DIVA 300 – Final Report

December 8, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click final_report_john_deveaux for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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Did you have a transformative experience over the internship? How you may have changed since starting the internship?
MoCap – “John has grasped the principles of motion capture quite well. He has already exhibited thoughts of how to use the technology in areas outside the norm.” The paradigm shift for me in working with Rick in the school’s motion capture lab was seeing the ways in which the technology can be applied to multiple products, company and individual requirements. From biofeedback, to ergonomics, the applications for MoCap are endless.
CODElab – I and the CODELab artists mutually admitting errors were made and working to rebuild our collective relationship together.

How you may use the skills that you’ve learned in the future?
MoCap – I am presently building my own company to provide ongoing project management consultation with some key friends of mine; Paul Cordick who was a Producer/Project Manager at both Mainframe Entertainment and Electronic Arts along with Kirk Hutton, who just completed his MBA. Both of them will be assisting me in developing our business plan, scope/vision of the company and identify key clients and competition – having my own company will allow me the freedom to create and develop the projects that I truly want to work on.
CODElab – Learning how to setup and edit a Wiki page will greatly help me in the near future as one of my company’s first clients requires a wiki page to be setup and content input and maintained.

Do you have goals for continuing with the internship? Was there an on-going relationship that was developed or a network of contacts that will benefit your practice?
MoCap – Not directly with Rick in the MoCap lab, but he asked that I keep him in the loop as to the progress that the company makes moving forward.
CODElab – I will be doing some additional research for the CODELab artists later on this week for the project Wiki page and will be meeting with Simon later on in order to finalize what he needs me to look up. On a long term basis, I am not sure if I will be working with them down the road, but if our paths cross in the future, I would be open to talking with them to see if there are areas in which we can join forces.

Comment on the working relationship with the organization, working in a collaborative environment, the organization’s flexibility and communication about the projects.
MoCap – Not really applicable here as Rick and I were 1 on 1 all of the time and did not have a major project that needed to be worked on or completed by the end of the internship. That being said, I had a very good working relationship with him and would definitely work with him again in the future.
CODElab – There were a few bumps along the road in my internship with CODELab but at the end of the day, we were able to move forward based on mutual respect for one another and a common interest in putting forward a kick-ass art piece.

How your expectations of the internship changed over time? (what you ended up actually doing vs. what was initially proposed.)
MoCap – The complexities of the software itself are so immense that constant trouble shooting and tech support was required. In those instances where Rick was madly working away to try and solve the problem, rather than pester him with questions, in some instances it was better to just stand back, shut up and let him work the problem.
CODElab – Do to some miscommunications, the only concrete item that I have produced so far for CODELab was the Wiki page that I briefly showed during the mid-term assessment: http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Information_on_the_Olympic_Games

Mention the tasks and accomplishments that occurred after the midterm presentation
MoCap – Working with Rick this week to ascertain whether data could be captured without the black rubber mats being laid out in the studio. By moving the mats off of the floor and dialing up the threshold of the cameras, we were able to prove that while possible, the square footage of area that is seen by the cameras is greatly diminished which would result in limiting the movement of the actors within the space.
Since the infrared cameras are very light sensitive, a potential project coming down the pipeline was looking to see if they could do mocap without the mats, as they are cumbersome to move and stack and also emit a fairly potent smell each time they are moved. The studio needs to be aired out as a result which means more time is lost
CODElab – still to be determined…


DIVA 300 – Critical Review

November 25, 2009

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Here are the details from one of the performances that I saw over this past weekend’s Interactive Futures conference here at Emily Carr. Click critical_review_john_deveaux for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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t2:Echo – by Henry Daniel

Due to the fact that my schedule was quite full this past weekend along with the fact that I get quite severe motion sickness from watching 3D movies, ride films and IMAX movies, I was not able to see most of the presentations that were shown at this year’s Interactive Futures conference at Emily Carr. That being said, the one performance that I was able to see in at least some form was t2:Echo by Henry Daniel.

While I was not able to see the entire performance, due to the fact that the concourse gallery walls that were blocking my seeing most of the actual dancers’ performances. On top of this, I was also helping direct the audience members to their respective locations, facilitating their viewpoints and actively going to get benches for more vertically challenged people to stand on.

By positioning the dancers in two separate yet interlinked locations, the director was able to create a bridge between the performances. This was further articulated by the video coding and processing for telepresence technology that was used to create the concurrent ghosting effect that was seen on the wall of the ECUAD concourse gallery and the main display screen in the IDS Motion Capture studio.

