Advanced Interactive Media/2008 Project: Weekly Progress Summaries for An Interactive Projective
Three teams and three phases created/outlined:
> Design: o Development of the Colour Palette, Design layouts, Branding and overall Look & Feel that will be the confines within which the other teams will develop their products. o Creation of PR materials such as non-standard brochures, etc. that can be disseminated to schools in the effort to bring the Surround Screen Video (hereafter: SSV) experience to those places. > Interactive: o Creation of the game concept, including the Wii-controller interface, and attendant story script and characters. o To create the navigational user-interface and apply it to the touchscreen and website templates produced by the Design Team, primarily using Director software. > AV: o Naturally, the filming and recording of elements such as the real-life, curator character (Mr Bush) as well the lazy-susan display. o Creation of a mini-documentary about the museum, done in coordination with Mr Bush. This documentary would then be featured on the website and be part of the promotional material for the museum and the SSV.
> Phase 1: Colour palette, look & feel of layout, fonts, livetype templates, motion backgrounds, basic navigation mind map & buttons > Phase 2: Detailed navigation including all globals, plus applying branding to all screen formats > Phase 3: To create at least one working prototype for every format (VR, touch screen, video projection, brochure, touchscreen, etc.) and finally the client demonstration
The User and client profiles were discussed with the following notes:
User Description: Issues Raised:
- Who is project being designed for? > Grade school age children 7-9 or 10-12 (one grade-school, homogeneous group) - Approx number of potential audience? > 40 per session - What is the attention span of the target audience? > 30 seconds to a minute and a half - Length of media elements? > 30 seconds to a minute and a half - What would hold the targeted audience’s attention and effectively get the point across? > Action > Noise > Sound (surround) > Color > Fast paced elements > Interaction > Competition > Keeping the actual audience in motion > The idea of reward
While we are initially planning this with the target audience in mind, we need to not forget who the client ultimately is and what they want. Client is the Kirkpatrick Foundation and the OKC art museum.
- Segmenting the group, and moving the audience - Competition between the groups - Competitive scavenger hunt inside the virtual interactive museum (virtual flythrough), per
1. Split the group in two and have them compete by interacting with a VR fly-through of the museum (the manipulate where they fly) in looking for treasure 2. Perhaps even better, have another group of their friends actually at the museum, and by use of two-way A/V communications, they tell the team at the museum where to go and what to look for
- Use the Wii-mote to control the virtual artwork inside the VR tent
Initial Project Consideration: A treasure-hunt competition where the group of children will be split into two teams and each team will use Wii controllers and their half of the enclosure’s projection screens to work their way through a VR environment of the museum, using various collected clues, to find all the objects or information before the other team does. Also in the enclosure would be a chroma-key wall where an actor/college student would show off media interaction by coordinating their movements and behavior with characters projected on through the chroma-key (Interactive team?). Leading up to the enclosure would be a tunnel-like entrance where the students would be introduced to the game and what’s ahead in the enclosure as well images and other aspects of interactive media via flat screens (Design and AV teams) Selling this idea to schools will require printed material (Design team) Other considerations:
- What is the operational budget? > Potentially $0- $200,000 - What is the timeframe? > This project is due a year from now.
Discussion regarding the look and feel of the final product, geared towards the user-profile from last week:
General Considerations: - Team Leaders: What are you going to do with the selected software to appeal to and reach children (what look and feel for the media)? Preparer a final statement for each team to encapsulate this and post it on Facebook in the respective team blogs - Project concept is now entitled Surround Screen Video or SSV - Create a detailed list of everything each team needs from the other teams - Post what each team will offer on the Facebook, group wall
Interactive Team Considerations: - Further discussion given to the overall concept. A third possibility has now made it to the fore, and that is to break up the main group into much smaller groups, as follows: > The media intro that the children see before entering the SSV is now conducted live by a college student or actor in front of the chroma key wall. On entering, the children see the actor and realise it was a live performance. > Initially, all the screen inside the SSV are used to give a brief, guided tour of the VR museum interface, conducted by the same student/actor > Once broken up into their separate groups, each with a Wii controller infront of an individual screen, the presenter shows how the basic interface works – basically click on a 2D layout of museum, and the room clicked grows into a 3D, VR model. Each group at each screen will play games that last no more than ten minutes (approx) where they have to figure out basic puzzles that are based on the art museum room that they are in. Overall, competition could still apply at the as to which team solved the most puzzles. - Printout concept for high-school brochure: To avoid the usual trifold, create something that folds out rather like the SSV would; i.e. from the centre out to create a circular brochure? For more details, see: http://supercoenbros.blogspot.com/
Video & Design Teams: > What sort of transitions should be used in the VR tour when going between rooms? Do we want to have something elaborate that switches between VR and real video, or something more simple and quick that allows the students to quickly go between rooms? We do want some sort of transition so there isn’t just a jarring jump that breaks the illusion. > This needs to be placed along side the idea of having an actual live team actually in the museum, if we still want to pursue that variation(?)
