Week #4

Midterm project ideas + Motion and time practice

Midterm project team: Weber Wong & I.

We started with just gathering some raw directions on a Miro board, and then discussed them and looked at many examples ranging from architecture, to graph theory, sci-fi movies, and abstract concepts of space and time. Initially we came up with an idea that revolved around nuclear waste sites in the distant future, as it's an interesting problem that is going to be relevant many years into the future and that we, as a society, have yet found a solution to. We thought about future nuclear devices and about how humans might adapt to it.

A monumental design that can be seen from afar and that is meant to deter future human societies from approaching this area.

The more we thought about it we realized we wanted to work with something that feels more meaningful. We talked about how so many people we talk to today feel that they are near-term pessimistic, and long-term optimistic about the future. We thought of showing that through an AI generated image of Washington Square Park where the arch itself would start out in it’s current state, evolve into a dystopian version, and then finally into a utopian version of itself. We talked about what the arch might signify at different stages of the future human evolution, and how to tell the future human race's story through that arch. Our idea was simple: show the three stages of the arch (present day, dystopian near future, utopian far future), and interpolate between the three of them.

Then, we had an interesting conversation about how entropy is irreversible as it moves from low entropy to high entropy, from order to chaos, as time passes. While most things go from low entropy to high entropy (like a glass shattering), we thought it would be interesting to show things going from high entropy to low entropy (the glass piecing itself together out of broken glass). Specifically, we had an idea for an animation of the earth rotating normally, then slowly stopping and reversing its rotation direction.

We decided to have multiple scenes that showed things going from low entropy to high entropy in sequence, building up to the earth rotating scene, then after the earth rotates the other direction the scenes play in the same sequence in reverse until we get back to the beginning. This piece would have the scenes themselves and a graphical overlay over each scene.

Underlying Scenes

  • Top falling
  • Glass shattering
  • House destroyed by Tornado
  • Hurricane forming
  • Earth rotating & reversing
  • Hurricane dissapating
  • House putting itself together
  • Glass putting itself together
  • Top spinning upright

Graphical Overlay

Overlaid over the videos themselves we would like to have graphical elements similar to the complex line work diagram below that act as an “entropy gauge”, but we want it to be abstract.

Inspiration for graphic overlay

Subverting Expectations

We also realized in addition to giving the audience the satisfaction of seeing the scenes reverse and things come back together, it might be more interesting to sort of leave them questioning by ending the piece with a twist:

  • a hand picks up the top at the very end, puts it back down and spins it again to achieve a full loop
  • in each scene, indicate some passage of time by having something different. e.g. the hurricane might dissipate but the earth looks different, the house is not assembled back correctly, the top is somewhat rusted, the glass is crooked...

Motion & time

This week I practiced some After Effects expressions. I used time(), wiggle(), loopOut(), and an expression slider to create the following loop animation

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Jasmine Nackash is a multidisciplinary designer and developer intereseted in creating unique and innovative experiences.