MAYA – Bustard Model #1

First day totally immersed in MAYA, very pleased with most of the model, all bar the tail, will need to go back into this and re-model, but pleased with my first attempt, it seemed so easy in the tutorials!!!

Body, part1

GB_MAYA_body

Neck, part2

GB_MAYA_neck_2

Left leg, part3

GB_MAYA_lleg_3

Right leg, Part 4

GB_MAYA_rleg_4

Head, Part 5

GB_MAYA_head_5

Tail, part 6

GB_MAYA_tail_6

Starting in Maya

I spent most of last week watching MAYA tutorials on Lynda.com, this week, I start making my model. I liked one of the tutorials which used a line drawing to place all the elements of the character into a good relational model so have worked up a really nice side view with seperate components, or how I see myself making the model from more than one piece of ‘model’. This is the side view which I was able to closely follow from a fantastic photograph of a living Great Bustard.Image

Unfortunately for me, front view photos of the Great Bustard are hard to come by so I have had to make my best guess for this, but after contacting the Great Bustard group itself, I’m hopeful I will get some better source material so I can update this rather ropey front view.

Image

Then here are the starting diagrams placed onto a NURBs surface in MAYA, ready to go.

MayaGBscreenshot

 

Lino – sample

Did you know you could get free lino samples…? me neither but you can! In the post and winging it’s way to me now are 4 different types of lino. Very useful as i hadn’t considered that lino has texture, and different depths, all these little things make sourcing a piece of lino much more complicated!!!

Image

Collada exporter

Here is the link to the collada exporter for MAYA 2013, it took me ages to find it, so thought I would post it to help others locate it more quickly!

https://github.com/KhronosGroup/OpenCOLLADA/wiki/OpenCOLLADA-Tools

Pecha Kucha – good!

So here is the text from my Pecha Kucha talk today, I was all cool about it until about 30 mins before, when reading through my text it all became a bit too much and the nerves kicked in, so to get my point across I decided just to underline the important bits I definitely wanted to say… I had seen so many people not say what they wanted I decided to take the extra time just to highlight a few bits here and there, and it went really well, really lovely feedback from the other guys on the MA and surprisingly fab reviews from the tutors.

I was quite ready for a bit of a bashing but it just didn’t happen. I was really pleased with the way it went, people laughed in the right places and my message seems very clear.. The only thing I wanted to include was a 3D graphic, but I just haven’t had time to sit with MAYA and go through the basics, so I know what I’m going to be doing next week!

The link below is to my powerpoint presentation in it’s entirety ans the text below was my ‘script’

TTuTT_PK_finalshow

1-      Title – Augmenting Reality

Hello I’m Tracey and I’m on the Moving Image and Sound course and my project, interest and research are all based in and around Augmented Reality

2-      In the beginning – in one way or another we have always looked to augment our surroundings, giving ourselves if you like, an extra layer of reality. The Phantasmagoria, Pepper’s Ghost, Cinerama, sensorama, etc

3-      These days with the advances in technology you can use smaller more personal devices to connect more layers to your world. QR codes, Google goggles and a raft of Augmented Reality apps, these are great, fun, but surely with this kind of medium available surely we can do something a little more creative and inventive than the commercial aspect?

4-      Manifest AR, an AR art movement founded in 2010 that wants to push the boundaries between tech and art, of what is art in a digital age,

5-      This still is taken from Sandeer Veenhofs earliest digital disruptive gorilla AR art which took place in MOMA in San Francisco where they entered the gallery and put the digital art over the original art without the galleries permission, a somewhat underground, but successful movement, FACT in Liverpool have commissioned and just launched the largest AR project and exhibition involving 6 practitioners who have created virtual exhibits all around the city

6-      Of course places like the Science Museum are a leading light for using advanced digital techniques to try and promote interactivity and when I visited it I was able to speak with their Head of New Media, Dave Patten about their experiences with various emerging technology.

7-      They have trialled and hosted many different interactive exhibits the James May app being one of them, a trigger image is mounted beside the relevant object, using their app James May appears before you telling you all about the history, workings and stories about the machinery beside you.

8-      They are also using a simple method within their Atmosphere zone where you physically interact with a ‘book’ and the pages change making it an Interesting interactive way of showing simple, but important information.

9-      But what am I going to do with this technology and my design and animation background?… well, yes, I do literally want to bring something to life in front of your very eyes.

10-   If you’ve never been into the Norwich Castle Museum, the first area you enter is the Ted Ellis room where these wonderful dioramas live, accompanied by a lovely audiotrack of the various birds that you can see.

