I first learned about fractals in my 10th grade math class, where my teacher simply described them as geometric patterns defined by nonlinear equations. At the time, I wasn’t particularly interested as I was unable to comprehend the mathematical jargon behind them. However, it was only during my hands on interaction with fractals on After Effects, where I was able to truly appreciate their seemingly infinite nature. As I kept magnifying the fractals, there was a sense of never-endingness, as each zoom presented a completely different pattern. That’s when I knew that I had use them for my video mapping project. I had initially mapped them on a plain white ceramic wall to see how my creation on After Effects would be able to translate onto a physical space. Unfortunately, as I had no control over the lights at Heimbold, the colors in my projection looked much lighter and did not have the intense and vibrant effect, that I was aiming for. I eventually moved to the space outside our classroom, which had a dimmer lighting that made my projection look much more vivid and intense. Inspired by Krzysztof Wodiczko’s War Veteran projection, I mapped my projection onto an inanimate object (i.e: a white block) in order to give it a lively and animated quality. So far, I’ve only seen the blocks at Heimbold serve as surfaces for sculptures and so this session gave me the opportunity to make it look like it has a life of it’s own. It was also quite reminiscent to some of the illuminated blocks I have seen in music concerts and therefore had a bit of a musical vibe to it , mostly a neo-psychedelic pop quality. I was quite proud of the final result! The final projection had an almost paradoxical quality to it. There was a sense of chaos as the patterns kept changing every second and there were random spurts of several bright colors that greatly contrasted with the dark background. Nothing was constant for too long. However, there were times when the patterns moved around more slowly and fluidly which created a sense of calm. The dark blue color of the background also helped in balancing the chaotic and flashy nature of the patterns, with it’s calming presence. I felt a bit proud that I was able to captivate some of the audience members, as they interacted with the projection by making shadow puppets (see pic of Sabrina above!) However I felt that several improvements could have been made to increase the level of engagement. For instance, I could have mapped my projection in a closed room with a dimmer lighting and a low ceiling. As the psychedelic quality of fractals are meant to have a cool, calming effect on people, I would prefer the projection to be carried out in an air conditioned room and instructed the spectators to view the projection (which would be mapped on to the ceiling) on their backs. Moreover, if I had the technological expertise to have more control over the movement of the fractals, I would have synced the patterns in projection to psychedelic pop music. Even if I didn’t have the expertise required, I could have asked the audience members to listen to the song, “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” by Tame Impala on their earphones, as they viewed my projection. Whenever, I listen to that song, I feel like I am bursting into water color and that is exactly how I felt when I viewed my projection. Hopefully, I would be able to convey a similar experience to my audience as well. Thus, if given a chance in a future, I would love to not only engage the spectator with the visual aspect of my projection but also be able to manipulate their auditory and tactile senses.
My experience of projector night was very positive. I enjoyed getting to display my work as well as see the work of my classmates projected all over the walls and ceilings of Heimbold. I especially liked seeing how much variety there was in the different work that people had created, despite it all originating from the same software. I enjoyed how our projections temporarily transformed the building. At first, having never been to a projection show before, I had a hard time envisioning what it would entail. Walking around Heimbold and seeing the different spaces available for projection, as well as seeing what my classmates tried during rehearsals, helped me to get a clearer understanding. To plan for projector night, I first thought about which of my videos would make the most sense displayed in 3D space. I chose one conference video, “My Never Sunshine,” which has a consistent theme of a blue sky with clouds, a rainbow and birds. I decided to project it onto an uneven surface of a ceiling in Heimbold so that the pipes on the ceiling would create interesting angles and shapes when combined with the projected image. This video also has song lyrics in the form of kinetic text. If I repeated this projection now I would get a speaker to play the song audio as well. The second video that I chose to project is a shape motion video with morphing outlines on a background that changes color. The third video I worked with was one I called “Geometric Outer Space,” which involves shapes and lines with repeaters moving across a background of tiny points that appear like stars in space. Although the star background unfortunately did not show up in the projection, I thought that the lines with repeaters looked interesting on the ceiling. I think that my geometric shapes video was probably subconsciously influenced by Yayoi Kusama’s infinity rooms, especially those that are reminiscent of outer space, such as Aftermath of the Obliteration of Eternity, and her infinity nets, which inspired the star-like points in the background of my piece. The main problem I had while preparing for projector night was that I had technical issues, first setting up the Video Projection Tool software and then getting the computer I was using to communicate properly with a projector. After figuring out these issues with the help of a classmate and our professor, the rest of our rehearsal time went much more smoothly. I played around with different shapes for my projection, and tried matching the keystones to various angles in the architecture of the building. I also tried out mapping on various surfaces, including through a doorway onto a ceiling inside the room, on a flat wall and on a ceiling. In the end, I decided to map onto a ceiling with spillover onto the walls on either side, because I thought it was an interesting use of space and worked particularly well with my sky-themed video, creating a kind of immersive experience for someone underneath