Posted 3 days ago

Creating a Story Outline

I had considered doing a written outline on a poster for the exhibition, but then I thought well that would spoil the entire story for those that had not yet completed it. I researched other examples of choose your own adventure outlines, and took a particular liking to the one above (bottom left). These diagrams are a new feature within the CYOA books in their newer reprints. This was a clear pathway analysis that also didn’t give too much away. As my story is much simpler than the Abominable snowman, I decided to make the chains of similar length and use rounded squares to signify story segments, circles to represent possible paths and solid squares to represent story endings. The dotted line is where death occurs or the story is redirected to an earlier pathway.

I’ve used the red from the website, but am reconsidering the use of black as it just seems too harsh. I’ve used the reverse colours as the full ending as this seemed appropriate. I still am yet to complete the links but this is my key work in progress this week along with the story’s blurb and coding it to php on the website. I have had 4 people look at and edit my story and am happy to add to the website now. This should be completed hopefully by Wednesday. 

Montgomery, R.A. (1982). The Abominable Snowman. Waitsfield, Vermont: ChooseCo. 

Posted 3 days ago

Some touching up of models and lots of website coding.

This week I’m doing final touch ups to my models, finishing adding my story to the website, finding a way to send an stl file at the end of the story and completing a Muse course through AdobeGenPro. Phew. When I put it that way - this is a busy week.

I’ve decided as a research tool to attempt to recreate my Dreamweaver site through Muse for this online Bootcamp course. The course is mostly going to teach me the best ways to design the website through feedback from others as well as tutorials from industry professionals. Above are some images of how this is going. I’m only into day four and I haven’t added the correct colours (according to my Clouded Clementine colour guide) yet but it’s already too easy than I can bear. As much as I love not having to code - I dislike intensely having no control over my code. My only love of this software is adding in the navigation bar so simply at the top which is where I’m having issues at the moment in Dreamweaver. We shall see how this goes along. I’m noting key information I am able to take forward into my own practice as well as ways in which to best test the usability of websites. 

I was prompted today to add the Clouded Clementine logo to the models I’m creating so was able to use TinkerCad again in this way. This meant the logo could go on the suitcase, the piano and the money bag for todays final print. I’ve been quoted for the print and should have these next week. I may need to print my bass character again with this logo, however the final costs are going way over my anticipated budget already so I may put this off. I have acknowledged though that this would be required and will add this to the stl file for giving to readers. I will also need to develop a strategy for knowing what choices were made in the story path on the website for the piano, bass and saxophone prints as I had left this to the back of my mind. I hope this will all work in the end but any suggestions would be welcomed whilst using php coding. 

Posted 5 days ago

My first SLS print is complete! And I absolutely adore how it has turned out. I believe I will make all my prints this size as its perfect for looking more at the detail and it just looks so powerful. I had originally planned to have this one as the big one surrounded by smaller versions, but this was reconsidered, as it would look just as good at this size. I will send for two or three more prints to be done this week. These being the piano and the money bag as these are the tidiest and most complete at this stage. The suitcase could have a bit more work done to it. The detail picked up with SLS was surprisingly good and I’m glad I added the extra panel through the middle as otherwise this detail through the centre would have been lost. 

Posted 5 days ago

Gestalt at Aotea Centre

This was quite the honour. This week Gestalt had the opportunity to be a part of the Digital Cluster at Aotea Centre in Auckland. This was a part of the Late Night Art Exhibition for ArtWeek in Auckland. We were asked to map a part of the building rather than the boxes we had originally mapped. We thought perhaps with university studies and redoing the whole mapping, it would be a big ask, but we pulled it off, and we were pretty stoked with the result and general reaction to it. It looked wonderful in the space and added to the building. 

There were minimal issues on the day for setup and really the only issue we came across was the natural lighting. The sun was too bright in the middle of the day for two markers to work, then when it was dark, the middle marker wouldn’t work because the projection was too bright, causing a fuzzy outline. This was treated as a humorous twist and everyone that viewed the exhibition understood the glitch. We also displayed the markers we had for the original exhibition on a separate iPad which helped when there was a crowd. We were able to show those waiting to see the markers on the stairs, the technology involved in the process and discuss its meaning. This was overall an amazing experience that won’t be forgotten any time soon. We have the Gestalt app currently on the Play Store and pending for the App Store. Updates on when this will be out, will be on our Facebook page: GestaltAUT.

