The three little siblings

Story:

In the city of Shenzhen in China, where humans, robots, and cyborgs live together and build the city together, three young adolescents are kicked out of the house by their mother who tells them to go build their own houses and make a living. The three siblings then set off to live up to that challenge.

In this technodigital city, relationships and connections are very important, and one fuse broken or a wire disconnected can lead to dramatic damages to the peacefulness of the city. In this story, we’re not talking about hurricanes or tornadoes, but digital catastrophes: robots on rampage, corrupted computers, crazy cyborgs. Thus, the most important is to build a safe home, a secure space to protect yourselves from danger.

The three siblings end up building up houses next to each other, and with the rest of their savings left, they each invest into a proper security system for each of their homes.

The first sibling is a boy, and he is a video game lover. He does not like doing much and is lazy. Most of the time, he stays indoors playing video games, to the point where he does not have much interaction with anyone else, not even his siblings. The only interaction he has is with his computer. The funny story about him is that his hands and fingers are far too piggy big for his keyboard, but somehow, he still manages to be a pro-gamer. He is usually at home in pyjamas, which seem old and creased because he is lazy and has not done laundry. He is also slightly skinny because he forgets to eat when he is engrossed in his game. He is always worried and on guard, and this is due to the fact that he has been playing many violent and scary games, which cause him to be afraid that someone will get him from the back. His hair is messy and he wears round glasses that are overly big for his tired looking face. Due to his lack of interest in doing anything else than playing video games, and to save money, he decides to make a game that he programmed as the security code to his house.

The second sibling is a taller more muscular brother. This one is very intelligent and as soon as he set off in the world, he became a banker and married a rich woman. This brother only knows how to do numbers and calculations. Everything has to be objective and goal-oriented. He has a very logical way of approaching situations, and he can be quite intimidating. During his leisure time, he likes to play football, especially with the youngest toy-loving sibling. They play together every weekend, and this is why he always has a sunburn because he forgets to wear sunscreen. Because he is always focusing on calculating numbers on the screen all day, he has a frown and a permanent crease between his eyes. To cover up for this, he wear sunglasses indoors and outdoors, and last he is obsessed with everything green (partly why he loves playing football on the field). As he thinks that the most expensive security system would be the best option, and thus uses all of his savings to buy a multi-step security system. To enter his palace, one has to pass the face detection, fingerprint test and voice recognition security passwords.

Last but not least, the youngest sibling is a ball of energy. She is a short but very playful girl, who loves to have fun and jump around. She loves fairy tales, especially impersonating her favourite heroes. She makes up fantasies all the time. She is very likeable, has a lot of humour and a massive collection of toys and teddy bears at home. She has blond curly hair, hazel eyes, a warm smile and big eyes full of excitement. She will pick a fight with anybody who looks at her funny. For her house, she knows that nothing will protect her better than her best friend, Mr. Teddy. Therefore, before entering the house, you have to pass Mr Teddy’s test.

One day, the city goes into panic mode. A cyborg has gone savage, and has been on rampage entering and stealing from people’s homes and kidnapping children.

The cyborg arrives to the first house and knocks on the door. “Hey friend, let me in to play video games with you”. The video-game lover is so engrossed in his own game, and tells the cyborg to go away. The cyborg replies “I will solve your game in a second and come for you, your skills will be very valuable for the army of cyborgs I am building. The brother stop his game and watches as the cyborg enters the game space that he has created. If the cyborg beats him, then the house will be unlocked. In less than a minute, the cyborg has analysed all the moves possible, made all the calculations, and predicted all the possible moves of the game master, and within no time, the house is unlocked.

In panic, the brother leaves from a secret passage behind his television, and goes out from the back and runs to his brother’s house.

The cyborg now makes way towards the second brother’s house. “Guys, open the door and let me join your party.” The 2 brothers tell the cyborg to go away and that it is impossible to get past the most expensive security system in the world. The cyborg says “This expensive trash does not scare me, I want you guys to be part of my army, so I am coming”. The cyborg corrupts the security system’s facial recognition, and passes the test. Next, the cyborg analyses the area around the house using powerful infra-red, and localises the banker brother’s fingerprint on the leaf of a plant in the garden. With this, the cyborg passes the fingerprint test. Last, the cyborg recorded the conversation with the brothers and uses the banker brother’s voice to win the game, and the last test is passed. The house is unlocked.

Both brothers escape by climbing up the chimney and run to their little sister’s house.

