2D Character and Storyboard

This week, Sandy, Michael, and I sat down to storyboard our animation idea. Our concept is inspired by shoulder angels/demons and the dynamics of good and evil. We sketched a playful character last week and then I rendered it in Adobe Illustrator.

2D Character

Our story takes place on a playground. A boy and girl are playing on a seesaw when our shoulder angel/demon character glides in. The demon attempts to wreak mischief while the angel is asleep by suggesting evil thoughts to the boy. He plops down hard on his seat and sends the girl flying. She falls to the ground, visibly upset. The shoulder demon glides in again, suggesting she plot revenge. Meanwhile, the angel awakes. When the girl thinks about pulling a knife on the boy, the angel advises her to reconsider and be good. It takes a bit of convincing, but the last scene is the boy and girl playing harmoniously on the seesaw again. We intentionally chose children as our subject matter for their transparency. The seesaw is symbolic of balancing good and evil.

Storyboard

 

 

Session 3: Laser Cutter

Inspiration

In this assignment, I used the laser cutter to etch my one of my graphic design work, a Chinese typography design. This character means “flow” in English.

First, I used Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create “the little strokes” within every stroke since I wanted to play around the effect with different stroke width profiles.

Material

Acrylic
Thickness: 1/8″
Color: Clear
Size: 12″ x 12″

First, I used a piece of wood on the junk shelf to test.

It took me 15 minutes to etch.

And then I etched the clear acrylic I bought.

After the etching, I used laser cutter again to trim the redundant side.

And I bent it by the acrylic heater.

Colored it by whiteboard marker and Sharpie marker

When I was doing this part, I found that the depth of the etching trace is getting shallower when it goes to the bottom right corner. Hence, the pigment couldn’t attach well to the bottom right corner.

End Product

 

Session 8: Create a sketch that uses external media


Source Code

This week, other than using external media(images, sounds, video), I want to experiment with open API to query real-time data. I used current weather data API from http://openweathermap.org/. My goal of this assignment is to create a simple weather report widget by using p5. When users select the city from the drop-down menu, they can see the current weather description, temperature, humidity and wind speed. The cities in the list are the global cities, also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center(Definition link).

I met a lot of difficulties with loading images. In the square area of this widget, I want to demonstrate the weather icon of the current weather. At the beginning, I attempted to load the weather icons from the URLs of Open Weather Maps (http://openweathermap.org/img/w/10d.png). However, p5 couldn’t load the images from this URL. Hence, I downloaded every image files and uploaded to p5 web editor, and it could display the images then. Unfortunately, I met another mystical problem. Once I used preload() function, I couldn’t query data from Open Weather Maps. Hence, I declare a function instead of using preload() to load the images, and it worked.

Session 9: Prototype for playtesting

This week, I made an important decision. I will collaborate with Xiran Yang for the final project. I believe collaboration will foster each other’s creative thinking and avoid a lot of bias, and make the plan more comprehensive and explicit. After I shared my idea for the final project to Xiran, she resonated and gave a lot of valuable feedbacks and potential to the concept of “emotion time capsule.” The most valuable feedback I got from her is that what’s the proper way to communicate with the “time capsule”? As I mentioned last week, I wrote down my worries and thoughts when I felt stressful. However, my first view of the communication is talking to the device.

As a result, for the playtesting, we want to test which one is the proper way when it comes to storing your thoughts and why users think whether writing or talking is suitable for them. This conclusion is very crucial because this would affect the direction of the interaction.

Besides, we started to think about the appearance of the “time capsule.” Our first thought is the image of a tree. Trees have the ability absorb substances from the environment and convert it to nutritious fruits. We think it’s a metaphor for transforming your thoughts to your assets in the future. Consequently, in the first playtesting, we will use a tree shape to represent the image of the time capsule. Also, we look forward to seeing the reaction when users view their thought has been conceptually stored in the time capsule tree.

