UF Digital Worlds: FALL Tuesday 8th Period, Thursday 8&9th
“Projection Design” offers a hands-on approach to the design, planning and execution of digital projections in a variety of performance spaces by using a combination of industry standard and open source research software tools. Students configure and test a large set of media formats in a variety of display situations and venues. Student will present a multi-screen digital projection media project, a research process weblog and collaborate with engineers and artists.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
First thing I remember doing was getting the set for the dorm. This was just an image I found online, but I was really excited about the resolution it turned out to be. Also, Tom's eventual clean-up and overall manipulation of the image was really cool and served as a perfect backdrop for the majority of the play. After getting that, I focused a lot on trying to find good backdrops for the play (as Paul had said that was most important). I found a few, but most were tossed or served as portions of already selected backdrops.
After getting through backdrops, I very briefly helped out with the scroll by finding an appropriate image online and applying an alpha layer to it for Yejee to use in After Effects. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out in the multiple scenes it was used in. Once that was finished up with, I helped out a little bit with the Kinect functionality which was ultimately botched (in minor ways; I mostly just tried to help with the rigging and utilization of the rabbit).
Once all of that was finished, I really tried to focus on the Clock Scene (or the Midnight Cacophony, as some liked to call it). This was a bit tricky, as we couldn't really get the precise timing down until we got to dress rehearsal. So, basically, I set about finding a good video of a digital counter (I was thinking maybe an analog clock, but given the setting thought this was inappropriate), and speeding it up or slowing it down depending on the speed of the video. Then, in Isadora, I set the video to stop and go at the push of a button. Initially, this was to give the ticking of the clock a disturbing, warped feel disconnected from reality, but it eventually worked out as a transition between Faustus' different lines. Speaking of, Pat and Tom really nailed the chaotic section of Faustus' monologue with their finishing touches. I just wish I had thought to do that earlier.
Also, during the play, I was in the control room handling audio. My job wasn't nearly as stressful as Tom's; it mostly consisted of making sure the fades occurred on time. For each transition, I had to fade manually (as there was no fade point due to the lack of knowing when a stage transition would end), but most automated fades were on point. The one time I remember messing up was the alarm at the end. The fault was half and half. I stopped it early because the track skipped due to incorrect looping. Basically, the audio sounded like a mistake and I didn't want that to happen again. But, in retrospect, I should've let Tom stop it as planned because the audience probably wouldn't have noticed. The actor recovered from my blunder perfectly however and all the audience saw was a prolonged black screen. I fixed the loop and the second night had no errors.
Again, I'm really pleased with how this production turned out, and I think everyone involved should be as well. It took a good amount of time, and I definitely learned something in the process. Really, what more could I want from a class? Hopefully, everyone else felt the same.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The experience of helping to produce the image and audio content for Dr. Faustus with a diverse group was ultimately rewarding. Learning how the elements of the show evolved and fit together while being under a relatively tight deadline added to the experience. I became familiar with the Isadora program and how it behaved across different platforms and screens. To have a deadline and to negotiate around the desires of the director and constraints of the Isadora program made it apparent that having contingency options was very important. Out of necessity, we had to learn from mistakes quickly.
One of the main elements I worked on was the dorm room. Kevin found the file and I took it and cleaned up the walls and either removed some features or covered them with other items. I added some books, a fraternity paddle, and a book shelf. The main feature of the room was the circular window which the set designer picked out. I replaced the glass and made the stone frame appear wooden so it would fit better in the room. I had to make alpha masks of the window and of the glass for certain gags to work. I had made simple masks for static scenes when leaning about Isadora, but I found that using the same technique did not work for more dynamic in scene gags and transitioning between scenes. The masks required some adjustments. In hindsight, I would have worked on the entire file more carefully from the beginning rather than doing things quickly in order to test them in Isadora. I would have also offered more previews as the file progressed to get feedback. The dorm would also have benefited from a higher quality file to work with.
The next scene I worked on was the club scene. This backdrop was a manipulation of a picture I took close to my house. I created a mask for the sign and to play a video of a neon sign found on videopong.com. I also added the lounge through the windows and a couple of bar signs with masks and more neon videos. Like the dorm, I found that there were some discrepancies between how the projection looked on the big screen and my computer, and I had to make some quick adjustments.
For the vatican and throne rooms I just took found images and did a feathered erasure around the image so that they would blend better when projected.
The merchant scene was a group effort. I found two store fronts and cut them out with Alexis’ help. I blended one and turned it into a bar. Yejee found a sign for a Wine bar and I added that in Isadora. Yeejee and Terrance found the other store fronts and cut them out. Yeejee also suggested that we use the brick wall as a background to tie everything together.
I also worked in control room during the show and cued all the gags, scenes, and transitions. This was fairly tense and every run-through we did during tech week was necessary to get into sync with the stage director. Changes, though relatively minor, were made on both nights of the performance. There were a couple of minor miscues, but I think that everything went well all things considered.
I am looking forward to gaining more experience with Isadora and learning which adjustments should be made prior to importing into the program and and which should be made inside it. The experience of participating in the production of a staged performance will aid in knowing how to conduct more through file management and improve work flow in the future projects.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
With Pat, it was my first time working as a group for a projection design for a play. As a telecomm. production major, I haven't quite had a chance to work on this kind of project before. At the beginning of the semester, it was a challenge to learn about the program, Isadora and VJ program, and it was hard to tell what I will be achieving by learning the programs. However, throughout the semester, we worked our ways up to a big group project with actors and our director, Paul. When I finally could see the big picture of where it was all going, it turned out to be very interesting. I definitely learned a lot about how it is like to work as group for a big project like this in many ways, such as in social aspect and corporative aspect. But I finally watched the play. Dr. Faustus on the opening night, I was so nervous worrying if everything will go smoothly as one of the projection designers. I felt as if everyone who worked on the play felt the same, and I think we all did at one point during the show, in fact. I spent a lot of time making parts of the play on my own time. By doing so, I taught myself little bit of After Effects and more about Premiere Pro which I plan to expend my studying on. I was very glad that all of my gigs were used in the play including, the opening (initial F for Dr. Faustus), zooming into vatican, the contract with devil, scrolls for those who brought the show into reality, and axle tree video that was used in the background. Especially, with help of Pat and Tom's tweaking, everything fit together at the end. I was very proud of what we have created, and the show was a big success in no doubt.