try etching. I also made them for 2 other cats I know.

Using the laser cutter was really intimidating and I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I love the look of clear acrylic so I’m happy I now know how. It took more tries than I thought it might. My first one was wayyy too big, and when I made them smaller, the etching was really faint, even though I ran it at least 3 or 4 times and lowered the speed:

So someone suggested I use the 75 watt laser cutter to get better results. I only had to run it through twice for it to cut through smoothly and engrave deeper:

I printed 2 sets so I could do one version with the sharpie / dry erase trick to make the etching stand out more. I thought I’d prefer the clear ones, but I think the sharpie version is cuter. I’ll probably end up making more as gifts!

SPHERE

For my final P-Comp / ICM project, I want to create a physical, interactive 360 video experience.

I love this weird transition that we’re at – the trends of building towards immersive virtual experiences, meanwhile the hardware is clunky, awkward, not easy to operate, and generally not sexy.  There is so much we don’t know yet about our new storytelling tools, and I want to explore what might be out there.

The idea is to use 2, possibly 3 projectors to map 360 video onto a giant round hanging lantern, where the viewer sticks her head instead while seated on a chair. There is a tiny camera mounted within, which is used to detect when the viewer blinks – a “long blink” (eyes closed for a second or more) triggers an edit, by either cutting to a different scene, or flipping the projected 360 video upside down.  There is a physical controller as well, with a “play”, “pause”, and “rewind” button, reminiscent of VCRs.

There are a lot of components involved, but I’ll be using OpenCV for blink detection, Arduino for the “VCR” controls, and MadMapper for projecting:

I tested out the projection with a smaller lantern and the effect is exactly what I hoped for, the video looks grainy and nostalgic in some way. This is the view from inside the sphere:

http://alpha.editor.p5js.org/mai/sketches/r1GZG_Ikz

https://alpha.editor.p5js.org/mai/sketches/rkdV0swkM


 

Fab // Cat Toys x5

Since I had all this yarn left over from my last project, and all these cats at home, I made some cat toys to make up for all the time I don’t spend at home with the cats. Here’s what I started out with:

I found some scrapped wood in the trash, fuzzy fabric, and foam (I was hell bent on scavenging this week). I started by cutting and sanding the vertical parts of the wood into 5 rods:

I then started wrapping the yarn around the one end of the rods- I really wanted to avoid using glue or chemicals of any kind for the safety of the kitties, so I had to find ways to wrap the yarn around itself to keep it secure on the rod:

Knowing the cats’ preferences, I picked out the fuzziest fabric I could find in the “free fabric” bin, and cut them into square pieces, to wrap around foam, which I cut into round pieces. I poked a hole through both to pass the string though and tie the string around itself, again, to avoid using glue.

They’re not the prettiest, but I’m pretty happy with them 🙂

and my user-testing session was a huge success!!


Fab // Flashlighty Magic Box

Here’s my process of making my flashlightbox:

I came across this pile of yarn on the junk shelf:

I felt the need to do something with this, but went down to Canal street for further inspiration, where I found a pink battery-powered LED string light and pink-ish shiny translucent thin plastic sheets:

So armed with pink stuff, I thought about what I could do with these materials and remembered a hanging lamp that I bought from the MoMA store made of similar material, which came unassembled with instructions on how to put it together with pre-cut paper:

I love the look of this and the light it emits, and the concept of folding material together without any adhesives or hardware. So I decided I’d attempt to channel my childhood origami skills to make a box filled with light.

I started by testing it out on printing paper:

I wasn’t sure how the sizing would work between the top and bottom boxes, but I took started with a slightly smaller sheet of square paper for the bottom box, which worked well, so I replicated this for the actual and started folding:

The two boxes ended up fitting pretty well, and I managed to incorporate the pink string to tie it all together. I do wish there were a more elegant solution to turning the light on and off (I have to open the box now to get to it). I also wish the folds on the inside held better, since I prefer to stick the concept of not using adhesives. But all in all, it turned out better than expected.