11-   After the diorama area you enter into a room full of shelves and display cases with dozens and dozens of stuffed birds of all shapes and sizes rising up to the ceiling and in the center of the room are two large and impressive display cases one with an albatross and another hidden behind some chairs – with a group of large and impressive birds  in.

12-   These are the Great Bustards, once a thriving species in East Anglia, but now, sadly no more.  Extinct as a UK breeding species since 1832… When I first saw this label and these majestic animals almost hidden behind the chairs, at the back of the room, I thought to myself wouldn’t it be great to bring them back to life.

13-   To bring them from their dry and dusty cabinet into the modern world and have them walk amongst us again. I knew with the current technology it was possible, but could I make it happen? I felt so sorry for the Great Bustard I decided to embark on this my MA journey to find out.

14-   But you can’t just make it move, you have to make it interactive, fun, give it some narrative, make the visitor want to play with the object and tell others about, spread the word. I have found in my professional experience as a designer that it’s no good make something beautiful, a recurring comment that came back to me through both of the guys I met in the London Museums.

15-   The basics of bringing it back to life are really complicated, it’s walk needs to be analysed in great depth and detail, each bird has its own gait and style, so to start I need to break down the movement into separate frames

16-   The animate it in a simple 2D linear fashion so as to study the shape more easily, to follow the great bustards style, then the next step is to turn this into a 3D walkcycle using MAYA – my next big challenge!

17-   But that’s not the only thing I will need to bring it back to life, I need a trigger image, no not that or that or that, but a highly individual recognisable and unique icon, perhaps incorporating a QR code to produce a digital trigger which when your device – loaded with the right app – is pointed at this image the Great Bustard will appear right in front of you.

18-   I have used the castle and the Great Bustard group (they are now being reintroduced onto Salisbury plain) together with a QR code and a small amount of text as my trigger image, this would be placed on the floor of the museum, in front of the display cases highlighting to visitors that extra and exciting content is available here.

19-   So bringing it all together, the trigger, the app – I’m using Aurasma – although there are other apps available – the positioning and the background you should be able to experience, learn and interact with a once extinct animal right on your phone, or mobile device.

20-   That’s when  the magic will start to happen…A little bit like this.

Museum Visit #2 – Natural History Museum

The second obvious choice for fantastic leading museums is the Natural History Museum, fortunately located just around the corner from the Science Museum!

NHM_stairEnt

It was hard to get in touch with members of the right team at NHM, but eventually I struck gold and got shown around by Daniel Brightman, the Interactive Designer at NHM. Just the right guy!

They have developed a fabulous area in the Darwin zone called the Attenborough studio that has had an inventive film specially created to be shown within this area, each visitor has their own device through which they can view 3D models of dinosuars and prehistoric man come to life. ” Who do you think you really are? Interactive film, this amazing 45-minute film will involve you in a revealing story of evolution from Earth’s early history using large-screen projection, personal handsets and webcams.” Watch a clip from the NHM website here

NHM_treasures NHM_skullcase NHM_skullscreen

Currently they aren’t developing any apps, but Dan thinks that moving more towards HTML, rather than an app, or flash content is the way to encompass portable devices and easily transpose information onto the web rather than duplicating and repeating information in varying formats is the way to go. He has just completed a project for ‘treasures’ in the Cadogan Gallery one of their newest areas. Many screens are placed alongside the physical exhibits to give more information in situ.

NHM_guy

Nature plus is an initiative with which the visitor can take part of their journey at the NHM home with them on their own Nature Plus card, this gives the viewer a chance to vote for their favourite exhibit – Guy the Gorilla is winning currently – and learn more away from the Museum itself.

NHM_popular

 

They have also digitised one of the most expensive bird books in history into an interactive screen ‘book’ allowing everyone to have a chance to look through this stunningly illustrated book.

ARt – issue 3

Link to the brilliant ARt magazine

Really interesting article about augmented soundscapes, an interview with Matt Ramirez from the scARlet team and up to date new exhibitions.

Museum Visit #1 – Science Museum

SM_plane

My second stream of enquiry for the SNU was to go and see two of the leading museums in London using AR, I have been in touch with Racheal Campbell who is the Assistant Press Officer at the Science Museum in London and she has helped put me in touch with Dave Patten who is Head of their New Media team. I had arranged a meeting with Dave, but unfortunately at the last minute I couldn’t meet with him face to face, but he was able to give me half an hour over the phone, he was great to talk to, really enthusiastic and has been involved with new technology for a long time at the Museum. We talked about where Augmented Reality had come from, QR codes and the fact that they have been around for such a long time, although not always used directly they tell the viewer there is extra content within the item, so a good tool. Dave is very interested in seamlessly incorporating technology displays within the viewer’s natural gaze, ie, with Google goggles and also digital contact lens technology. More realistic and within the public’s grasp is something he is working on currently, display cases with transparent screens, so that the glazing becomes a display. This is at the cutting edge of advertising and commercial use of this new glass technology, but he – and I agree with him – can see much more educational and informational uses for this, very exciting. He said I should keep in touch with him and follow their progress as they enter the beta testing phase for one of these display cases…

Upon my visit, Racheal was kind enough to show me around the newest exhibits using AR, or forms of and as the place is rather sprawling I was very glad of her help in directing me to the best bits.

