Alt Docs Week 3: “CLOUDS” documentary report

Clouds is a documentary project sharing stories and experiences about technology and code. It aims to show a collection of thoughts and creations about and with the usage of code, how computer replacing the hand made creation, asking questions about what it means to live in our world right now, and specifically, in connection to us as students at ITP, the road that led a lot of people that we “grow up” on, and stories about their projects and development.

The truth is that I had few emails with James George a long time ago, even before ITP on how my Clouds file doesn’t work on my Windows computer. It’s funny that few years later I sat on his class “Computational portraiture”. Since we couldn’t make my file work in that time, and only had bites from it, now was a close to complete watching of this project.

The experience is told in a non linear way, in which you can choose if to play it as one travel between people and experiences, following questions on the way, or, if to choose to watch it by a directory of people, subjects or visual sketched that in most of them you can interact with.

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-11-32-31-pm-copy screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-11-32-16-pm-copyscreen-shot-2016-11-14-at-11-32-26-pm-copy-copy

The time representation on clouds is a bit tricky, as I can see it as a world of its own, filled with people’s depth recording, but you can also see it as a journey through question you ask. If you look left and right you could go to the previous story and next one, but still it feels like an isolated island of stories.

Most of the time, the journey can be let by itself, but the experiences sort of break that routine and from watching people talk, you can hear them and play with one of the interactions which most of the time trigger you to activate them.

The story in cloud can be non linear but also centric. You can create you own adventure , but you can also go back to the research, and continue where you wish to go..It doesn’t actually feel like it have an end…there is a circulate timing so actually I felt like I can never finish the experiences, which might be a good point to show how our opportunities with code are so endless..

I think that as a story, or as a collections of stories, it’s a very important ones, especially because it’s mostly people that we, as an ITP community believe to lead or break through different aspects that we believe creating our future, or actually telling more or less common stories of how we got into coding or technology, and it’s in one hand very personal, and on the other very technological and have that wire frame cold look of it, like they are trapped in a processing sketch..

I think that it’s an important piece, and I was happy to see people that I know talk there, and in some ways made me want to know more about coding and wish to be better at this, but it also gave me a lot of other ideas and thoughts on how the usage in code can change a lot around us and how we should be open about our projects and creations.screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-11-51-47-pm-copy screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-11-51-54-pm-copy

Alt Docs Week 2: Scanning and building a Unity scene using collaboration tool

Stephanie and I met in order to start working with depth kit. We wanted just to check what’s the process that needed to make a volumetric recording. After recording ourselves we had some visualizer problems when our depth data layer wasn’t sync with our rgb info. After a lot of debugging and meeting Or (1st year) on the floor, and dealing with a slow computer, we got to use the geometry tab that helped us a lot in order to use only the data the we need. I think that for a first shot in the kit we got nice results. Next thing that we’re going to do is to get few scans of objects that we can use as a portal- subway station, elevators and stairs, in order to create a scene that you can cut to another scene from it, and create a story between those locations.

I decided to have my object from Israel, and ask a friend to take photos for me from a place that looks like a subway entrance, but really isn’t and actually is a really smelly public toilet from the middle of Tel-Aviv. My friend had some shots through his iPhone but still I could get a really nice result from Photoscan.screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-10-44-43-pm

stairs_small

Alt Docs Week 1: Building a Unity scene using found data

For this assignment I had to explore a given pieces of data- in my case Nasa’s Soundcloud audio archive.

This archive includes recording from different missions lift off’s and communications from earth to astronauts in missions. I chose to use”The golden record” recordings, which are the recordings that Nasa chose to include aboard in Voyager 1 and 2 spaceships in 1977.

the_sounds_of_earth_-_gpn-2000-001976-copyvoyager_golden_record_fx-copy

Those sounds were selected by a group of people at NASA and intended to be found by any intelligent life form or future humans. The golden record include sounds from earth like humans, nature, animals and also include images that were decoded to be analog scanned. I just wonder of any other life forms could actually make this scan work…

voyager

The record also include Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Chuck Berry and more, and also carries an hour long recording of the brainwaves of Ann Druyan (American writer, creative director of the golden record and Carl Sagan’s wife – Head of the team of the project ). During the recording of the brainwaves, Druyan thought of many topics, including Earth’s history, civilizations and the problems they face, and what it was like to fall in love.

I decided to create a space scene and use the welcome audio that included in the record. Those audio files are recording of people greet in different languages.

I started with some tutorials from Unity’s website and created a game, thinking that maybe I can change the object and maybe only after you’ll get close to an object you can hear the greeting. The game works well but require some coding in order to change some of the functions for using other assets, so I decided to go to the example package that we had in the class. I started with changing the skybox to space, and fell into the asset store rabbit hole ending up downloading a space scene. Then I added 2 objects- one is the golden record itself made our a cylinder, and a quad that has the instructions of how to read the record. I made the spaceship in the scene parent of both of those objects so they could move together.

I also tried this week to see “CLOUDS” on the oculus. Because I never had anything shown on the Oculus from my computer, I started with the new rift version that we have in the ER, but had some trouble set it up on our PC’s..and after few long tryouts, I went back and got the DK2 version and it worked really fast. Although the experience can be seen on the computer, it was nice to see it on the headset. Gonna continue with the movie in the next week…for now I can say that I enjoy it, but not really sure if i’m following the right structure of the movie. It’s made out of a lot of connections between scenes and interviews and keywords, which is quite confusing…but probably I need to spend more time on this to understand better how to navigate it.