AR in Museums

I have three aspects to research in my self-negotiated project, one of them being investigating AR in Museums currently. This article by Shelley Mannion, Digital Learning Programmes Manager, The British Museum, entitled British Museum – Augmented Reality: Beyond the Hype is a great short piece that references other front runners testing and looking into AR in their museums.

Among the forerunners are the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam which used AR to install artworks in a local park (ARTours), and the San Francisco Exploratorium which turned an evening event into a surreal AR playground (Get Surreal). In 2011, the British Museum’s digital learning team embarked on a plan to explore AR’s potential in museum education. We ran a series of experimental projects that allowed us to push the boundaries of the technology and evaluate its benefits in learning programmes. Our experience confirmed that AR – although technically still immature – has both the unique ability to engage visitors and quantifiable learning outcomes. It is a useful tool in our arsenal of interpretive tools and techniques. (quoted from )

What I find interesting is that The British Museum has been testing their app called ‘passport to the afterlife’ since 2011, it is a trigger related trail with markers which will display 3D objects, and the museum itself provides the device for the visitors to use, so no-one is discriminated against for not having the right phone.

I think this is great, just what I want to see in our modern world, the ancient and long gone being brought to life, real time in our own hands with the aid of technology.

We can learn at our own pace, combining tech and tradition, I still want to go and see those dug up objects and an artists view of what it once was like, but imagine being able to look around it, zoom in and out and gather more information, relevant to your own needs, on a mobile device.

Bringing creatures back to life. Using animated 3D models to show what an extinct animal or plant would have looked like is another ideal use of AR. Holding your device over a skeleton or fossil to reveal an animated model answers an age-old interpretive challenge. The Natural History Museum in London uses this technique to populate a multimedia theatre with early humans, dinosaurs, fish and other animals in the interactive film Who do you think you really are? This is an expensive bespoke implementation with custom hardware, but these types of applications are increasingly easier and cheaper to realise.  (quoted from )


ASU4 submission – Moving Image and Sound MA – NUA

For my sound module I have tried to investigate the potential of audio to change the feelings of the viewer, to see if it is possible to alter the context/perception and interpretation of a single piece of visual footage just by generating alternative soundscapes.

I have created a short piece of film which I have produced two different soundtracks for. I have recorded various natural and mechanical sound bytes, capturing some of my own musical output and taken them into the sound suite to digitally alter, resample and re-record, thereby gathering the required starting points for my soundscapes.

I have looked at audio-visual phrasing, rhythm and acoustic expressions of emotional states to help understand what will make two differing musical designs. I have asked friends and family, what music alters their mood, and looked into how personal perception of music may also add to the interpretative process.


I am submitting one film, but with two soundtracks.

All of the sound was put on in post-production, no sound was taken from any of the video clips, in fact when I brought the video footage into Premiere I deleted the audio tracks completely before cutting the visuals together from a brief storyboard.

All of the sound was recorded using my Zoom H1, the live sound recording studio at College or the synthesiser midi keyboard. Some extra effects are from the digital sound libraries, but I tried to use as much of my own sound as was possible, all mixed in Logic Pro to produce two different soundtracks.

Below are a purple button and a red button, please choose one, watch the following film and then click the link to take the survey. This will inform me if my experiment into sound and emotion has been a successful one.




Red Video Experiment

After watching this video please click on the link below to feedback your thoughts on my video experiment.

Please use this survey monkey link to leave feedback

Many thanks.


Purple Video Experiment

After watching this video please click on the link below it to give your responses to my video experiment.

Please feedback on this survey monkey link:

Many Thanks


AV Analysis ASU4

‘Cirrus’ by Bonobo

Animation by Cyriak

This 3 minute video for the band Bonobo caught my attention a couple of months ago for it’s spectacularly clever use of repeating animation that grows and becomes a colossus by the end of the song.

It catches your attention at first for it’s simple rhythmic start, the old footage puts you into ‘fond memory’ mode, it’s sunny, the sky is blue, a boy is joyfully jumping on a trampoline, what could be more idyllic…

The style of the film cuts with the beat and we are then presented with some industrial footage and a domestic goddess of years gone by in her ultra (then) modern kitchen with it’s gadgets, this puts you in mind of those promotional videos that were used in the seventies to advertise ‘new towns’.