Design team Considerations: > Select colour palette (graphics used will ultimately dictate this) > Research other ideas on the web – other fads. Particularly look at the Hannah Montana site and the game they have there that John mentioned. > Remember that we will ultimately be selling the idea and its look to the Kirkpatrick foundation and the museum > Work on starting the collection of a large library of still images – remember the discussion regarding needing only 1 second exposure duration before moving to the next image.
Weeks03 & 04
- The colour palette is now on Facebook.
- In detail:
> The entrance will now have a two-sided flap, black on the inside and white on the outside which will allow for projections to displayed on that white, external side.
> If separate actors and presenters are used, the actors would use the chroma-key wall to play out scripted interactions with the characters displayed keyed-in there, while the presenters would stay up by the entrance.
> The Project concept continues to tighten up. Over the weekend, a specific ‘story’ outline came into being that retains many of the ideas from Week02, but places them in a new ‘setting’:
Design Team: Story concept: A villain steels art. A hero interacts with kids to help retrieve the stolen goods. There is no longer a splitting of the larger group into smaller ones. Instead, kids will rotate using the Wiki-motes to solve various puzzles and games as they move through various rooms > There will be a maximum of three sets of games, repeated on each side of the SSV. > An intro will explain the story and its characters. This will be, at least, partly done outside the SSV, with separate(?) actor(s) and presenters inside showing the children what they actually need to do. The chroma-key would be used by the actor(s) and/or Presenters to interact with the cartoon characters during these intros. > The games will need to timed at an absolute maximum of 5min each (preferably more like two to three minutes) so as to allow for processing of some 30 to 40 kids with each one getting at least some time with direct interaction via the Wii-motes with the media/VR environment. > In workload terms, the games shouldn't take up more than 20% of the project; consequently, no more than three games will be created and they will then be simply adapted to each room’s unique environment. > The VR room-changing process will now be a simple, click on the door, which will immediately change the screen/VR environment to that next room. > Use the colour palette and web research to come up with three design options (“think Web design layout” - navigation, rollovers, etc.). Designs to be incorporated in layered, Photoshop documents that include the original websites that were used as inspiration. > Design to include Fonts, colour interactions, etc. - 1024x768 format - Ideas to be presented to class Wednesday and finalised by the following Monday (Feb 11) > Also consult calendar pictures in Facebook photos
- Scriptwriters to begin adding more details for the concept story as well as modularizing the story as much as possible for each room, etc.
- That said, all team leaders will need to now be constantly checking with each other, as well as the scriptwriters, as the overall and specific scripts become more integrated.
After further communication, we now have some feedback, that a confirmation may be received as early as the middle of February, but it might also be as late as 1 April. Consequently, the expectation for the issuing of the grant affecting this class’s project work has actually been reduced to about 20%, since the deadline of Feb 22 must remain.
In light of this, initial proposals for the transfer of the concept to the Elsing museum were reviewed. The curator has agreed to give the class a shortened tour of the museum to familiarize those who have not been through it.
More specifically, since the animations company would not be involved in anything to do with the Elsing Museum, the initial concept is for a Lightwave-created, VR cave-environment that would replace that company's VR production of the OKC art museum. The curator even has previously made drawings of such in the hopes that this might eventually become a physical construction for the museum, and the Lightwave design could then act as a blueprint and would also feature in any future visitor’s centre.