The ghosting effect that was projected onto the concourse gallery wall showed the dual performances and interlaid them onto one another and provided a somewhat random video playback quality as each dancer took centre stage in front of the crowd. They also entered the stage from multiple entry points and once their rotation in each location was complete, they then ran either to or from the concourse gallery and IDS MoCap studio in order to continue their respective performances there.

I have never seen a live dance performance like this before and it was quite the sight to see, as the dancers themselves were able to glide through the space with the greatest of ease and truly encompass it. From what I could see, it was a beautiful and creative bridging of technology and human performance into a multi-faceted co-locative art piece and would enjoy seeing more performances by Henry Daniel and his accompanying dance troupe.


Internship Mid-Term Report

October 28, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships that I am working on this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click mid_term_report_john_deveaux for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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IDS Motion Capture Studio Internship
http://crossfitmocap.wordpress.com/
– blog setup to provide project info to participants and show progress
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=177700972600&ref=mf
– Facebook user group setup as well with video links on group wall

LEARNING OUTCOMES
– Rick’s philosophy on learning is to be fluid and allow for creative freedom
– he did not want me helping with mundane tasks such as answering email
– seeing as how he has no set schedule, he wanted to have as much fun in the process
– on his own, he would calibrate the cameras by running back and forth = boring
– having me working with him, gives him a greater chance to explore new outcomes
– “If I have to do one more damn US Marine with a machine gun walk cycle again…”
– CrossFit coaches and athletes were brought together with artists for group meeting
– much easier to learn by bringing in and suiting up actors to have them perform
– ability to work with the performers and fine tune walk cycles or isolated movements
– unfortunately, we had a major software glitch which nixed our live MoCap filming

– Rick pulled up some pre-recorded footage to show multiple data captures instead
CFmeeting2a
CFmeeting3a
CFmeeting4a
CFmeeting5a
CFmeeting6a

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 1

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 2

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 3

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 4

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 5

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CODElab Internship
UPDATE
http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
– Wiki page setup as a collective of project information and outcomes
http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Information_on_the_Olympic_Games#Olympics:_
Secured_.E2.80.94_Past_and_Present

– researched previous and future Olympic cities’ security and surveillance activities
LEARNING OUTCOMES
– overall project is still open-ended as far as final outcomes
– I foresee my continued responsibilities as becomming a researcher
– our first task was to get a video camera and go around Granville Island and record
– criteria asked for unique and creative locations in order to record people and events
– possible location of setting up a “Ministry of Mis-Information” at Granville Island info board
surveillance1a
surveillance2a
surveillance3a


DIVA 300 – Internship Scope of Work Report

September 29, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships that I will be working on this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click John DeVeaux – Scope of Work Report for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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IDS Motion Capture Studio Internship

OVERVIEW
– Motion Capture Studio located here at the ECUAD Intersections Digital Studio
– Rick Overington is the studio tech who runs the operation
– major motion picture and local computer games companies use the studio space
– 20 Infared Passive Optical System to cover most of the floor space in the studio
– Motion Buider is the software application and is also good for pre-visualization
– full body suits which have 30-50 sensors sewn in are used to capture the data
– the system is unable to capture both bodies and facial features at the same time
– computers, cameras and the studio space need to be calibrated for each shot

– wand wave / L-Frame / Floor Calibration are the steps used to calibrate

Mocap

INTERNSHIP OUTCOMES
I want to incorporate CrossFit athletes and coaches into the Motion Capture Studio to serve both as a diagnostic tool to help provide real-time live data to athletes and coaches on their body dynamics as they do individual exercises, but to also merge this data into an artistic format as well.

I would like to work with some of the animation students at Emily Carr and create 3D character avatars which could then be animated with the motion capture data recorded from the original athletes to either match their actual likenesses or go really crazy and make the avatars look completely different (ie: men becoming women, humanoid looking animals, aliens…you name it).

