Second Rig

I trialed my reflection concept with a very simple rig using a piece of glass, a tripod and a television. This allowed me to turn the piece of glass into essentially a screen at 45 degrees. Here is a photo of it operating in the dark. 

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 Now as you can see the image is projected clearly on the glass, we can make out three men having a conversation in a kitchen. What  would like to draw your attention to however is the fact that we can also see through the glass and past the image to make out the blinds behind. The fact that we can see both the image on the television and also the space behind the glass has giving me the diea to work on a concept whereby I can combine more than one image. By placing another screen behind the piece of glass I hope to layer two images, and then experiment with the interaction between them. For my next test rig I build a setup downstairs in my conservatory. This setup would allow me to reflect the image off of my own television placed on the floor but also be able to view another television on a table behind it. Here is a picture of my set up;

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 You should be able to make out the piece of glass supported between the two pieces of wood. The height and distances used between glass and screens here was done totally by guesswork, with the idea of getting a rough idea of how big i should make future test rigs to fine tune the spacing. Here I have a video of this test rig in action! I was really pleased with the result as I was able to successfully layer two tracks of video with this technique, which is something I really wasn’t sure I would be able to do.

As you can see the image on the glass still looks relatively dim. This is because the back light on the rear television is far stronger than the one of the television positioned on the floor. To remedy this problem i decided I should use the television on the floor, with the weak back light, as the rear screen and that I should use a screen with an extremely powerful back light to mount on the floor and reflect onto the glass. My apple iMac has a 27 inch screen and a very powerful, luminous back light, so in my next test I would attempt to incorporate that into my work and see what results I could find, more detail in next post. 

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My first practice rig.

 With the idea for a holographic rig starting to take development I started to test out how the project may take shape. I kept an eye out for materials I could use and luckily managed to acquire a pane of glass the correct size (I nicked it out of a skip). With this crucial piece of equipment now firmly in my grasp I set about building my first test rig.

 My first practice rig was a very simple setup just using my tripod and the windowsill of my bedroom. My tripod was perfect for this application as the adjustable leg allowed me to position the glass to any angle I wanted. I used my own flat screen TV as my projection source. By plugging the television into my laptop via a HDMI cable I was able to use the functionality of the image to turn the image on screen upside down, thus negating the upside-down effect that reflecting an image usually gives.

 Here is a photo of my very first simple rig, please excuse the disgusting mould on the walls, all estate agents are in fact the devil incarnate, lets never forget that.

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(This room really is a state, apologies to all offended) 

You can see the image on the television weakly reflected onto the glass, this is due to the bright light on my room and the fact that my television has a very dim back light. Already you can see how performing this test is bringing up important issues for me to consider. Although the reflection strength needs boosting you can clearly see that the concept itself works just fine. The film “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” is playing through my laptop and is turned upside down, this is so that when the image is reflected it is flipped and return to being the correct way up. Another way around this problem would simply be to rotate the Television through 180 degrees, the fact that my image is turned upside down and back to front upon reflection is a fact that I will need to keep in mind throughout the project. 

 The next stage is to build another test rig, a better one! 

Holographic prototyping

 My new idea is something I am extremely excited about. I am not 100% exactly where the idea came from, I think it must have been a bit f a brainwave mixed in with other influences and ideas that I have worked upon in the past. For my new idea I wish to move away from QR codes and RFID tags and towards a powerful and fun video installation piece. The unique element of my piece is using a glass to reflect an image in a holographic manner. I studied physics at AS level in college so I am quite confident in the principal that I need to apply and that I can take a simple rule of science and turn it into a really cool and exciting piece of digital media to push the boundaries in 2014. 

 

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 Using glass to reflect an image is by new means a new trick, it has been used by everybody from theatre performers to magicians for centuries. My plan is to have my incident rays of light which are attacking the glass plane to have been generated by a screen, so that I can create a holographic video on the plane of glass. This idea came to my by thinking about heads up displays, they are in common use on jet fighters, some cars and also more recently in a small scale on google glass.

 

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Here you can see the cockpit of a jet fighter plane with the heads up display clearly visible, which i have highlighted with a red circle. Fighter planes use it to display important graphics t the pilot whilst also allowing them an unobstructed view. It is the unostructed view as the information displayed that is going to open up all kinds of new options to me with regard to the type of video installation that  can design. 

Too high a gear, not enough revs.

 At this stage in the project I am finding myself stagnating somewhat. I have researched into many different technologies and alternative ways of doing targeted advertising similar to my last project. At this stage I need to keep in mind that time is marching steadily on so I think it best to re evaluate what i liked about my last project and how I can push forwards. 

For my specialist project I created an alternative advertising campaign featuring QR codes and bus stops. The project received some really positive feedback and I had a great time working on it. I found the subject both relevant and stimulating. Upon reflection of the factors i decided to try and continue my specialist project theme onto my major project. When designing my major project I need to keep in mind what the strength of my specialist project where. I deem my specialist project a success for the following reasons:

 

  • It was unusual, although the technology was well established the application was not.
  • It was eye catching, the graphics and special effects used jump out at the user.
  • Length, the piece conveyed its aims in a very short period of time.
  • Futuristic, I feel the style and nature of the product seemed fresh.
  • Interactivity, I liked how the project required the viewer to be outside.
  • Challenging convention, the project moved away from traditional video presentation.
  • Relevance, the project had a clear aim and purpose.
  • It had a short and catchy tagline “Digital Vandalism”

 

I feel keeping these points is in mind when considering how to move forward on my major project. The first thing I want to research is how I might further develop my last project onto another level. The next step will be to research methods of developing my Digital Vandalism concept, with the aim of producing another unusual, memorable piece of video. I do not wish to become bogged down in coding or app creation. While considering different ideas I think I have found an avenue that I would really liek to explore, and one that i feel keeps in mind the points that i have outline above. In my next post I will detail how I began to experiment with this new idea and how I went about beginning my work on it. 