Touchscreen: - This is to be the highlight in the middle of the SSV, since kids love to touch things! - Must be consistent with the immersive experience that we are developing – the large screens will change based on the interactive commands (touches) made by the kids and the presenters on the touchscreen. It is crucial that the children get to experience this, because it is a unique feeling to change something on a touchscreen and that cause the entire environment around you to change accordingly. It illustrates, perhaps better than anything else, the ultimate power of interactive media. - Surround sound must also be incorporated to complete the effect just mentioned. - All that said, the central (or will it be up by the entrance for the presenters?) touchscreen will be primarily for use by the presenters, at least during the first intro that Grant and Sara have now scripted (see http://supercoenbros.blogspot.com/2008/02/interactivity-team-rough-script-262008.html) - The main screens use HD aspect ratios - Touchscreen can have a varied design from that shown on the main screens, but they should all still be unified - Creating the touchscreen is what the teacher’s unction for ‘thinking website’ are primarily addressing - Testing will be done on the teacher-station in the Mac Lab
Main Screens: - Wii-motes would enable the user to ‘move’ around the VR environment as illustrated today on the teacher-station in the Mac Lab
Navigation/Mind-Map: - Interactive Team to develop, with class input, a non-linear mind-map of the ‘website’ that will be on the touchscreen - Use Motion to create invisible nav interface buttons (Easter Eggs)? - Name the home page 'Art (or Elsing) Museum'. - Standard web interface protocol calls for no less than three, and no more than six, buttons on the initial Home page
Interface Production Considerations: - It must be Dummy proof! - Have the interface tested, heavily(!), by someone who is good at breaking such things! - Text has to be legible by kids - Must be design-consistent (Button locales, etc.) throughout the various pages - Must have an integrated marketing look (unified look throughout) - Must have alternate methods of navigation: linear, interactive non-linear, drop-down menus, voice commands. Voice Commands is one that fits very well with the interactive scope of this project and must be a primary focus for consideration. - Have unique features in the navigation (do the expected, but also the unexpected) - Design for the environment (i.e. surround sound, touchscreen, Wii-motes)
Buttons Considerations: - Separate out Presenter & User control routes > Include project participants (e.g. museum curator, creators, students, etc.) > Include the Creative Designs VR Tour (if grant comes thru) > Link to external website(s) (needs live link or html files on harddrive)
User Controls: - Interactive VR tour (with audio cues/instructions?) - Treasure hunt - Web (online access) games
What are the most interactive items we have in this project plan?
1) The touchscreen
2) The Wii-motes
Design Team Assignment: Create a sample screen for every conceivable page in the touchscreen project. Considerations: - 17in monitor - Resolution: 1024 x 768
Team Meetings: Interactive Team: - Presentation must have five working buttons. While these can be simple squares for now, they could later be incorporated into the disc project as invisible hit areas, even though this exercise is not directly related to the project. - Will need to use compression for the full screen videos - Discussion of how to use graphics or rocks/rock pieces for the Elsing museum variation of the project, along with its attendant games - The Villain’s rampage would be done as a video piece, during which he inflicts the ‘damage’ the kids then have to fix in their games. - Discussion of the three game types to be employed: Puzzle, Odd one out & ? (TBA)
Design Tm: - To have created a sample screen for every page in the touchscreen project
- Elsing Tour conducted along with a review of how the goals will change if we switch to that subject (Those goals to be listed soon).
- Group encouraged to pick out things that could be presented as inspiring and attention-grabbing parts of the media display.
The museum is growing in its renown. Inquiries are now being received from across the nation, and so it is to the point where one can consider how worldwide exposure could release a whole new wave of interest and interactivity between schools around the world and the museum. It’s displays and information would be an invaluable resource for many classes.
Willard Elsing was an artist and organised his displays accordingly. His fascination was with God’s artistry as can be seen in so much of the raw minerals displayed. The curators want to retain that artistry look but also add in a focus on the educational aspects.
Appraisal: The value of the displays are kept secret for security reasons, but the administration has detailed inventory including pictures and even videos, that could be a veritable goldmine (please excuse the pun!) of resources for the group.
