'Muscular System' is a generative art piece projection mapped onto a mask sculpture. It is an exploration of fun, triangles and angular contours as well as all the skills I have learnt on the course so far.
produced by: Omolara Aneke
As soon as I saw the shape of the mask I was immediately Struck. I was enamored by the contours and thought that the triangular mesh would lend itself to very well to a kaleidoscope effect.
Concept, background research and Technical
My main focus for this project was to continue my journey on the Open Frameworks roller coaster. I naturally steered away from underpinning my work with a specific concept in an attempt to enhance and over pressurize the design process. Instead I steered towards the this of How I can use geometric shapes to best show off the mask. Inspired by the geometric work of Saskia Freeke, a creative coder based in Amsterdam, I spent time studying her code to further learn how to use the vertex function to create animated pieces. As briefed, we had to use sin/cos, for loops, functions and vectors/and or deques so I used this as an opportunity to learn about how to use vectors in openFrameworks. Admittedly, I struggled briefly, even with the documentation, but after a few failed attempts I managed to use it correctly on a small scale.
As mentioned previously, my focus for this project was to learn, I adopted an iterative creative process that involved drawing various geometric animations, mapping my favorites onto a dummy mask shape and evaluating what works and what doesn’t. It was through this process that I developed the triangular animation that expands and collapses, when positioned on the mask correctly it loosely resembles an abstract Muscular System. Even though I didn’t set out with a narrative I think the shape of my groups object subtly dictated the concept and what I thought was appropriate.
The second scene I pursed involved generating lines placed in a triangular shape to empahsise the outline of the intricate triangular mesh shapes. I used the random function to change the for loop in order to add to the noisy, surprised and cluttered energy to contrast the serenity of the first scene. I took inspiration from Day of the Dead Skull imagery and matched the triangle of the pattern to the triangles of the mesh.
We were given multiple guidelines and of all of the rules I thought 2 were most important; 1. Chose a simple enough shape and do not spend too long making and 2. Mesh the shape of the object and the animation, they should play off of each. Using these as guides, my group collectively decided to keep the mask small. The size of the mask turned out to be an unfortunately the challenge right at ending stretch of the project. First, figuring out how to display the mask was difficult its flimsy frame did not lend itself to being hung from the wall. Eventually we decided to stand it up on a plinth but in comparison to the other student's objects it looked very small and was instantly over powered. We decided to move it out of the collective room to a less cluttered room and this worked better. Hanging the object in the new room proved to be a new challenge. Once hung in a good position, mapping the triangles was another arduous task as the triangles of the mask were very small, but all of our designs needed the multiple intricate triangle mesh shapes. Triumphantly, as a group, we overcame all the set-backs, everyone constantly suggesting solutions and voting on the best course of action.
Future development and Self evaluation
Naturally any further developments will be projected on a much bigger surface as was the one thing that didn’t work very well. As a result, we spent a lot of time and help from technicians trying to figure out how to display the mask successfully. Overall, I think as a team we worked well; this then made the struggles that we encountered slightly more manageable as solutions were constantly being suggested. I set out to display my coding skills so far and I am happy with the overall look of projection mapping. The contrast of the muscles vs. the skulls as well as the serene scene vs. the noisy scene draws attention to an abstract face you can vaguely see with the help of the mask shape.
Fanceh Triangles - OpenProcessing (no date). Available at: https://www.openprocessing.org/sketch/86121/ (Accessed: 02 January 2020).
Geometric Shapes / 170416 - OpenProcessing (no date). Available at: https://www.openprocessing.org/sketch/421090/ (Accessed: 02 January 2020).
Documentation | openFrameworks (no date). Available at: https://openframeworks.cc/documentation/ (Accessed: 02 January 2020).