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.

 

2 comments.

  1. Great work here. The Golden Record as a data set is interesting and evocative. And the use of the Asset Store is a smart one – overall it creates a visually and experientially interesting piece that is well executed. Nice also that you created your own Golden Record asset.
    The use of the spacecraft model in the scene looks quite different from the Voyager. One way this scene could be created with a Voyager asset is to use a 2D image of the Voyager (like here), make a sprite out of that asset and attach it in front of the camera so its orientation toward the camera remains constant. Alternatively, you could not have a carrier in the scene at all and have the scene be more abstractly representational. 3D models like the spacecraft are misleading as when they’re not accurate to the real-life events. But really strong project, especially for week 01.

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