A VR tour could serve as the basis for self-guided tours? One problem in that is how to keep track of the user's location.
User groups: The most focused on are third-grade age (approx 12yrs old) children. A secondary focus falls on college and then adults in general
The museum also conducts road trips, and there is a prime opportunity for an interactive media resource to completely change these: - An online VR tour would overcome the problem of gas prices for groups wanting to visit and essentially make the museum tour to a worldwide audience! - The SSV could replace much of the current displays which would be reduced to a much smaller, and hence much more portable, collection containing just a sample of certain specimens for display. - Employ videos that use the most visually appealing items on lazy susans.
Educational: Showcase the multitudinous products that come from all the minerals and crude oil. A good resource here is 'Properties of Minerals' case – which shows the tests for authenticity. The curator’s prime concern, in regards to media displays, in this regard would be the Tristate mines. Such a presentation would help on an educational basis and also in procuring further grants.
Artistry Considerations: - Natural sandstone 'paintings' - The silicate case that shows how the molecular structure creates the colours seen - Rams horn crystals – now only to be viewed in museums such as the Elsing which has one of the largest in the world. - Hollow geodes that contain natural ‘pictures’ (Gods artistry) - Elsing eccentrics – One of the world’s largest collections of finely made and decorated arrow heads, the oldest dating back 800 to 900 years. - The ‘TV rock’ made possible by parallel fibres - Sam the miner - Lighted cabinet that when switched to UV light, shows off the other colours in the optical spectrum that rocks also emit
General Notes: Construction time for the SSV setup is set at about one hour, with four people working
Notes from meeting with animations company:
- Has your company done any game design? > No. But as they grow and pull in more talent, it's not off the table. This project could be the doorway to that in collaborating with ORU students. They provide the business knowhow. - What is your perspective on this project? > The business aspect - What's realistic to accomplish? They are considering the real-world aspects regarding gaming and educational focus - Have you done any Cartoon Animation? > Yes, a little animation, but it’s not the main focus of the company. Again, that doesn’t mean that options aren’t always kept open. - How do you want the communication between ORU and Creative Animation to work? > There is definitely a need for a Design team to facilitate brainstorming. One has to consider design preferences v's realistic limits. A design team would work in that capacity, acting as a liaison between them & ORU using project leaders assigned from each side. The company would need this in place 30 days ahead of the start of the project, once the grant is issued. - How much design would be in the 3D scenes as far as artwork? > They are very interested in the Wii-mote stuff. It's a large environment, but basic creation can be done quickly enough using game engines for manipulation. They displayed a head-tracking presentation from a YouTube video. It displayed the use of the Wii-mote to incorporate head-movement controls for games and to create an immersive environment on a traditional 2D medium. It essentially uses the Wii-mote and the attendant sensor bar, but reversed in their roles so as to track the movement of the user’s head. The YouTube presenter created the software to make it work. The video is about a month old. Imagine that working on a huge screen! What about a training application? This could be the prefect tie-in between ORU & their company's work. - How can we transform your 3D scenes to an interactive, immersive environment? > They are now talking about adding game engines to their videos and that would be a way to bring the videos alive. - Will the company’s resources be available to the students? > Still working on this, and have to figure out what makes sense for bandwidth. They may give access to certain parts of their server. Maybe students could use their servers to render? The game engine they currently have in mind is 'Torque.’ It’s not the latest and greatest, but it does the job and is cost-effective. - What about matching the colour palettes and feel that are being developed by ORU? > That would be covered by the Design team mentioned earlier. Coordination is necessary and can be accomplished as the project progresses. - How do you see each side contributing? > The students do most of the hands-on and their company provides oversight. - What will their company bring to the student's project? > Meeting the client's wishes is the most critical. The company’s focus would be on that. - What do you think their copmany would want to gain from this? > To build closer ties with the university and of course, simply to gain more experience. This project would help advertise Oklahoma as a tech centre. - What is your insight into Kirkpatrick? > He has met some of them, and they are definitely watching this between the university and the animations company. They are trying to bring film and other media to Oklahoma. - How do you envision this project? > They might add to the SSV project. A great example of using green-screen interaction with kids is Chucky Cheese. That alone should get the attention of the children. Otherwise, they are still working and waiting on more firm ideas to develop. There may well be a documentary made of how it was done, which would be produced by OETA (PBS). They would be filming both the company and the university, and that will require coordination with OETA. The documentary would cover meetings, DVD authoring, shooting video, general skill sets, what was behind the motivation for the project, etc. A lot of production work will be required in creating that documentary. This whole thing will require the full gamut of media resources. - Have you ever done anything similar? > In their working with building designs, they have had to create kid-friendly spaces. So they understand the mindset and requirements.