Thanks to Stefan Marks for the last 2 images included. 

Posted 5 days ago

This has been quite a week. I’ve successfully found a way to code my pick your path adventure which was the biggest thing sitting on my mind. This is able to successfully be executed in a somewhat tidy manner, through php coding. I am about to code this monstrosity this week so that I have it to present at the final crit session next week. The images show how the website has developed and the back end coding process I have gone through to create the wireframe of this website. I am still a little stuck on the menu but will code this in a way that it will automatically change when the window size changes.

I’m much happier with the overall look and it looks much less like a horrible 90’s webpage made by a child. I’ve had positive feedback about the colours and the logo and am happy to keep going with the direction I am going. Will update on this again next week, hopefully with a completed version you will be able to read and follow my story. I will also need to include a link to the stl file, which I am almost confident in having, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it, which is only too soon. 

Posted 1 week ago

FRICKbits: your data is now art on your iphone by Laurie Frick — Kickstarter

I ended up supporting this on kickstarter and just wanted to note this on this blog as it seemed relevant to my 3d Data Visualisation paper. I can’t wait for it to become available and see what art my own data could create! Whilst we are in Art Week here in Auckland, New Zealand, its great to see more generative art coming forward based on random thoughts or general data dictating the way a piece come out. It reminds me of Maths and Art last year and I can’t wait to see how my own sleep patterns are going to be visualised in a few weeks time. Exciting stuff!

Posted 1 week ago

Choose your own adventure pathways analysis

This would have been an interesting article had I exclusively looked at CYOA’s over developing models and a website also. This article detailed another way of displaying an outline to the adventures. I have opted for utilising the one provided on Inkle Writer along with my own pencil outlines noted in my sketchbook to help with coding. 

This detail noted the various endings the stories could take and how the reader would best approach or accept the endings and how good the endings were even if they included death. This approach was interesting as I’ve looked at various ways of coding the outline, however this was coding the outline based on its effect on the reader and their choice. Above is an image which shows the key of what the colours mean and below is an image of it based on a CYOA book. He took into account that some pages are just text and don’t have choices that lead to other sections. 

 I appreciate this new way of formatting the choices in the books and if I were to create a series, I may use this to present where choices can be made a survey how favourable they are. Ass the current story is short, it won’t be as extensive as the above example, but it’s a nice concept to keep in mind for any future development. 

And just to appreciate a great visualisation, I really like how the below image showed the jumps in the story as often with these novels you won’t always be moving forward. In an online space, as in how my story is developed on the website, there is not clear linear pathway for the reader as they would not know where in the story they are and if they have gone back. I feel as though this is losing the effect that these stories have. Without being able to hold the stories and see where you are loses whether you have gone back and how far you have to go. In a way I hope the printable figure will offset this feeling for readers, but in the back of my mind, I always hope the good ol’ paperback will always win. 


Posted 1 week ago

Karen Woodward: How To Write A 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Story

Upon completing the second draft of my story, I went back on my saved drafts in Tumblr to review whether I need to change anything in the story format. This site was a great tool in reflecting what I had done and how I can improve on it. I’m glad I didn’t read this to begin with as it would have probably put me off the whole process of writing. Instead I looked at the process logically and just let everything free flow from my imagination instead. As I have two friends check over my second draft, I think it best to see how I can improve it in any way.

From looking at this blog, it appears I went in the right direction in every way. Woodward notes that this is the order of execution that she has used, but also says that there are of course more than one way to approach writing something of this kind:

  • Plotting: Sketch out the story
  • Choose your story endings
  • Throw in a subplot

I definitely threw in a subplot that could easily be extended to a new story such as a sequel to this one. I have every intention of carrying on the stories as it has been an enjoyable process - and especially since after this assigment I will have coded the site in a way that will ensure I won’t forget how to code PHP (many web pages and much repetition). One thing I may need to look through once the 2nd draft has been read through by my peers is to ensure I have kept the same tense throughout, as in kept it in present tense and only switched to past when reflecting on what had happened. So it looks like I’ve approached this whole writing process from the right direction and should just keep practicing my own creative writing. I enjoy these blogs, but I should keep challenging myself with creative fiction. 

