Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Our Interactive Storytelling project is finally coming together. A big part of this project was audio production and I couldn't have done it without Audacity. Audacity is a free downloadable program that allows you to manipulate sounds such as wav, mpg, and recorded clips.
Upon opening Audacity, to those who aren't accustomed to audio editing, it can be a little overwhelming. There isn't a start up help menu or sample audio to help you learn the program. I recommend just recording yourself to get some practice and a feel for how it looks. Ensuring the recording has come to a complete stop, highlight the clip with the default I shaped tool. This will allow you to analyze and use the effects, and generators. Once you get a good grip on some options, you're ready to start importing really audio clips from either you're itunes or any other sounds on your computer. There is no limit to how many clips you can have on one project and you move and manipulate all of the individually.
The one down fall to audacity is doesn't really export clips as mpg files, only wav. It uses a special tool from your library that converts it to a faux mpg. It you don't have it the special tool in your library it won't work.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
You can either play or create a storyworld. One blockbuster storyworld created by Chris Crawford is called The Balance of Powere, which gives you a list of problems beginning with Al Qaeda launching terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (9/11) and as the world leader for the US you have to solve the problem and deal with contending powers and politics. Based on your rating in the world with the EU and other world powers, you either win or lose. After making decisions in the storyworld a set of outcomes are posed and you have to weave in and out of the questions, in order to create the best outcome possible. My only problem with this storyworld is its lack of anything visual. You're presented with a list of text and you never visually see the results. A big problem in my point of view. Otherwise it's very complex and interesting to try your hand at. Hope you like Storytron.
Here's a video for a Storytron tutorial once you download the program SWAT to generate/ create your own storyworlds:
The difference between an interactive Romeo and Juliet omeo and Juliet is the same difference as that between Chris Crawford and a portrait of Chris Crawford. Yes, the portrait contains a single truth, powerfully made. (Who knows? Perhaps Ms. Mona Lisa was really just a dull Italian housewife, nowhere near as intriguing as her portrait.) But ultimately, it presents a single truth, where interactivity provides many viewing angles to truth. Some of those viewing angles will not be as dramatic or as powerful as others. We should not dismiss interactivity as inferior because it fails to winnow out the less revealing angles. Interactivity shows all of the viewpoints on a truth, strong and weak. Its catholicity of viewpoint is its strength; its undiscriminating nature is its weakness. Let us not condemn it for its weakness without also recognizing its concomitant strength.
He goes on to describe interactivity in storytelling as a complex relationship between storyteller and audience where instead of the outcome being singular, such as X led to Y, the outcome of the story relies on if X, then Y. Where X is largely imagined by the audience. He then writes of his site called Erasmatron. The engine actually executes the interactive storytelling; the Erasmatron is the development environment used by the author to specify and edit the data and rules fed into the engine. The Erasmatron includes editors, navigational aids, and rehearsal tools. The big idea behind the Erasmatron is to make interactive storytelling technology directly accessible to artists. What makes this radical step possible is a transfer of the programming task to the artist in a form that is comfortable and accessible. I have created a special programming/storytelling language that jettisons all the picky trivia that make programming such a tedious process.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I was reading in Yahoo - Brazil about a project in which they are using AR to treat fear of cockroaches in people - see below, it is in Portuguese but you can check the technology. Then, I found this project (above) from people in Poland on a game that you use AR to "catch" the cockroaches - found pretty cool the idea of "catching" an object on the screen using AR, thought of how much we could incorporate in our project on Myths in the future, using different tools related to AR technology. But no cockroaches, pleaase...I had enough of them in the jungle (so many we would no bother killing...) I like them only in virtual worlds...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Plato’s philosophical musings in the allegory of the Cave, Republic, imparts a teaching that from an understanding of form arises a better understanding of sense perceptions. In our modern age images bombard: televisions flicker, flash and fade into our periphery and ads proliferate across billboards and in magazines. Imagine now the prisoners of Plato’s Cave, where humans sat, their torsos fettered and fixed, able to see only what’s in front of them as puppeteers project shadows of objects made of every material onto the cave wall. The prisoners scope of the world narrowed to monochromatic, two dimensional shadows. Digital Visual Effects (DVFx) are similar to Plato’s Cave, since they enhance our perception of a given story.