General Notes: Checkout the ‘Year of Creativity in Oklahoma’ (www.stateofcreativity.com)
The deadline for switching from Kirkpatrick to Elsing has now passed, and we are now to focus on the Elsing!
Changing the focus to the Elsing simplifies the previous four into just: 1. Max interactive experience for the class (the focus is now purely internal on the class itself) 2. The actual product for the Elsing
- All three teams created a mind-map of their respective portions of Elsing museum project. Those will now be merged into one, unified mind-map.
- New suggestion: Use images of known people such as the children's teacher - record them ahead of time and integrate that into the presentation video - will astonish the kids to see their teacher there in the video!
Notes on Mind-Maps: 1. Use curved lines 2. Make the line the same length as the word 3. Only use one word cues/labels 4. Colour coding 5. Use icons or pictures instead of labels
Further ideas to consider after teacher’s experiences with Flight Simulator software from a recruitment fair:
- Have the SSV at any future college fair as an immersive experience. Present a 'game'/simulation that will introduce prospective students to ORU and give them a taste by using the simulation, immersive media to make them feel as if they are really there.
- After further discussion with the class, if funding should still come thru for the Kirkpatrick project, then there could be a class vote as to whether to switch back. If that turns out to be impractical, then the team leaders might be asked to vote as representatives instead. Regardless, if nothing is heard by next week, then there will be no question of turning back. For now, we continue with the process of transferring the focus of our work to the Elsing Museum.
- It’s now clear that it is not going to be possible to have a finished project for the Elsing Museum by the end of this class (before it heads off to NAB). So it’s time to set a revised goal, which will now be to create prototypes of every feature that is being proposed and then have the curator obtain grants to facilitate the completion of the work in future classes. So our job now is to pioneer the following, in prototypes:
AV Team: > Create a video of the lazy-susan displaying six, chosen specimens. Take time picking the specimens. Work out the setting and lighting and use HD video. If need be, the curator has a lazy-susan ready to go. Suggestions: chroma key the background? How about making it interactive by having a scrub-bar that a user could manipulate to effectively make the lazy- susan go forwards and backwards? > Consider how to integrate the curator figure - Chroma keyed? Be unexpected and original. Talk to Anna in ETV if it might help. > Work on the idea of a micro-documentary, as long as it doesn't take over the interactive focus of this class. Coordinate with the curator and decide on what, where and how much. Have the curator define 10 things he would like to focus on and then pick three from that list to actually make the documentary on. After meeting with the curator, then get back with teacher.
Design tm: > To create the 3D model cave > Design a brochure-concept and disc labels using Indesign in coordination with teacher - Change the colour palette to match the focus on science instead of art. Have three colour palettes ready by this Wed for the class to choose from. Post them on Facebook. > To take the lead in finishing the web layout - a static, non-functional webpage, graphics only (just the look) as completed as possible. This will be for the website and the touchscreen, two products to complete graphic design on. Must include the Main pages and also the ‘inside’ screens - splash and content screens.
Interactive Team: > Create two hot-linked VR's - shoot and sketch out the concept. The exact scene settings are still to be decided, but for now, just use the two display rooms that we toured a couple of weeks back. Create the link to go back and forth between the two rooms. Teachers will help with these VR’s and the hot-linking. > Create the game concept – a 30sec experience as one prototype for demo presentation. As mentioned above, the setting is still TBA > Touchscreen functionality > To work up drawings of the three cartoon characters, three still frames of each, showing different facial expressions and poses. See the curator for the Rock Hound character. Submit revised due dates for this work by this Wed. > The script is in good shape but will obviously need more work as the project progresses > Work up the Motion and LiveType templates for all the titles, tags, names, labels and graphics
All assigned work is now speced out and assigned on Google docs.