The cyborg arrives to the sister’s house. In the sweetest voice, the cyborg says “let me in. Let me in to play”. The little girl replied, “Mr. Teddy will decide whether you are fit to play with us” and giggles away. The cyborg looks at Mr. Teddy and says “This is going to be easy, wait for me I am coming”. The cyborg looks at Mr. Teddy, analyses Mr. Teddy and tries to find anything with a code to pass but nothing. The cyborg searches the internet for things that people do with teddy bears, hugs it tightly and still nothing. The cyborg dissects Mr. Teddy trying to find a hidden code but still nothing. Frustrated, the cyborg destroys Mr. Teddy to try and vandalise the house, but still nothing happens, the house is still locked and more protected than ever by several other teddy bears.

The cyborg is surrounded with teddy bears, and cannot figure out how to break in. Using too much internet power to figure out how to enter the house, the cyborg’s cables are starting to loosen out and additionally, the cyborg forgot that going on the internet drains its power rapidly, therefore the cyborg is running out of battery and will die soon.

Ending 1:

The cyborg dies. The three siblings win the game and live happily ever after in the sister’s house.

Ending 2:

The cyborg asks the siblings for help and to “teach” the cyborg what was needed to pass the test. In the end, the siblings decide to help the cyborg and plug a charger on its back. They become friends and the siblings teach the cyborg to be good again. And they lived happily ever after as friends and family. End.

Note: To pass the sister’s test, one has to become a child again. One has to hug the teddy bear with care and make friends with the teddy bear and play with Mr. Teddy. The most simple of instincts: make-believe.


From the feedback from Marianne on Tuesday, we thought that there should be a characteristic to link the siblings together, so I thought that I could perhaps add pig – like characteristics to my characters (inspired by my classmates work).

This is a re-do of the child like character I created, but this time it is a girl.

One of the challenges that I encountered is that I cannot change things on my original files when I work on the Maclab computers because somehow Fuse won’t allow me to do changes even when I downloaded the fuse file.  Therefore, I am not sure yet how to keep my saved work as well as make my older saved characters work.

Overall, I am still thinking about the best approach and medium to translate my story into. I really liked the Interactive video piece by Coldplay, but I am not sure of the skills and tools to make something like this. I am also thinking of paper models and flipping story books. Still thinking about this.

Line 8 Subway – Shiguang Lu station (Justin and Mary Kate)

Link to movie cut: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1dCW_EJYJpsYm0xc050S3JiZm8

For this project, Justin and I teamed up to go to the end of Line 8, and we chose our destination to be Shiguang road station. The most interesting (or non-interesting) part about being there is that there were a lot of repair shops lined up one after the other. After walking for an hour and not finding parks or anything, we decided to go back to the repair and cleaning shops around the area. This is a rough cut of what we decided to shoot. One difficulty we encountered with shooting was the use of a tripod, because while being helpful with stabilisation, it was also limiting and sometimes slowing us down when we were trying to capture live actions.

 

Character development ~ 3 Little pigs

I started the assignment by imagining how I wanted my main characters and ‘bad guy’ to look like, and decide their characteristics based on how well they would be able to protect their houses when attacked by the robot.

I am not quite sure yet of the order of the action, but my three characters are as follows:

The childlike brother:

He is very playful and only likes to have fun and play around. This one loves fairy tales – especially impersonating the characters. He likes pretending being in a fantasy (make-believe). He is likeable, has a lot of humour and has a massive collection of toys and teddy bears at home. He would probably love to have a toy as his house keeper. He has a baby face, blond curly hair, hazelnut eyes, a warm smile, big eyes full of excitement. He is fairly muscular because he loves to bounce and run around. He also likes eating chocolate. 

The Banker – funny and serious

This brother only knows how to do numbers, calculations, everything has to be objective and goal-oriented. He works at a bank, knows how to make money, and is intimidating. However, he has a serious face but a warm smile. He likes to play foot ball especially with the toy-loving brother. They play together every weekend. This is how he always has a sunburn and darker skin tone, and is pretty athletic. Because he is always focusing on calculating numbers on the screen all day, he has a frown and a permanent crease between his eyes. He wear sunglasses everywhere indoors and outdoors (i forgot to add this to the character). And he is obsessed with green things. 

   

The Video-game player

He is in love with plying video games to the point where he does not have much interaction with anyone else (even his brothers) apart from his computer. The funny aspect is that all brothers have big hands and fingers so his hands are too big for his keyboard, but he still manages to be a pro-gamer. He is usually at home in pyjamas which seem old and creased because he hasn’t showered for a while. He is also slightly skinny because he forgets to eat when he is engrossed in his game. He is always worried and on guard, and this is due to the fact that he has been playing many violent and scary games, which cause him to be afraid that someone will get him from the back. His hair is messy and he wears round glasses that are overly big for his tired looking face. 

  

Link to obj folder: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1dCW_EJYJpsMG14Nm9ZSkkwVkE

The robot:

I am debating between a cute little innocent robot to play on the contrast that “don’t let yourself be fooled by appearances”, but I am also considering the idea of a cyborg, mentioned in class last week.

