Staging Fright: Final Project

Title: Esther

Group: Lisa Barry, Sophia Noel, Gabriela Naumnik

Room allocated: 936 – Storage room

Concept

For our final project we decided to use the closet on the ninth floor to enclose our victim and scare the Max Jitters out of them. We wanted to utilize the small space by allowing the user to experience a story while sitting down.

The story and experience

A young girl who grew up in an orphanage died suddenly and is haunting the storage space on the ninth floor. The girl however is not evil, the evil spirit lives in her doll. Our victim enters the room with one lamp lighting the room. The lights begin to flicker and a child’s song starts to play. Then the little orphan girl starts speaking to our victim. She starts telling her story and asks the victim to play hide and seek with her. We will advise the victim to stay put and not move during the experience. Then the little girl starts talking about her doll, Esther, when she does this there is a scratchy sound and the lights turn off. A small light turns on in the corner to reveal the doll. The dolls head turns and says “are you talking about me?” The doll talks to the victim and urges them to come closer. She says:

“Haha! It’s your turn! My name is Elizabeth, do you want to play? Miss Pepperdine says that it’s play time now! My mummy and daddy used to let me play all day…. But mummy died and daddy left… Oh, please will you play with me? It’s okay if you don’t want to… I just want to play hide and seek. Most of the time people don’t seek. I used to play with my doll Esther but she was mean to mummy so I burned her… Sometimes I dream about her. We’re in a warehouse together. She hurts me and I wake up…..”

Before they can come closer she laughs, and says “lights out, time to seek!” All the lights in the room go out. By then the user should be pretty scared. When the lights are out, boxes from the shelves begin to move and fall. Then a black light turns on over the wall in front of the user to reveal the words “GET OUT!” written in invisible ink.

For our project we divided our tasks into three main aspects of our project. Lisa was in charge of lamps and lighting (one big lamp for the room, one light on the doll, one black light for the final message), I was in charge of moving boxes and objects in the room, and Sophia was in charge of the doll and audio. To control our project we had one computer in the room controlling the arduinos. We were able to control the computer in the room by connecting it to a computer outside of the room.

Mockup: 

11495005021_.pic_hd 21495005087_.pic_hd

Falling boxes

To make boxes fall, I used two solenoids and two mosfets. The concept of using solenoids was new to me so I am thankful to Professor Antonius for showing me how to use them.  Initially, I was activating solenoids by using a pushbutton, then I changed the code to make it possible for solenoids to be activated on bang in MAX. This is the Arduino code I wrote for solenoids:

Then, Lisa and used MAX to initiate falling boxes and flickering lamps on bang. We noticed that when we specify an input inByte of 0 on the arduino, it gives an output of 48, input 1, output 49, and so on, and therefore, on max, these are the values we used for the input:

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 10.26.40

91495005199_

Later on, we we noticed that Arduino cannot use an “inByte” values higher than 9, so we allowed the lighting and the solenoids to both have a main off switch (reset) bang to eliminate the use of more than one inByte value for off command. Here are is one of the  falling boxes we  set up in the room:

This video shows both solenoids being activated in MAX by and being reset at once:

Lights

We had 3 lighting components that we wanted to control: Lamp for the room, one light above the doll, and a black light to show the final message. In order to control these, Lisa had to find ways of manipulating lamps. The best way for our project was to use a relay to control the digital input and output. This was then connected in serial with ‘Max’ application to command it to either turn on, off, or flicker using a bang. These two video show testing the lamp in the storage room:

Doll

For this section, Sophia bought a doll and cut it up to insert a servo for the head. The servo was controlled using firmata and serial communication with processing. The processing sketch runs a screen, that allows the doll’s head to move according to the cursor’s x-location. This was uploaded onto the computer we use in the room. The computer will run both the processing and max at the same time. This is the doll Sophia used:

31495005117_.pic_hd

Later, on, we suggested that the doll’s eyes should be completely black to make her more creepy which is going to be shown in another video.

