Reflections?

Following installation today, I think it went well as far as the things I was in control of. The footage all looked really good and complimented each other well as well as the space. I think that the changes to aspects of my installation, such as changing the height at which the perspex hangs, has complimented the large room and the installation’s components all work well together. However, the light pollution in the room that is somehow climbing over the blackout curtain rail at the top of the room diffusing the light of the installation significantly, making the room extremely light when it is meant to be as dark as possible, and actually interfering with the light of the installation so much so that the footage on that side of the room is dimmed and less visible. I wanted the installation to be pitch black except for the perspex panels and back wall, which is how I have had my installation since first term, and what makes it look exceptionally better. I’m actually very unhappy with the amount of light that is seeping into the room and it detracts from the installation significantly, however, it is out of my control as I am unable to remove this light coming into the room. I even asked Beth if I could cover that entire wall/window with black paper and she stated that it would not do much/ not be possible which is fine, I’m just not as happy as I would have been considering the room black. In future, I would ahead of time cover that entire window with a black piece of fabric to diffuse the light from getting in over the curtain rail and impacting my installation.


 

Friday 5pm Onwards

Preparations for Monday

We were in A27 for two hours today, attempting to organise the hanging of my perspex sheets on the lighting truss ahead of install on Monday. I had hoped to hang them today however that didn’t seem to be possible. I showed Beth my Haylard Hitch knot and she approved of it to hang my perspex which is a relief. She also showed me another snazzy knot that we are going to use to attach the fishing wire to the lighting truss itself. We tied 8 lots of 5.5m length fishing wire to the truss last night ready for Monday to go in and hopefully get it installed in a timely fashion. The light of the projection was catching really well on the perspex and I am so glad that the participants will mainly see the clear side of the plastic now instead of the foggy side that I dislike and appeared to be the centre of my installation last term. I’m just hoping that installing on Monday goes as well as it can really. Jen and Esther and Beth have all been a massive help and Esther is going to help me again on Monday so that’s a relief. Now I just need to make sure I have everything to take down to A27 on the day.


 

Finalising Content for my Installation

Footage:

Above are just 16 of the 45+ videos I captured in Skyrim in preparation for creating my footage for my installation.

I have combined 24 different videos captured within Skyrim whilst my texture pack was active and created four different primary videos that will be exhibited onto the perspex sheets that will hang from the lighting truss. Each video has 2-minute clips of the videos, however, the transitions of videos will stagger throughout the perspex. I have decided to do this to enable the participants to view multiple different videos together at a time, instead of a preset of all changing at 2 minutes, therefore leaving the participants only able to see 4 different videos together at a time. I wanted to give them the freedom of almost piecing together different videos in their experience, and hopefully, this will develop further their curiosity and in turn advancing their levels of immersion within the installation.

The 1st video is comprised of:     2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 minutes.
The 2nd video is comprised of:    30 secs + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 minutes + 1 min 30 secs.
The 3rd video is comprised of:     1 minute + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 minutes + 1 minute.
The 4th video is comprised of:    1 minute 30 secs + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 minutes + 30 seconds.

Each video was exported with it’s own sequence settings of 1000 x 600 to represent the perspex’s height and width at 1m x 60cm, hence cropping the video and reducing the compression of the file within the projection mapping software, reducing the pixelation slightly so that is it still recognisable.

Sound:

For the sound in my installation, as mentioned in this blog post, I am leaving the audio recorded in the woods as natural as possible whilst making it clearer and more defined to listen to, and I have edited the audio recorded in Skyrim to be ‘textured’ and have more of a digital aesthetic to it. Whilst I recorded the audio initially, I left three different Adobe software open in the background, causing the recording to stutter and add that initial cracking and texture to it naturally, without it being forced onto it by me in Audition. Further details of the processes of editing the audio are in this blog post.


 

Immersive Sound

Developing sound:

Noise Reduction tutorial

Recording in the woods

Recording in Skyrim

Whilst editing and developing the Skyrim audio, I wanted it to be textured as it is representing digital media, whereas the Woods audio I wanted to be as natural as possible to reflect reality. This helps further represent the concept of walking further away from reality into virtuality whilst walking into my installation.

05/06

I’ve been acquainting myself with Adobe Audition as I’ve never ever used it before today, so I’ve been exploring the possibilities of editing sound through tutorials and features in Audition, such as the diagnostics scan that helps identify the possible clipped areas that you can then fix below. I have also looked at noise reduction and reducing ‘noise’ from no actual noise at all to texture the sound coming through that avoids this reduction which is interesting to listen to. I’m just really trying to refine the audio before I start exploring it too much.

