Thursday, 27 March 2014

Garden Layout Finalised

As I take my footage into photoshop to work on top of and figure out where things work best before tracking and placing it all in maya I decided I needed to pick from the possible layouts/area plans I had drawn up last week. I felt this was needed to give me the push and confidence to experiment with object placements otherwise I'm just starting from a blank canvas with no idea where to stop. I have picked the layout/areas below out of all of the ones I designed because I felt it had an end point with the shady area. These tourists have been on an experience journeying through the garden until they reach an area which everyone enjoys when they go away somewhere. Somewhere to rest and enjoy the atmosphere. I thought this was appropriate after the area of noise machines because it allows them to take it in properly.

I also think this zig-zag layout with triangles being the basis is a good fit for a Futurist layout. It has no symmetry, instead it is completely asymmetrical and hectic which I think fits Futurism and it's chaos!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Footage Order

I've begun working out which order my footage will play in based on what Phil suggested I do. Acting as if I was a tourist exploring the garden I have categorized my selected pieces of footage under beginning, middle and end. I haven't yet decided which goes first in each category but it's a start! It has also enabled me to see how long each section looks to be. For example, I know that the end category has way too much footage so I will have to decide which to cut.

Animation- Roughly 2 minutes long.


Footage 1 (16 secs)
Footage 2 (30 secs) -Maybe combine parts of footage 1 & 2
Footage 4 (28 secs)

1 min, 14 secs.


Footage 5 (22 secs)
Footage 21 (19 secs)
Footage 22 (10 secs)
Footage 23 (13 secs)

1 min, 4 secs.


Footage 9 (40 secs) -need to pick section.
Footage 11 (14 secs with cut)
Footage 16 (30 secs with cut)
Footage 17 (18 secs)
Footage 18 (21 secs)
Footage 19 (22 secs)

2 mins, 25 secs.

Definitely need to cut some footage out as this is way too long!!

Finalizing Sculptures

Before I experiment with the placement of my garden components in my footage I wanted to narrow down my sculptures to the ones I am going to carry forward.
After I had done this I started allocating them to the 'sections' of the garden.

Picked Sculptures

From Thumbnails (2) - Sculptures 1, 4, 7
From Thumbnails (3) - Sculptures 3, 4
From Thumbnails (4) - Sculpture 5
From Thumbnails (5) - Sculptures 1, 2, 3
From Thumbnails (6) - Sculptures 2, 3
From Thumbnails (7) - Sculpture 3
From Thumbnails (8) - Sculpture 3
From Thumbnails (9) - Sculptures 2, 3
From Thumbnails (10) - Sculptures 2, 3

Possible Central (main focus) Sculptures

From Thumbnails (6) - Sculpture 2
From Thumbnails (8) - Sculpture 3
From Thumbnails (10) - Sculptures 2 or 3

Noise Machines/ Sculptures

From Thumbnails (2) - Sculpture 1
From Thumbnails (3) - Sculptures 1, 4
From Thumbnails (4) - Sculpture 5
From Thumbnails (5) - Sculptures 1, 2, 3
From Thumbnails (6) - Sculpture 3
From Thumbnails (7) - Sculpture 3
From Thumbnails (9) - Sculpture 2

Interactive Sculptures

From Thumbnails (2) - Sculptures 5, 7
From Thumbnails (3) - Sculpture 2
From Thumbnails (6) - Sculpture 3
From Thumbnails (8) - Sculpture 2
From Thumbnails (9) - Sculpture 3

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Footage Narrowed Down

Having 25 pieces of footage was just too much so considering the garden sections I had created in the previous post I have narrowed 25 down to 12 pieces of footage that I could work with. Below are the ones I picked.

(Cut to 0-28 secs)

(Cut to 18-35 secs)

(Cut to 0-15 secs)

I have also kept footage 3, 6 and 12 as alternative options in case I find that some of these pieces are not working very well.

Garden Segments/Areas

In order to plan where to place my garden objects in relation to my footage I have divided the courtyard into sections for different garden activities, something gardens are normally broken up into.

For my Futurists' garden there are to be 5 key areas...
  • A Main Focus
  • A Very Energetic and Noisy Area
  • A Sculptural Area
  • An Interactive Area
  • An Eating, Shaded Area
Using these 5 areas I had to plan where each went, gardens have journeys of  a beginning, middle and end, and anticipation, tension and release are key points to the journey's feelings. These ideas have led to me placing the areas in particular places in the courtyard.

Collection of Stabilized Footage

All of my footage is now stabilized to get rid of any camera shake that was created from the handheld camera work. I have 25 different pieces of footage to pick from for my animation and being that the animation is to be between 1 and a half to 2 minutes I will need to cut down the amount of footage to the ones which seem most suitable for my work.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Adjusting Footage

Before I can use my footage for tracking or experimenting with layouts on top of it was important to see how it looked. Having checked my footage after filming I knew the camera shake from filming handheld footage needed to be adjusted and I had this big imperfection over the footage which could not be seen on the screen of the video camera but on the computer which by then was too late to try and get rid of.