Session 2: Make multiples of something

For this assignment, I attempted to use glass bottles as the main material. Initially, I was trying to cut the glass bottle into two pieces. I followed this tutorial on YouTube step by step to cut the glass bottle. Basically,  I used a glass cutter to cut a circular gutter around the bottle first. Secondly, I have to create the imbalance of thermal expansion to let the glass bottle to crack at the gutter I cut. I utilized candle to heat it up and use cold water to cool it down, repeatedly.

However, I failed…

again and again… It’s very hard to control the cracking path of the glass. The cracking surface is super rough and sharp.

This procedure is very time-consuming and I couldn’t succeed once. As a result, I start to think about how to simplify my project. I couldn’t find a proper replacement until I bumped into this beautiful decoration.

It seems way easier to make. I decided to do it without any hesitation since time is running out. The following are materials I used other than the glass bottles.

Materials

1. Wood board * 5
2. Part of the wood frame * 1
3. Protection Pads
4. Clips
5. Hinges
6. Screws
7. Hemp twine

Steps

I broke down the process into four main steps
Step 1: 
Create the connector between the board and glass bottle 
Step 2: Attach the hemp twine to the wood board 
Step 3: Attach the connector to the wood board
Step 4: Attach the glass bottles to the connector

Step 1-1
I used woodcutter to cut the wood into five pieces of the same length
Step 1-2
Polished the rough cut surface
Step 1-3
Attached the clips onto the wood pieces
Step 1-4
Put the protection pads onto the inner surface of the clips
Step 2-1
Drew the position of the holes
Step 2-2
Bond the hemp twine to the wood boards
Step 3
Used hinge to attach the connector to the wood boards

Step 4
Attached the glass bottles to the connector
Final Product

Session 7: Data Visualization

Population Size of Cities in Taiwan

Source Code

In this assignment, I utilized the data from Ministry of the Interior of Taiwan. I combined the longitude and latitude and the population size data into one CSV file. The following is the raw data for 19 different cities(Sort by population size).

longitude,latitude,population
121.6739,24.91571,"3984975"
120.666,23.01087,"2781498"
120.9417,24.23321,"2777021"
121.5598,25.09108,"2682893"
121.2168,24.93759,"2178458"
120.2513,23.1417,"1886088"
120.4818,23.99297,"1282991"
120.62,22.54951,"831073"
120.3897,23.75585,"691348"
120.9417,24.48927,"555049"
120.574,23.45889,"551201"
121.1252,24.70328,"512064"
120.9876,23.83876,"502095"
121.7195,24.69295,"456851"
120.9647,24.80395,"440098"
121.7081,25.10898,"371758"
121.3542,23.7569,"329531"
120.4473,23.47545,"269338"
120.9876,22.98461,"219716"

I used the circle area size to represent the population size. The x, y coordinates of every circle are the longitude and latitude of the cities; The diameter stands for the population size. Besides, when the population exceeds 1 million, the color would change from blue(#00c8ff) to orange(#f0641e). I used Adode Illustrator to generate the background map. The difficulty I met was mapping the location with the background map. In the beginning, the circles’ locations are distorted because I neglect one factor: The distances between each degree of longitude and latitude are different. What’s more, the distance between each degree of longitude would vary in different latitudes. I fixed the distortion after I found this formula, which allowed me to calculate the length ratio of the longitude and latitude between 120.2513 – 121.7195 and 22.54951 – 25.10898.

Session 1: Stop Motion Animation – Dinoseed

Idea and Inspiration

In this assignment, we started to shoot the photos without having a solid storyline. We only had two things we want to create in mind before we started.

  1. We want to create an illusion which blurs the line between physical and digital world
  2. We want to sow seeds but the seeds eventually transform to a dinosaur egg because we have this, a dinosaur hatching toy.

    We improvised most of the parts in the animation. Luckily, we had a lot of amazing impromptu and serendipity when we were shooting.