 

06/06

Below are some videos of the audio changing as I explore the limitations of filters and amplitude within the piece. I’m still learning everything so it’s a bit rusty and not how I actually want it, but it’s a work in progress. I’m getting there, I think there just has to be a few things that I change and alter for it to be ready, as I don’t want it to be so obscure that people can’t tell it’s the woods in Skyrim. I want to carry on the idea of it ‘appearing normal but when you listen closely it’s different‘ and I think the organic crackles help achieve this for me.

 

09/06

After working on the audio for a few days now it’s sounding a whole lot better. I’ve refined the cracking sounds and explored different filters within the piece. I have backtracked certain aspects of it and lessened the enhancements of the audio to keep with my ‘appearing normal but when you listen closely it’s different‘ aesthetic to the audio, and I think they will complement my installation very well. The audio is very absorbing to the senses and creates intrigue in the participant, which will further immerse them within the piece and installation. Without my audio, my installation will not be complete and I know that it will not be interesting/ immersive at all. The noises of footsteps of the participants and the whispering will entirely detract from the installation which is why I’m worried about Georgina’s performances wanting my audio off not just turned down. Will have to think about this later I’m too stressed to deal with that now.


 

 

Immersive Tactility within the Installation

Carpet:

The possibility of a carpet? I would have to felt a whole lot, and patchwork it all together, and secure it to the floor, and ask participant’s to take their shoes off in the gallery – which I don’t think they would be willing to do and also even Nathan said that he wouldn’t. Need to rethink this. Jen mentioned about having a carpet printed but the cheapest quote I could find for that was £750 so that’s a no.

Gloves/ Mittens?

If I was going to make mittens for the Peter Scott gallery then why not make them for the installation? I’m going to look into this further and the possibilities of this in terms of time/ resources/ money etc and then determine whether I can manage this feat. How many would I have to make? Maybe 5-10? Would I make gloves or mittens or fingerless gloves? It would be a really interesting and cool thing to look at, especially as in previous terms I had thought about using latex gloves for the participants so that they are unable to touch the objects in my installation, mimicking the detachedness of virtuality and reality and further pushing the participant from reality into virtuality but whilst they are in reality. If I am going to do this I need to pull it off as perfectly as possible, go through different patterns, tests etc, oh no.

Above are 1200dpi scans of some of the felts that I made to make my mittens from: I have made a total of 25 pieces of felt for 8 pairs of mittens for my installation, however, the scanner in LICA has broken therefore I never got to scan them in before I made the mittens from them. I explored the possibility of reinforcing my felt for the mittens so that they would be less fragile and therefore easily accessible, however, the texture of the felt when stiffened was too coarse and rough against the skin. I want the participant to be able to be comfortable when wearing the mittens and liken it to them wearing their own mittens, not something horrible and rough that would distract their attention from the installation to the mittens themselves, pulling them out of the immersive installation.

Above are images of prototypes of the mittens that I made, that were later recycled and remade into actual mittens for the installation. Following this initial pair I made with a simple hand blanket stitch, there were many changes to patterns and stitching that I executed in order to sufficiently create these mittens usable by the participants. The reinforcing of felt did not work however did work well with the strings that join the mittens together. I wanted the strings to be long enough that the participant’s do not feel like they are handcuffed whilst experiencing my installation, therefore the strings had to be of a significant length, and simple spun felt would not work for this. I mixed PVA and water together and essentially dreadlocked three entire pieces of felt that had been cut into strips, before sewing them on the machine also to further strengthen them. Whilst working with the mittens the sewing machine’s tension was set to 2 the entire time, enabling me to bind the extremely thin felt fibres together more efficiently.

Reflections of mittens:

They look so so good. They are exactly what I wanted, not too simple and not too difficult. The reinforced strings have worked very well and are providing sufficient support for the mittens, especially as they will be hung from this string in the alcove of A27 for the participants to wear. The colour combinations have been executed well and they all have enough detail in them that the participant will be able to see how much effort and time I have put into making the felt, designing the felt, making the mittens etc. When the mittens are hung in that alcove, I don’t know how they should be hung!! I’ve been pissing about with them for so long now that I can’t decide. I think that them hung with two nails apart from each other but twisted looks the best – but I’ll have to see when they’re hung in the alcove itself. I’m only going to put out 4 pairs at a time, that way I can replenish them once they get ruined. I’m fully prepared for them to get trashed so I’m not especially upset about it. I just hope that people have fun and enjoy the installation and immersive themselves within it.