The first bit we went to was in an environment zone where they had set up a ‘blank’ book, with only simple trigger icons on each of the pages, a camera above feeds this into a screen and when it recognises the different icons, new information appears and animates on screen in front of the viewer, making it an interactive book. This was one of the newest items that Dave and his team had set up, and although there is a lot of information, they find that people take more time to experience the interactivity and therefore the information, a very clever way of getting people engaged. (see youtube clip)

Virtual Book video

SM_JamesMayplinth

The big Augmented Reality experience at the Science Museum is the James May app. Qualcomm and Vuforia came to the Science Museum with the idea for the James May app and worked with Dave and the Museum to put it into place. I met Julian Harris from Qualcomm eighteen months ago when this app was newly launched at an AR summit, and he showed us some of the behind the scenes work that Vuforia did with James May to get the 3D model working correctly, so that when you point your device at the trigger image, James pops onto your screen and talks about the model, right in situ.

James May App

The science museum has many innovative and exciting areas, but these were the standout elements for me and I had only limited time to look at and play with them!

SM_chromeweblab

SM_interactive SM_stand SM_innoZoneSM_globeSM_floorripple

Other areas included a rippling floor projection, the Google Chrome lab, a 3D globe using 4 projectors to show night, day and environmental damage, a sensorial stand and a simple interactive information board.

 

They have about 15 ideas for projects within the museum every month in varying degrees of development, and like to work with a wide variety of outside agencies and individuals to keep it all fresh, and to challenge themselves! Dave finds that using historical collections and contextualising them in the now is the best way to engage people, and wants to keep the Science Museum at the fore of new technology for Museums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 weeks to go… mild panic

We have 4 weeks to go, a Pecha Kucha to present, I have a weeks holiday, and am having a bit of a wobble. Feeling very under pressure, no time to get on, home pressures, work pressures and still feeling woozy with fatigue. I haven’t started my MAYA part of this module and my output seems to have stalled.

breathe…

okay, next week I can give this a big push, I’m in London on Monday, gathering evidence of interactive exhibits in the Science Museum and the National History Museum – of which I need to catalogue how many items they already have, or have had.

Next step is Pecha Kucha, and MAYA training. I should devote the morning to MAYA and the afternoon to PK, on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday is PK day, so nothing doing for anything else then.

From now on I’m taking Fridays back for my Masters, work has had too much from me in the last month, so starting tomorrow, back to me…

Tomorrow, finalise trigger, and source the actual piece of lino then pop into work to print off trigger on vinyl media, ready for application onto lino.

Cataloging the museums and MAYA tutorial if time allows.

 

Artist Statement

I found writing this to be really difficult, it’s where I wrangle with myself for not feeling like a true ‘artist’ I don’t know what the ‘sublime’ is that so many of my MA colleagues talk about and I’m not good with promoting my skills, so found that writing this in the third person helped me to formulate this statement.

Wanting to add another dimension to our world, Tracey constantly researches and experiments to push boundaries and find limits, using her creativity to tell another story over the original, blending technology with experiences to excite and stimulate the viewer.

Learning and sharing are at the heart of her practice, keeping abreast of latest technological developments, she sees amazing things developing in the world of digital advances and wants to bring that to everyone.

Mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous in our modern day-to-day life and Tracey wants to show people how using those devices coupled with Augmented Reality could reveal another layer of the world that perhaps only seemed to exist in a sci-fi novel, thereby opening a gateway into seeing more, everywhere.

Augmented Reality is already popping up in Museums, The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum already have apps showing the visitor more than the physical space in front of them, giving them a chance to interact with the exhibits.

It is a movement for the modern world and Tracey wants to help bring it into the local Castle Museum by bringing to life an extinct animal right in front of the public, giving them a realistic sight and sound experience of a mammal long gone from this earth.

What a way to start to rejuvenate the museum experience, you cannot replace the physical interaction of objects in the museum, but Tracey hopes to overlay them with a touch of the modern world.

“Augmented Reality (AR) creates Coexistent Spacial Realities, in which Anything is possible – Anywhere!”

(Manifest.AR 2011. The AR Art Manifesto [Internet] available at <http://www.manifestar.info/>)