Posted 1 week ago

Exhibition Considerations

This week I had to take a realistic look at how I truly want to present my final outcomes. Having talked to James about what I had originally thought and, without taking these into consideration, how would he suggest presenting, I was able to leave this meeting feeling a little more organised than I had felt previously. James emphasised the point that three is a good number and three is a good and effective way to frame my outcomes. I sat down afterwards and considered three key features that I would like displayed in my zone. 

First I would try and direct viewers to the computer where the story would be held along with any further information I want to direct people to that is in a soft copy. From previous experience in retail, people normally start heading towards the left, and therefore the computer will be placed to the left of my designated exhibition space. I would then have photographs presented of the final models so that these can both be viewed from afar as well as part of step two of the ‘journey’ around my exhibition. I have made up a potential outline for displaying the photographs, but will consider this more once the 3d models have been printed and photographs taken. I then would display final prints on a plinth that would be higher than the table with the computer so that viewers wouldn’t need to crouch to look at them. I hope to have the plinth in white as this would be an effective journey through my exhibition and would not detract from the final artifacts. James also noted that in the given time it would be possible to create what I originally wanted and that I’m just giving myself excuses for not doing it. I agreed wholeheartedly. I could be very stressed for a month just to have a better outcome on the 10th, or I could relax, take everything slow, and not achieve something amazing. At least this was what my head was telling me when James said I could definitely create what I wanted in the time left. 

It was also suggested for the open studio that I have a 3d printer at the exhibition printing one of my designs. It would tie in everything that I have worked on this semester if this were possible and perhaps would draw more people in to the story I have created. It may also mean that many people would need to be sent stl files so I need to make sure this will work on my website and have it functioning. So far learning PHP has been very helpful and I feel that having the story on my website is actually possible in the time frame. This would be also be much better than embedding another company’s logo and information on my page and would appear much more professional for not only assessment, but also at the open studio. 

Posted 1 week ago

Extending myself further and Beginning work with PHP

This week has been very interesting and my state of mind is much more relaxed and in perspective with what needs to be completed in the time frame left of the semester. I haven’t completed as much printing this week but have begun planning my layout for assessment and creating clothed characters. Today I also finally finished my first draft of my CYOA story, a laborious task but completed none the less. I’ll sleep on this first draft before I edit anything in the story. Parts need a bit of a fluffing but once it’s at the third edit I’ll send to my peers for their opinion. I wonder if I should include a non disclosure agreement… 

The end of year is definitely creeping up on me, but now that I’m aware of what needs to be done for this studio assignment as well as Entrepreneurship & Innovation and 3d Data Visualisation, I’ll just knuckle down and fit as much as I can in with the hours/days I have left. An extra week has been given for completion of the studio project which was welcomed thoroughly, and gives me more time to learn PHP coding for the website. This form of code will help in presenting the CYOA on the website rather than using an iframe. It will also allow me to send the reader the file at the end of the story as originally planned. I may also have some help from my group member from last semester, Taylor, who has been working with this form of code all semester. James, who I met with yesterday regarding my exhibition space, reminded me that I should continue with the original plan to more of an extent than I was beginning to stray to. I believe I was putting too much pressure on the “I can’t” and should have been emphasising more on the “I should”. I know deep down this was the nagging feeling I was setting this project up to be only half complete but perhaps if I just try a bit harder, i can have something that I feel proud to present for the open studio on the 13th of November. 