I ran my idea by Rick on Monday and he said it would be great to work together on a collaborative project so that I could have an actual self-directed portfolio piece at the end of my internship, rather than just work on other peoples/companies’ projects. In addition, the owner and coaches at CrossFit are also very interested in what the Motion Capture Studio could provide to help enable their athletes propel themselves even further.

http://www.crossfit.ca
– CrossFit Vancouver homepage

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=crossfit+vancouver&search_type=&aq=f
– YouTube page listing of the CrossFit Vancouver workout videos

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CODElab Internship

OVERVIEW
CODElab will be a large-scale participatory new media artwork that will coincide with the Olympic and Para-Olympic Games from February 5th to 22nd, 2010 and be part of the larger CODELive event going on throughout the Vancouver area. Live capture nodes will be installed throughout Granville Island where visitors will be able to interact with artist and student facilitators via custom-designed balloon cams, umbrella cams, shoe cams and the like will record, transmit and present video with nontraditional perspectives and cutting-edge visuality.

CODElab

WHAT THIS ALL MEANS
– evolving process – the project guidelines will be set by the group
– roving, moving capture nodes for CODELab between the observer and the observed
– bodystorming vs. brainstorming – quickly create a conceptual idea and take it into the public sphere and test it out to see if it will actually work
– who will be our audience – project workers, ECUAD, Granville Island, Vancouver residents, 2010 Olympic visitors, the interwebz…
– orange and white colour scheme was decided upon for CODELab
– orange is significant of colour coded terrorist alert / being on alarm (CODE ORANGE)
– orange is the rabbit hole to engage the audience and bring them in further once they more and more CODELab orange coloured objects

PROJECT DELIVERABLES
http://delicious.com/search?p=codelab+ecu&chk=&context=main|&fr=del_icio_us&lc=
– setup a delicious site to bookmark important corresponding information
– a project Wiki site is being developed as a base for final outcomes and data captures

INTERNSHIP OUTCOMES
I had the opportunity to see the artists’ previous project, GLOCAL, at the Surrey Art Gallery last year and was absolutely blown away at what they had achieved. I hope to get hands-on experience and knowledge on building an immense data capture project and to further visualize it with Processing so that I can create and expand my own projects to their full potential.

http://www.glocal.ca/


A day in the life of an Emily Carr Film student…

September 15, 2008

Here are my notes from Friday’s Reading for the Screen course at Emily Carr – I will be uploading my daily class notes to the blog to allow readers to follow along with me and my studies here at ECIAD – Enjoy!

Off-Topic
The following video clip was shown within the context of the class itself, but I found it while searching for clips for the films we discusses in class, The Player, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Touch of Evil.

“This short segment from Orson Welles’ cinematic essay, F for Fake, may be the profoundest moment in cinema history. It is both uniquely moving, as well as stunningly deep philosophically—a truly rare cinematic combination. This clip should be required viewing, not only for every student of cinema, but for everyone who seeks an antidote to the world’s increasing descent into cruelty and darkness. Here, Welles achieves the miraculous with amazingly simple means (note the lack of music as an emotional “guide”, for example). God created Orson Welles…then broke the mold. Introduced by media psychologist, Dr. James N. Herndon.” (www.orsonwelles.tv)

In-class notes/general comments from Wednesday’s screening:
– author was talking about big budget film productions
– unless you are in the union, you can’t pickup anything
– back in the day, production board / production manager = THE BIBLE
– strip of cardboard/posterboard in different colours
– day/night/interior/exterior shots
– find most expedient production time wise/budget wise
– shoot scenes at the same time to streamline production
– having things in front of you = air traffic controller (new york times article)
– each aircraft is on a strip of paper = visual representation / better memory and recognition
– you will still see the production board today, even in a digital world
– Frank Capra – very egotistical, yet talented – as a director, you need to know your vision, because you are asked thousands of questions everyday
– “The Fastest Runner” – group decision film production process
– get the audience “sutured” into the film story

Film, Film, Film – Patterns
– people joining the elevator
– keep going through all of the door, so many steps/people to get approval from
– hurry up and wait analogy with moments of pure action to long pauses with nothing to do
– different colours for different scenes (ie: Traffic having different colours for different locations)
– opening montage with stars and glitz, yet the reality of making moveis is so far from the glamour
– the screenwriter’s muse’s wings were incorporated into the logo of the studio
– cast and crew waited with baited breath for the audience reaction
– labeling – letting the average viewer know exactly who is who, what departments are involved and the steps needed to complete the project
– emotes were used instead of actual dialog – even though it is Russian, it is universally recognizable
– Film, Film, Film = same in Russian and English

