Control Me – The Editing and Presentation
To realise this project I was forced to engage with many different types of software. The majority of this was studied through online tutorials. This in itself is an important part of my final project. The Internet offers a wealth of information and I would not have been able to complete this part of the project without access to free online tutorials.
I wanted the films to somehow emulate what you might see on a ‘Gamers’ screen; character image, health bar and score etc. I also wanted to overlay the ‘Real’ world footage with corresponding ‘Virtual’ world play. Using play to find the ‘Balance’ between both worlds.
Work on the Space
I am rather please with my wooden business card holder.
I was very disappointed with how the projection floor turned out – I couldn’t paint it so I used a roll of Fabiano paper. Unfortunately this warped when I painted it and it pulled and stretched the tape. On the advice of one of my tutors I asked the Tech Dems to help me to put a false floor down. I was worried as the walls are quite warped in my space and I had to tilt the projection more to the right to avoid light spill into another students space – so the right wall is a little wider than the left. I don’t usually like asking for help with building work however as I am post op and not physically fit enough yet I had no choice. The Tech Dems were a wonderful help. They did a great job – one of the sides is a little out but I can paint out areas I don’t need with black.
An Individual Experience
I decided to use a single armchair with a cushion to emulate a home environment. Also I wanted the the experience to be one person at a time as that is usually how we interact with our computers and smart devices ‘individually’, that is also why I only included 1 set of headphones. I prefer the subtlety of the chair and headphones as apposed to signs and supervision.
Some of the software learned and utilised:
– Premier Pro – Online tutorials and Tech Dem support – I was used to using iMovies so using Premier Pro was a dream! It does get a little messy and difficult to keep track of everything due to the 4 screens. After hours of editing each of the 7 movies through Premier Pro I was finally ready to experiment with presentation.
– VPT 7 3D Mapping Software – Initially I had approached one of the Tech Dems about projecting onto a curved screen with only one projector but they had said it was not possible and that it could only be done using specialist and expensive software. Not convinced I spent two weeks researching online and approaching presentation companies (that ended up far too expensive). Eventually I stumbled upon VPT 7, a free 3D mapping software. It is a live interactive show software that is very different from traditional file/save software and took a lot of learning. It has a many useful features that I’d like to explore more at a later stage. Most importantly it allowed me to use a mesh setting to curve for a single projector. However, after experimenting with the curve projection I later decided it wasn’t right for the final projection; I wanted to create/recreate the busy experience of online gaming. I felt multi-screens through VPT 7 worked better.
Change of tactic – multiple screens
Getting it the way I want it – Works in the space
Introduction to live cam
Struggled with the walls as they are quite out of alignment – eventually got the projection right – really did not want it overlapping into Anna’s space next door.
I wanted to introduce a web cam to give a sense of being online via laptop, desktop or smart device.
I would have liked for the cable to be aligned straight however I couldn’t make the cable long enough as every time I added a new cable the camera stopped working. The camera can only take a certain distance. I would have liked a better quality camera for that reason however I like the grainy image that this one gives off. It also lags like the videos – one of the many frustrations of being online.
After setting up my space and experimenting with my 3D projection I had a feeling that the work was in someway incomplete. The conversation seemed to only flow in one direction. The ‘Gamers’ from the ‘Virtual’ world had fed in, they controlled me in the real world, and I would display in the real world….something felt incomplete! The feeling was like an out of reach itch craving to be scratched, it was driving me crazy. How can I feed back to the Gamers and the ‘Virtual’ world? How can I get the balance? – my project felt like an incomplete circle? After much contemplation I woke in the middle of the night with what I felt was the answer. I wanted to live stream my gallery space but I was aware that this might be a no-no with the Ethics Board.
After sending my proposal to the Ethics board I received a conditional approval. I could Live Steam as long as the space was supervised while being streamed and appropriate signage is available. I decided to set up a time-table (2 hours per day) for the Live Stream so that all visitors could choose when to access the space. I feel the Live Stream also creates a dialogue around the voyeuristic nature of the ‘Virtual’ world; although you may be at home in private gaming or interacting online in your private space the ‘Virtual’ world is not private at all.
Live Stream Software
More new software to learn – in order to Live Stream and Embed into WordPress. Once again I engaged with online tutorials whist also getting advice from my teenage son who has used live streaming software within a gaming context.
– OBS – Open Broadcast Server – Encoding Software (Working with my son on this one)
– YouTube Live – Live Streaming Platform
Live Stream Link – Only for 2 hours per day
Augmented Business Cards
As a playful extra and as another way to carry the conversation outside the gallery I treated my business cards and the images in our artist book with augmented reality.
Whilst this project has been focused on using play to initiate dialogue that examines modern societies relationship to the real and virtual/technological world I am not rendering one better than the other. This is why all my business cards in this exhibition are treated with Augmented Reality. With a smart phone or tablet they can be activated – follow this link for full instructions: Instructions for Augmentations
Along with the Live Stream page on my blog I will also include a page that contains the 7 videos, which can be watched in their entirety. Each video properly accredited to their respective Gamer and the Cast and Crew who collaborated.