Posted 1 week ago

Modelling a Saxophone Lady

This was simpler than expected - probably because I knew that I needed to keep it simple for printing purposes. I know this may look hideous in the end, or I’m overly critical of my own skills, however the simplicity of it may work in my favour for printing on the Makerbot. I requested a quote today for SLS printing the hollow base instrument as I know my preferred model will not work on my home printer. So at least that has that process in motion. I will confirm its print later in the week just in case I need more prints completed. I’m happy with the money bag design and hope to test print this in the next couple days. I had recorded the printer completing its print of one of the suitcases but the quality is not great and may only be a feature in my final assessment showreel. I had hoped to show it in one of my weekly lead-up-to-final-assessment features but we shall see…

Posted 2 weeks ago

My 3d Data Visualisation Tracking

We had been asked to track something that would interest us in our lives across a month. I had decided that since obtaining a Fit Bit tracker, I would track my own sleep patterns, how I feel after my sleep on a scale of 1 to 7 and note down any recalled dreams. This proved an easy process with the help of the Fitbit and was able to track the length of sleep, time and quantity of restless sleep and time and quantity of being awoken within the sleep duration. 

I presented this in class last week and it was chosen to be one of the five that will be presented in an oculus rift environment. So far my ideas for how this could be presented have been:

~ Clouds that represent each day and their size/colour/distance from “ground” represent the data
~Rooms representing each day - take a step forward or to the sides to explore each room
~A balance board that changes shape as it’s walked along. The thinner it is the less sleep the “windier” it is the worse the sleep felt and therefore there would be a feeling that it is harder to walk along

So far the third seems a bit silly but the other two ideas could be worked on and developed further. I have been grouped with two others from the 3d Data Visualisation class, one of which is Yemon who is in my creative tech course so that will make communication for this part of the project a little easier. I have setup a Facebook group so that we can communicate our ideas in a shared space and help make the collaboration progress a bit smoother in this busy assessment time. 

Posted 2 weeks ago

Crit Three

I have had to wait a few days for this reflection post as I was a bit frustrated after this specific studio class. The crit went well and I had everything planned in my head and all was “relatively” hunky dory. Then I had a blow with my possible studio assessment layout and what I thought I had sorted in my head, was now thrown out the window. I had to leave, walk in some fresh air and attempt to gain some insight or perspective on what I would do next. The workload is piling up and with only a month left, I now feel as though I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this project.

So my first thoughts were to contact another lecturer for some advice, but it couldn’t just be anyone. I thought what best to sort first, might as well be the thing that is bugging me the most recently. In the end I contacted James, who critiqued my last semester project installation Gestalt. I thought he would be able to help with some perspective on my project and how best to display the artifacts that I have produced. As soon as the email was sent and a reply received, I felt a weight slip gently off my back. I know it’s not a full confirmation of how it would be setup but at least I know I can have fresh eyes, skilled in installations, look at how I could best present everything. 

Apart from this setback, none of the class had any pressing questions or critiques of my process so far. Perhaps they understood that I had come to realise what I had planned originally was maybe not what I would achieve in the end. It’s good though that I am able to plan this project forward into my Entrepreneurship and Innovation paper. It will also mean I am able to further reflect on this process which will help in my own understanding of working as an individual on a complex project with many parts. I have my to do list for the next 3 weeks so I have laid out how much I have to complete in the time period. The list is long but at least it is on paper and not lost in the many trails my mind keeps going on. Ensuring that I have at least three blogs a week has helped as I know then this process will not be left to the last minute, being rushed and not insightful, and reflections are more accurate for the time and situation. 

Posted 2 weeks ago

Clouded Clementine - Making the Piano

This was one of the instruments I’m in the beginning process of making for my story. This was the piano created from a single cube copied many times over. I may simplify it a little more or enlarge the print so that the keys are clearer. I’ve printed a prototype and will need to amend settings on the printer to make it clearer and cleaner. This was a fun instrument to make.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Further test prints

So I just wanted to test the man holding saxophone so that I knew how gravity worked with this model. The pose semi works, however there needs to be less little parts which would help with its definitely being printed this way. If I were to print this with SLS, I’m sure it would work. However, I would prefer to make it accessible to more than just one printer type. 

I also found when pulling off the support base of the luggage, it pulled a section off. I will need to expand it’s thickness and also the infill will need to be increased. The current honeycomb spacing is too big and weakening the model when removing supports and rafts. 

The piano I find is a success. It may need a few tweaks such as bigger keys and again a thicker edge. This won’t take long to fix and hence I pass this as a relatively successful print. Now I need to decide on clothing for both man and lady and though I’ll make this simple, it may be the hardest part. Any tips would be appreciated…