Digital Storytelling: McClean
Computer graphics emerged from scientific studies in the 1940s and 1950s, when computers were used to drive mechanical means of producing graphic images. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, several short films using computer-assisted-art techniques were gained recognition. However, it was not until Tron (1982, Lisberger) that computer graphics were a main component of a movie. Frank Foster's documentary The Sotry of Computer Graphics (1999), Richard Taylor, one of the CG team members involved with Tron, observes that " if (a film) doesn't grab you by the heart, it doesn't matter technically how it looks. In the end, a film is a sotyr and... the density of visuals in films or the look of the film doesn't guarantee success at all.
For instance, in the film Fight Club (1999, Fincher) the viewer is taken through a forest of neurons, as dendrites fire electrical currents, traveling through the amygdala, the fear center of the brain, and passing through various outer layers, the surface of the brain, layers of skull, then skin and a hair follicle and out to the barrel of a gun. These DVFx give the viewer a perspective of the story that would normally be left out and not until the film is over do we understand the meaning behind this 95-second shot: that the scenes and story we are about to see takes place mainly inside the nameless narrator's, Edward Norton's, mind. Such perspectives, similar to the invention of the microscope or telescope give allots us insight into the subatomic or cosmic worlds, allowing us to better understand a story, film, our sense perceptions and ultimately our daily interactions.
I will explore the use of digital effects in film and how they accentuate storytelling, starting with an overview of photography: On Photography by Susan Sontag, looking at the development of timelapse images through Edward Muybridge and photographs by Dianne Arbus, which highlight the odd and unusual, 'the freaks' during a time of cookie cutter homes and families, illustrating that another world exists. Then I will explore films like Citizen Kane, Tron, Star Wars, Fight Club, etc. and how the use of digital effects enhance and progress the storyline.
-It is fascinating to know about Interest Curves and how same performance but altering sequence according to Bang, Backoff, build bigger and bigger and the grand finale changes the perspective audience.
-It is also fascinating to know almost all so called historic heroic tales have the same 'Vogler's Synopsis of the Hero's Journey
- Art of Controlled Freedom with Constraints and how Jesse made up his own flavor list was funny and a great marketing tool - "We have just about every flavor you can imagine, but our most popular flavors are Cherry, Blueberry, Lemon, Root Beer, Wintergreen and Licorice" - A list just made up by Jesse often and how well it worked!
-The concept of Transmedia Worlds and how companies use the fantasy world to market their product and to build more fantasy and sell more as a repeated cycle!
The following is the Code (Not final version - Needs tuning for performance and some changes to include the overall scope of the project ) for the Interactive Story Telling Project - Myths from Amazon.
(Thanks to the developers that support open source and posted sample code at various sites.
