What's New?

A group project to produce 360 content on the theme of new technologies in the creative industries.
For this project I am part of the "content" team, and will also be helping write copy.

We started a blog to collect ideas.

The ideas we are going with are:

  • head-tracking using the Wii remote
  • motion capture technology for animation
  • 3D fashion design and prototyping software

which gives us a theme for the documentary: "3D"

Stuff I did for this project …

Research into OpenGrid

The full article I wrote can be found on the project blog, here
As part of my research, I set up my own OpenSim …
This was my first attempt at Machinima, using Frapps. There's a lot wrong with it - no soundtrack to speak of, and the onscreen text chat is too small to read. It's also overly long and boring, but for a first attempt I was quite pleased with it.

Other Research

Wii Hacking …

A simple, but brilliant idea, and it's a shame we didn't get time to research this more thoroughly - we were going to have a go at this ourselves. I am not sure how it would have fitted in with "creative industry" as it's much more of a DIY thing. We had planned to have an area on the website for things to try at home (hacks, basically), and this would have fitted in there well. The guy who did this, Johnny Chung Lee, has a really interesting website and is very generous with his knowledge. Although Wii hacking doesn't directly relate to my main project, this is something I would like to "have a play" with at some point, time permitting.

Motion Capture

While looking into this, I found a place called Inition, which would have been a great place for us to visit and do interviews if we hadn't run out of time. They have offices in London with a demo suite for potential customers, where you can see a range of different MoCap technologies in action, including Organic Motion, the world's first commercial markerless motion capture system - that's right, no suit or markers to worry about! In adition to MoCap, Inition also do a full range of 3D and VR technologies.

Greenscreen Footage

To go on the greenscreen, behind the presenter, I put together this montage of content with a "stock footage" feel. This is made from a mixture of Second Life machinima (made using Fraps), panning shots across still images and screen recordings (made using CamStudio) of a demo version of Optitex Runway Designer, software that does similar things to Lectra Modaris 3D Fit. I used Adobe Premier to edit this, just because I happen to have a copy.

In addition to the above, I also wrote the Website Copy

Learning Log Summary

The first thing I did for this project was help Shane set up a blog, which he had not done before. While not ideal – not everybody looked at the blog regularly, and the linear format made it difficult to arrange and collaborate on material, this was a major communication tool throughout the project.

As part of the Content team, I researched OpenGrids, which, even though the idea was not taken up, was a good learning experience: I set up an OpenSim on my computer and took my first steps in machinima. Both of these are things I will use again, perhaps even as part of my main project.

I helped Alex and Cloudia film the studio segments and I made a video montage for the greenscreen footage. This was a mixture of Second Life machinima, panning shots across still images and screen recordings of a demo version of software similar to that featured in our documentary.

Lastly, I provided written copy for the website – a short article on fashion design software, a “quick facts” section on the same theme, and some text for the “About Us” section. I found the article challenging to write without it sounding like an advert for Modaris, as this was the only software we had much information on. I also helped Helen and M.J. with the written parts of their interaction ideas pages.

The problems with this project were mostly down to poor organisation. Individual teams worked independently, and we found it a challenge bringing together the disparate pieces into a coherent whole. We should have determined a workflow plan and timeline at the start of the project, and an overall vision for the style and tone. It was unfortunate that we lost so many people to the Barcelona competition, which led to us scaling down the amount of content we researched and developed. The choice to use Silverlight, a new and unfamiliar technology, meant that it was difficult for the rest of us to help out the web team when the deadline was approaching.

In spite of the problems, I found the project a good learning experience in terms of skills and collaborative working practices.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License