Great Bustard info


Everything you ever needed to know about the Great Bustard

Great bustards became extinct in the UK in 1832 after years of hunting, persecution and habitat destruction, but now they’re on their way back.
A trial reintroduction project run by the Great Bustard Group began on Wiltshire’s Salisbury Plain in 2004, and there have so far been many encouraging signs.
In 2009 the first great bustard chicks for 177 years hatched in the UK, followed by further healthy chicks in the following years.
Great bustards depend on large areas of extensively managed, open and undisturbed farmland, avoiding hedgerows, trees, power lines, tracks and areas of frequent human activity.
They nest in grass, fallow or cereal crops – wherever they can find cover and an uninterrupted view in at least three directions.

It is the world’s heaviest flying bird
• The great bustard is a globally threatened species.
• They can weigh an incredible 20 kg.
• Fully-grown adult males have a wingspan of around 2.5 metres.
• They grow to over 1 metre tall.

Trigger #3, nearly there


A bit more work brings me to this which is closer to what I want, the colour is there, the information band, I think I’d like to put a QR code in here as well to use as a tool to alert people to modern interaction, the white and dark castle logo is back, much better clarity and is more eye catching.

I see this as being no bigger than 2 feet across, vinyl print applied to lino, (for testing) obviously if it was to be brought in as  apiece for the museum it would be a vinyl graphic directly adhered to their floor.

I have also sourced some Easy Peel media which I will be using for this test from a company called Antalis whom I have spoken to and they are sending out a sample pack (yay free!), including both clear and white peelable media which should include enough sheets for my experimentation…

Trigger #2

Trigger2Working on from the first trigger image set, I wanted to try and encapsulate the animal icon within the four walls of the castle’s own logo, so i drew the crenelations and mirrored them to form a squashed, but open, square . This made a very visually pleasing and balanced shape and this could definitely be used to roll out AR to other animals, or exhibits by simple replacing the centre silhouette.

I like the black and white feel, but it has strayed, perhaps, too far from the Castle Museum’s own identity, and I also want to encircle this with a band of information somehow, so even if you haven’t got a device, you know what this floor graphic is all about… So it becomes synonymous with an AR experience in the Norwich castle Museum.

Museums Contact

One of my three streams for the SNU is to go down to London and see how the big museums are implementing AR currently. After a lot of internet research trying to find who has what and where they are I have found 4,

1) Museum of London

location based apps to show images from the past in the present.

Also Key Roman sites in London, such as the amphitheatre at Guildhall, are brought to life through augmented reality video – produced by HISTORY™

2)Science Museum

James May talks to you about the exhibits

3)Natural History Museum

The Attenborough Studio where visitors can see DA talking (virtually) and showing all sorts of animals past and present on mobile devices supplied by the museum itself to an amphitheatre style presentation.

They also have Augmented reality Coelophysis using a webcam on a computer and trigger image for the camera to see

4) British Museum

Use mobile phones to follow an augmented reality trail around the Museum and solve clues about the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

All of these things are great but to get to all 4 in 5 hours will be impossible so I have chosen just the two (Natural History & Science Museum)to go and visit.

I have found a couple of names and departments through investigation in both museums and have discovered that the Science Museum has a New Media Department (Dave Patten – HoD), which will be the right connection, and within that if I want to document my visit I will need to make contact through the press office, so after a brief conversation on the phone have found a lovely lady called Rachael Campbell who I can contact prior to my visit. Similarly with the Natural History Museum although I have Ailisa Barry as the Head of Interactive Media, I spoke to Lucy in her department who has given me the name of Sheila Sang, who I will email/contact  prior to visit as she deals more with AR than Lucy… Interestingly the chap who was looking after their AR has just left them…

So, next steps are to email my new found best friends at the Museum and organise the right date when I can visit and meet with (hopefully) both of them in the one day.

At least my chosen Museums are quite close!




Trigger image first drafts

One of the tasks I need to complete before starting to test is the creation of a trigger image from which the Great Bustard will appear and walk away from… The castle itself has a lovely strong logo, so obviously I wanted to work with that and incorporate it into the final image.

Based on the Great Bustard group logo I outlined the bird in Illustrator and then applied slightly different effects to the bird outline whilst placing it on top of the Castle logo. It does need to be a really strong shape led design for the trigger to work best so have used solids rather than fine gradients and fills.

I feel I probably need to work into the final output a logo which denotes extra content, so it could be slightly adapted and then used throughout the museum if they were to roll out the Augmented Reality experience across other areas and displays in the museum.

I have also sourced some clear adhesive vinyl which I can print onto and hopefully apply to a redundant piece of lino that I can move about and test in situ.

AR Magazine – #3

The AR Lab is part of a cooperative effort between the Royal Academy of Art (Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunst – KABK) or University of the Arts The Hague, University of Technology Delft and Leiden University together with three companies and is based in The Hague, The Netherlands. The AR Lab is part of the Raak-Pro Research programme AR-VIP: Augmented Reality-Visualisation, Interaction and Perception.