Yesterday Jordan and I looked at fixing the camera shake which was pretty successful. However, the imperfection and the quality of the footage still seemed to be an issue until Phil reminded me that the actual imperfection and low quality will add to the truth of the Futurist's garden being there. So hooray for a happy accident!

Here is the original footage.

This is the footage with the warp stabilizer effect applied to it, it has really tidied up the camera shake.

Jordan did try to get rid of the imperfection on the camera using some masks and blur effects but this just seemed to lower the quality of the footage further. Here is the result of it though.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Lights Variations

Thinking about displays of lights in my garden I thought it would be useful to work out ways they could work, especially in relation to those which could be kinetic alongside plain ones. I created a little coded chart of different variations of lights that could possibly fit into my garden.

Garden Lights Thumbnails

These are my thumbnail ideas for possible lights for my Futurist's garden. They range from small easily placed ones, free standing tall ones to wall and hanging variations.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Plant Raised Bed Thumbnails

To add height and interest to my garden I have designed some raised flower beds. These can't be just regular cuboids or circles, they need to have diagonals and movement to them.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Plant Pot Thumbnails

I've been working on some thumbnails for other parts of the garden now that the sculptures are getting there. Plant pots are key for those plants which are more like little flowers than trees or those which will be hung up in pots like hanging baskets. It would be great to hear opinions on what designs people think are working best.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Somerset House Photographs for HDR

As well as filming footage I needed to take some photographs of the chrome ball for HDR. I ended up taking 7 images which changed depending on the exposure. The settings for the exposure were perfect to work out what I needed for 7 images because there was a medium at 0 and 3 below and above so I adjusted the settings to have each image land on these numbers.

Medium (0) at 800 exposure.

Lowest (-3) at 80 exposure.

Mid-low (-2) at 200 exposure.

High-low (-1) at 400 exposure.

Low-high (1) at 2000 exposure.

Mid-high (2) at 3200 exposure.

Highest (3) at 4000 exposure.

Somerset House Filming

Last Wednesday I went up to London to film the Edmond J. Safra Courtyard at Somerset House, dragging Shan and an assortment of equipment which I'm sure fellow communtors thought I was barking mad carrying to and fro. Before I get into Wednesday's happenings I must send a BIG thank you to Shan for helping me get the equipment through 4 sets of journeys and helping me set up and pack up!

Like everything filming did not go without some hitch. A stubborn camera dolly not wanting to go where I wanted it to and not staying on the material I had taken to stop it bumping up and down on the stone floor meant that I had to resort to handheld camera work for the majority of filming. I have got a few bits of footage done though some zooming in/out on the tripod as well, but I'm sure there is enough to chop together from the 20mins of footage I did capture. The only other problems were a couple of blasts of strong wind which knocked over my pole markers for some of the footage and the increase of people and pigeons entering the courtyard as time got on. Apart from that I really enjoyed myself :)

Here are some photographs of my set up in the courtyard which I could also use to 'place' my garden in for some final stills.

Final Lot of Sculpture Tests

Got a bit of a backlog of posts to put up so here is the first one. I completed these  final few tests I for my sculptures before I went off to film so now I can decide which to carry forward.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Filming Prep

Today was the day I set aside to gather up all of the equipment I needed to get outside of uni for tracking. My tripod dolly came today and I took a trip down to Wickes to get some suitable poles and squares to help with tracking as well as a pot of white paint and a tape measure.

I did look for some wet clay in town as Phil had suggested to use this to keep the thin poles standing up straight but I didn't manage to find any so I'll be looking in the uni shop for some on Monday.

I took some pictures of the equipment I got today and what I did to the poles and squares.

If you're wondering what the tissue box is there for, I punched some holes out of it with a pencil and pushed the rods through to the middle, I then used some disposable cups to balance one end of the rods on. The tissue box is helping the rods keep off the newspaper allowing me to paint all the way around them without the risk of them drying on the paper and it getting stuck to them. I just have the little tips of the rods on the cups to paint now but once the rest is dry I can move the cups down a bit.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Kinetic Sculpture Tests 4

Kinetic Sculpture Tests 3

Sculpture Deformer Experiments

There was one sculpture that I didn't want to lose from the next batch of tests because it had the Futurist sounds, shape and movement but on paper it didn't seem real world enough, looking like it wasn't stable and would fall over. So after blocking in a base shape I had a play with deformers to change it a bit. The results were definitely more realistic sculptures which could be on the large or small scale. I particularly liked number 5 which follows those spiral wind spinner illusions you get but because I don't want it to be the same as what already exists I thought about how the spinning movement could impact something else. My drawing on top of it represents balls swinging around which could hit ceramics and making a nice ringing noise.

Numbers 3 and 4 could even be joined up to make one big changing scale ballcoaster!

Monday, 3 March 2014

More Kinetic Sculpture Tests

Here are some more tests on other sculture designs I did. It is great to see something I didn't expect come out of some of them such as sculpture 5 which when it moves looks like all the parts move towards each other.

I've also included the first two of my tests but closer up and on a better quality playblast so they are easier to see.