“Never say never again!”

23 05 2010

I really should know better than to use the N-word…

Thanks to the help of my secondary thesis advisor, John Park, I was able to implement the interaction design I’d envisioned originally for this project, and had had to scrap due to technical issues (read: major, endemic, and fatal lag).  We figured out how to successfully export each animation layer as video, then I fed the video back into Flash, and reinstated the original code, sockets, tripoint array, and all!  I think I’ll put the code up later.

To view it, you must have some form of video feed (ie webcam, Mac iSight, et cetera).  To get the most effective viewing experience, view the files in as dark a location as you can find (turn off the lights, close the blinds) and make sure your monitor is bright enough to illuminate your face but not much else.  Ready?

Now, download the Processing application (Mac and PC) and Flash file (Cross-platform SWF, Mac archive, PC).  (The SWF requires Adobe Flash Player, available for free from Adobe, and the Processing files all require Java, available at Sun Microsystems.)  Note to PC users: I use a Mac, and haven’t yet tested the PC files, so let me know if they don’t work so I can fix them.  Then, start the Processing file running, and allow it to use your video feed (just say “Yes;” I promise it won’t hurt your computer).  You should get a small black window filled with white dots that change in size.  All good?  Now, adjust your speaker volume to normal, and run the Flash file.

Please comment and let me know what you think!  I’d love to hear what you like, anything that you find confusing or interesting… Anything constructive goes!  (If you hate it, please don’t rant at me to that effect!)  If it doesn’t work for you, let me know—it’ll help if you can describe the problem so I can see if it’s something I can fix on my end.  (I can’t change anything about your computer; I can only try to make my files as accesible as possible.)

Thanks for reading, watching, and commenting (those rare few of you… yes, you two)!

Absolutely last versions…

10 05 2010

…of the interactive version (both surface art and process layer… play around with it!  use the mouse…)

…of the animation layer

…of the process layer

The interactive file lags near the end if you’re mousing, sadly, but that’s from the filesizes: the animation renders more slowly when it has to display the masked content as well, and gets out of sync with the audio; I’d rather it go off at the end than deal with pausing and playing video constantly to keep it in sync… choppy audio is annoying!

I do want to finish the full animation… after school is over, in my spare time… as a hobby, for pleasure…  ;)


18 03 2010

I went back and fixed some things that were bothering me (a reflection in the eye that suddenly appeared, timing slightly—or not so slightly—off in various sections) and then fixed the errors that that caused (lots of scrambled tweens, extra or missing keyframes, et cetera), and solved the music overlap problem (in a manner of speaking).  The movie now runs for the duration of the music, with a white screen for the unfinished part.  Enjoy the new and improved animation!  Meanwhile, I shall go enjoy my pillow and matress…  Wasn’t it just 11:57?  No, that was five fixes ago, wasn’t it?  Must sleep!

Animation progress: two more lines!

17 03 2010

I’m really happy with this sequence; it was one of my favorites to rotoscope (I did it quite a few weeks ago, but the beginning and the ending are new), and I think the text works nicely with the image.  Here’s the whole thing so far.

In other news, I’m going home today for spring break!  Yay!!!😀  I’m going to try to get work done in the next week and a half, particularly going through the library books I checked out before I have to return them.  Speaking of books, my present reading material is Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, a collection of short stories and vignettes taking place one after the other on the Red Planet.  It is brilliant!

Part One is finished!

16 03 2010

I spent yesterday studying for my science final, taking the final, finishing reading the articles for my paper, and starting to write the paper (up ’til 1:30 am, net pages written: six).  This morning I got up at 7am and started writing at 8:00; I finished twelve pages at about quarter past 11, edited and printed.  I managed to find my professor’s office after a wild-goose-chase (to Chapman, where his office is not, and where I looked up his office in the lab; to the map outside Oregon hall, as I realized I’d forgotten where his building was; to Cascadia, and through its labyrinthine stairs and halls, until someone finally directed me to the place I needed to be).  Then back to my room to get to work on the animation until 5:40, when I left by bicycle.  As of final critique, I had nearly got through the chorus—all that remained were the words, and a few nagging timing issues.

The animation was very well-received by my classmates and professor—thanks, everyone, for your encouragement, praise, and helpful critiques!  I don’t think I could have come as far as I did without your input (and the need to have something to show every Friday)!  After the critique, I biked home, showered, and immediately leaped back into Flash, and now…  Congratulations, myself!  I made it through the first verse and chorus (ten lines, or eighty seconds)!  All that remains are another nineteen lines, or one hundred twenty seconds.  I can do it!  Well, I refuse to consider failure, at any rate.  Here’s the completed animation, with the first few seconds of the next verse at the end.  And now I will put something in my stomach and go to bed… finally!  I think my manic energy ran out around six pm…

Before I say goodnight…

11 03 2010

I’ll post my work so far… I’m onto the last line of the chorus, working on what will be a combo of keyframe-work and rotoscoping.  I have (thank God) gotten an extension on the paper that was due tomorrow, which allowed me to work on this project again!  Also, in disgust at my having missed the last two class meetings due to nasty migraines (like the one I have now from hours of screen-staring), I have decided that I WILL MAKE IT to the last class, even if I have to stumble back to my room when class is over and nap until my science class—or even right through it, although I hope it won’t come to that!  Ugh!  And I thought my days of missing class due to migraines and insomnia were a thing of the past.

UPDATE: and here are the Flash mask test movie (.fla) and Processing XMLSocket data sender (.pde) (the one that defies the internet).  I’ve uploaded the .fla and .pde so people can look at the source code (myself included).  The .swf and mac/pc applications are up as well.

It’s been a while…

4 03 2010

Since I posted last; sorry—I’ve been trying to figure out next term’s schedule and doing research for a paper due in my science class, as well as working on the next line’s art for this animation.  I missed last week’s class meeting due to an absurdly nasty headache, but should be there tomorrow.  Last week’s work is posted in the last post, and this week’s work I hope to have finished by tonight and posted (it’s a time-consuming painterly/vectorish illustration, and the background is being particularly tiresome; at least I have Tim Curry’s reading of Sabriel, by Garth Nix, to while away the hours).  As the end of term approaches, I hope to have the animation competed through the first chorus.  I may attempt to do another Special Problems class to finish it next term, and will try to work on it during spring break as well as work more on the written portion of the thesis.  I feel like school is a black hole, and here I am narrowly skirting the Schwarzschild radius, praying I don’t fall in!

UPDATE: Gah!  I could have sworn I’d saved more often, but when Flash crashed on me I lost a bunch of work on the background, and I’m going to bed, so here’s what I’d been working on, the progress so far.  Much of this to the sound of Tamora Pierce’s Melting Stones, as performed by FullCast Audio.