it and looking up. Prior to our rehearsals, I thought that video mapping for an audience would be more of a stressful experience than it turned out to be. By the time projector night rolled around, I felt fairly confident in my ability to set up my projector and my VPT map, and overall the experience was quite fun. It was gratifying to be able to show my friends some of my work displayed in an interesting way, as well as to see everyone else’s projections. I expect my maps to be experienced as fun, cheery and lighthearted, due to the use of bright colors and nature themes. I think that the kinetic text in one video also added an element of intrigue, since people would have to stop under the projection and concentrate to read the words. I was surprised by how much projection can change the appearance of a video, making simpler images look more complex as they interact with the building, toning down brighter colors, and hiding small details. If I understood these effects when I first started making videos, I would have included more saturated colors and made my shapes take up more of the space in my videos. For the geometric shapes video in particular, I would have made the lines longer and narrower, and made them move across the screen more quickly. I would have increased the size of the stars in the background so that they would have been visible. Overall, I was pleased with how my work looked, and how it worked in the space I chose.
I thought that projector night was really fun. I had a blast putting up my work onto the walls and having people see it. My friends came to look at the work, which made the experience even better. It’s a wonderful experience to have your friends see work that you have worked on for a while. I thought that the night went well and everyone’s work looked great. I liked seeing what everyone put on the walls, and how they decided to map them onto the walls. What I did to plan for projector night was fairly simple. I decided to use half of the classroom to project, and I liked the segmented walls. The segments in the walls made a nice guideline to place my videos in. I treated each segment or two as a video and combined multiple videos together. While preparing for projector night, my projection got larger and larger. Originally it took up half of the height of the wall, but when projector night came about, the projection reached the entire length of the wall. I think that almost everything that happened during projector night happened as expected. One thing that did not go as planned was a change in my map; some segments got distorted and deleted, and then the others got messed up, so I had to start the maps over. I think that my maps should be seen as cheerful and fun. I use a lot of bright colors and fast movements to create a more playful vibe. I think that my maps looked as they should have, and I am happy with how they looked. I mapped them how I wanted to. However, if I were to map the same work again, I might map the videos half on the wall and half on the floor. I think that that would look pretty cool.
Preparing for projector night was exciting and fun (only the slightest bit nerve wracking)! VPT is a great tool that allows for so many more options that I would have thought in projection. Quickly I loved the idea that one could import multiple videos and combine them in different arrangements in order to make something different. At the beginning of using VPT I enjoyed using the live camera combined with pre-made videos. The idea that a person could walk into a projection and see themselves is simple but could be a powerful tool. I played around with the camera feature in class and ended up with a still image of my eyes overlooking the classroom from above. Only slightly disturbing but it allowed me to play around with other tools VPT offers like blur edge , masking, and blend modes. The idea I went into projection night with was: display a central video then surround that video with others and utilize blend mode and blue edges to make the videos appear as seamless as possible. The videos around my central video were the same composition but without the kinetic text. The only thing I didn’t catch was that there were a few seconds at one point in which main color in the central video changes to an orangey color but the surrounding videos stayed blue. This made for a little odd appearance but not a totally mismatched one. Something I wish I had thought about before going into Projection night was that my use of blurred edges would perhaps eat up some of the text in the central video. Simply, if I centered the text a little more in After Effects the blurred edges would have appeared a little bit cleaner. Overall I was very happy with the end product of my projection and happy with my planning. My video viewed to loop seamlessly- another aspect I enjoyed. It is difficult to be completely satisfied with any of my projects. I always go back and think, oh well if i did this… or did that.., but over all I got more done with the time I had than I thought I would. Projector Night itself was not absent of pressure. The idea that I could not create the projection in VPT before hand did scare me. I prepared myself earlier and allowed myself more time before class to play with my projection in VPT and get it to look how I would have wanted but it is always different once the projector is on. I closed out and started over at one point because I became frustrated with what I had done. I wanted to create something that was interesting to look at more than anything. I hope all the people who experienced my projection felt the least bit interested in all the colors, shapes, and different moving parts of it. It helped to step away from my projection for a while and experience the projections of my talented classmates. It was a fun and inspiring night. Projecting was a much more of a fun experience that I would have thought. I would have liked to play around a little bit more with masking and with creating shapes out of my animations as well. If I am able to project again in the future I would most certainly like to work a little bit more with the architecture of a building and space. I also enjoyed the concept that the viewer can become much more of a participant in the projection through the use of the live camera option on VPT. It is in this similar sense that the kinetic text is quite demanding. It tells you what to do, and I wanted to give limited space when reading it. It is simple, odd, and I hope these things were the littlest bit conveyed to all who viewed the projection.