Kings of Nowhere ~ Response

The documentary opens up with a close-up on a man driving a boat across what seems to be a river, however, there are houses that look like they have been abandoned on the sides of this water stream. This scene is enticing because the audience does not know anything about what the movie is about yet, neither what the man on the boat is doing driving around. The man does not look at the camera once, and the audience is looking up at his face or straight past him to what is in the background. Another interesting thing that happened is that as we are looking at him for at least a whole minute or more, the background is blurry at first, but then comes in focus while the man’s face becomes blurry. This alternation happens a few times and the audience can concentrate on different things during this long one moment or driving the boat. The whole time, I was thinking “what is he doing? Where is he going?” Interesting enough, we don’t see this man for the rest of the movie again.

What was intriguing about the documentary for me was that there was a lot of still imagery but also background sounds of nature, birds, cutting of wood, and other sounds that preceded the action. This got me thinking of what the sound was linked to, and anticipate what I would be next seeing on the screen, especially at the beginning when we hear the chopping of wood, but see the blazing sun in the sky, then we see the man chopping the wood. The juxtaposition of those two images made me feel the exhaustion and tiredness that can be felt by the man while doing this task in the middle of the day.

Another aspect that intrigued me was that I could not relate to the space shown in the movie. I knew that it was a small town that was abandoned because of the flooding of the dam (when they reveal it towards the middle-end of film), and I saw that it was isolated and that there were very few people living in the abandoned town. However, I could not figure out the space concept in my head, and the families in relation to each other. I know there was a church, the houses of the couple, the tortilla factory, but I could not visualise the buildings in relation to each other. That was interesting because it gave me the sense of a floating town and floating points in a map I was trying to create in my head.

The different characters that we saw on the screen seemed to be shown one by one, slowly by slowly increasing the number of people that inhabit this town. Although there are only 3 families, as the movie progressed, I saw more and more people, the couples, the random boat navigators and then the children. There are not a lot of people, as seen from the wide shots of a few people with an abandoned looking building background, but people are introduced throughout the movie which makes me feel that there is some activity and hope.

What I liked most about the documentary was the portrayal and shots of the old couple because they were entertaining and they had character. They created relief to the tension building up through their stories and dancing together. The tension created in the movie was made by the silence, and the suspense as well as fear building up of not knowing what is going to happen next, or if they are going to be killed. What was interesting to me about the shots about the couple was that usually, only one person was focused in the camera while the other was in the background. For instance, when the old man was telling us the story about the girls who used to like him in the past, his wife is in the kitchen far in the background and out of focus. In another part of the movie, we see a standard shot of the man talking to his wife, but his wife is behind the camera standing on the patio, thus, we only see the man but we know he is having a conversation with his wife. I thought that these types of shots and setting were an interesting choice as they made me feel more engaged with the subjects. I felt that it was less an interview, but more of us being a friend, a listener, or just part of the scene.

On another note, a feeling that I received from the documentary is that rain and thunderstorms can be scary.

After watching the other two short videos, it is easier to relate and feel the sadness and sympathy for the people of the town, because we can see the action of people moving out and hear testimonials. We witness the haste and the worried faces as everybody is evacuating the town. It is also easier to understand the background story of these people who decided to stay.

Sharp and Wet Exercise

Mary Kate’s exercise: http://alpha.editor.p5js.org/mhf273/sketches/rycCrc5q-

For this exercise, I started by sketching out what I wanted as sharp and what I wanted to design as wet. For sharp, I imagined anything that could protrude sharp spikes with different lengths randomly, and for wet, I wanted to design something with splashes of ink or water.

It was helpful for me to go through the ‘basic shapes’ and ‘procedural shapes’ chapters from professor’s book, to understand what each line of code was doing to the drawing, especially for the flower and quadratic vertex function. Afterwards, I tried to base my own design creation out of the examples from the book and experimented with changing different values and seeing the outcome. For the splashes, I tried doing it with a Bezier vertex and it became like a rounded edges sun. So then from this, I played around with the radius of my vertex x,y to have an effect on the length and width of the shape. This is what we can see in the link. I like it because it is sort of funky twisted sun. I created a function for the wet shape so I could play with the random function, just as I did for the sharp shape.

I decided to use the space in the canvas being the upper part the sharp shapes, and the lower part the splashes. I wanted to create a relationship between the sharp and wet – I am looking forward to hearing everyone’s interpretation.

My challenges: I am not quite sure I am using push() and pop() correctly. The concepts and coding with for () loops are still in process of getting learnt but hopefully I become more comfortable as we progress through the class. Also, I am not sure whether I am actually using the for() loops properly, as well as the random() function?