 

Tests for Installation

Previous planning for A27 is mentioned in this blog post.

29/05

I had planned to go into A27 this evening and just test the throw of the projector against the back wall to determine whether I have got the right size and the size of the pixels projected, or whether I need to change it to the 1:1 projector, however, the room was locked and is apparently locked overnight, therefore, inhibiting me from entering the room at all really until I begin installing. To combat this, I went into C09 and measured out the length of the room at 13.5m and projected onto the back wall in there. This enabled me to determine that the size of the pixels and resolution of the image on the back wall was not an issue for my installation and therefore I could proceed with the projector that I have already. The pixels resolution on the back wall works well because you are still able to determine what it is that is being shown, and it adds to the digital-esque aspects of my installation. I think it works really well and will work even better with the pixelated footage on the perspex sheets that will be hung. Also, the green-ness of the back wall footage will complement the warmer tones of the Skyrim footage, hopefully creating a balance and emphasising the reality of the back wall footage and the fantasy of the perspex footage.

Beth and I managed to get into A27 between two exams and tested the size of the projector against the height of the wall, to make sure that it will cover the entirety of the white partition wall that is currently open for exams. To do this we experimented with the footage I will be displaying, but also the grid that is available through the menu that displayed the boundaries of the projector’s throw, enabling us to determine that it will cover the wall entirely.

When installed in A27, the projector will be approximately 7 metres away from the perspex sheets that will hang suspended from the lighting truss. To ensure that the resolution of footage will work well on the perspex at this distance, I went into C09 and tested the projector 7.5 metres away from the perspex sheets with the frosted film put onto it. I have ordered some bigger sheets of this for this term, eliminating the seam that ran down the middle of the perspex in last terms installation.

 

08/06

Beth, Esther and I have been in A23 this morning testing out my sound developments in a large space with the speakers I will be using for my installation. When setting up I need to make sure that the mini-jack output to XLR goes into the XLR Left and Right to deviate off to both speakers. My sound is not entirely finished right now but we tried it regardless and the audio bounced around the room and surrounded your ears which worked exceptionally well. The audio from Skyrim will come from across the room, whilst the audio recorded in the woods will be played by the door, signifying the transition from reality into virtuality as the participant walks further into the installation. There are a few issues I need to alter in Adobe Audition for my sound, but other than that the test went really well and I’m happy with the acoustics of my audio in such a large room.


 

Skyrim: Texture Pack

 

Changing and altering my texture packs:

The earlier initial creation of the Texture Pack is explained in this blog post previous.

As of current, my texture pack has yellow felted mountains, bluegrass that needs changing, colourful roads that also need changing, and more textures added to it. As mentioned before I want to go with the aesthetic of  ‘everything looks normal but when you look closer you notice something’s different‘. The further you go into the virtual world that I have designed, the more you see. The smaller balls of felt on the surface of my textures become identifiers for the uncanny aspects of the landscape.

 

28/05

I have additionally changed:

fielddirtgrass
fieldgrass
dirtcliffs01
reachdirt01
reachdirt 02

02/06

To very subtle textures, in an attempt to blur the lines between the less subtle textures and the OG textures in the virtual world, as a transitioning stage for the landscape. The texture pack is really coming together, I think there only needs to be a few more minor alterations for it to finally be finished and ready for filming. The texture pack is more noticeable from a height, so in a bid to remove this from the filming, I’m only going to film my footage as close to the ground as I can whilst moving through it or stationary, so that the participant appears to be absorbed into the landscape instead of stood atop of it.

Below are images of some of the textures I have created and added to the virtual world alongside the original textures to show the development of the landscape and the changes I have made, radical and subtle. There are some textures that I have entirely subverted like the OG grey mountains compared to the now orangey-yellow mountains, although there are subtler changes such as fallforestdirt01 that already incorporated colourful leaves on the floor, and changed that to a brightly coloured ball of felt section of one of my felts.

This is how my texture pack looks as of now. I’m extremely happy with the balance of OG textures and felted textures in there, as I believe I have made the entire place a lot more inviting and curious to explore and visualise.


 

Planning for Installation in A27

It turns out that A27 is in use until the Monday of submission, therefore I cannot install in there until all exams are finished, the caretaker has removed all tables and chairs etc, and the cleaners have cleaned the room. This means I need to have everything planned to the last second in order to efficiently and sufficiently exhibit my work to the standard that I want it to be.