Audio

The audio was a combination of our own recordings and music from youtube:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMSNl66etMg
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtnwwPLdMQw
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3v37Ac_CvI

The recorded sounds were put up on audacity, and was edited (such as the pitch, echo, and cropping). These will be played through 2 sets of Bluetooth speakers: one for the voice of the doll, and one for general audio and sounds. The general sounds will be controlled on the computer (with max, and processing), and the other will be controlled by a phone.

This is the final soundtrack:

Elizabeth story audio

Doll audio

Final sequence

 Room set-up

We put a lot of the boxes in the storage room and a huge piece of white cloth over the shelves. There is a chair in the middle of the room on which our guest is going to sit. All of the electronics occupy the space on various shelves own the right side of the room. Here’s our initial setup:

121495005558_.pic_hd 131495005569_.pic_hd

Run-through

This is our room test. Everything worked as intended.

 

Reflection

I think that the project turned out great. Wishing a short period of time we have literally designed a sort of a horror escape room. It is scary, it is exciting and it is definitely an experience! I am looking forward to seeing our classmates’ reactions this Thursday.

Update after Thursday

Our rooms scared everyone! It was so satisfying to hear people scream in the room, because it means that we achieved our goal of inciting fear. Here is how the experience looked like inside the room:

Lights and solenoids:
--------------------------
int inByte = 0;
int relay1 = 9; // doll light
int relay2 = 10; // blacklight
int relay = 11; // main lamp
int solenoid = 12; // box 1
int solenoid1 = 13; // box 2


void setup() {

  Serial.begin(9600);
  pinMode(relay1, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(relay2, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(relay, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(solenoid, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(solenoid1, OUTPUT);
  
  digitalWrite(relay1, LOW); // long on pause for led on delay(12000);
  digitalWrite(relay2, LOW);
  digitalWrite(relay, LOW);
  digitalWrite(solenoid, LOW);
  digitalWrite(solenoid1, LOW);
}

void loop() {

  if (Serial.available() > 0) {
    inByte = Serial.read();
    Serial.println(inByte);

    if (inByte == '1') {
      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH);

      delay(1000);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(220);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(150);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(220);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(40);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(20);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(445);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(150);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(20);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on................

      delay(510);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(150);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW); //

      delay(160);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(20);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(150);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(40);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(550);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(20);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(150);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(20);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(40);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(20);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(150);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(20);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(150);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(20);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(150);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(35);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(30);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(40);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(100);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(45);

      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH); // led on

      delay(50);

      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);

      delay(60);
    }

    else if (inByte == '2') {
      digitalWrite(relay, HIGH);
    }
    else if (inByte == '3') {
      digitalWrite(relay1, HIGH);
    }
    else if (inByte == '4') {
      digitalWrite(relay2, HIGH);
    }

    else if (inByte == '8') {
      digitalWrite(solenoid, HIGH);
    }

    else if (inByte == '9') {
      digitalWrite(solenoid1, HIGH);
    }
    
    else if (inByte == '7') {
      digitalWrite(solenoid, LOW);
      digitalWrite(solenoid1, LOW);
    }
    else if (inByte == '0') {
      digitalWrite(relay, LOW);
      digitalWrite(relay1, LOW);
      digitalWrite(relay2, LOW);
    }  }  }

Photo Booth final animation by Gabriela Naumnik

Link to full extended documentation and moodboard: https://gabrielanaumnik.myportfolio.com/photo-booth-animation-2
 best screenshot
What is Photo Booth about? 
Photo Booth is a rotoscoping animation I created for the Animation Course at New York University Shanghai during Spring 2017. It is a story of girl writing and practicing her speech at night, when the unexpected occurs and she finds out that she is not alone in the room. I need to thank Konrad Krawczyk for helping me with filming a video I used for this rotoscoping and my professor – Tim Szetela – for teaching me how to animate from scratch in only 4 months. Thank you all!
Photo Booth on YouTube:

Photo Booth on Vimeo:

What was my inspiration?
One day, when I was in Poland, I decided to practice Chinese. So, I opened Photo Booth and started recording. Suddenly, my mom called, so I picked up the phone and walked out of the room. After coming back and sitting down in front of my computer, I realized that it was still recording, I paused the video and decided to rewatch it. Nothing happened of course, but I asked myself a question: “what would I have done if someone had actually been in my room while I was outside talking?” The thought scared me and I decided to keep it: either to write down or to film. Eventually, I decided to animate this possible scary scenario. In terms of the look, I was inspired by graphic design in “Sin City” and “Simon’s Cat.”
How did I make my animation?
First, Konrad and I filmed everything according to a script I wrote. Then, I combined all the shots in Adobe Premiere. Later on, I was using a combination of Adobe Animate and Adobe Illustrator to achieve my end goal. For drawing, I used my graphic drawing tablet – HUION.
What have I learned from this project? 
Now I understand how time-consuming animation is. It took me more than 60 hours to compete it! Nevertheless, it was worth it. I enjoyed the process: learning by trial and error how to effectively use Adobe for animation has given me a lot of satisfaction.  I intend to use all newly-acquired animation knowledge while interning/working for television production companies and post-producing videos. In addition to this, I have realized that thanks to this course, I started perceiving motion differently. I often find myself wondering about how I could animate surrounding me objects, nature, animals and people.
Media Sources
Mouse click sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TszdtRbI3m4
Phone call sound: https://www.soundsnap.com/tags/phone_call
(all other sounds were recorded by me)

The Alert Bracelet Tuesday Updates (Gabriela and Sidra)

We started off by creating a Temboo for Gmail API. To do this, we had to verify one of ours Gmail accounts to get the verification key (which required activating a foreign number a the Chinses one did work for some reason). Then, we set the title of the alert email to “HELP ALERT” and the body to “I need help. Please, come as soon as possible.” We decided that the email is going to be sentwhen the button is pressed from “Grandma’s” account: nefron17@gmail.com to Sidra’s account (“close relative”). The next step included generating the code and connecting MRK1000. Initially, we had problems connecting MKR1000. It turned out the the one we checked out was broken. Thus, we managed to obtain another MKR1000 which worked just fine. The second problem was the the working MKR100 was not connecting to the WIFI because we did not include the WIFI password in the code. At that point we tested our code without having connected the button yet. As we input a value into the Serial monitor, the shown below email was sent to Sidra’s account:

gmail sent

After a minute, the HELP ALERT email showed up in Sidra’s inbox:

gmail inbox

 

However, later on we encountered some problems. Our email was sent out once and we could not make it send again. So, to troubleshoot, we decided to set up a entirely new gmail account with a Polish Phone number (Gmail does not accept Chinese phone numbers for authentication purposes, which makes it really difficult). So we set an account called grandmaold@gmail.com and set the message content to “Help!” We generated new Temboo code and everything started workings as intended. The following video shows that once a button is pressed (we added a pushbutton), Sidra receives an email from grandmaold@gmail.com:

If the button is pressed multiple times, Sidra receives multiple emails:

18405522_10208968362193285_1200028033_o

Finally, this is our final working code:

Scaring the computer (Gabriela Naumnik and Sophia Noel)

The idea and execution

For this project we used MAX and a Distance Sensor. We wanted to “Scare the computer” – a little girl – by approaching the screen. The girl (the computer) sings cheerfully but gets instantly scared once somebody approaches it. The distance sensor can be placed both in the direction of the front and the back of the computer. Initially, we made it face the front so that whenever someone tries to look at the monitor, the girl gets scared. In class, on the other hand, we tried also making it face the back, which created an interesting effect of the girl getting scared whenever someone comes from behind. In our opinion, both strategies of placing the sensor make sense as the girl (who sings awfully) notices that someone is listening to her, she gets embarrassed and scared. When someone comes from behind she can get scared too. So, both ways work well for this project and fit well the purpose.