 

Second presentation

A follow up to my first power point, thinking further into where I might take my project:

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 Aurasma is a really cool app that lets you experiment with creating augmented reality tags. Augmented reality is a technology that I have researched into and flirted with in the past however I am not sure it has ever really seen its full potential. I am slightly reticent  about investing my time these technologies, I love making hard hitting, powerful and exciting video and I am not sure my current line of inquiry will really facilitate that. 

The merit of augmented reality and alternate advertising

 The dilemma I find myself in now is how best to push forward with a project that I believe is worthy of my final major. through my past few months of study I have learned that what makes a really interesting/rewarding piece of advertising is something that goes against the grain and captures the attention of the audience. There are so many new and exciting technologies out there at the moment that it can be difficult to know what route to choose and which path to take. 

 One idea discussed in my work sessions with Phil and Mark has been the idea of using RFID tags within a zoo in order to  link videos to enclosures. This way if there was an animal that was in hibernation a video relating to it could be activated via a proximity based technology such as RFID tags. Multiple animals could be chosen and could be filmed at feeding times when they are most active. This Is a good example of how the tags could be used because it focuses upon a very targeted and captive audience. The danger of many QR code projects is that the tags simply sit there, unused, not drawing any traffic to the target web pages and not really  being very useful. By instead using videos linked to specific exhibits it gives the audience a reason and a simple means to activate the technology, The activation of these videos could be controlled via an app that the zoo could either give a free link to or even charge a small fee for so that individuals or families can make use of it every time they go to the zoo. 

 A useful thing to consider when planning this project is that I have actually worked with Marwell zoo in the past by making a short charity film for them in my first year of college. The video was made before  started university and is of a poor quality but here it is anyway, it tells a nice simple narrative about how your pound coin makes a difference;

 

 Although I feel this is a good use of the technology I do have some doubts in my mind as to weather it is teh perfect final major project or me, I shall detail these thoughts further in future posts. 

Feedback from first crit

When presenting my first powerpoint some really interesting ideas and topics of discussion came up. One very important aim was how to push the project forward on a more commercial basis. Although they were perfect for my last project there is suggestion that QR code use is in decline and that slowly over time people are bothering to activate them less and less. This of course then naturally raises question over if it is an approprate technology to be using for my project, which is supposed to lie within the cutting edge of technology, this is DMP after all! 

Here are a fea rticles I looked at when researching around the effectiveness of QR codes in 2014: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2012/03/08/are-qr-codes-dead/ 

http://infospace.ischool.syr.edu/2013/05/01/are-qr-codes-on-the-verge-of-death/

 

The latter of the two articles i just posted mentions alternatives to QR codes I have quoted the section of the article where that is discussed below; 

What are the other options for creative digital marketing?

1)   Alternate reality experiences. These also require a downloaded app, but allows for a much richer experience. These are becoming more popular with companies that want better consumer engagement and have creative marketing schemes.

2)   Universal Product Code (UPC). These are the standard bar codes on most items available for purchase, and can also be used for presenting information to consumers with a scanning device. 

3)   Near Field Communication (NFC). These are smartphones / similar devices that establish radio connection by touching together or close proximity.

4)   Gee.Am. This is a creative way for people or advertisers to transfer data to their mobile devices via audio signals.

 Another alternative technology that was discussed during my presentation was the idea of RFID tags. These radio frequency emitting devices emit signals which can be tracked with a smart phone and could be manipulated and used in a similar manner to my QR codes technique. The main am of my research currently is to find out new technologies and move away from the use of QR codes in my project.

 I gained some very useful from Mark Sheldon in this study session. he discussed exhibitions he had seen whereby you could travel around a supermarket and scan shelves with your smartphone. Information such as nutrition, price and other products you might enjoy could then be explained. The main bulk of this work is trying to find a new way to use the idea of proximity-based entertainment and information technology services to create Something new and unusual for my major project. During our discussions we also touches briefly on where advertising is moving forward to and a new initiative called Sky Ad smart was mentioned as a brand new alternative advertising service. 

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This video really efficiently and succinctly explains what sky adsmart is all about: 

http://www.skymedia.co.uk/sky-adsmart/about-sky-adsmart.aspx

The next step for me is to think of a variety of ideas and different avenues I could go down with my work.

Transitioning from specialist to major proect

 With the specialist project having now successfully drawn to a close it is time to shift focus to my major project. My specialist project recieved some really positive feedback so I plan to continue with the themes and ideas I was working on before with a view to further expand my concept. Early on in the sessions we have a start of unit crit. Below I have screenshots of a powerpoint I prepared for this first crit. It very gently starts to touch on where i want my project to go and how I might develop my ideas. 

 

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