Important: Posts

My Research Blog is available at this link.

Although to fully understand the thought processes and developments of my art this term, you will need to look at all of my posts, to see my development, however if you are pressed for time, the most important ones that you can hopefully deduce my practice from are listed below:

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Framing Landscapes: Skyrim
Exploring the ‘Window’
Rear Projection: Yogurt
Exploring Projection: Nov 9th
Exploring Projection: Nov 13th
Exploring Projection: Nov 14th
Exploring Projection: 16th Nov
Exploring Concept: Memories
Exploring Projection: Nov 20th
Projection Exploration: 28th Nov
Refining the Landscape
Immersion: Explored
Journal of travels through Skyrim
Installation for Assessment: Final Experiments + Reflections

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Installation for Assessment: Final Experiments + Reflections

My Final Installation

Pictured is a photograph of all four different landscapes, from within Skyrim, that all correspond to a diary entry of a memory from my travels in Skyrim, along with all four of my screens interfering with the projection, where each one is assigned to accentuate a certain aspect of it’s dedicated video.

The first video is near the Forsworn camp I conquered, accompanied by a recording of me speaking my journal entry of this memory, with the small glass pane in front to the right being the screen that accentuates the speed of the water gushing past it, capturing the textures and movement of the light, reflecting the adrenaline I felt when taking over the camp.

The second video is near the Alchemist’s shack, where he killed me for stealing his ingredients, accompanied by a recording of me speaking my journal entry of this memory, with the silk screen being the aspect of breaking up the screen that accentuates the moving tree overhanging the sight of the landscape, reflecting the annoyance of the pestering Alchemist before he managed to kill me.

The third video is near Fort Sungard, where they threw me in jail for killing a chicken before I escaped and ran into the woods after getting shot by multiple arrows, accompanied by a recording of me speaking my journal entry of this memory, with the larger glass screen in the middle being the screen that accentuates the very slowly swaying grass in the wind, reflecting the minuscule ‘crime’ I committed to be thrown into jail.

The fourth video is near the cliff where the ice dragon came out of no where and repeatedly killed me due to a poorly timed auto-save, accompanied by a recording of me speaking my journal entry of this memory, with the mirror being the aspect that accentuates the overhanging trees of the shot, reflecting the size and domineering presence of the dragon when I was about level 2 after just stealing a horse.

Accompanying the digital aspects of my installation is a handmade rock from Skyrim, along with the journal of the memories that are being spoken over the installation. The journal is there to read and immerse yourselves in if you so wish, although there is a sound recording to give the participant the freedom to walk amongst the screens and panes and inspect the landscape for themselves and experience it first hand, however they wish to.

Pictured are some full shots of the installation, with the mirror throwing the image out of the defined rectangle of the projection, bringing it into the real world instead of confined to the virtual world. The silk screen along with the two frosted glass panes are breaking up the rectangle of the projection and screen by interfering with the image, causing the participant to look into the room instead of just what is on the wall. Immersing themselves in the world that I have created, inside the room.

GIFs: Documenting Movement

Day 1 – My First Conquest

Small Pane gif

Day 2 – The Alchemist’s Shack

Silk Screen

Day 3 – The Jailbreak

Large Glass Pane

Day 4 – The Poorly Timed Auto-save

Mirror Gif


 

Exploring the sound piece with the installation, I was unsure as to whether it should be said from the perspective of me reading my memories of playing the game, or read from the perspective of me being my player and re-living them. Below are two recording tester’s that I did before the final installation to determine which one would be more successful. I concluded that the Character’s perspective would be more emotive for the participant to hear and to read, and using that emotion to create memories would be essential for the immersive elements to my installation to work.


 

If for some unexpected reason my installation fails me, this video is a small example of what the installation would have looked like, without the inclusion of the Skyrim rock and journal.


 

Reflections

  1. My practice this term has been heavily impacted by the travelling I did over the summer and the extensive research I have carried out, even with my dissertation research, they are of a similar topic so I have been entirely surrounded by so many different artists and their practices, that sometimes I forgot to look at myself and realise that what I’m making is great and immersive and everything that I find interesting. I began getting so hung up on the finances of wishing I could do bigger and better things, but I bloody created a Skyrim rock out of cardboard. And it looks and has the feel of a Skyrim rock, so why be down? I’m sure everyone would love to have money to create their most vivid imaginations, but we don’t and I need to realise that and not let it halter my creativity and passion.
  2. I have each week, often more than once a week, held my installation in C15 and just stared. Changed a few things, altered the way certain things stood, just truly learnt from my installation as the weeks go on, surrounding myself with it so that I’m sat on the bus thinking, ‘could the small glass screen go there?’ and I love that. I’m actually very proud of the extensive development that my practice has taken this term, and done some things that I would have never thought I would be doing over the summer when I wanted to initially create games. I want to continue to have this learning development and positivity throughout my practice, not just till the end of the terms but for the rest of my life. It has been so refreshing to see different photographs of my work and see the subtle and not so subtle changes to the presentation of my installation, and even the research behind it, considering at the beginning of the year I wanted to create games and then wanted to CGI post apocalyptic worlds.

