Thursday, September 27, 2007

Possible Physical Animations with 3 Levels of Difficulty

Here are three proposals for creating animations using physical sculptures ordered from easiest and most difficult.

1. A merry-go-round - relatively easy
I could take to bicycle wheels attached them together in parallel using bicycles spokes. I would mount D's wheels so they ran perpendicular to the ground like a merry-go-round and then create a series of galloping ponies attached to the spokes like merry-go-round ponies. using essentially the same software and electronics that I used for my previous piece I would be able to animate the ponies on the merry-go-round. In effect I would be able to create a miniature merry-go-round and have one of the horses come to life when it was spun. I believe this peaceful while simple would be elegant and a complete statement implying a story. I could make this project more difficult by adding a rider to the horse and by having me sensor which triggers the strobe also trigger appropriate music. I could also motorized the thing instead of having it you are powered.

2. The barrel - difficult
I have already taken to bicycle wheels and attacks them together with spokes to create a single spinning cylinder about the proportions of a small barrel. It is currently mounted parallel to the ground on a long pole. For reasons having to do with the internal workings of a bicycle wheel (their man to run at right angles to the ground) and the wobblines of its stand the cylinder doesn't rotate very well. That is to say what his hands on it slows down and stop turning to quickly. In order to remedy this I propose to build a new housing for the cylinder to allow it to rotate the more traditional fashion. I proposed to mount on the cylinder a series of three or more animations which can individually be set to loop a fixed number of times before moving to the next animation. Though the strobe mechanism for this project has already been created there remain many difficulties both technical and artistic. For instance it is not clear how to attach the animation securely or whether it makes sense to motorized the peace. I also lack a compelling story which lends itself to being told in this way.

3. The Animated Barrel Organ - very difficult
this piece requires essentially the same physical setup of the cylinder and strobes as the previous piece. The major increase in difficulty and complexity, is from the introduction of interactivity and sound. In this piece the viewer would be able to select which animated loop to flag via a series of switches or keys. Each animated loop with illustrate the production of some form of noise. Perhaps lips singing or a bird chirping. My hope would be to create a work of art which was both auditory and visually captivating and capable of being played like a musical instrument. Unfortunately the skills to program such device are currently beyond my abilities. I'm currently taking a course which relies heavily on Max Jiter and I'm hoping to acquire the skills which will make this peace possible. Whether I am actually capable of becoming sufficiently skilled in Max to do this is still an open question.

BONUS 4. The extended loop cylinder - most difficult
It strikes me that one could create a physical animation such that it spirals around a cylinder like a spring and that one could extend animation to whatever length one was capable of extending the cylinder upon which it was animated. The strobe light in this configuration would present a major difficulty as it would have to track with the animation. One would either have to have a single individual strobe for each animation, a single strobe limiting all the animation simultaneously, or a single strobe which would mechanically follow the animation and state timed to it. It is the latter solution which seems most practical and aesthetically pleasing. Before I could attempt to make this type of image engine I would have to engage in considerable research to figure out how to make the strobe light move while staying in sync with the sculptures animated on the cylinder.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Image Engine Development Studio Time line

Sep 6 to 20
Reconfigure wheel 1.0 for permanent display - 2 weeks
Change to large stool
Upgrade from 1 wat leds to 3 wat leds
Make dutiful stand

Sep 20 to Oct 11
Claymation Project 3 weeks
Week 1 shoot
Week 2 edit reshoot
Week 3 sound final edit & render

October 11 to 18 Preliminary Design and Assemblage of parts for New Image Engine 1 weeks

October 18 to November 1 Basic Assemblage (wheel goes round and round and is ready for animation and electronics placement) Programming Begins 2 weeks

November 1 to 29 Everything Put Together – 4 weeks
Electronics in place
Animation in place
Programming complete

November 29 to December 6 Debugging – 1 week