For our first week of 2D Visual Design, we analyzed a design of our choosing. I explored one of my favorite websites, Airbnb.
For our final video project, our group (which included my wonderful ITP colleagues Myriam Melki and Wajma Mohseni) decided to do a weird, abstract piece about a girl and her seemingly troubled relationship with a guy. No spoilers, I’ll just let you see it for yourself (and lessons learned are down below):
Producing a well-shot, edited and cohesive video proved harder than I expected (but we had a lot of fun doing it!). Some lessons learned:
- Start with a cohesive story, and then make it weird, not the other way around. We started weird and tried to add a story, and that was challenging. That said, we’re all pretty happy with the final outcome (and how strange our piece ended up being).
- Lighting and camerawork are damn important! I felt this was an area we really cared about, and therefore, excelled. Also, the 5D MarkII can make anything and everything look incredible.
- Editing can be tricky with different people doing it (all of whom are somewhat newbies). I do think the editing process probably is better with just 1-2 people operating alone (not necessarily at the computer together). “Too many cooks in the kitchen” type of thing.
- Setting up scenes took much longer than I expected. Poor actors :/
- Dialogue is really tough unless the actors are really good.
- Video is fun! The 5D MarkII is fun! Adobe Premiere is fun! ITP Sound & Video is fun! All around, we had a great time. Thanks to our fearless leader and instructor, Gabe.
As blogged about earlier, in our ITP Applications presentation, my group had the idea to make an interactive photo-mosaic that would represent the ITP class of 2014 (see what we actually did here: www.itp2014.com). Unfortunately, it turns out that there really isn’t any existing software that can easily create an interactive photomosaic (lots of software can be used to make a photomosaic, but there isn’t one that allows for interactive elements).
So, why not build a tool that can do it?
Over a couple of weeks, I put together a program that can easily create interactive digital photomosaics. When the user clicks, they enter “Explore Mode” which allows them to hover on each photomosaic cell to learn more about that cell (in my photomosaics, this represents people).
I created a photomosaic for both of the communities that make up my life right now: Learn It Live and ITP 2014 (NOTE: these mosaics are created in Processing, which runs much better on the computer (not in the browser). However, you can use Safari for best results).
Here’s what the photomosaics looks like:
Learn It Live Expert Community
Learn It Live Expert Community in Explore Mode
ITP2014 Student Community
ITP2014 Student Community in Explore Mode
In our first semester of ITP, everyone from the incoming class takes just 1 class where we’re all together in the same room: Applications. Each week, a different leader from the interactive tech community comes in to give a talk (we’ve heard from Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley (an ITP alum), Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, Baratunde Thurston, among many others). The following week, two groups of students create an interactive presentation/experience based on the speaker’s talk. In true ITP fashion, the presentations are way more impressive and “out there” than anything you’d see in any other classroom.
My Applications group had the opportunity to respond to Lillie Chen, an ITP alum and general manager of Microsoft FUSE Labs, where she works on delivering new social, real-time, and media-rich experiences. Lillie spoke at great lengths about the promises and challenges of creating genuine social experiences online.
In response, our group (myself, Vitor Freire, and Christina Polcari) wanted to design a unique in-class social experience that could bring the class closer together while also leaving them with something special after the experience was over. We all agreed that one of the most annoying aspects of meeting a new group of people is the small talk and superficial identities we exchange (“I am so and so and I do such and such”). We believe that these superficial labels are not who we really are, and perhaps more importantly, we also believe most people hate this process of superficial exchange. Moreover, these superficial identity labels tend to follow us online. Look at any Twitter or LinkedIn profile, and you’ll see the same old superficial bio that conforms to societal standards, but doesn’t really tell you about who that person really is.
We designed an experience to challenge this form of superficial identity creation. What if, instead of writing your own conformist online identity, a community of your peers wrote it for you through genuine shared experiences. To do this, we had the class work in small groups to go through a range of fun activities (everything from coming up with your own unique handshake to teaching your partner something fun in 90 seconds). At the end of each activity, your partner would write down 1 new sentence about you.