In my experience, I enjoyed projector night. Preparing for the art show surprisingly wasn’t too stressful for me, though to be fair I did plan ahead for what refreshments I would bring as well as what I would use to decorate my installation. Projector night was not only a welcome break from conference work, but was also presented as an informal, casual event so I felt comfortable being a playful goober with my peers and classmates. As for how I planned for the night, rehearsals as well as the content of my work played a major part. Rehearsals gave me sufficient time to experiment with where to project my content in the building, as well as a chance to explore what my classmates were experimenting with in terms of location as well. With enough time to plan for the spot and to adapt my piece for that chosen spot, I felt prepared for the art show. In terms of the decoration aspect of my installation, I brainstormed what would match with my piece. Given that my piece was kinetic text with a strong narrative following royalty, I thought of a simplistic and inexpensive way to convey that. I changed the table that held the projector from a tool into a prop. So I covered the plastic table with red fabric I luckily had (beginner seamstress and fabrics galore) to cover the surface as well as cover the front of the table to hide the cords connected to the projector as well as my backpack. Also, I used scrap paper and hot glue to craft paper roses with text written on them and scattered the roses atop the table and pinned a handful around my projection to visually tie the installation together. When the audience saw the text aspect of my piece, some of them read it aloud. I was flattered but at the same time embarrassed to hear my work be voiced by someone. I wasn’t sure how the audience would connect with my piece, though I’m glad humor was one of the results. The audience members were curious about the paper roses, especially when I mentioned that I hand-made them. Overall, I think my work came across pretty well, though next time I would project on a surface that is easier for legibility of the text, as well as lessen the amount of shape motion on the screen to allow for more room to see the kinetic text itself.
Projector night was an extremely nerve-wracking experience for me. This wasn’t my first time presenting my art in an exhibition, but becoming involved in the use of VPT made it seem like a new experience altogether. There was so much to take care of; from setting up my projector correctly, to making sure my map was interesting and aesthetically pleasing, to making sure my laptop didn’t fall off of the table. Ultimately, though, I believe that it was a good experience, not only to become acquainted with video mapping, but to become more acquainted with presenting my art in an exhibition in general. Due to the several mishaps I had with acquiring the proper equipment to project, I had to miss all three of the projector night rehearsals. I did, however, practice mapping on my laptop. I also intended to overlap stock footage with my After Effects creations, but didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed to use them until Angela told me later on the night of the exhibition. In all honesty, without the stock footage, I didn’t really know what to do with my maps. I mostly just stuck to two predetermined maps I had for the whole night while shifting colors. I really enjoyed shifting the colors of the different videos I screened and explored the different effects of combining colors. I usually went by a pattern of analogous colors, as they are, to me, more calming to look at, but used complimentary colors as well. Along with the colors, I liked overlapping different videos or different parts of the same videos over each other. It made for a surreal, almost “trippy” experience. I wanted my maps to seem as if they came from out of this world, and to also bring a sense of inner calm to the viewer. (The window on the bottom corner didn’t bother me that much.) Since I was in a very versatile spot of the building, I also explored with mapping in the space around me. I enjoyed seeing how different one thing can look on several different “screens”. My inspiration came mostly from music. I wanted to recreate the calm and the awareness of my surroundings that I feel while listening to ambient music such as that by artists Casino Versus Japan and Tim Hecker. I was also inspired by 1960s psychedelic visuals… …and the surrealist 1998 video game LSD Dream Emulator. Even if my maps weren’t the most dynamic, I think that my goal to create surrealist, colorful, and calming visuals was a success, especially with the help of maneuvering my projector into several different places.
