Many people involved with the computer science and Digital Media and Animation major are hearing more about the Unity game engine; a free game engine for indie and professional developers. Much like other programs, it can be over whelming to learn a new program. To help solve this issue for the basics, a Unity seminar was held in SET 440 at 7PM. The event was hosted by Stephon Barrett with Michael Girard, Maria Frascella and myself assisting when needed. All participants were asked to install the newest version of Unity before the seminar began so they could all dive right in.
The topic of the seminar was a variety of sub-topics that had to do with the basics of using Unity. The first topic covered was the basics of the UI layout. This included the View settings so that people could select their favorite UI layout. This would allow people to find a format to use the software in which they are most comfortable. After learning a bit about the Unity layout and getting everything organized, we then moved onto the basics of creating shapes such as cubes and spheres. Everyone was then taught how to create materials to apply to the shapes. Stephon then instructed everyone on how to create a script to allow the cube to be parented to the camera and allow the camera to move based on the user’s mouse input. Once all of these processes had been covered, Stephon allowed everyone to mess around and try to modify the content we had created to learn how to make changes to our games and learn the software.
Some of the main points that really grabbed my attention had a lot to do with how important organization is. When making a video game or any other type of media for that matter, you’re going to have quite a few files to manage. It is very important to keep these files organized so that not only you remember where they are, but also for any teammates involved to easily find the files they need in an efficient and organized manner. If a person using the program were to just dump all of the files into one folder, others as well as themselves would be able to find the file they were looking for without a headache and in some cases depending on the project, compiling errors. Organization is important with any project and Stephon was able to communicate the importance of this method to everyone. For a Unity project, if you make a material, put it in a folder with other materials. Scripts? Put them in a scripts folder. This applies to everything: keep organized and avoid unnecessary headaches.
I can apply the various things I learned today at the Unity seminar to my work in DMA and this course individually. The most important thing to apply to ALL of my work is one that I am always careful to employ to the best of my ability; organization. Without organization, projects can easily fall apart. Pieces can get lost, ruined and in some cases, you may even forget to create something you need to have for your project because your directory or workplace is so cluttered you think to yourself “that’s not something I’d forget”; and then end up forgetting. Another important piece I have taken away from this seminar to apply to my future projects as well as this course is to double check your resources. What I mean by that is to go over any code you may be working on to check its sustainability and whether or not there are errors. Letting errors stack up can cause other methods to not function correctly and lead to quickly creating more problems.
For my final project for my Production class, I will be filming and editing a fight scene. At the moment I plan on having a number of students fight a group of soldiers that are armed with a fighting mech (may have to drop the mech for time reasons; we will see). I plan on using krav maga as the main fighting style for the video as it is a quick, fast and brutal fighting method. The students will also have powers to aid them in fighting off the soldiers and ultimately the mech. The video will be around 2.5 minutes as its cuts and visuals will be synced with a remix of Joan Jett’s song Bad Reputation.
At the moment I have the setting based in the woods to allow a larger fighting region, but whether or not I can carry out this plan will depend on the weather. NYS is very predictable with the weather so that should not be a problem (totally not sarcasm…). As for the mech in the video (should I carry out the idea), it will be a 3D rendered and animated asset composited into the shot. I plan to spend as much time as possible on this portion while still balancing time to shoot and edit principal photography.
For my video art piece, I plan on showcasing an amplified visual representation of the side effects of bipolar disorder and giving it a Jekyll and Hyde twist. As of now, I plan on having the viewer see the entire piece through the eyes of the person with the disorder. As they make their way through an area (or possibly showing different moments throughout the day), they will be introduced to everyday situations and view the more appropriate and socially acceptable outcome. After the subject carries out the response, Hyde will take over and show the viewer what the more impulsive and aggressive response would be. As the day goes on the subject will be more likely to take the darker approach; especially at night. At the end of the video, the player will fly up as he starts to be overcome by his darker side; resemble a dark god-like form. He flies up into the sky to a great height but suddenly crashes down as his lighter side starts to regain control.
For my documentary video I plan to capture the mysterious life of a creature I was introduced to three years ago; the Tyler Sudyn. For years I’ve tried to get to figure out what the root cause of his unpredictable behavior is, as well as how he survives in the wild. I’ve studied his actions since the day I first encountered him. But now I wish to share my discoveries with the world. My reason for making a documentary on the Tyler Sudyn is to further extend my research and share my findings with the world.