Journal of travels through Skyrim

Finished and Bound Journal

I bound the journal in the texture of a journal from Skyrim to help with the immersive elements of my work, attempting to make it look as authentic as possible. I stuck with the font of Viner Hand ITC to keep the personal journal feeling to the book, and I also bound it by sewing down the middle of the leaflet with some chunky brown threads, making it look rustic and purposefully done, to fit with the aesthetic of the handmade objects within the game of Skyrim. I have put a filter on it for my blog to demonstrate how I would ideally like it to present itself, and I also feel it looks like it could be an in-game image if it weren’t for the scanner’s shadow input. I have also smudged some of the pages and left finger prints on the paper to again fit with the aesthetic of the handmade rough journals and books that you find in Skyrim.


 

My Skyrim Rock

The Making of:

Construction:
Made from many panels of rectangular and triangular cardboard, I began constructing my Skyrim chair. It is built around a locker so there is no chance of it caving in on the participant which is always a bonus.

Paper Mache:
To strengthen the stability of the chair around the area upon which the participant would sit, I used pva glue and tissue paper to paper mache. solidifying the supports of the chair. I then sanded down the uneven bits of tissue paper ready for papering with the texture I printed out, from the .dds files of Skyrim.

Papering:
I used pva glue again to paper the chair, hand measuring and hand cutting every single panel to ensure that the joins of the chair were alike to the in-game research of the rocks of Skyrim.

The Finished Product:
I have spliced in images of my rock/chair with images of rocks within Skyrim to show the comparison between them and how alike they are. The extensive research of the rocks has definitely paid off in achieving a believable accessory, that looks like it was pulled from the game into the real world – reference to post and post.

I’ve rendered the photographs of my rock to give it the in-game feel, also to depict the objects of the game in a way that they may be experienced singularly, away from the landscape. In future I would love to possibly make something like this but a bit more refined, like Pat Flynn’s Boulders out of MDF and print however, as an accessory and not a sculpture, it is merely there to aid the immersion of the participant and bring the video game to the participant.

 


 

Journal: What do I want from it?

A Personal Experience

I want to display my memories of the worlds for the participant to see, to do this I’ve chosen to create and bind my own journal, that details the memories that correspond to the landscapes shown. I was unsure about how to stylise the diary to give it the appearance of a journal in Skyrim, so I went into the Skyrim folder on my computer through Steam and extracted .dds files from the .bca to see the textures of the items. I found textures for the rock that I will be making in here, but I also found journal textures, specifically that of a cover, the leather that bound the book. I also wanted to make it look authentic, so I scoured the internet and .bca for the font files of the game. I concluded that Cyrodiil is the font used in most tomes in Skyrim, however, it is usually the published ones. The spell books and the published writing bookswhereas I wanted my journal to be a personal rendition of the memories held in the game. After more searching I found that the font used in personal letters to friends in Skyrim and in personal journals was Viner Hand ITC, therefore I chose this font to mimic the journals I found within the game, bringing an essence of the game out into the real world. When writing the journal I also struggled with whether I wanted the journal to be written from the perspective of my character inside the game (essentially me as my character) or from the perspective of me, telling the story that my character experienced. I’m still undecided on this, and need to test it further with my installation.

 

Cyrodiil Font:

 

Viner Hand ITC Font:


 

 

Immersion: Explored

Making a Polyhedral Rock, transported from Skyrim to Earth

I was thinking about how to bring aspects from Skyrim to the real world and my installation, to help with the immersion of the participant in my installation, and to do this I want to make a rock, from Skyrim, covered in the textures of Skyrim rocks, for the participant to sit on. I was originally thinking about making a very realistic rock and covering it in a dirt or sand to convey the rock texture of earth, but then I realised I wanted to convey Skyrim, so I’m making a rock that is entirely smooth, polyhedral and resembles a video game rock significantly. I am making the rock for the participant to sit on whilst viewing the exhibition if they so wish. It is built on something sturdy so will not collapse, and it’s strong enough to convey a rock, I want them to feel part of the video game, as if they looked down they would see themselves made of polyhedral shapes a bit like Tomb Raider. I want to aid this immersion as much as possible, so I am going to paper the rock with textures from Skyrim rocks, and study the rocks in game extensively to convey the texture of them in-game, outside of the game.

When thinking about displaying a rock, I had to be careful not to make it too much like a museum, which is explained in this blog post on my research page: Diorama exploration research. I also looked at artists who create immersive landscapes, detailed in this post: Immersion through Physical Objects.

Below are a few studies of a Skyrim rock and the textures it is covered in, along with close ups of texture and shape and how the game developers have joined each polygon together to create this very angular shape that is so signature of video game visuals.

