Thesis Proposal Form

Thesis Proposal Form


What is your area of focus for your thesis research?

My area of focus for my thesis research is the uncanny valley and the experience of human-robot/A.I. interactions.

Please provide 3-5 artists whose work inspires you or that you plan to research as part of your thesis work.

Golan Levin, Edward Ihnatowicz, Kenneth Rinaldo, Lozano-hemmer

 

What type of work is your thesis project? (Game, installation, ARG, etc.)AND What technology needs does it require? Will you be using your own technology or Becker’s resources?

Installation. It will require a PC using Unity, Monitor, speakers, and Kinect V2.

Describe your project idea and how it ties into your thesis research in 1-2 paragraphs.

“Project Frame” is a dynamic interactive experience featuring a hanging oil painting that responses to visual and audio inputs. It will detect the presence of the viewers, follow faces and body movements, and listen for speech responses. All of which, will advance down a fixed “script” that the A.I. continuously references. The final presentation will consist of an environment that will be build around the frame for maximum immersion.

This project ties into my thesis because it involves human-A.I. interaction. I want to research the effect of the uncanny valley, positive or negative. Is there a usable use for it? Also, can different physical spaces promote this effect? Researching deeper into this, will help me heighten the overall experience of the project.

 

Describe your planned presentation method for your thesis project, (keeping in mind the gallery showcase at the end of the year).

I envision a space that mimics a Victorian library (with scope in mind). The main piece, the painting, is hung on the center wall. I plan to adapt the lighting in the space to hide the Kinect and any other sensors that are used in the piece. The painting itself will be a monitor with a frame built around the screen. Rest of the electronics, such as the computer, will be located behind in the walls.

 

Please list 4 major project milestones for your interactive work for this (You may also want to list your milestones for next semester but clarify especially where you want your project to be at the end of this 3-month semester)

  1. Programming A.I. branch layout/designed  *Me: character rigged and blendshapes done
  2. MIDTERM – Rough draft of the basic script finished. A.I. tree interacting with inputs. Alpha demo where users can say hello and have it hello back. Some character movements – eyes, etc. *Me: character textured, connect/import blendshapes with lipsync. | Help on the script
  3. Character face animated, have lipSync working with correct responses. Background done.
  4. FINAL – Ground work down for a interaction demo – Detects users and voice input affects the A.I. interaction using the script. *Basic interactions (audio, and visual) are smooth!

Detailed list:

  1. Art: Character is imported with textured, rigged, and blendshapes are applied. Prog: Must have branch structure designed which allows for input data effect the output visually. Such as (eyes follow detected user or head follows detected user)
  2. Art: Fill out the background of the scene and get lighting close to final. Prog: Have vocal input effect output.
  3. Art: Have basic on animations imported. (Arm movements on interaction, etc.) Prog: Have lipSync working, and Animations linked with the correct responses.
  4. Art: Post effects – overlays and any other polish work. Prog: Add more interactions with the data. Expand the tree and make sure it does not break during run time.

 

What are your project needs as far studio teams (ex- 2 artists, 3 programmers)?

  • 2 artists for background modeling, texturing and animations.
  • Writer for interaction mapping script
  • 2-3 programmers for hardware working, and basic A.I. work.
  • 1 audio engineer for voice and other ambient sounds.

* These numbers are guessed +/-. As I am not sure what help I may need.

Blog Entry – Museum Visit Responses

  1. how does fashion play a role in your work — if you have a character(s) then those design decisions are important OR if you have no humans in your work, discuss the fashion of your favorite game with people in it.

Fashion is important within my work on characters. Depending on how the styles are designed and used, the wardrobes can influence the audience. We can use fashion in many ways as to describe who the character is, when is the character from, and why do they look the way they do. Most of the time, I use fashion to set a setting for the model to reside within. For example, I might pick a certain suit that would set a place and time that would relate to a certain time period. This could evolve into something else as I add elements of clothes that I personally like. Having my own personal preferences influence my characters, allows me to experiment with the endless possibilities that can create a unique character.

 

  1. how could you make fashion interactive and what statement would that make to wear it?

Today, there are numerous pieces of clothing that is interactive. Programmable LED tshirts, Air-Filtering scarves, heated sports clothing, posture-correcting shirts, app-enabled LED jacks, reactive feather jackets, etc. The list goes on and on. I believe that is the most important part about fashion. Allowing the individual to express themselves through clothing. Most of the interactive clothing seems to be corny or practical. Something that could be interesting would be a coat that can be modularized. Each piece (arms, pockets, collar) can be swapped out with whatever design the individual. Attaching the parts together would be an issue though. Velcro would be the easiest, but durability would be the main issue.