I have already met Yolande Kolstee who heads up the team when I was in London at the Augmented Reality conference in 2012.

Learning Agreement SNU

Learning Agreement SNU3_TT

What are you proposing to do? Why are you doing it? What do you intend to submit?

Give references to methods, research and practices that contextualise your project (including texts, images, artists, designers, etc). For collaborative projects, give details of each person’s role in the project. (max. 500 words)

I am proposing to test my Masters Project on a small scale, to see what does and doesn’t work. This involves researching the physical dimensions of a Great Bustard, creating a 2D animation of its walk cycle, then taking this into MAYA and creating a 3D skeletal walk cycle of the lower body.

With this 3D model I can create and test my own floor graphic trigger image (hopefully in situ in the Norwich Castle Museum) using augmented reality (Aurasma) to bring it into a live situation and see what works best.

Before testing in situ I would like to visit the London Science Museum/Natural History Museum to see how they are using AR currently, to what success, and what has worked well so far.

ARTsense and FACT in Liverpool are also pushing the boundaries with AR and I have been in contact with Roger McKinley there and would hope to visit him and talk about his experiences thus far with this new medium.

Other practitioners include Sander Veenhof, John Craig Freeman, Marco Tempest, and I have already started documenting peoples’ reactions to their varied approaches to AR.

I will be submitting a link to an App, alongside a trigger image, which when you load the app and point the camera at the trigger image, a lower half of a bird will walk across the floor/table in front of you appearing as if from the trigger image itself. Alongside this I will provide photos and video documentation from an in situ test at the Norwich Museum (or if this is not possible from within a studio space).

Explain how your intended submission for the unit will demonstrate that you have met EACH Learning Outcome.

1. Employ appropriate and contemporary methodology to research and generate outcomes in response to an initial project proposal. I will research, visit and (hopefully) experience current AR in museums, to feedback best practice for my own project.

2. Generate work that demonstrates innovation in it approach; that challenges existing perspectives and is responsive to discourse associated with your area of enquiry. I intend to submit an Augmented Reality experience, to bring to life a rare species of bird (partial model) from a floor graphic trigger image, which can be viewed on any mobile device, anywhere the trigger appears, potentially revolutionising how we could learn in Museums of the future.

3. Evidence your understanding of professional practice and the creative industries relevant to your subject area. ARTsense, FACT, Sander Veenhof, John Craig Freeman, Paint Job (Rijkmuseum),, James May app, Natural History Museum are all currently using AR to bring new understanding to the public, whether it be for learning, art, or disruptive fun and I want to make sure I have a wide range of case studies to draw on.

4. Plan and employ a clear programme of learning to develop relevant skills and knowledge and demonstrate independence and professionalism through effective decision-making and evaluation. Starting with what I know, 2D Flash animation, using Aurasma and triggers, I need to develop my skills in 3D animation and actually implementing AR within a museum setting. Choosing the best plan of action for my project using what is currently out there as a good starting base.

FACT 10th Anniversary

After an international competition in 2011, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) awarded the Manifest.AR artist group a commission to work with LJMU researchers Stephen Fairclough and Kiel Gilleade to create significant new augmented reality artworks for “Invisible ARtaffects,” part of FACT’s 10th anniversary exhibit “Turning FACT Inside Out.

I definitely hope to get up to Liverpool and investigate these first hand!

Walk cycle

The first part of my SNU is to create a walk cycle of the great bustard. To start this I went back to my old favourite 2D animation software, Adobe Flash, as I have used it for many years and feel at home tweening and animating between layers etc.

First I need to find some footage of the actual bustard, encode it into an flv using media encoder and then I can load that into the timeline in flash as my guide. (Video from

To start I always break down my subject into pieces or parts, and determine where I need to place their point of rotation and align them across separate layers so I have total control over movement.

I use loosely drawn shapes converted into graphic symbols for the six body parts needed, with key points to tie up to the video, such as the v shape in the wing, the eye and the fan shaped tails first dark feather, this gives me a definite spot to animate the movement to.

I started to animate in the normal way, frame by frame, and then realised that this might be the ideal way to look at using bones in Flash. A couple of quick tutorials later – this is a good one as he shows how the traditional frame by frame can take such a long time – and I’m trying to apply this method to my little ‘bustard’.

An hour later and it’s completely frustrating me as the bird’s neck and body appear to stretch, go in and out, which I can’t seem to replicate when all of the bones are attached at a fixed distance.

I start again with a slightly differently placed armature for the bones,  but am still unable to replicate the birds actual movements. ….bloomin’ bustard…

After a wasted morning I decide to go back to the long winded method, and although another couple of hours disappear, I have a fair representation of this unusual walk cycle, which will help me animate it and understand the mechanics when I move onto 3D in Maya.

I also output a pure line version and looped it round so it makes it easier to study.

It does only have one leg as the movement will be the same for the right leg…