 

The studies of rocks inside Skyrim remind me heavily of the work of Pat Flynn and their work with MDF and Prints to create the illusion of a video game. I am doing a similar thing with my rock, although it will be significantly lower budget and more of an accessory as opposed to a sculpture. I really think that Flynn’s boulders are exceptionally well executed and if my practice does go further into bringing video games into real life, touched on in this post: Bringing virtual into real world, I would love to execute my responses to the video game in a similar fashion to Flynn.

Pat Flynn – Boulders, 2000/2001


 

Refining the Landscape

Which landscapes and subsequent memories to choose?

I have chosen the landscapes and corresponding memories of:

The Ice Dragon, Auto-saving Disaster
My First Camp Conquest
The Alchemist’s Shack
Breaking Out of Fort Sungard

I’ve chosen these landscapes, and their memories, because they are the most vivid and will aid the immersion of the participant, by triggering an emotional response to them. U have also chosen them because they are all very warm toned compared to the harsh darkness of some of the landscapes I was experimenting with at the beginning of the term. I wanted them to be warm to evoke safety and calm within the viewer, relaxing them and not making them feel threatened. All of this helps me immerse them in my world, but to help this I want to bring an element of the video game out into the real world. This is detailed on my research blog in posts: Bringing virtual into real and Immersion through physical objects. I’m planning to write my ‘Journal’ of travels in Skyrim to aid even further the immersion of the participant inside the video game and world, to have them hold something that is from that world and read something from that world will hopefully help trick the brain into believing it is actually there.


 

Projection Exploration: 28th Nov

GIFs!

I’ve decided to start documenting my work by displaying the movement that is such a signature part of my exploration of practice this term, and so here come the gifs!
The silk screen here works very very well and captures the texture of the game perfectly. I will make sure to cast a tree onto the silk screen for my final exhibition of the installation, as it is the clearest image and works so much better with something that moves.

gif leaves

20bn1h

Creating smaller gifs of the movement in the entire installation helps display how it is experienced, without actually being there, albeit very muted compared to the actual experience. The screens have moved again and I think this layout works a lot better compared to the previous ones, as it breaks up the screen more on the wall, and created bigger and more disjointed interference.full shot

water

The speed of the water on this screen makes the installation here, by having the silk screen at an angle away from the projector itself, the water really wraps around the screen, showing more distance that the water is travelling and exemplifies the speed at which the water is flowing. This works perfectly and now I am torn to whether have a tree or water on the final silk screen. We shall see.

The pixels again are fascinating me on the installation, they make me want to cross stitch again or even knit the pattern if I was more advanced in that area. This will have to be subdued for a while, possibly being explored more next term, although I want to focus more on the immersion of the participant in my work and their transportation into my worlds.

small water


 

Viewer Participation

Participant Feedback

As part of UNA, I exhibited in their Virtual Gallery for a week, and displayed the landscapes that I have been experimenting with lately. Following the few minutes of footage, I installed a feedback form, asking the viewers their emotional responses to the work, as I have mentioned before that I want to trigger an emotional response to my work in order to create a memory within my landscapes, helping me immerse the subject in the worlds that I inhabit. I have displayed the data below in pie charts and I think it went unexpectedly well, the response I received was very positive, with no one having a bad experience whilst viewing my worlds, which is great. It also made people very curious and intrigued, implying that they would like to explore my world for themselves, which is a bonus.Art Documentation – E Trowell - Google Chrome 28_11_2017 14_27_52Art Documentation – E Trowell - Google Chrome 28_11_2017 14_27_36

did the video make you curious to explorerevisde


 

Exploring Projection: Nov 20th

Experiments

The back projection onto the two glass panes I have used in my installation works really well and brings out the pixels very clearly in the images. I think this will work exceptionally well with my final installation in the future as the participant/ viewer will be able to move freely throughout the space, and immerse themselves in the images around them.

I decided to experiment with a mirror to bring the image of the landscape out of the rectangle of the projected space, which I think works really well. The exploration of space outside of the expected rectangle of the projection brings the landscape out of the virtual sense and throws it into our world, breaking the barrier between the virtual world and the real world. I really like this experiment and will continue to play with the juxtaposition of the image outside of the rectangle and breaking up the screen even further than the glass screens are doing.

I especially like the way that the trees wrap around the entire room, it’s like they envelop you and throw you into this immersive world, that has crowded around you. Your peripheral vision doesn’t betray you either, as it’s absorbed by the installation and images that are surrounding you in the space. This works really well and I think I’ll make sure I include this in the final installation, to aid the transportation of the person’s imagination into the world.

The full shots of the installation are not as interesting as the rest of it, although the shots do capture the size of the projection and how much it swallows up the room which I think works really well in terms of immersion and imagination. I want to transport the participant/ viewer into the world through emotion as that is what helps us create memories, so if I can trigger this in the viewer I should succeed.