140: 4/20/17 Update

140 is a video installation that metaphorically depicts the psychological effects that orphanages and institutions have on orphaned children to teach viewers about the magnitude of this issue.

Last update, I decided to go with the the picture-frame installation. Since then, I have worked on more aesthetic prototypes, treating picture frames, and doing animations. Additionally, I have also started doing some user test with classmates and peers. Overall, it has been a pretty productive couple of weeks for me.

For the user test, I have set up my picture frames in the space that I would need for the Major Major show. The pictures below show the setup of the frames. They are hanging on the glass paneled walls in D1202. I chose this space because it is the only room on D12 that does not have any windows, preventing light obstruction on the projection.  Secondly, the glass panels allows me to easily hang the picture frames without having to build a structure to suspend them. The glass panels also allows me to back project or front project into the frames depending on which ever one ends up working better. I am still in the process of figuring this out.

After setting up the frames, and figuring out how to use the projection-mapping software, I asked some peers to user test for me. The first feedback I got was that the way I had set up my projector was not working for the piece. I already knew this was going to be the case. I am working on finishing the video edits soon so that I can start working on projector positioning and projection mapping. Another feedback I got was that the imagery is working well for the topic and the design choices were good for the mood. One person, however, did say that they felt like the imagery alone did not feel sad enough, and had suggested adding sound effects to the installation. I am weary about adding sound to the installation at this point. If I am sharing a room with other installations, or using the hallway as viewing space, I am afraid I will lose the sound anyways. Sound effects was a good suggestion and definitely an important aspect of video work, but I do not want to rely on it in case sound cannot be heard during the show.

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Next is the animations. After the pre-candidacy review critique I received from the class, I immediately went back and changed the animations on the main character, Lorne. Below is a video of all of the animated loops of Lorne that will be composited onto the environment that Lorne inhabits. There will be three picture frames that will show Lorne in the orphanage environment. One of the frames will just display a picture of Lorne, as if it were a school picture.

Originally I had wanted to do four animated videos. However, after some deliberation, I have decided to use one of the frames in the installation to display some important bulleted information about the issue I am talking about. I feel that this topic is too dense and meaty for the viewer to fully grasp without having some context to put the imagery to. Because of my innate desire to create abstract artworks, without some text to explain the piece, I feel the message will be lost.

My next step is to start editing the videos and compiling the full videos in the frames. There are a few steps to this process. First, I have to collect royalty-free images to use as the backgrounds of the pictures frames. These settings include the front of the orphanage, Lorne’s room, and a general common living space in the orphanage. After I have collected all of the images, I will then treat them, just like the picture frames, but digitally in this case. Once I feel that the look and mood of the images fits the mood of the piece, I will composite the animations on top.

Lastly, I overlay the entire video with handmade vignettes I have created. This is done to give the videos a vintagey feel- like in old movies where the footage are vignetted from the projectors. I have also created a series of vignettes to be used in the video. I do this for two reasons, one is so that I have several different ones to choose from. Second, so I can animate the vignettes themselves. This is a method I have employed before, and I find that by doing this, it gives the video an eerie/creepy feel.

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When I have finished the edits, I will start to play with setting the installation up in the physical space, and to figure out how to use the projection mapping software. At this rate, I have scheduled for myself to be done with everything a week before the Major Major show. This will give me enough time to do any last minute changes to the installation without feeling rushed. This also allows me to deal with any complications that I might have not predicted.

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