This week’s meeting programme meeting was used to form groups out of the class, relating to those who were not researching their own topic of study through visualisation. So in the meatime, I contnued to update my own programme of study, changing a few details concerning the original aspects of what I thought was going to be group project into an individual one.
This week also saw the completion of the seond task for Research Skills and Methods – this concerned the writing of an abstract for the Research question, which has now been introduced as, ‘Can music be visualised in 3D accurately for the purposes of entertainment and education?’. This is the working title at the moment and will no doubt change as it progresses. The general idea is to use the studies existing within Cymatics and its extended research to attempt to create a 3D version of what currently is a 2D medium. Music has been visualised through the use of Chladni plates since the late 1700’s by striking a violin bow across a brass plate to create striking patterns, and more recently through the medium of water in a clearer fashion.
No-one has yet breached the problem of creating this accurately in 3D in water or air, and I expect that it will be a difficult task to do. However, the focus here is to create a visual piece of art that hopefully will include as much scientifically accurate data as possible.
Wednesday 30th October
Todat saw the return of Mark Grindle for story writing part 2. So to remind us, there are three important elements: Todat saw the return of Mark Grindle for story writing part 2. So to remind us, there are three important elements:
- Power: of the storyteller (over the audience); the power struggle between the protagonist and the antagonist (in an archetypal way)
- Desire: what does this person need?; You can let the audience know but not the character; it’s important to establish the intent of the character, perhaps in the first act!
- Destiny: for example, marketing campaigns will use the ‘if you don’t do this, then this will happen…’ type of scenario to persuade people to buy something; on the other hand, there is also the sense that at the end of the story, the characters do not end there, that they continue in some way, unseen but imagined.
A useful tip: go and see a film and watch it like you normally would to enjoy it. Then, at a later time, go back again, but this time watch the audience and see where and what they react to. This is a very useful, if expensive way, to map a story and the way reactions can be mapped out emotionally or otherwise.
Another useful tool in storywriting is to create or characterise your ideal end user. I have produced user profiles in the past for the design of things like websites, so the process is a similar one. For example, ask yourself questions like: Another useful tool in storywriting is to create or characterise your ideal end user. I have produced user profiles in the past for the design of things like websites, so the process is a similar one. For example, ask yourself questions like:
- Who is your end user?
- It might be a paying/non paying public?
- What are the attributes and attitudes of the ideal audience member?
- Why would anyone want to go and see your work?
- Would it make their life better?
These questions can relate to more than one person of course. So, here below, is the result of my brief investigation into the character profile of someone who might be interested in seeing an animated film concerning the visualisation of music in 3D:
Synesthesia (Temporary title!)
Character profile: Character profile:
- Age Range – 12-65
- Interests – music, visual effects, movies, science fact/fiction, mathematics/geometry, ancient history/Egyptology, physics, art, astronomy, evolution, meditation, altered states of mind, therapy, meteorology, crystals, commercial/marketing companies
- Why would it make a difference to anyone?
- Provide a sense of wonder/mystery about the world.
- Hint at the inter connectedness of everything from the largest star to the smallest atomic structure. The idea of micro/macro scale.
- Answer questions that people have had concerning what music actually is.
- Provide hope to those who want to believe in a life beyond what can be seen.
- From a science point of view, it could further research into subjects like geology and astronomy – anything to do with vibrational effects
- Acoustical designers could use this as a tool for the internal exhibition spaces/concert halls/recording studios
- Could influence product designers into the creation of machines that could do this for public use and/or recreation
- It can ultimately just be a purely entertaining visual piece, perhaps provoke discussion afterwards
Ultimately, the end user is a thinker, intelligent, artistic or appreciative of art and is searching for answers to the universe!
The overall effect of these exercises has prompted alternative approaches to the problem of creating a narrative for my film. For example, by using the music as a character, I could use a theme as a basis for the narrative: Alienation to Integration could work in terms of representing a musical phrase played on the bass being in its own pool of water; a drum beat could be in another – both of these are separate and looking for integration with one another. So, by pouring the two pools of water in one larger one, the resulting movement of the combined sounds now can be represented visually and sonically through the idea of Cymatics and the soundtrack.