Measurements for A27:

I went to find Dom the technician and he has been in the room with me this evening after the exams finished helping me measure the room. He also brought down the lighting truss and helped me measure that, that way I can begin to prepare the distances of the room and plan as best as I can for the room without a practice. This is scaring me quite significantly.

344913-052818.png

SketchUp 3D plan:

I have decided to do a to-scale 3D model of A27 in order to try and fully plan out the installation as best as I can. It has actually helped me visualise it a lot better than my imagination has, and has helped me determine that I want the perspex to hang around 1m – 1.25m off the ground in such a big room. I have a meeting with LICA tech and Jen tomorrow about technology so hopefully, this will help LICA tech determine the technology I will need and/or help with it.


 

Creating the Texture Pack: Initial Steps

The idea of a texture pack is an interesting concept – a blanket you can cover the virtual world you are exploring with, and even tailor them to your moods or preferences, completely transforming a world to your specifications. (research?)

Attempting to make a texture pack;

 

I GOT IT TO WORK!!! After installing 3 different plugin’s for Photoshop CS6, along with some other software, it finally works! This will work so well with my footage, it will completely transform it from something that would most likely have looked haphazard and collaged in, to an entire 5 steps up on the footage from last term as it will be organic and flow well whilst it walks through Skyrim, but will also have my felts on the landscape! I am extremely excited and proud of myself if I’m being honest.

21/05

To create a texture pack within Skyrim, I downloaded a BSA Browser, Photoshop CS6, 3 different Nvidia plug-in’s for Photoshop. I then exported the OG texture pack with the BSA Browser and converted the ‘landscape’ folder as .dds files. I then opened the 1200dpi scans of my felts in Photoshop CS6 and sliced them into squares that were 240 x 240 pixels, lowering them to the resolution of the texture pack currently implemented in Skyrim. I then inserted one of the 240 x 240 squares over the texture pack in Photoshop, before saving them as 8.8.8.8 ARGB files, and inputting them into the steamapps>common>skyrim>data>textures>landscape folder. I then reset the client for Skyrim and the files I inputted overwrite the current default, therefore presenting Skyrim with my felts as the textures.

Below are images of Skyrim with my first attempt at a texture pack installed, there needs to be a significant amount of development with it and refinement, but it looks so interesting and exactly what I wanted. The blue grass and purple roads are an issue that can easily be changed as I become further accustomed to the software.

22/05

Further advancements with the textures in the virtual world are looking a lot better, I need to have a look at how far I’m going to take this abstraction of the landscape. Do I go crazy like I did with Minecraft in the past or do I attempt subtlety? I’m going to Jen and Nathan’s office hour tomorrow so I can talk to them then about it and ask for their advice.

 

23/05

After meeting with Jen she pointed out the roughness of the edges of my texture pack as something that I need to fix – she could not be more right. I want to develop the appearance of ‘appearing normal but when you look closer you notice something is different‘ with my texture pack, subtlely manipulating the virtual landscape to appear to my interests.

 

Below are images of me following the above-mentioned tutorial in order to create a flawless texture for my texture pack. It has worked surprisingly well, even if there is a slight blurring at some edges, which I believe is down to the resolution of the original image not being able to be sourced by the photoshop ‘spot retouch’ tool.

 

The texture pack looks so much better with the seamless texture pack, I am going to develop the textures further however as of right now I think that the mountains are a definite hit – the texture conveyed through the felt and the presets of the 3D model already existing in the Skyrim client compliment each other really well and almost give the indication that the mountains should look like this anyway?


 

Degree Show Proposals

A27:

In an ideal situation, my immersive installation would be in A27 downstairs in LICA, as it already has a lighting truss installed, therefore, eradicating the issue of putting more holes in the LICA building, it also would enable the participants to enter inside the installation already!!! Without having to see the front of the panes of the plastic that look bloody terrible!! It would be like a really bit immersive installation, it would honestly be a dream.

PSG:

For the Peter Scott, I would like to hang an A1 print of my installation – hopefully, this term I can take a really nice picture of the installation set up in a practice or something and get that printed? The print can have a matte finish so that the spotlight doesn’t gloss out the darkness of the image too much and the viewer can actually see it. Next to this, I want to hang a pair of mittens made from my handmade felt, and after looking at the juxtaposition of textures in the monotypes and talking to Jen, I think it would look really interesting to have them hung in front of a print out of an original texture from Skyrim to create depth within the exhibition of them, and also layer up my practice, as the mittens came from the texture itself, sort of like a circle of life.