The pieces of footage are cleverly cut to reinforce and visually represent the beat of the song.

At this stage the sound elements are simple, a drumbeat, a wooden xylophone, what could be a muted cowbell, all with their own space in the score, again represented visually with individual unrepeated footage remaining in the same fifties advert style. This is further reinforced by the flickering black border and the centralisation of the film, giving you the feel of watching an 8mm home movie projected on the wall at home.

Then they add a dry snare or clap to the song filling in the spaces and the visuals pick up on this by taking the main element on screen, a girl jumping a bicycle, and repeat only her, over the original footage, precisely mirroring the audio tempo, adding onto the baseline of both the visual and the audio.

When this visual effect starts, it is an unexpected delight, having fun with the sound and picture, playing with time in both mediums, it’s a perfect marriage between the two. The fact that the song in itself is simple and melodic at this point, it’s like a short pause on the song so you can enjoy what’s happening on screen, if it were any more complex, it would totally overwhelm ones senses.

It makes me smile as the main character gets repeated visually, it is such a clever technique that the animator ‘Cyriak’ has perfected over the last ten or so years.

Then the song moves on again and the visual feast really starts…

Now we have elements of all of the different pieces of the footage all mixed up and interacting with each other, and as the song grows, so does the screen size.

The musical elements increase and the animations complexity just goes up and up and up as the animations then take on their own life and start to represent striding legs and enormous trees in a fantasy landscape that puts me in mind of Jan Svankmajer’s surreal environments, but also Escher’s optical illusions.

It is a phenomenal piece of audio visual work and it sticks in my memory because of it’s cleverness, the utter jaw-dropping content and attention to the details of the song. It works wonderfully together and I have never seen anything like it before.


I spent this morning editing and remixing my sound for piece 1 this morning, very pleased with the improved results, I could do with another group crit to ensure I haven’t gone over the top in fact, but I’m going to work on the other areas I need for my submission and re-listen to them freshly tomorrow, then I can re-evaluate the outcome.

Re-connected some of the sound effects that got lost for piece 2, and added in a lovely extra piece of my own recorded sound which works so well, I’m so pleased I took my recording equipment to an event over the weekend, it has made a big difference to the end result.

I just need to type up my piece review, make sure everything I want them to assess is in the right sound category on this blog and I think I’m all set.

I will spend tomorrow looking to create a self contained  player for my two pieces, but am not sure if I will get all of the functionality to work in the flash container as I have never used flash to get feedback from the content, but will give it a go as the whole point of this experiment was to see if I could flavour emotion just using  sound, over the same piece of video… Therefore getting the viewer to – unbeknownst to them – only see one version of the video, for only me to know which one and see a small piece of feedback for the overall feel of the piece.

Final Group Crit

In the final crit  it was great to see the others work and then get feedback on my own piece(s).

After working all morning on my 2nd sound piece watching them both back to back made me realise how much more I needed to do on my 1st piece as the 2nd was much more complete, I could still see areas for improvement, but as a base it was much closer to the finished article than piece 1.

The feedback was surprising and I totally agreed with most of it, a little too contrived in places – we are being told what to think in piece 2 whereas piece 1 is more left to the viewers imagination.

It also pointed out  some things about the way I had shot it and edited it that I hadn’t thought of, quite sharp edits, back and forth with my visuals and the sound followed the same feel, totally by accident, also something I hadn’t noticed was that all of the shots are static, no pans, no zooms, the movement comes from the sound and what is actually happening in the film, trees rushing by, the waves lapping, the girl moving in and out of shot and focus. But they are all as I wanted them to appear, from my first storyboard they were all straight cuts.

The other guys in the crit were quite kind about piece 2, dreamlike, delightful, all on the positive side of feeling, which is where it is aimed. Suzie had another question about my parameters, ie, would I consider using a tinted filter over the visual to give the piece a sunnier, warmer look? I know what she means.. the video was mostly shot on a very cold winters sunny day and looks cool, compared to the sound which is warming –  I’m not going to do this – but picks up on another way to influence feeling.

On re-watching piece 1, although the feedback was ok it was mainly left to a bass tone to imply what I really was trying to portray, I couldn’t hear any of my key sounds, so was disappointed with this piece as a whole, fortunately I had the sound studio booked for half a day so would be able to correct and add what I need to.