General Notes: - The focus age group remains 3rd grade. - There are still three phases to complete: > Phase 1: Define colours & style – this is effectively done; although it must now be revised for the Elsing. > Phase 2: Complete detailed navigation including all globals and apply the unified marketing brand to all screen formats. The brand work is being covered by Deanna’s work on the website and touchscreen. > Phase 3: Final completion of all work is due before NAB convention (the wed before to be precise). All the above must be completed in the next 4 weeks!
- Colour palette chosen - Deanna to publish and catalogue
- Interactive team to shoot a VR scene today, teacher will stitch the various hot-linked VR's
Notes on shooting a VR: - Manual controls only - Set to infinity focus - Block models close-in - Wide-angle lens – benefits: less shots, close-ins possible. Blue-screen models to add in later if needed. - Shoot near most interesting artifact, not necessarily middle of space. - Where to mount camera is critical- focal point is the pivot point of the camera head. - Custom-built tripod for these VR shoots. Head must be absolutely level - check two places, 90deg apart to make sure its level throughout the pan. - Make the 'sky' interesting - There are now automated stitching programs to blend all the images together - A/V team to put together an example of how to integrate the curator using blue screen or in the VR cave or what? ETV's blue screen not body length - need further discussion with teacher. Need to develop 30sec script for curator character. - Design Team to have first draft of script done by Wednesday, so that the curator can look at it.
- Monday was the Phase 2 deadline - Interactive team will now take all the templates and add their content. All templates to be deposited in the server folder: Final Project/Final content - Interactive team will go there for the templates. Teacher to co-ordinate with the curator for a meeting ahead of the final presentation.
- Each team needs to get a presenter to sell the project to the curator . Preferably, one speaker per team to cover all of that team’s topics, rather than one speaker per topic.
- Presentation scheduled for 3pm Wednesday, Apr 09 (the week before NAB)
- 30min max for the whole thing with Q&A at the end
- In terms of notes/speech, one half-page, double-spaced ‘script’ is going to be about how much time each speaker has. This written script needs to be submitted ahead of time.
- Project Director to create an Excel spreadsheet breakdown of topic time-allotments
Topics for presentation (not necessarily to be presented in this order): > Client/user description and project overview (presented by Teacher and Director) > Screen templates (Deanna lead rep) > Explain concept of cave (Silas lead rep) > Explain game concept and script (Grant lead rep) > Surround screen concept (Teacher to present) > Present LiveType templates (Drew lead rep) > Present Motion templates (LaQuez, if back in town, otherwise John - lead reps)
- The curator & Grants Coordinator will attend the 30min presentation. Initial estimate for the completed project development is now $30,000, and the Grants coordinator would be the one to pursue the requisite grants.
- Interactive team: Absolute deadline for receipt of all content - Mon, 07 Apr at 0830 - Teacher to send details. Everything but the curator interview needs to be uncompressed.
- Design team: Maybe focus on a more grownup clientele for the website-look (splash and homepage) to address the parents, teachers, etc. Jimmy will use Deanna's layers as a template and do it. Hi quality, hi-res jpeg’s to be submitted to the Interactive Team.
- AV team: Blue screening of the curator (co-ordinate with ETV). Ben has script ready, and it has been sent to the curator. Because of the lack of a full-length chroma-key wall, only a Chest shot will be possible. Thence, the Curator’s image should be integrated into the rest of the media (Deanna's screen templates), and should also be one of the cartoon characters. For the curator ’s intro speech, create cue cards, or confirm he'll ad lib it.
- Plan on using the Wii controllers in the presentation
- Team presenters to be picked today (Mon). Can be per team or one per topic. That person will write script today. Script is to serve as speech notes and reminders. There will be a rehearsal on Wed beforehand. Remember you're selling the idea, not giving a technical explanation.
- Memorize the first few lines & just remember the other highlights.
- Be relatively informal
(Documentary now to be done as a side-project between John and Roger during the summer)