At the end of the 20 minutes, each person had a unique, community-created bio that came out of the activities. We then had them enter their “bios” at a Website we created (note: they had NO idea what we were doing the entire time, so they didn’t actually know it was a bio that was being written).
See the end result at www.itp2014.com. Every unique bio you see is written by the itp2014 community based on shared social experiences. We believe it is a more genuine identity, and the class seemed to have a lot of fun creating it together.
For our Pcomp midterm project, we have created a concept around improving the shared nutrition of a group. The working title is “Collectabite,” and it seeks to make a community more aware of healthy eating habits and shared nutritional intake. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage a community to eat better. We will publicly display the group’s fruit and vegetable consumption in a shared community space. The process will be fun. We will use a visual display and a series of sounds to encourage an interactive process.
Preliminary Bill of Materials:
- Wood (for carnival idea)
- Paint (for carnival idea)
- Balls Material (felt, fake fruit, etc. for carnival idea)
- Cylinder (for carnival idea)
- Buttons (for button idea)
- Giant Stuffed Fruit (for high five idea)
- LEDs (for physical meter idea)
- Screen (for digital meter idea)
- Speaker (for sound interaction)
- Oct 22nd – Present Concept
- Oct 29th – Playtest user interaction
- Nov 5th – Build input system, begin mapping to meter
- Nov 12th – Finish input system, finish meter system
In our recent Applications presentation, my group had the idea to make an interactive photo-mosaic that would represent the ITP class of 2014 (see what we actually did here: www.itp2014.com). Unfortunately, it turns out that there really isn’t any existing software that can easily create an interactive photomosaic (lots of software can be used to make a photomosaic, but there isn’t one that allows for interactive elements).
So, why not build a tool that can do it?
I started tinkering and my first version can be found here (warning, the JS implementation is a bit heavy on the browser): http://itp.nyu.edu/~sjs663/ICM/week5/
This is a photomosaic of Learn It Live’s expert community (plug: Learn It Live is a company I co-founded. We connect people to experts online.).
However, it still needs some tinkering and I am trying to work through a few challenges:
- I still need to add the interactive components. The idea is that when you click on an individiual “cell” (an expert), you will get some dynamic information about that cell (i.e. the expert).
- Right now, I am simply overlaying the expert images over a background image (and making the expert images transparent). However, what I WANT to do is to not even show the background image, but instead tint the expert images based on the background image (the mosaic image). However, figuring out how to isolate the area on the mosaic canvas of which I need to find the pixel information for is somewhat tricky. Yes, this is confusing to describe.
- I would also like a more random look to the expert image cells. Right now, it is coming in a noticeable pattern. I’d prefer more randomness or noise. I am going to explore doing this through code modifications and adding more images.
For my Week3 PCOMP lab, I ran a servo motor with my Arduino.
After getting the basic lab working, I decided to “supe” up my Indian auto-rickshaw with some hydraulics (no joke, during my time living in India, it always felt like the rickshaws had hydraulics anyways, and not in a good way).
This was my inspiration:
This was my attempt (the motor came free near the end):
I wrote the below before realizing my circuit wasn’t connected to ground on the micro-controller. An hour of my time lost, but a learning experience
Sam’s Silly (incorrect) Note:
I had an issue where the mapping was very irregular (it would give a different value each time).
The block of code that I fiddled with was:
int analogValue = analogRead(A0); // read the analog input
Serial.println(analogValue); // print it
// if your sensor’s range is less than 0 to 1023, you’ll need to
// modify the map() function to use the values you discovered:
int servoAngle = map(analogValue, 0, 1023, 0, 179);
The issue I faced was that, sometimes it would print 1023, but after I added the servoMotor code, it would change to 735 (but nothing changed about analog input).
Actually, it just wasn’t connected to ground on the microcontroller.