A projection mapping project using a mixture of animation and generative art to tell a story of rebirth in a transient urban environment.
produced by: George Simms
This projection mapped piece uses orthographic animations and generative code art to tell the story of a transforming city. The movements which flood over the blocks represent the transformations of our everyday and the way your experiences get changed by them.
Concept and background research
I wanted to explore how light can change the objects form and can transform its space for different sections of the narrative. I worked with a few different perspectives, firstly orthographic animation to push the action inside the towers. I flattened the form to create a wormhole out of the towers, and played with the form to create tower blocks and shrines.
I was heavily influenced by one of the best mappings I have seen in person for Amon Tobin live, produced by Leviathan Chicago & V Squared Labs. They projected on to a wall of randomly arranged cubes, and distorted its existence. It was really great to experience so I wanted to see how I could replicate this effect and create new dimensions for the story to play out in.
I was also very interested in creating a projection-mapped work with realistic perspective much like the box video. I wanted to incorporate my animation skills in with the code work, as I have not really had a chance just yet, so I investigated orthographic animation and produced the flooding room animation.
The first two scenes I created an array of images to cover the sides of images to create a façade of the building or the rooms inside. For the animation of the rooms inside I created a vector of images that could be played through on each point of the array. I found this element quite hard as it you have to load each image manually which I did not know, I ended up using a for loop with a varying string going into a .load function. I seeded each point so that it would play at different parts of the animation creating a feeling variation in visual. I only used a small loop as time was short so it is not that clean and you get a lot of overlapping, I would have either used a longer loop or created a new looping function that played them out randomly one at a time. For the second section of animation I made it play through a later part of the vector but delayed it going down on the Y axis so it would slow delay the flood of liquid which paused when it reached frame x.
For the second section I created a vector of strings to display in my chosen font randomly over the form. I converted a paragraph into the vector by dividing it with ; and the delegated them a random position on the screen. I then used sin function to fade the text in and out as it to changes the place it’s calling in the vector. I displayed this over an animation of a liquid wormhole.
Originally this section was going to be a intergalactic worm that I made to wriggled through worm holes and eventually centred and turned into butterflies that flew all over the form. The wormholes positions where randomly selected and the worm moved around organically with pull forces and noise and wriggled around, it was very cool. Unfortunately I didn’t have a real understanding of class systems (not to say I do now) so he died on entry into pimapper, hence this bit is a bit simpler.
The final section I create a composition of a few experiments I had created in mostly pure OF code. One of my favourites is the background which is made from an array of wandering points which scale as they get closer to the boarders, they are also connect by lines which fade in and out and change colour due to length. This was done by using a nested for loop to run over each point and check its distance to every other point in the vector and act correspondingly.
I think for the future I want to work on my skills set more and understand classes as this was a major hindrance for me, and I know that it could have been quite possible to pull off the full project with more knowledge. I also want to start to look into particles more as they seem much more functional for what I want to be doing and the areas I’m interested in.
Outside of coding it has also pushed me to explore the means in which we view work and started to get me to think about new ways I can show all of my work.
I think this work went pretty well apart from a few minor miss haps and one major loss. I gave myself enough time it was just not understanding classes that lead to most of my problems with the code. I practiced a lot in the creation of this project so I now feel like I have reached a new level of understanding and competency with it, which is exciting. I also researched for issues and areas I didn’t understand and how to resolve them which has now given me the knowledge and confidence to go on further and carry on self-teaching.
When it comes to the physical production side I think it went well, we laser cut a flat pack version of the forms and glue gunned them together and they where pretty solid. The only issue I found was that the projected area was so large and the object was so small in comparison that it lost a great amount of detail on the images.