Projector night came and went so fast! It was both nerve-wrecking and wonderful. It was great to show my family and friends some of the things I’ve been working on in Digital Tools for Artists. It was also a great culmination of my After Effects work and video mapping. I spent a lot of the night talking to my family and friends and mapping. I think that was supposed to be part of the objective; I still feel like I wish I could have spent more time experiencing what my peers had created! I heard theres was amazing work all around! When I started video mapping in class I took my favorite video and was trying to transform it. On its own it has a nice visual effect, but I wanted it to do more. By chance I was playing around with the layers and placed the map into a cube. I was very pleased with the results. It gave my visual effects a three-dimensional quality. During the rehearsals, I then made multiple cubes of my video by constructing multiple layers and that really elevated my map! I was excited every time I did it. Though my map consisted of multiple layers, the whole map put together felt as one. The arrows of one of my video just melted into the other. It was a lot more nerve-wracking to map in front of an audience. My main focus was to map out different geometric shapes that would add a new dimension to videos that I already felt created optical illusions. My main focus was to map in geometric shapes. I noticed that they added a new effect to my videos. At the beginning of the night I started with a pyramid map and then switched to a single cube as the night went on. About an hour in I decided it was time to create a multi-cubed map. My family had actually showed up for the night and were kind of standing over me. They were asking a lot of questions and they made me a bit nervous. But some of my friends told me they liked seeing me map which made me feel a little better, but mapping in front of an audience was okay I guess. To be honest, I might have preferred to have the maps set up and then just switch between them (super Type A), but I guess the night was all about the process, and that’s alright with me (Type C). What made me nervous was that sometimes the layers can be finicky. For example, I’ll shape a layer into a diamond but sometimes the layer will invert and the video plays outside of the map and I can’t find the “drawcorners” and try to change it back. So then, I’ll have to delete the layer, but for whatever reason it’ll delete the layer that I made before the one I was working on, and that fact was what made me nervous! But in the end, it all worked out! I thought my multi-cube map was successful with one of my videos, and because of that I decided later on in the night that I would see how it would look with another video of mine. It was very “trippy”, possibly seizure-inducing…!! Overall, it was very cool. The first video felt like the map was moving like a wave, or at times, like waves crashing into each other in the most seamless of ways. The map with the new video felt like it was spazzing out and then moving across the wall! It was both alarming and visually-pleasing, which made me feel like I effectively executed what I wanted. I wanted the viewer to feel a sense of shock but also mesmerization. It would have been nice to be in two places at once though. I liked my location because even if you were on the lower level or outside, my map could be seen and you didn’t have to be in my direct space upstairs to experience it. During the rehearsal I was playing around with different walls to map. In the entryway of Heimbold is a wall of wooden panels. I had taken my multi-cubed map over there to see how it would look. That was particularly striking because the dark space in between the panels created another layered effect over my map which was a surprisingly effective physical layer that added dimension to it. In retrospect I am very pleased with how the whole night went on. If I could do it again I would start out with the multi-cubed map and only change the video once instead of making 2 additional maps like I did. I guess it was cool to see how I created it and see the map take form and unfold! BUT I would have really loved to see my peers work more. I also might have set up the space so I could change location half way through the night to the entryway. The two hours flew by and the night was amazing, but so short! Overall, I’m very happy with my night and happy I got to experience it with loved ones :) I got meme’d (by Danielle Levy)!
Projector night, even for all its preparation, was something I didn’t expect. At each rehearsal, I tried out a different spot in my area — the corner, in between the railings, the two walls created from the division of the archway — and on the last rehearsal finally settled on the spot above the doorway. I felt it created the best illusion out of all the projection spots: it became a colorful pyramid or architectural decor instead of just lights on a wall. Mapping for an audience felt much more stressful (I wanted everything to go smoothly initially, but felt even more pressure to do so with people), but also enjoyable. I was excited to show off my work to my friends and peers. My work blended in the surroundings but the movement still catches your eye, so I wanted to do just that: take a familiar spot and have the viewer look at it more closely and with a different perspective. I was familiar with the software before projector night, but actually projecting it gave me a different perspective on how to frame my art and place it in reality. What worked was my mesh — I was able to place it in the exact same shape and location from rehearsal to the real thing. What did not work as well was my projector. I happened to grab a brand new projector on rehearsal night compared to the semi-new brand I had used for rehearsal. It was not bright enough, unfortunately, and I had to perform a swap which ate into some of my presentation time. Though the area was required to always be lit and my projection was slightly washed out most of the time, the new projector made it even worse. What surprised me was how my projector was not in the way too much. People walking on the stairwell and in front of the door managed to mostly not block the projection. Though I had many animations I liked, some of my least favorites were actually the ones that projected the best because of the bright colors. I also decided to use my patterns I had made and mix my videos with it because I included the patterns on my posters and felt it was false advertising if i didn’t include my patterns. I also brought my Kermit doll as a prop to put on top of my projector to distract viewers from looking straight into the light. Also frogs were heavily featured on my posters and I felt that a frog needed to be included in some step of my presentation. In the future I would like to include more work with live cameras and graphics combined.