Chicken Run
– Aardman – successful British studio run by Nick Park and Peter Lord = Wallace and Gromit
– animation style = portrait emotions very effectively with a plump of eplasticine
– “The Wrong Trousers” – remember the penguin (the eyes = evil bird!!!)
– they had a fixation on machines/gadgets = putting contraptions together to create a great machine
– mechanization can be a threat to people and society or a help to it
– Tweedy montage = building pie machine / genocide
– chickens montage = building plane / freedom
– obsessive compulsive disorder = Babs always knitting
– always like using feathered creatures through their previous work

How “Chicken Run” got made:
– contacted Jake Eberts (Pathe) – his kids loved Wallace and Gromit
– he set them up with a NAPKIN deal = had lunch meeting and worked out details on a napkin
– Michael Rose = Producer
– Sundance 1996 – Nick and Peter pitched the idea of a “Chicken Escape Film”
– Jake called Dreamworks which had just formed (SKG)
– Dreamworks flew their jet to Sundance to bring the 4 of them to LA
– Katzenberg says the chicken is the best at the restaurant they met at
– pitch = The Great Escape…with CHICKENS
– talented independent animators who were confident enough to make their pitch work!!!
– also based on Stalag 17

FILM CONVENTIONS
– western = shoot out at the end /  good guy and bad icon
– icon = cowboy hat = western genre
THE PLAN / building montage / blueprints / secret compartments / promise of positive change = the dream / teamwork / guard dogs / Ginger kept getting put in solitary confinement (Cool Hand Luke / Steve McQueen) / military context to a chicken farm with the soundtrack / morning roll call / always a party (Bridge on the River Kwai)

Great Britain vs. America
– swing dancing / there was no reason to have a love story between rocky and ginger / cliche of almost kissing, then finally kissing
– the only shot Katzenberg wanted to change was on the roof with Ginger and Rocky – he wanted to spend more time on her face to accentuate that she is falling in love with Rocky (Nick said uh uh, we Brits don’t do that)
– the escape scene from the pie machine was so Indianna Jones (Spielberg’s influence no doubt)
– homage to Hogan’s Heroes as well
– Brits don’t show emotion, americans do
– tough thing having Ginger being the leading lady (she wasn’t as funny or charismatic as normal leading characters)
– history period American GIs = The Yanks – British women were charmed by them, British men were jealous, British parents were resentful
– influence for Rocky = Burt Lancaster (The Rainmaker), The Fonz (Heyyyyyyyyy!), John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever)
– Mel Gibson was too busy to do his voice overs alone in LA while the others did it together in London
– Mel took the role because his kids loved Wallace and Gromit
– slow mo shot when Rocky flies over the fence on the trike
– Mrs. Tweedy on the rope with a knife then hitting the billboard with her face
– always gotta have an explosion at the end

– puppets are articulated steel frames, heads are plasticine
– dancing sequence was choreographed from actual dancers
– they had to put rubber hip contraptions because the dancers were too skinny
– Talisman – object that has tremendous emotional value = Mac’s RAF pin

Shadow of a Doubt – Alfred Hitcock (1943)
– Hitchcock loved to storyboard his films in detail – constructed the film meticulously step by step
– look at complacent America before WWII – took place in Santa Rosa, CA and also filmed there
– Uncle Charlie and Little Charlie – little charlie’s mom absolutely adores him and little charlie idolizes him = kindred spirits
– Uncle Charlie however, is a serial killer who preys on elderly women and then steals their money/jewelry
– group of elderly women dancing to a waltz named, “The Merry Widow” = further pattern to tie in to the rest of the film

– little charlie’s father’s favorite past-time is to theorize the perfect murder mysteries with his friend, yet little does he realize that he has a murderer under his own roof

– Shadow of a Doubt trailer

– Shadow of a Doubt – part 1/11 – you can continue watching the rest of the film on youtube

CONVENTIONS
– shadows of the railing banisters against the wall, Little Charlie is trapped between telling the truth about her uncle or letting things lie as they are
– Uncle Charlie walks very forcefully towards Little Charlie when she brings out the paper – then the close up show when he grabs her wrist to show his anger and power
– he is also the dominant persona in the family, sets the tone of conversations, yet can also force conversation to end when he knocks over the glass to stop Little Charlie from saying the name of the waltz
– he offers to give $40,000 to his brother-in-law to show that he is very important and powerful