Another unique possibility to make fashion interactive would be a “mood ring” clothing. The clothing would react to external and internal temperature and change color. I imagine the clothing being filled with a liquid to make this happen. The liquid would be the one reacting to the temps. Both designs would give the individual a personalitzed piece of clothing, one being based on their own preferences, and one being affected by the surrounding elements.

 

  1. Find the piece pictured below, in the Eunice and Julian Cohen Galleria (Gallery 163). Note the name of the piece and then describe your impression of the piece — what are questions it draws forth from you upon viewing?

“Flicker” by Ian Sommerville (1959), 2004 Glass chandelier, flat-screen monitor, Morse code unit, and computer. Unfortunately, this piece was not working as intended. As the blinking was not working. The Morse code unit was not attached as well. With that said, the initial impression of the piece was bland. Without the blink, the piece is only a glass chandelier. At first, I did not even notice it hanging up until someone else pointed it out. If it was lit, even without the blink, I believe it would have caught my eye. If it was working as intended, I would have been curious of the blinks. I might have tried to decode the Morse to figure out what the message was. This would have been a fun piece to experience. Although the name of the piece is confusing. It is straight forward, this chandelier is about Ian Sommerville’s dreamachine “Flicker” as it will blink Morse code text of the piece. I think the title is a weak part of the piece but I wonder if the reason Evans called it that because he imagined that these lights are only talking about Flicker and Sommerville.

Other questions that came to mind are:

What is it trying to say?

How can I figure it out? Without cheating….

Could I use this interaction in one of my pieces?

Would it be a better experience if it eye level? Or is the experience better because it is higher up and massive?

Would lowering the ambient light, and putting it into a darker room, create a better environment (more immersive) to experience this piece?

Would anyone notice the Morse code blinks if the chandelier was piece among other items that resemble its style?

 

  1. Discuss how you can imagine taking one of the pieces in the exhibit and if you were asked to contribute a work with a similar look/feel/message now, how could you make it into something interactive? Keep in mind the stated message of the Bauhaus as well as the individual feel/reading you get from the piece you choose.

In the Bauhaus exhibit, I was fascinated by the abstract shapes. I wanted to pull them apart and visualize the prints in 3 dimensions. I want to walk around the work in space and see them with depth. The way I would do this would be to create an AR experience. I would create bigger versions of the postcards with the abstract shapes, and balanced forms. The viewers would open an app on a tablet that would allow the user to aim at the prints and the prints would come alive. Depending on the image, the shapes could rotate, scale, dotted lines might move, etc. The viewer could walk around and see the in-betweens of the print in 3D. Allowing them to the freedom to experience the forms that create the Bauhaus style.

 

 

Project Frame – *”Grumpy” Sculpt

Project Frame – *”Grumpy” Sculpt

Software

  • Blender
  • Pixologic zBrush

Concept

 

Proposal

Box of Life’s Rhythm

Box of Life’s Rhythm

 

Description

Box of Life’s Rhythm is a self-reflection interaction with a box containing a beating heart. The interactor opens and holds the box. As they hold the box, their index finger will lay on the pulse sensor that is located on the left side. Once the pulse is detect, the heart within will began to beat matching the interactor’s own heart rate. Four red LEDs will light up. Two LEDs are static. They illuminate the box and heart. The other two LEDs will pulse to the rhythm of the interactor’s pulse.

*This piece is merely part of a larger idea. There would be two boxes on display facing one another. As the interactors hold onto the boxes, each heart would beat to the other person’s heart rate.

The emotional response expected from this piece would be the feeling of being disturbed but some individuals might be excited and interest. The personal value of the piece was the physical build. Trying to piece together all the components into the box was a challenge. Redesigning the heart to beat with a servo motor. Wires breaking over and over again. The rubber band in the heart not sticking until adding massive amounts of hot glue. A faulty pulse sensor. Even with all those challenges, the build was completed and works as planned.

Sketch

Components

  • 4 330Ω Resistors
  • 4 Red LEDs
  • 9 volt battery
  • Arduino Uno board
  • Black cardstock
  • Cardboard
  • Duct Tape
  • Hot Glue
  • Jewelry box
  • Pulse Sensor
  • Rubber heart
  • Rubber Bands
  • Servo motor
  • Wires

Links to parts

Wooden Box

Heart Prop

Pulse Sensor

Arduino Uno

 

Concepts

The concept of the piece originally bigger scaled interaction that required two people to complete the “circuit”. Once the “circuit” was completed the wavelength would be displayed on the wall along with LEDs that would change color and brightness based off of the signal.