Storyline
Section 1: Grabbing seed pack from the screen

We photoshopped two images and made a real seed pack to create this illusion. One image has seed pack photo on it. The other image was blank on the seed pack photo’s position. When the hand grabs the real seed pack, the image switches to the blank one.

Section 2: Sowing

At this part, we used high angle shot to create a close-up view of seeds.

Section 3: Watering

This is the most challenging part we met because we can’t use real water since water has fluidity. It’s extremely hard to capture the real water movement. As a result, we used a piece of light blue textile to symbolize water. This foldable, flexible and smooth material could create the fluidity effect in stop motion.

Section 4: Fertilizing

We use heart shapes as a metaphor to symbolize it takes efforts to cultivate something

Section 5: Germinating and hatched

The seeds germinated to an egg and baby dinosaur hatched from the egg. We used a marker to create the cracking effect and literally cracked the egg and pulled the dinosaur out of the egg.

Final Project: Adoll

ADOLLS Dolls for Adults

Do you ever just want/need your own time and space? Do you look attractive and non-threatening? Do you always find yourself in situations where people insist on invading your personal space? Whether it’s on public transportation or in public restrooms, the library, movie theaters etc., we want to help you solve this problem. Introducing ADOLLS: Dolls for Adults to help you get out of awkward and uncomfortable situations. This portable and collapsible mannequin will deter those who choose to ignore social norms and courtesies by sitting/standing next to someone when there are clearly other options available to them.

Credits:

CAST:
Studious Woman: Mary Notari
Strange Man: Alden Jones

Directed by Hau Yuan, Sandy Hsieh
Screenplay by Hau Yuan, Sandy Hsieh
Produced by Hau Yuan, Sandy Hsieh

Session 8: Final Project Ideas and Inspirations

My final project inspiration came from my mid-term project and personal experiences. My mid-term project’s idea was to utilize sound to evaluate one’s pressure. After mid-term, I’ve made up my mind that I want to do something related to emotion for my final project.

As a consequence, I started to dig out deeply from myself. I am a very rational person. I rarely lost the control of everything in my life. However, when I feel desperately stressful and upset due to the urgent accident or crazy schedules and deadlines, my mind would shut down, and I could barely do anything like a paralyzed soldier. Under this circumstance, I would stop doing anything and write down my thoughts, worries, and the reasons why I felt the extremely negative feelings. After I talked to my notebook or a piece of random paper, I felt relieved, and I could start to organize my mind again.

After half of a year later, when I saw my worries and thought again, the emotion has converted from negative to positive feeling. It’s interesting and worthwhile to ruminate when seeing the negative thought generated by yourself past. The scenario is like: Why this circumstance trapped me so bad a year ago? Can I cope with the emotion again when dealing with the same situation?

As a result, I want to transform this interaction with myself to a physical interaction device. I want to create a device or installation that is very approachable. You can tell all your secrets to the invention, and it will “listen” and help you store your worries and thoughts. The device will upload your thoughts to the computer, and you can set the date you want to listen to it again. In a nutshell, this is a “time capsule” of your emotions.

Session 1: Making a flashlight

Idea and Inspiration

At the very beginning, I stuck at the brainstorming stage for ideas. I browsed the flashlight DIY tutorials on YouTube and couldn’t find any inspirations. As a result, I decided to leave my laptop behind and go to grocery stores to explore. Luckily, I bumped into this…

Commonly, hands control most of the flashlights. What if I create a flashlight controlled by my mouth. Here is the original sketch I drew.

Sketch

The controller is in the pacifier part, and the lighting is at the bottom of the bottle.

Materials
9V battery, wires, battery connector, switch
Super bright LED
Soldering iron
Steps
  1. Switch Part
  2. Drill a hole at the bottom of the bottle to insert LED
  3.  Testing the LED and calculate the resistance I have to add
  4. Assemble the LED with the bottle, battery, and switch

    How it works