Human Interfaces

I'll keep this short so I can catch up with blog entries, I've had a bit of a busy/difficult time, moved out of my own HQ and in temp accommodation, very glad I have this laptop, but desk space would also be nice.

Monday Introduction to Creative Technologies, we listened to a producer and saw his show reel. I guess what I got from it was how the democratisation of video production technology hasn't just enabled average people to produce below average videos (ala YouTube) but also enabled professionals and highly creative individuals to produce great results too. I worked in the studio on the keyboard hacks and decided to abandon my complex animation as it I could do something much simpler that would demonstrate that I understood all that we had been taught so far. All we were required to do was build some sort of switch from the keyboard that controlled an animation on the computer in some way. I had a mildly amusing idea and amusing is always a good start I think.

Tuesday we demonstrated our keyboard hacks. Mine was a stress ball, when you squeezed it, thanks to a microswitch inside, a picture of a llama on screen blew up (and accompanying explosion sound). This seemed popular enough so that was nice. Something had to blow up, I chose a llama because it seemed a little bit random, a little bit funny like the first time I watched Bad Taste with the sheep blown up by a badly aimed bazooka, and finally because llamas seem to hold some odd place in internet memes.

We were then given our project, due 3 weeks from this date (The first Monday after a 2-week holiday that starts next week... well, it's already started as I'm writing retrospectively). Pretty full-on, it's to create a piece of clothing that in some way controls what is on screen. Interactive clothing. We then had a class teaching the fundamentals of MaxMSP again in more detail as some students were finding it hard going, and then we moved on to Jitter.

Jitter is a component of Max that handles video and 3D processing. It seems rather powerful, in a relatively short time we were getting it to open video and vision-mix it with our web cameras with a slider. We then controlled some chroma keying with footage that had a blue screen background.

On Wednesday we were to learn some of the 3D controls of Jitter. Unfortunately I was not able to be there as that was moving house day. I didn't move my items to a new place though, I moved them to storage so I have to do all of this again soon. But it's complicated and not what the blog is about. It's also frustrating because it's a massive distraction. My tutor was satisfied that I am capable of learning the lessons on my own though, I've always been self-taught anyway. But I'd like to have been there all the same.

Thursday, students were able to present their ideas for approval to tutors hanging around, which I wasn't able to attend due to the move and all things related, but I had a chat to a tutor later on. I did attend an induction to the textiles department in AUT and once again was impressed with the facilities (and expertise of course) at our disposal. AUT owns a machine that can essentially thread a whole garment together in 3D, eliminating the need to stitch pieces of material together as in most conventional clothing. Also owned is a machine that can print directly on to fabrics.

Friday was a public holiday.