In general, however, the story requires more thought, while some 3D tests in Maya using dynamics will inform the process and development of the idea.
Thursday 31st October
Research Skills and Methods today looked at research methods in creative disciplines in more detail: What the techniques employed are; what you use to gather and analyse the information; and the ways in which you order your thoughts, ideas and actions.
A methodology on the other hand can be regarded as a structure or framework within which you contextualise the methods. A full list of the methods discussed will be made available on the VLE shortly.
In addition, the final assignment was handed out today. This is the creation of a research poster, which involves graphical and textual information covering all areas of your research. It should be thought of as an ‘ad campaign’ for my research.
Friday 1st November
The 3D lab today was taken by Phil, and concerned an introduction to Mudbox, a sculpting and texturing tool used in combination and integration with Maya. There are some basic models or primitives that can be used as starting points, for example, a head, a lizard, a car, cow etc, or cube and simple plane. Meshes created in Maya can be exported as obj files and then imported into Mudbox and vice versa very quickly. We used a head simple head mesh as a testing ground for the tools. The amount of subdivisions used need to be made aware of, typically the more divisions the greater the detail, but it can cause latency issues or crash the computer when bringing back into Maya. It was suggested that around 3 or 4 subdivisions in general would suffice.
Task – to be included in this blog, a character created from the basic lesson today of any description. So, whatever my character will look like will appear in next weeks blog!
In addition, this week I have begun a new series of lessons relating to Fluid Containers in Maya dynamics. Fluid containers come in 2D and 3D versions. The first set of lessons concerned themselves mainly with familiarising myself with the several attributes and how 2D containers work.
The resolution of containers is measured in voxels, and even 2D containers have a z depth but it basically stretches one unit of resolution on that axis if you use a 2D container.
- When playing back a basic container/emitter scenario, press 6 to view the shaded version rather than the particle version.
- Where the emitter is positioned affects the way the fluid fills the container
- The containers resolution also affects the quality of the speed of the simulation – for example, 10 x 10 voxels is fast but it looks poor. 100 x 100 looks good but is slow. The default is 40 x 40.
- If you wish to view the voxels, change Boundary draw attribute to Full.
- It’s advisable to use the Size attribute rather than scaling the container as this will stretch the proportions again.
- If any of the boundaries (X or Y) are set to ‘None’ then the fluid will drift out of the container at that boundary and not be seen.
- NB – the wrapping option repeats the fluid pattern fro the bottom (when it gets to the top) which is very useful for tileable textures. (fluidshape tab)
Using Height Fields
This is a great way to preview displacement maps – by creating a 2D container/emitter, and setting the z depth to 10, turn on the ‘use height field’ check box. It seems hard to see at first!
- Go to the shading attribute and change transparency to black – removes the transparency!
- In the color attribute, create a gradient from black to white
- Change color input to density
This can be useful for previewing a displacement map, for boiling water for example, before rendering it.
Content Methods of the Fluid Shape Node
(We can use the shelf buttons to create the containers as an alternative way of introducing them.) So, these are the main attributes used to control much of what controls the fluid shape node.
- Density – this is what I just previewed. Options are: Static – even system throughout or can paint in the density; Dynamic – emitter or paint tool then let the simulator work it out; Gradient.
- Velocity – when turned off it means no movement, as though the fluid is only born; can set to gradient, then choose the axis for the direction of travel
- Temperature – the heat/spark (we shall discuss this in a later lesson)
- Fuel – needed to feed the spark
- All of the above options have the same options
- Color Method – use shading color is the default setting; Dynamic grid – can set up 1 colour fading into another!
So, select the emitter – fluid attribute. Check the emit fluid color box, choose a yellow colour (example). Now add another emitter and choose red. The result when played mixes the 2 colours as it’s a dynamic grid.
(Falloff method – static grid – you can paint in areas that will only be rendered, but we’ll discuss this later!)