The sample code from: http://gotoandlearn.com/ was used as the basis for this project)
Googling is nothing but the shorthand for using the web-based clientserver software written by Google corporation’s programmers. In this sense, software is no longer just machine algorithms, but something that includes the interaction, or, cultural appropriation through users. This appropriation is more than just a cybernetic human-machine interaction and what computer science and media theory often reduce to pointing, clicking and other Pavlovian responses within the restraints of a programmed system.—The same reductive understanding of interaction has turned “interactive art” in its common phenomenon of behavioral video installations into an artistic dead-end.—True interaction with technical systems involves creative use and abuse outside the box, metaphorization, writing and rewriting, configuring, disconfiguring, erasing. All these practices also make up software. It wasn’t just artistic appropriations that inscribed metaphors into software. High-level, machine-independent programming languages and operating systems such as C and Unix gave birth, around the same time, to a culture that gradually detached software from the concept of code running on a machine. Through program code listings in books and computer magazines, source code snippets and patches exchanged in electronic networks or even oral conversations, software took up a life of its own. The results were political-philosophical movements like Free Software, programming puns such as recursive acronyms, hacker slang that mixed English and computer language constructs and poetry in computer languages such as Larry Wall’s first Perl poem from 1990. Free software—in the GNU understanding of an embedded value that is not only engineering freedom, but ontological freedom—is perhaps the strongest example of a cultural and philosophical notion of software. An artistic understanding of software also abounds in computer science from Donald Knuth’s Art of Computer Programming to Paul Graham’s recent Hackers and Painters, 3 although it might be based on a narrow understanding of art as high craftsmanship. To no longer define software as just algorithms running on hardware helps to avoid common misunderstandings of software art as some kind of of genius programmer art. If software is a broad cultural practice, then software art can be made by almost any artist.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Anyhow, I went to Etienne Wenger's talk at UF last semester, which I totally enjoyed. He is one of the forerunners in the theories of social learning and communities of practice. One of the ideas is that we learn much more by doing and by socializing knowledge (he said: learning is a social phenomenon). The more networks and opportunities to share knowledge, the more we learn and are able to share, like a cycle working in feedback.
Keeping a virtual community alive is a real challenge nowadays, and Wenger mentioned that people need to feel that there has to be meaning and value associated with their membership. That value might be an ethnic/religious value, or a perceived power, or a sense of belonging, or a rope you feel you're attached to, otherwise you might fall in the limbo. I believe everybody needs to feel part of some community, and the nice thing about on-line communities is that you can expand your horizon so much in terms of what is there and what you want from what is there...the limit is almost the infinite...almost overwhelming but good to know it is there...
Monday, November 9, 2009
Icons and Avatars: Religious and Esoteric Elements Mirrored by Digital Culture in Interactive Storytelling
For the final paper, I will discuss various ways in which digital culture incorporates elements of religion and esoteric beliefs into new story environments. Included will be examples such as avatars which are taken from Hinduism as well as Reincarnation as a tenet of video games, the animism beliefs of religions like Shinto, and parallels with Lucid Dreaming.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
This paper will discuss the appearance, endurance and fading of different cultural and ethnic groups, or “tribes” in the urban scenario. I’m interested in exploring the relationship between some urban groups and art expression such as music, fashion, dance, design and graphic arts to name a few. Also, it will be interesting to know what motivates people to ingress into these groups and what kind of value is perceived as being part of such communities. What types of stories underlie the formation and disappearance of diverse groups such as punks, emos, gothics, tattooed and pierced peoples? How these groups have used different media to communicate their stories, feelings and ideologies? I will also comment on the historical roots of some musical styles which have created a cultural and political movement, such as Hip-Hop, Reggae and the Mangue Beat movement from Brazil.
Below, a video-clip of musician Chico Science (deceased) , one of the forerunners of the "Mangue Beat" musical, cultural and political and movement of northeast Brazil.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The link to the Blog is:
I have given a brief intro to the Project, SW, Resources and Tools used for VR.
In my next posts I will include details of the Marker, the setup and code used in the Project so far.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Alex Grey is a visionary artist, and mystic and co-founder of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in NYC. His paintings take on an "x-ray" multidimensional reality, illustrating human anatomy through the lens of a much more subtle world. He often paints chakras and draws electronic glowing grids which depict an ethereal plain of consciousness. His images have steadily progressed throughout the years as well as his performances and speeches. Grey's performances have gone from egocentric to worldcentric as he involves larger and larger communities into the spiritual, artistic and medicinal realms.
One of his largest installations, the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors is a series of 21 framed images, consisting of 19 paintings and two etched mirrors, examines the anatomy of body, mind and spirit in rich detail. Each painting presents a life-sized figure facing viewers and inviting them to mirror the images, creating a sense of seeing into oneself. The images portray the human body physically and energetically, each increasing in evolutionary complexity. This installation is unique in the way visistors participate: by mirroring the images depicted, the visitor can connect to the world of ancient wisdom, which Grey recreates. Some view the images of the Sacred Mirror to be the visible ascension of man into the spirit world/ into life.