Week 3 – Story Elements

These assignments are kind of brilliant challenges in bringing theory to practice… and it’s driving me nuts. There are two different brain-skills (it’s a technical term) that I am using each week: 1) developing concepts of what story is and can be and how experiential technologies can aid in the production and dissemination of narrative experiences; and 2) how to find visual representations within a very simplified context of those concepts (also a third which is making code work the way I want it to). It reminds me of the Rules by Sister Corita Kent, a document I return to frequently. Specifically Rule 8:

“Don’t try to create and analyse at the same time. They are different processes.”

As I’m approaching these assignments, I can’t help but feel a bit anxious that I’m not completing them correctly… How can I imagine the future of storytelling and create something now? How can I explain why I’m making the choices I make when I’m not even sure the reason? How can I express what I’m trying to express without understanding how to make the code work?

My usual process is to follow a thread that interests me and experiment and the meaning or connective tissue of whatever it is I’m building reveals itself to me over time. I am hoping that that combined with the texts we are reading and the concepts Dan is presenting us with are informing each other.

Now that the freak-out is over with…

Attempt #1: Adding elements to Google Street View Panorama

Assignment: Capture people and props for stories.Create foreground objects to include in last week’s setting. Use a capture tool for those elements, find a 3D Model in a Repository or make your own 3D model. 

Concept:

Mythical figures — and historical figures of mythic proportions — inhabit the a shifting land where earth, sky and water meet.

What I did:

  • Used Three.js to create planes and add images of the characters to those planes as materials
  • Positioned those planes within the panorama I created last week

What happened:

  • At first, both elements showed up, but were stacked on top of each other.
  • Then I tried to reposition them using element.position.set()but then la sirena disappeared.
  • At times, as I was toying with the numbers and the code, the elements would rotate so that the planes weren’t directly facing me.
  • Here is the code as it currently stands. A doofus

Questions about the code:

  • Why don’t the other DOM elements show up in my sketch when using street view?
  • Why when I click and drag the sketch do the foreground objects jump to the left?
  • Why can’t I get my sirena object to show up?
  • To what extent is the Google Street View API messing up the way this code is supposed to work?

Attempt #2: Adding myself to scenes

When I couldn’t troubleshoot my way out of the above quagmire, I tried a different approach. I used Dano’s code for green-screening oneself into a panorama scene using Kinectron.

I was able to get myself into the pre-set scene but I think I misunderstood what the “Start Record” and “Stop Record” buttons in the sketch meant because this is all I got:

I assume that this is meant to save whatever was happening in the scene at that point in time so it could be remixed later.

I then tried to add myself to a video of some of my brethren. I uncommented the video part of the code, added the video file to the project folder and added its location to the sketch, and I couldn’t get it to work. Here’s the code as it currently stands.

Questions about the code:

  • How do I get the video to show up?

Playing with Kinectron

Here is some documentation of me at least successfully running the Kinectron sketch examples from the note:

Mary in the Kinectron

powers!

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