Original Description of “Coupling” – It takes two to be one…

2 people lay their hands on two metal plates. There is one in the middle between them forcing them to “hold hands”. Once their hands are touching the plates, a frequency or current would transmit through them both to the middle column. While this is happening, a picture/video of their unique wavelength is show. Based on the wavelength, LED panels would changs colors based off that signal. The resulting expressions would be curiosity, excitement, and Unity.

 

Concept Description

 

Blog Entry – Research and Project Updates – 2019 #13

This week I have been working numerous projects. First project is my human interaction final. As of now, I am struggling to get an heart rate from skin conductivity. I believe I will have to redesign the project to simulate the heart rate when the box is touched and held. Although I do have some time to develop it before the need to redesign it.

The other project I worked on this week was the 3d digital art final. I finally got a character that “fits” my requirement for the project. Here is a screenshot:

I am going to do a polish pass of the face and detail it out with wrinkles, defects, and to make the face asymmetrical. Also the character’s face has multiple layers that allows me to remove the beard and make the face fuller or not but the only thing I am deciding on is the clothes.  I haven’t figured out the style yet but I am feeling something Victorian or Gothic suit.

 

Tutorials/Interesting Videos:

 

Idea – Beat Box

Idea – Beat Box?

Description

Beat Box is a self-reflection interaction with a box containing a beating heart. As an interactor opens and holds the metal jewelry box, the heart within will began to beat matching the interactor’s own heart rate using conductivity and a servo motor. Four or more hidden RGB LEDs will light the interior of the box with color. The color and intensity will be controlled by the same input data as the heart. Lower the rate, cooler the colors while higher the rate, warmer the colors and brighter it is within the box.

This piece is merely part of a modified version of a final piece. There would be two boxes on display facing one another. As the interactors hold onto the boxes, each heart would beat to the other person’s heart rate.

 

Other Options

  • I would add in a small speaker to create some type of ambient, droning beat to match the heart rate.
  • Instead of a metal jewelry box, the heart would be suspended in the heart within an acrylic enclosure as if it was floating. The interaction would be the same, but the input would have to be adjusted. The viewers would have to lay their hand on a platform for the heart to beat.
  • The last alternative for a gallery version would be the main artist would wear a monitor during the show. The heart would beat in sync with the artist in real time for everyone to view.

Sketch

Components Needed

  • Rubber heart
  • Metal jewelry box
  • Acrylic plastic to split the box
  • Arduino board
  • Servo motor with 2 attachments to push the heart
  • Cloth interior – hide electronics
  • RGB LEDs
  • Arduino battery

Required Outputs

  • RGB LEDs
  • Servo Motor to drive heart

Required Input

  • Metal conductive material to get heart rate

 


 

Blog Entry – Research and Project Updates – 2019 #11

This week, I have been working on more shapes of the head for my 3d digital art course and my thesis. This character will be fully sculpted so I am trying to find a shape I like. As of now, I am leanings towards the second head. (longer skull, and droopy chin) I do like the fourth one day as well but I believe it is too close to Picard from Star Trek. Nevertheless, I will find the shape and go along with it to finish the project.

Thats the Spot!

Thats the Spot!

 

Hardware Components Used

  • 1 Green LED
  • 2 Yellow LED
  • 3 330 Ω Resistors
  • 2 10k Resistors
  • 1 Servo Motor
  • Arduino Uno Board
  • Breadboard
  • 5-volt power
  • Soft Potentiometer
  • Flex sensor
  • Cardboard
  • Ducktape
  • Piezo Buzzer
  • 14 wires

Concept

 

Description:

That’s the Spot! is an interactive game where the interactor controls a servo motor with a soft potentiometer. The motor head collides and bends a flex sensor. As the flex sensor bends, the LEDs will light up from yellow to green. If the interactor discovers the “spot” and holds the position, the piezo buzzer will play a jingle. After the interaction, the system resets and a new spot is selected for a different experience.

As they interact, the interactor should feel determined. They should feel the struggle to find the correct spot to complete the sequence. The personal value of the piece was the challenge of the flex sensor and the board design. Since the breadboard is small, I struggled to create a smooth interaction between the servo and flex sensor. Besides the design, the flex sensor sensitivity is short. I mapped and constrained the values for the interaction to work correctly.

Possible idea for the structure:

I envision this piece as being contained within an acrylic structure with one side being brass. The side of brass would be the interface with the soft pot and LEDs connected too. The rest of the piece would be a clear shell which will allow the interactor to view all the working parts interacting with itself. The style would be a mix of steampunk and sciFi.

To fill the negative space within the shell, there would be a mess of colorful wires. Example: