Digital Fabrication – 3D Modeling

Task:

Refine and get comfortable 3D modeling different items and try bringing it to life, 3D print a small version of it!

Materials:

3D Printer x 1

3D Printer Filament x n

Rhino3D x 1

Concept:

I’m primarily a digitally based artist, specifically though I’m a coder through and through, I will almost always opt to use code and logic to try and create my work. Conversely, in real life, I quite enjoy arts and crafts and using my hands. In particular, I enjoy making jewelry and metalsmithing, rings are some of my favorite things to create as they’re small, easy, cheap and a nice gift or token for friends and loved ones. Even “ugly” or “simplistic” rings are really nice and meaningful when they find out you hand made it for them. I figured, well why don’t I try to 3D model some basic rings and 3D print them!

Process:

I’m not the most creative person in the world, to be honest, and I definitely am not the most confident about my skills when it comes to 3D modeling so I followed several rhino3D  modeling tutorials online to create a simple ring design utilizing subtracting and adding cylinder shapes to a basic cylindrical ring.

The design of the ring is actually quite nice in my opinion, very simple and geometric but I think I may have butchered the settings for the 3D printer causing it to get very thin ad rugged around the edges.

The Myth of Whiteness in Classical Sculpture – 3D Facial Animation – Bh1525

Brian Ho – Bh1525

A response to “The Myth of Whiteness in Classical Sculpture”: 

Quite a fascinating article, I think that perhaps at one time I had read somewhere briefly that it was possible that Ancient Roman and Greek sculptures were painted. I don’t quite remember where and when it was that I came across this but I don’t think I gave it much thought at the time and nor did the article. Things have changed a lot, times have changed a lot as have I. In the past I was perhaps less interested in world and more naive to some of the problematic views we saw as true and fact. At the time I didn’t quite understand or consider how the the literal white washing of the recovered statues changed the way we saw art, culture and the past. How our own biases and undercurrents of racism even may re-write the past and change the future.

I think something quite notable about these developments is how Technology played a major role, not only in the discovery of the colors but also in the display. Similar to our 14 faces project technology can allow us to create multiple hyper realistic versions of these statues to show different representations of how they may have been. This is not only the most economic way but also potentially the most accurate/holistic way to go about this problem. Even if we knew every single color used, the layer order and the elements of the statues it’s impossible for us to willingly forget years and years of development in our painting techniques and the ways we’ve trained our eyes. None of us are painters of that time and even those who have studied them intensely would not be able to truly paint as they did. By representing different interpretations and ways it could statues could have been seen we aren’t limited to a single interpretation or truth.

Digital Fabrication: Laser Cutting: bh1525

Brian Ho – Bh1525

Assignment:

Use Adobe Illustrator to design an .ai file can be laser cut or engraved etc, get practice with the different tools in the fabrication lab.

Ideation:

When it comes to creating physical things I’m not very creative, I’m not actually very good with my hands in general actually, I prefer to do everything in the digital realm. I decided to try to make two different things with the laser cutter, two different engravings with different materials and with different purposes.

1: Rubber Stamp : Portrait

This would be my first foray into using the laser cutter and I wasn’t particularly confident in my design skills so I decided to cheat a little bit, just a little bit, ok maybe a lot a bit and I transformed a photograph that I taken into a very simple illustration in Adobe Illustrator. I limited the colors and removed the details so that the laser cutter would have an easier time engraving. Below is the original image and after that is the rubber stamp that I engraved.

2: Acrylic: Business Card? Name Template? 

This was a more functional design for an acrylic name card as for the longest time I haven’t had any form of business card etc. I wanted try and use some of my new 3D Fabrication skills in order to create something I might be able to use in real life, or at least a prototype. I created the .ai file from combining different geometric shapes and my signature. Laser cutting this actually failed several times as I ran into many issues with the outline not being large enough and the printer not actually cutting through the acrylic all the way. I also struggled with making sure everything in the .ai file was actually black and not also partly grey as my original version included a sort of gradient.

Exhibition Next : Chair Projects: BH1525

Brian Ho – Bh1525

Assignment: 

For this assignment we were tasked with augmenting and or utilizing a chair in a new and interactive way. A common household and overlooked item that holds a lot more potential than we give it credit for.

Ideation:

Interested in the ideas of space and how different spaces could be linked, I wanted to attempt to create a chair based interactive exhibition. Racing against the clock I knew that I had to keep my scope limited, hence I figured the best approach would be to build around the basic characteristics of chairs instead of trying to completely remap its functions.

What do chairs in museums do?

  1. Allow for physical rest via sitting down.
  2. Allow for mental rest and time to decompress the viewing experience.
  3. Location allocation, in order to rest you must be relegated to specific areas of the museum.

The last point was the most interesting to me, it’s a way of grouping or placing like minded people, people looking to rest, in specific places in the museum.

Idea #1: Interactive Chair Video Calls

Imagine you’re in a big museum like the Smithsonian, you’ve spent the first half of the day covering just a small portion of the museum and are now trying to figure out which parts of the museum you want to see with the remainder of your time. You’ve read the brochure and looked at the map but you’re just not sure. You begin to sit down at the rest area to try and re-read the brochure and decide when the screen across from you lights up and you see another confused face.

It’s another museum visitor! Sitting somewhere at a similar rest area on the other side of the museum. You two begin to chat about what you’ve already seen, what you really enjoyed and which one’s you wouldn’t recommend. You quickly realize that while you both remain seated the video call would remain open, what a nice fun way to interact with other museum goers and also one that serves a functional purpose.

Technology:

Node.js

Web Sockets

HTML/CSS/JS

Web RTC

Arduino? ?

Paper Button? ?

Process:

So let’s try to make a switch based video call application of sorts. Now I’ve worked with Node and websockets loosely for other projects but I’ve never done something like this. Time to google, wow an article literally called “How to Build a Video Call & Voice Chat App in WebRTC Using Javascript/node.js?”  Perfect! Except not because the article is actually just an advertisement for using node.js. What about “Build a Video Chat Service with Javascript, WebRTC, and Okta” ok better, this article actually goes into the coding side of things a bit but after trying to work with Okta, making a developers account, API keys etc I just realized things were getting too complicated. I looked on YouTube for several tutorials but I didn’t find many that were really up to date or actually relevant.

At this point I was thinking maybe I have to switch ideas a bit, limit my scope a bit more. What if, instead of a video chat chair, maybe just a chat server. So you sit down and you join the chat server. Ok, let’s try “Build a simple chat app with node.js and socket.io” this coupled with another couple of YouTube tutorials actually made something work, however it was ultimately a bit clunky and I didn’t feel like I had the time to really iron out the things I disliked, or tune it to the level that I wanted it to be. Below is just a screenshot of all the different sketches I tried as different attempts on this web call chair app as well as the Okta developer account I signed up for etc. I ended up giving up on the idea of a super clever video chat app that would be buildable within a few days. I decided that the overall functionality would still be achievable with perhaps just open Skype calls with computers attached to pedestals placed in front of resting areas around the museum.

…I was actually not surprisingly not very excited about this idea as it was a shadow of the original idea as well as a seemingly cheap way to get the assignment done. While the installation of Skype connected computers w/ accompanying stationary chairs would functionally have a similar effect it just didn’t seem to do the assignment justice. So, I decided to start a second design and project based around the interactive chair.

Cont. Below

Idea #2: Awe-kward Chair Exhibition 

There’s an interesting aura that surrounds the world of contemporary art and the “art world” in general. The current trend in contemporary art is most definitely layered symbolism, it’s often times minimal or deconstructed but always layered in symbolism. Walk into just about any famous contemporary art museum and you’ll likely find a variety of art pieces that are difficult to understand at first glance and without context. There’s a great power being housed in the frame of the museum, the context of a museum gives reason for objects within to make little to no sense on a practical or functional level or first glance. It is expected for art pieces to be layered in symbolism and be thought provoking, viewers and visitors are generally encouraged to take a second look, look from other perspectives when they don’t understand the pieces, it’s why Dadaism was possible, because viewers are encouraged to look for deeper meaning and value. I’m not interested in a Dadaist piece necessarily, I am however interested in harnessing this collective idea of what a represents and the implied rules which we follow when we enter one.

I want to explore just how powerful this idea of the museum is and what I can get people to do in the name of art, in an ethical way of course. The Awe-kward Chair is a chair exhibition that is placed in an empty room. Upon sitting on the chair a video with audio will play via the computer installed below the chair. The Awe-kward chair is designed for duet performances as the video will only play when someone is applying pressure, ideally sitting, on the chair. In order for one person to view the video and enjoy that segment of the art piece they must stick their heads under the chair that’s being sat on and under the veil. A very awkward maneuver and position to be in. To reiterate, in order to fully experience this piece one person must sit down on the chair while the other lays on the floor and sticks their head underneath the chair. Anytime pressure isn’t put on the chair the computer screen will turn to black and will cease playing.

I wanted to create an exhibition like this because I think a museum is one of the few places in the world that can elicit this kind of behavior among strangers even. The idea of a deeper meaning and that things are socially accepted because it’s an artistic space makes museum spaces a weird conundrum of extra ordinary behavior that I don’t think is explored enough.

Technology:

HTML/CSS/Javascript

HTML5 Video

Process:

This is actually quite simple to make but conceptually I think it’s stronger and more interesting than the first idea. I set up a regular html page and I imported a video into it and made the video full screen by default. Next I set up event listeners for keys being pressed. When a key is pressed a boolean variable is set and based on that variable the video is either played or paused. This methodology doesn’t require key states to be tracked as a boolean that’s already evaluated as true won’t change if it’s set to true again. I decided on using a keyboard and tracking any keypress because it was definitely the easiest way to get the job done without having to get overly clever or hack stuff too much. An Arduino button would actually be more cumbersome in terms of functionality as the trigger needs to be hidden in the seat and also comfortable enough to sit on. I attached a wired keyboard to my computer which I placed under the chair and I was almost set already. In order to hide all the mechanisms of the exhibition I used long duvet covers to cover the chair hiding the keyboard as well as the computer underneath it. I added a second folded duvet cover as well as a sweater on top of the keyboard in order to add more padding.

Demo:

Code:

Digital Fabrication: Final Project – Bh1525

Building the Future one mushroom at a time

Brian Ho

Mycelium is an organic network found in the roots of fungus which hold the potential of saving the world. It’s an untapped resource and sorely undeveloped technology that deserves more attention, especially in the 21st century. This project is aimed at using the skills and tools that we’ve developed in our Digital Fabrication class in order to aid and assist the research and development of Mushroom technology.

3D modeling software will be used in order to prototype potential Mycelium infrastructure and architecture. Molds and Mycelium farming focused designs will be created and 3D printed that can then be used to facilitate efficient and safe Mycelium growth.

Philip Ross is potentially the greatest innovator in the field of mushroom technology at the moment. Ross is well known for his organic Mycelium leather and the business that he built off of it called MycoWorks. In the artistic realm, David Benjamin’s Hy-Fi Mycelium building in the MoMA’s PS1 is perhaps the most prominent example of large-scale Mycelium architecture and the potential in creating Mycelium building blocks.

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http://www.mycoworks.com/

https://www.archdaily.com/521266/hy-fi-the-organic-mushroom-brick-tower-opens-at-moma-s-ps1-courtyard

https://www.certifiedenergy.com.au/emerging-materials/emerging-materials-mycelium-brick

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

The fact that both of these individuals took such different paths in terms of how they use Mycelium it helped me broaden my mindset and view on the potential of the material and tech. It also changes the way I go about my project as I want to work on something that’s usable and impactful to the entire field, not just one small corner of it.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

I plan to use Rhino and other 3D software to create 3D mockups of potential buildings that can be build using only Mycelium bricks as well as other potential architectural structures that can benefit from Mycelium technology. In terms of actual fabrication using the 3D printers, I hope to create small-scale models of these buildings as well as manufacture cases and environments that can be designed to support Mycelium farming.

This project definitely targets a niche field that might not be interesting or applicable to everyone, that being said I believe that thinking about green-focused technology and alternative forms of building that are eco-friendly are essential to a sustainable future. Hence I think that while Mycelium might not be the end all be all for the future of architectural infrastructure development of this kind of technology/discourse about green tech is important for pushing eco-friendly tech into the forefront of technological innovation.

 

 

Week 2 – 2115 Clement Apartment Complex – Brian Ho

Brian Ho – bh1525

Clement Apartments – Shanghai:

//
Perhaps the most striking thing about the Clement Apartments is its exterior architecture. Even in 2115 where even convenience stores are housed in glassy skyscrapers, the symmetrical off-white facade of the Clement Apartments demands your attention. Despite being almost two centuries old, the apartment complex is remarkably intact. By this point almost none of the original five identical four-story buildings remained, they were almost all reproductions done piece by piece.
The Chinese government had gone through painstaking efforts to keep the building as it was in 2018, fixing up and reproducing areas that had experienced extensive wear and tear. The roof still looked of the same worn red tile despite the tiles being brand new, the red brick found all throughout the complex was as visible as ever.
 //
As soon as you step through the outer gates you’re transported to a different world, amidst the bustling French Concession the Clements Apartment complex is starkly Western despite being starkly different from it’s neighboring compatriots. Being one of the few historical sites that were left untouched, it’s found sandwiched between modern smart homes. Despite being the oldest building on the block by a long shot, the apartment complex has such gravitas that it makes the boxy white apartments next it look out of place instead.
//
With all the Western influence in the area one might expect to see the resemblance in the Clements Apartment however upon looking around a bit and exploring the interior you’ll soon come to find that while it’s Western for sure, it’s a completely different beast. The interior design looks straight out of a movie, near perfect reproductions of the Art Deco style that used to be found in the apartment complex. In fact, railings, door handles, and the interior, in general, has been embellished quite a bit likely looking a lot better now, than it did in when it was in use. Unlike the washy exterior that was painstakingly reproduced to look aged and storied, the interior reproductions and replications aimed to replicate the historic identity and emotions of the design rather than it’s actual state of use.
//
Furthering this emphasis on experience, within the apartment interiors. depth cameras are strewn throughout reading depth data and tracking the visitor’s every step. Upon entering certain rooms and locations projection mapped holograms are triggered, “ghost” like projected reenactments of guests of the Clement Apartment in the 1930s can be seen walking around and interacting with the environment. With the skeletal tracking, the “ghosts” actually walk up to visitors and talk to them, virtual tour guides of the past. Quite a theatrical approach towards historical preservation. Each room has a different “ghost” with a different role, some were guests, somewhere neighbors, some were workers and maintenance people, each with their own unique stories and perspectives on the apartment complex. The varying types of people and social economic standings serve to give a more nuanced view of the past.
//
The exterior reproductions and the interior reproductions of the Clement Apartments aim to accomplish two very different things. The exterior is purposefully worn to give it a more historically accurate representation. The factual history is emphasized. The interior, however, emphasizes a more contextualized perspective on the history of the complex. In favor of a more emotionally evocative experience, interior reproductions are also touched up and improved upon aesthetically. Modern technology is incorporated in order to engage visitors in audiovisual performances that provide story and interactivity to the historical site. A true blend of the future and the past.

Brian Ho // bh1525 – Exhibition: Next – Research Topic: Museum of Depreciated Technology

Museum of Depreciated technology:

Depreciated technology has always fascinated me. I remember back home in Chicago, living with my parents, one thing I could always count on filling up our living room was my Dad’s old junk, the majority of it, old tech. Printers, scanners, pagers, wacky zany items from sharper image. All of them, useless and collecting dust.

Whether it’s because it’s become outdone by technological advancement, cast to the side by new innovation, or simply broken. Unlike other useless items useless tech often retains a great amount of sentimental value, I’d go as far to say that carries its own aura. I’m much more likely to throw old clothing away than I am to throw old technology away even if they’re both sitting in my closet and collecting dust.

In a consumeristic world where readymade mast produced technology is integrated into our daily lives, there is a hidden aura to which we attach to our items of technology. The main goal of this museum is to explore this aura and value to which we attach to our technology.

Similar to the Museum of Broken Relationships items will be donated by people to be exhibited. The donation process is integral to the core concept of the museum as it proves of the aura / hidden value that we’re aiming to engage in discourse upon. The fact that people have enough broken, old and useless technology lying around to fill a museum is a testament to our natural inhibition from discarding technology.

I plan to study the Museum of Broken Relationships further to understand the way they set up donations and illicit donations. In regards to the actual subject of the museum, I plan to research the different concepts separately, first looking at philosophical studies on auras around objects, and researching academic papers regarding the way we place value on expensive items. The latter because I personally have a hunch that a lot of the aura that these items carry is the result of the initial asking price being fairly high and it being retained as an imaginary placeholder.

Developing Web : Final Project : Starfox!

Objective:

Create a Starfox game that can be controlled using a game controller app! Ok well, in reality, I had mistakenly thought previously that one of our assignments would be to create a simple game. Knowing that my stubbornness and ambition would likely get the better of me I started early on creating a Starfox game. However, due to time constraints and the way that the class ran, we somewhat condensed some of the projects and ended up just doing an app for our final project. That being said, I still had a 75% finished Starfox game so I decided to try and intertwine the two projects.

Coding:

I utilized three.js for most of the Starfox game, loading a 3D model into the sketch and then using GL points to create asteroids that reset as they whiz past the camera. Using raycasters I was able to track when the asteroids are clicked on in 3D space.

Using socket.io I was able to create a socket connection and allow for my webapp to communicate with my game sketch. I modified the jQuery mobile example we had and combined it with the socket.io api. The web-app was designed as a controller for the game. Due to some weird unexplained latency issues it simply doesn’t work 100% as intended while on mobile, but works fine when used from desktop.

Since the game wasn’t really the point of the assignment, progress on the game was halted in exchange for progress on the app portion. Thus technically the game doesn’t function fully as a game yet, still there are functions in place that record the elapsedTime which basically act as a score and are stored on the webserver to be called upon as highscores.

IMG_2682

Above is an image of the web app downloaded onto my screen with a custom icon.

NOC – append.(‘User’) v3 – bh1525 – Prof. Moon

Goal:

Create an immersive environment with beautiful visuals that can emit the feelings of watching falling sakura and cherry blossoms.

Inspiration:

-Kinetic Interfaces Final

-Cherry Blossoms

-Sakura

Ideation:

I’ve always loved the idea of falling flower petals and attempted to recreate a similar scene for my Kinetic interfaces project. While my prior project incorporated falling flower petals, the main focus was really on the interaction and instead of, generating flower petals we used looped pngs in processing and thus suffered from fairly mediocre visuals.

Having specified the concept a bit further to be cherry blossoms, I now had a better idea and vision of exactly what I was trying to capture. I very much wanted to try and use three.js to generate all the graphics and create a strong visual as well as use some of the skills I’d developed in my other classes.

Coding Process:

I first began by using one of my previous particle system sketches as a base, I learned not too long ago, embarrassingly enough, that you could very easily texture a GL Point with a 2D texture without a 3D model. This alleviated one of the long standing issues I had with the point systems in three.js, system performance. In all my prior projects, anytime I imported many non-native models and meshes I suffered from extremely poor system performance. By texturing the gl points I was able to create a large particle system textured particles.

Once I created my particle system I began animating them, this is where the bulk of my time on this project went. Since I was doing a visualization of nature I really needed to focus on organic and natural movement. Robotic or overly algorithmic movement would not cut it. I ended up creating 12 different particle systems each in a new THREE.Group, by putting different functions and movement patterns and rotations in each group, I hoped to create the illusion of randomness.

I quickly realized the limitation to these methods though, by texturing the points with 2D textures I was unable to truly rotate or twirl them. No matter how I moved the flowers it often felt extremely choppy or mechanical. I eventually sought after a different way of doing things, after looking through all the three.js example sketches I managed to find one that taught me about the draw shape functions. Using bezier curves I was able to draw several different petal-like shape that I could then turn into pseudo-3D models with the extrudeShape functions.

After playing with these new 3D petals I eventually decided to scrap everything I had done prior, as I didn’t feel like the obvious contrast between the two types of leaves would be jarring and actually hurt the immersiveness. I kept the same format of using several groups and systems but this time with better petals. I also added grass to my sketch by dissecting one of the three.js example sketches, the grass was made to move with sin waves.

I wanted for the project to have several different phases and patterns and I struggled immensely with creating beautiful chaos if you will. I eventually turned towards the autonomous agents that we had learned about in class. My main concern, however, was that everything in class was not only taught in p5, but was also object oriented. I had never done object oriented three.js and I was a bit clueless as to how to implement the third dimension. I considered looking into 3D Perlin noise and 3D vector fields but due to my inexperience and lack of skill I wasn’t really able to do much with the information I was able to find on the topics.

I eventually stumbled across the Three.js boids sketch which exhibited the autonomous agents we’d learned about in class except in 3D. I began to dissect it to try and make use of it but realized that it worked in a slightly different way that I was used to seeing it. In reality the concept was still the same I just wasn’t familiar enough with the concept to understand it presented differently. I mistakenly thought that I needed to do object oriented programming in order to make use of their code so I created a new sketch and tried to make single object oriented particles, how ever the Three.Points method doesn’t really seem to lend itself to object oriented creation of single points and I struggled immensely with accessing my points etc.

I realized that with my 3D pseudo models however, that I could substitute them in for the birds of the boids sketch . Was successfully able to modify and use that code to create 3D attraction, repulsion and flocking. With that out of the way I wanted to add interaction to my project, since I was still working on kinect to wbebsocket etc I ended up doing a proof of concept first using attraction to mouse point. I realized that unlike my previous projects where I projected my 2D position into the 3D world with recasting etc, I had to unprotect and do the opposite. This required several different functions and methods that I had never really heard about so I actually just StackOverflowed for a while until I found some people who had done similar things. I was able to adapt some of their solutions into my own sketch, creating an invisible sphere which was mapped to my mouse position, which would then attract any flower petals within a certain vicinity.

At this point in the project, it was actually already around Tuesday or Wednesday, so technically past the initial due date, but due to Moon’s graciousness I had been scheduled to present on Thursday and had a few more days. I stayed overnight at the academic building from Tuesday to Thursday without going home working on this assignment. The last night being rather unproductive as it was spent trying to learn windows command line and reading module errors, I was a novice at node and with the different SDK’s and kinects I spent many hours the last night just downloading windows 8 and different programs etc, the whole process of just downloading software cost me 9hrs of my last day. Even after the 9 hours, for whatever reason, the kinect was not recognized by the desktop I had borrowed from a friend, and I had no choice but to ask another close friend to trade computers with me for the coming few days. He graciously agreed and I was able to download the node kinect2 library. After some playing around with node.js examples and using some of my prior knowledge I managed to get the skeletal tracking to work over web sockets. However, I drastically underestimated how long it’d take me to calibrate and re-unproject points etc and map thKinectct world into the 3D world of my existing project. While I managed to get the leaves to attract to both hands the user’s head, it was often not extremely sensitive and very spatially dependent. For the actual show, because I didn’t actually have access to the presentation room until 2 hours prior, and I didn’t know about how the other projects would be set up I was unable to really utilize the Kinect the way I wanted to. No matter how I positioned the Kinect the points of attraction simply would not be in a friendly place, i.e. users would have to bend down quite low and hold their hands quite high for the Kinect to sense it and it would map very differently in my sketch, instead of being in the exact physical location as I had hoped. For the purpose of creating still beautiful visuals etc for a large duration of the show I manually forced the sketch to stay in the auto-flocking pattern which generated more beautiful visuals at the cost of interactivity.

Building Process:

I can’t lie, Prof. Moon and or his classes have had the most pronounced impact on me and the direction I’ve decided to take my academic career. His mini intro in three.js in Kinetic interfaces has led to my obsession with it, and the installations we built in KI also have influenced me to think bigger and be more ambitious with physical computing. With the help of Jiwon (God bless her beautiful soul) I was able to use the wood of the woodshed and build a small corridor room for users to walk into, employing the genius technique that I had witnessed and was recommended to me from Moon about Void itp, instead of using an opaque white curtain we used 8-9 extremely thin layers of tulle. I designed the room to have “wings” sticking out which would allow for several walls. This simple adjustment took the visuals to another level and brought out a surreal 3D depth to the images.

Because of the lack of time, and dedicated space to build etc I wasn’t able to engineer a system that actually systematically pumped the tulle layers with perfume. Instead, I made a mad dash to the mall at Century Ave on the day of the show and bought some earthy forest mist from Innisfree. I would have gone with a regular perfume but they didn’t carry any at the time, this turned into a huge mistake as even though I emptied over half the bottle on the walls and the wood frames, the smell still wasn’t that impactful.

 

Pattern 2:

Pattern 1:

 

pattern3

Frame:

WechatIMG2

Final Show:

Unbuilt frame:

WechatIMG1