Distance Sensor and MAX Code

In this video we demonstrate how values incoming from the Ultrasonic Ranger change (this was the first step in our process to test that everything was going as planned):

This is was our initial setup and code:

18175661_1451341188243341_80175296_o

Later on, we changed the type of the distance sensor because the 1st one was not accurate enough:

18176227_10154534657927844_2023728032_o

End Result

This video shows the end result – a video of a happy singing girl plays, but when someone gets closer to the monitor, the girl gets scared and screams:

Exercises in Class (Gabriela Naumnik and Sophia Noel)

First, we used Max to display a video:

18049572_1442593145784812_782129845_o

Here’s a video documenting our result:

Second, we used Max to play the piano:

18049494_1442593135784813_335780776_o

Here’s a video documenting our result:

Third, we connected a Galvanic sensor to Max and displayed two videos depending on the incoming values:

18052188_1442593152451478_1284126573_o

Here’s a video documenting our result:

Networked project which inspires me – Tele-Present Water (Gabriela Naumnik)

Description:

David Bowen‘s Tele-Present Water installation draws information from the movement and intensity of the water in real-time from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data buoy station 46075 in the Shumagin Islands, Alaska. It then displays this information on the mechanical grid structure in the gallery through the use of an Arduino mega running servo firmata and using an 11 x 24 volt dc motor with drivers.

This project is incredibly interesting and inspiring because of how beautifully it visualizes data in real time. It gives the viewers the unique opportunity to see the movement of the ocean without the need to be there. I would like to see this project in reality because ocean amazes me and being able to see its current movement both from up and below would be a mesmerizing experience.

Writing Assignment 2: Via positiva, via negativa (Gabriela Naumnik)

Chapter 1 describes the concepts of via positiva and via negativa. In contrast to the first concept, the latter, strongly believed in by Grotowski from Polish Theater Laboratory, discourages directors from incorporating new technology into theater performances. Grotowski argues mainly that such approach strips the theatre, plays and actors off their inherent values. I do not agree with the concept of via negativa presented in this week’s reading.

As a fellow Pole, I understand where Grotowski is coming from. He presents a very typical Polish point of view – being afraid of change. This way of reasoning used to and sometimes still is, unfortunately, quite prevalent amongst Polish artists as well as politicians. What further explains his train of thoughts is that the time when he started publishing his works was a period during which Polish theaters were mainly showing old Polish plays which do not require any use of advanced new technology, which brings me to another aspect of why the concept via negativa presented by Grotowski does not appeal to me.

Plays shown in Poland during the time when Grotowski started publishing his articles were touching upon Polish history, Polish kings, Polish knighthood as well as many other stories about older times. Such plays do not require modern technologies because they would not necessarily help the spectacle become more realistic. On the other hand, many plays we can view nowadays, in particular opera performances, can benefit from special effects and new technologies as they can help the audience immerse themselves in the play better. Not every play needs new technology, but modern plays often need the help of technology to help show the audience what could have not been shown otherwise.

Grotowski argues that if one puts a lot of modern tech on a stage and makes and an actor walk to and fro, the audience is going to enjoy the performance anyways and not care whether the actor can actually act. I disagree with such way of reasoning as well. This could have been the case two decades ago when special effects and modern technology started becoming popular. However, nowadays we still rely on the actors’ craft and perceive technology to help amplify the performance and not discourage actors from being good at their job.

Overall, as a supporter of introducing modern technology into theaters to help create immersive storytelling experiences, I disagree with Grotovski’s idea of via negativa because his concept may prevent talented contemporary directors form being able to tell a story well and help the audience understand it. I believe that technology does not need to be incorporated into every single play. Instead, it should be used wisely and creatively to suit the purpose. I also strongly believe that incorporating technology creatively into theaters may give rise to new and previously unknown genres and ways of performing. Instead of constraining performers, new technology can finally help them express themselves and help the audience immerse themselves and experience better new stories, ideas and visual aspects of theatre performance.