Anton Kinney is a 23-year-old man who spent most of his life growing up in a dark and isolated location; shut out from the light that most others are exposed to. At a young age, his limited exposure to social situations as well as other horrid contributing factors drove him to insanity, leading to a various amount of mental health problems. His only true friends are the ones that exist in his mind. Though Anton was never introduced to many other people nor greatly educated, he was a very smart intellectual. During his limited amount of time in which he spent in the light, he developed a habit of observing other people’s behavior. He would watch their body language, analyze their tone of voice, watch for micro expressions and over a period of time learned how to use these visual and audible cues to manipulate people into getting what he wanted; whether for good or for bad reasoning. By age 16 he could get most people to carry out tasks for him, such as stealing food. He had also become very good at planting “seeds” into people’s minds. Over time this “seed” would begin to grow in their mind; never ceasing to stop appearing throughout the day in their spontaneous thoughts. Most of the seeds Anton planted were for good cause, but on some occasions, were not. At age 19, Anton hit a low point, realizing that no matter how many seeds he planted, or riches he had acquired (whether they were stolen or not), he could never truly be happy. All his opportunities for true happiness has been shredded up and burned away when he was younger, never to return. For the first time in a long while, his friends from within his mind returned and convinced him that there was only one way to make him equal to others; to bring them to their knees. Anton agreed and set off on a journey to spread his feelings all those who surrounded him. For the past four years, Anton has made his way across the country, spreading his hate and using his manipulative abilities for evil. It is said that at certain points he tries to fight what his friends tell him and realize what he is doing is wrong. But whenever he starts to slip, his friends step in and reassure him that this what he is doing needs to be done to survive and make him equal to all those around him. Throughout his journeys, Anton has lost an arm due to infection (removed sloppily by himself rather than a surgeon), has a large gash stretching across his eye socket and upper check caused by a wild animal attack and has obtained such a bad case of cataracts that his vision has been nearly rendered useless.
Brian Murphy’s “The Ability to Name Things Has Escaped Me” gallery opened on the 27th of October in the Llewellyn Gallery. It opened up later on in the evening on Thursday and received quite a crowd of people. After only being open for a few minutes, the gallery was absolutely packed; people bumping into each other, trying to get a look at the incredible 3D artwork being presented around the room. Before you knew it, the room was tightly packed with people walking around with anaglyph 3D glasses on; their initial reactions to the work visible on their faces.
The topic of the exhibit was based around the experimentation of expressing various viewpoints about the world through the use of 3D video methods; in this case using anaglyph video methods. The exhibit was presented by the artist himself, Brian Murphy. Some relevant information he gave about the pieces is that only 100% done by him; the filming, processing, application of effects, and final output. This is important because not only does it give credit where it credit is due for the video itself, but also lets us know what Brian’s filming styles are, which could come in handy for any projects he releases in the future. Another important thing that was brought up (based off a question I asked myself) was why he had chosen to go with anaglyph 3D video techniques. Brian had brought up the fact that he chose to go with anaglyph 3D was not only because it was something he hadn’t really worked with, but also because he was so limited on available for hardware that would allow for different 3D video methods. This makes you think and wonder what amazing work he could have possibly created if he was given access to different 3D video methods.
The presentation was merely about experimentation. Brian did not bring up anything about a life lesson or a way in which there was symbolism in his work. He merely did the projects he did to practice different methods. It started with him getting a camera and wondering “What could I do with these stills?” He then proceeded to experiment with various 3D methods and found anaglyph the most intriguing. He also used anaglyph due to hardware limitations. One piece of info he brought up that caught my attention was that he was able to mix his actual DNA into a piece that he had on display.
One way I can apply the content of the event to my work in DMA and this course specifically is by experimenting with anaglyph 3D, but rather than just converting the video to 3D, apply some glitch art techniques to it. Doing could cause some extremely incredible results. Highly disorienting? Yes, perhaps. But in the end it would be interesting to experiment. If I was able to get my hands on a device used for one of the piece (caused randomized fluxuations in video signal), I could try to apply the classic anaglyph 3D visuals to the video feed and see what type of results it gave. A really interesting experiment I could mix with DMA and this course would be digitizing my DNA like Brian did but then messing with the code output, then running it through a program to generate visuals based on the information.