Week 10: 140

After presenting the proposal for 140 for our midterm proposal presentation, I was told that I had to decide between which prototypes I wanted to continue working on. Having reflected on the feedback I received, I decided to go with the picture frame video installation. My decision was made based a few reasons. The first being that I am not sure that my coding skills are refined enough to be able to complete a project to the level of sophistication I would like this project to be. This is a big topic I am working on, and I do not want my novice-level coding skills to be what sinks the project. I only have four weeks left to complete 140, and I do not want to waste any of that time trying to understand the technical aspect of the project.

Secondly, I agree with Joseph’s comment that the first two prototypes (picture frame and orphanage structure) would be more “compelling” in delivering my message. I chose the picture frames because I feel that I have more options in regards to video placement and contents with the frames, whereas there would be too much constraint in the orphanage building. With the picture frames, I have more freedom to experiment with how I want to position the frames, and what is shown within the frames. Lastly, considering that the character is amnesiac, it is the perfect opportunity to tie into the storyline the symbolic connotation of a picture frame. Picture frames are used to store memories, but the installation will show disjointed and broken videos, symbolizing what is left of the characters own memories.

There is a reason I keep referring to Cal as “the character”. I have decided to change his name. “Cal” is a meaningless name in this project. I want my character to have a name that is symbolic of his character. Having made that decision, I started researching names that meant “lost”, “abandoned”, or “broken”. (This is was not an task.) I settled on the name Lorne which is an English meaning forsaken, deserted, or abandoned. By changing his name, I think it will give more meaning to the character as a whole.

This week, I brought in aesthetics prototypes to share with the group. The videos in each of the frames will have a realistic background made from real-life pictures I have found. I have treated the backgrounds with multiple layers of filters and effects to evoke a vintage-like feeling. There will be three or four different backgrounds, however, given the time constraint, I do not believe I will have enough time to visit additional locations within the orphanage. On top of the realistic background, I will draw Brochan and composite him into the shot. Initially, because of time-management concerns, I wanted to use Photoshop and After Effects to animate him. I was not happy with the result. I decided to experiment with a hand-drawn version of Brochan. Unfortunately, I was much happier with this look. Though I will have to spend a lot more time on the animation, I think given the style I am aiming for, I think I will be okay for time.

Along with the style sheets, I also worked on three storyboards for this week. These storybaords look short because they each only have at most eight scene, but that is because they are supposed to be short. Brochan is amnesiac, so what little memories he does have, are short and quick. So far, I have four stories planned for the frames. I think four is a reasonable number to accomplish in four weeks. If I do have a little extra time after I am done with the four planned, I would like to add one more frame to the installation.

My next steps are to make animatics and install the project for user testing.