Interactive Review 2

For one of the kiosks in the museum, user’s would move kinetic sand around on a table and change the height of certain regions; creating a miniature terrain. Changing the height of certain regions caused the color projected on that region to change. The taller a region was, the warmer the colors would become; red being the maximum. This kiosk intended to communicate that changes in elevation can cause other variables of an environment to change. It communicated this by changing the color of the terrain if the height was a certain difference between two points (Example: “The green terrain zone I have is 3 inches below this higher region, so I will make this higher region yellow”). Strong elements of interaction included the sand itself. The reason for this was the fact that the sand was not normal sand you’d find on a beach, but instead kinetic sand. This type of sand is able to keep its shape much easier and be more easy to form and mold into various shapes. Using kinetic sand instead of normal sand allows for users to form the terrain in any way they like without having to worry about it turning into an instant “mudslide” situation. By physically interacting with the exhibit, you were shown different colors on your terrain based on their “altitude”. The higher you built, the warmer the colors projected on the sand were. This kiosk was an interaction-game-like due to the fact that interacting with physical sand on the table rewarded you with a different mix of colors being projected onto the table. Interaction could be improved at this kiosk by aligning the projector to the correct angle so that the colors for the altitude are not offset. Upon interacting with the kiosk I found that the edges were off by about an inch, which makes a big difference when showing changes in elevation. The interaction could be expanded by including a water system that would create waterways, lakes and rivers in the lower altitude regions; perhaps from table surface up to a quarter of an inch.

Another kiosk I interacted with involved taking hold of a handle with a looped piece of steel on the end and making it from one side of the maze to the other without touching the steel loop to the bar in which it’s contained. To interact with the exhibit, I had to hold the handle piece in one hand and slowly move the handle along the path. Slow movements were needed in order to not touch the handle to the maze line and cause a game over. The exhibit was communicating that patience and taking your time with a task can help you succeed more efficiently. It communicates this by having an intricate path in order to make it near impossible to complete the maze successfully going at a fast rate. The strongest elements of the interaction was the buzzer that would go off if the wand touched the maze line piece. This result of having the two pieces touch acted as a negative reinforcement and made the player want to try harder to further avoid causing the buzzer to go off. This exhibit was interaction game-like due to the fact that there was a result to touching the maze line as well as reaching the other end of the maze. Touching the line as stated above set off an annoying buzzer, but making it to the end resulted in trumpets sounding off victory. The interaction could have been improved by having a system which allows users to change the size of the loop that was on the handle. This would allow players to increase or decrease their difficulty as they please and offer more variables for competition against their friends such as “Who can make it to the end the quickest with loop number one?” As for making the communication as to stay away from the swirly maze line, they could have painted the maze line red. That way the user would associate the color red with danger either before or after they cause the buzzer to go off the first time. The interactive design of this piece could have been expanded with this piece by creating a longer and more elaborate maze experence; perhaps one that went all away around the table.


Animation Critique

Rob McCoy’s walk animation does an great job at displaying body language in the walk as well as timing the poses accordingly. There are just a few things I noticed after scrubbing through a bit. On frame 17 it appears that the left arm eases out a bit too quickly as it swings down to become parallel with the torso. At the same time while approaching frame 26, the right arm appears a bit too stiff while swinging forward. The ease in and ease out with the arms in this section of the animation seems to slightly throw off the balance of the character. There is a little bit of sliding in the feet towards the middle but it is not too noticeable. Other than that this is a extremely well done animation!

Critique on Reflection Piece Presentation

During my presentation of my Reflection piece, I had another classmate take notes on my behavior and way I presented myself as well as the piece. The main thing that was brought up in the end was that I would tend to slowly transfer from speaking about the piece to mumbling. I have had this happen many times before in the past and have been trying to improve myself to avoid doing so while presenting. To others, my mumbling habit may make the people watching believe I do not know what I am talking about and/or presenting. This is never the case when I give a presentation. Before I present anything, I go over what order I am going to present things in. I spend more time doing this than thinking about what to actually say; mostly improvising my descriptions on the spot. Though I am good at improvising, as I speak and explain something, a small part of my will say “you aren’t describing it well enough” or “they don’t understand”. This causes me to get lost in thought of what to say while at the same time speaking whatever it is I am describing. And just like that, I start to mumble as a fight breaks out between my mind and mouth. This is something I have tried to work on before and is much better than what it was at least three years ago. But there is always room for improvement. A more positive thing that my classmate told me is that I was good at not only speaking and staying on topic, but also using my hands to point things out; rather than staying erect like a statue.

Journal #15

Contained within the posting given in the email, there are three separate articles. Each article being based around a different person as well as an incredible story in their life. For the first article, Jacob Needleman goes into great depth on the events that shaped him into the man he is today as well as how he learned a great deal  of information on embracing contradiction. Needleman does a great job at connecting events in his life to the various lessons he was taught. An example of this being when Needleman’s friend, Elia, passed away from leukemia at age fourteen. This event at such an early age is what truly inspired him to find the answers he would be searching for throughout his life. The second article, which focuses on a woman named Marina Abramović, discusses how she turned all of her pain and suffering she experienced at a young age into a drive to become a performance artist. To put in perspective as to how poor Marina’s childhood was, in the article she states that the happiest time of her childhood was when she stayed in a hospital for an entire year at the age of six due to what the doctors believed was a psychosomatic reaction to the beatings her mother had given her. “Deep same, maximum self-consciousness” are other things she experienced, and made it impossible for her to speak with anyone. But when she discovered art, Marina pulled a 180 and now is a completely different person. She found that through art she was able to escape into another world; a world of freedom and expression. It allowed her to leave behind the safe world that pulled her away from loneliness and sadness she was experiencing. This section of the article is extremely powerful and shows that even the most quiet, “unlikely to succeed” people can create great things. The last person is Lise Meitner, one of the main people responsible for discovering nuclear fission. Sounds like a great feat, and it WAS good enough for a Nobel Prize, but she was excluded from receiving it because she was a woman. Throughout most of her life, there were unfair opportunities for women. An example of this is when she traveled to Berlin at age 29 to study at a man by the name of Max Planck, only to find that the universities in Germany would not allow women in unless given special permission. Later in time, Lise would work with another man named Otto. The two would later discover a new process that they would call nuclear fission. The only person to obtain a Nobel Prize for its discovery was Otto; Lise being left behind. But the amazing thing is that Lise did not let this get her down. She took that negative experience and made it push her to do even more great things and live life to the fullest. The overall message is to take a negative experience and not let it destroy you, but encourage you to keep pushing forward and achieve greater things. This relates to what we are currently doing in class. because no matter how badly all of us want to smash those chairs, we must learn to accept what is currently happen and will happen, for in the end we will be able to move on and learn from the experience. This article is well organized and does a great job at getting the overall message across.