*****Down and Dirty Pictures – book about Miramax – recommended by fellow student in class*****

The Player – Robert Altman (1992)
– made some successful Hollywood movies and then some not so successful movies
– this film is an incredible satire of the whole Hollywood scene as a whole
– opening shot is an homage to, “Touch of Evil” – Orson Wells and “Rope” – Alfred Hitchcock
– old painting on the wall showing the golden age of Hollywood – turns into business of it all
– MTV, cut cut cut – Touch of Evil
– The Graduate, Part II (25 years later lol) – spooky house in northern California, dark and weird and funny and with a stroke!
– couldnt make out the picture on the ground when boy got hit by cart but it is a postcard for Griffin which tells him he is going to die
– japanese tourists with Ari from Entourage – SONY PRODUCTS
– the hens are all talking about heads rolling
– replace Griffin?!?!? with Larry Levy
– I’m right in the middle of a pitch – I’ll call you later…Goldie Goes to Africa = Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman

– politely political scary but funny with Bruce Willis with a heart in the right spot!

– “The Player” Opening shot

– “The Player” trailer

– “Touch of Evil” opening shot

– “Touch of Evil” trailer

– “Rope” opening scene

– “Rope” trailer

Asparagus – Suzanne Pitt
– In the beginning there was animation and it was overrun by Disney
– he setup a production machine that was the monopoly of innovation certainly within North America – Mickey Mouse still is pervasive
– Mrs. Frances Brewer – letter to her back in 1939 – women do not do any of the original work in the process – as a result, girls are not considered to join animation studies – they were only allowed to trace work already created
– it was believed that women were better at tracing then men because they already knew how to apply makeup and do their nails – they could stay within the lines!!!
– this animation was created in 1979 – shown on art circuit/festivals
– combination of cell and clay animation

Questions:
What would tell you as a spectator that this is an independent film?

What patterns do you see?

My notes:
– woman’s bare leg, with a snake rolling around it = men vs. women
– harsh saxophone music = sex
– flowers remind me of Gerald Scarfe’s work in Pink Floyd The Wall
– red nail polish on her fingers
– dual lights = breasts?
– takes a dump in the toilet – see asparagus come out of her ass
– which then magically rises up and spells out “ASPARAGUS”
– dead man’s head as a bust on the railing
– red curtain opening up to scenes of flowers scrolling by the window
– flower buds look like vaginas – asparagus look like penises – she starts stroking one of them
– wall ornaments look like vaginas as well
– keeps repeating shot of turning the dial on the lamp
– miniature version of herself within the doll house?
– eerie looking Santa head on the shelf – she grabs a different mask though – kabuki mask with red cheeks
– we see the snake again slither by as objects fall into her hand bag
– she goes outside with her mask on to hide her true identity from the public
– passes a dildo store, then a gun store – while we hear muttered whispers/voices of people around her
– claymation sequence – curtain opens up to reveal another curtain and then another and another
– finally swaying wave like pieces – with what looks like mountains and a waterfall
– she is still hand drawn, yet the other characters are claymation
– horizon perspective black hole on the stage now
– she gets into a cab and pulls down the mask slightly to reveal that her face is actually blank except for her mouth
– now she deep throats an asparagus, regurgitating water and then the penis disgorges inside her mouth (back and forth different susbtances)
– scene ends with the asparagus reappearing as she raises her mouth one final times – END SCENE

In-Class discussion:
– soundtrack was uncomfortable and discordant
– the entire film sequence made the audience uncomfortable
– sounds in the theatre assaulted the senses and attacked you
– Why Asparagus?!?!?!
– source of creative power comes from the phallus
– dream state to just let go and not psychoanalyze everything – just experience the moment

Gravity – Frank Rofuze (1981)
– Hungarian animator who had to work in government studios or else he wouldn’t work at all
– “The Fly” nominated for academy award in 1981 – but he couldn’t leave Hungary to attend the ceremony
– Gravity was made in 1984
– you are working for the state, paid by the state and commenting on the state – all at the same time

Questions:
How does gravity convey the complexities of living in a totalitarian state?

My notes:
– scene opens with a beautiful tree in an open meadow
– you hear rustling in the bushes
– camera zooms in and then shifts left and right when we hear mumbling/crying
– sounds like a guy taking a shit
– apples are human faces
– main apple is trying to jump up and down to release himself from the tree
– slow motion sequence is hilarious
– everyone else is static and complacent
– FINALLY he is released and enjoys the joy of freefall/FREEDOM
– only to smash into pieces as he hits the ground
– everyone is oblivious to it
– butterfly lands on one of the other people
– one tree in one field = one system