Response to Moana with Sound

Response: Moana with Sound and Pe’ah

I was really impressed and felt very engaged watching the film. Even though we were looking as the audience, I felt that there was connection built to the people in the film and that I was sharing their story. I felt part of this daily routine. This could perhaps  be because I am generally curious about other people who are different from who I am, which in turn made me really curious to understand the people on screen and to become engrossed in their activities. Although sometimes the question of: “how much of this is actually real?” came up often while watching the documentary, I felt engaged because I was learning and participating in rituals with the Samoans on screen. Moreover, Flaherty’s excellent filming made the characters have more life, look interesting and entertaining, as well as having personality.

I was particularly intrigued about the young boy called Pe’ah. The boy was smiling, energetic and cunning. He seemed to be represented as strong and although he was just a child, he was already apt and experienced as a hunter and house helper.  Pe’ah’s use of the rope to climb up the extremely tall coconut tree showed the Samoans as very resourceful people, and risk takers. I think that this also portrays how determined they are, and that they are very agile. At the same time, his brother Moana was constantly keeping an eye on Pe’ah as he climbed the tree, which showed the care of the older brother. (The coconut tree looked extremely extremely tall).

Pe’ah seemed to be always a ball full of vitality and resourcefulness, and because he is the only primary child on scene, it feels like all children are like him – dutiful and helpful to the survival of the Samoan people. The part where he captures the crab is especially significant and captivating. The audience is curious about his actions as he makes fire and creates smoke to make the crab come out of its hole. I think it is very clever and as nowadays, many do not know how to create fire from scratch (bark and stick), it is very impressive. Additionally, it shows the audience the source of food of the Samoan people. This scene also grabs the audience’s attention because we do not know for the whole process what Pe’ah is doing or what he is trying to catch and this creates a surprise. We overlook how Pe’ah is going about this task and because it seems tedious, we are able to empathise with him.

Pe’ah is usually seen laughing or smiling on screen, and proud to have helped catch fish, turtle, crab, boar, make food – he seems like the next best man of the family and able to do anything. Moreover, our impression of the Samoans through him is a joyous bunch of people who enjoy what life has to offer them and the ability to work together and most importantly be happy.

Through the piece, I feel that we have a glorious image of the people whose life is being captured on film. The only comment that destroys this perfect image of them is the fact that a lot of it is staged, and that Flaherty paid them to re-enact old traditions and customs. The portrayal of this “uncorrupted race” is actually a false one, and although a beautiful documentary, we still just know an incomplete picture of the Samoan.

Fun drawing exercises ~ Mary Kate

Drawing experience and comments about class:

I used to have art classes in middle school, and since then, never really did anything related to drawing unless I was doodling (which I love doing). However, my art classes did not really teach the basic techniques of drawing, we usually went straight into trying to for example, draw a pencil or an eraser and add shadows, or copy a painting.

I found this session about lines and geometric shapes really inspiring, because I never realised I could make such stand out designs and cool patterns with just a pen and lines. Moreover, my friends looked at the patterns and exclaimed “wow”, and I thought, “wow, although I don’t draw, this is really simple and it looks pretty good for a beginner”. I really want to continue exploring how I can draw using very simple lines and shapes because looking at the videos of what people make, one can become really creative.

These are my first drawings made in class:

Here are a few more drawings that I was doing on my own while looking at the videos that Marcela shared with us. Also, I did the 3D hand pattern again with more careful lines and taking my time so that I could improve on the first drawing that I had made in class.

I definitely appreciated the class, and I hope to be able to use these simple drawing skills to create new things further in the course of the semester. It was a lot of fun 🙂

Cool Link that I follow on Instagram is Artist University. I really like what they post about making art. https://www.instagram.com/artistuniversity/

[Bruno Bettelheim – The Uses of Enchantment] – Response

Mary Kate’s response to Bettelheim’s text

Bettelheim seems extremely positive about the good and magical effects that fairy tales have on a child’s development. Fairy tales provide a sense of “security”, “to feel secure on earth”. To a child, he/she can come up with his/her own an explanation of the world and its workings. In my opinion, I agree that this sense of comfort and safeness is extremely important, and personally, I have friends who do not practice religion, but believe that there is a greater power or a source of power, such as a golden dragon, who created the world we live on. These explanations indeed make us comforted and feel good about things.

Bettelheim’s connection of fairy tales and toys is interesting in pointing out that these aspects of childhood are important in shaping children’s understanding, and creativity. Studies show that playing with toys increase the ability of people to be more creative, especially because the ‘make-believe’ aspect allows children to develop empathy by placing themselves in someone else’s shoes, and in this way, learn to experience more things. This is also connected to fairy tales because children can project themselves in the characters of the story (by pretending to be these characters) and this helps shape their understanding of their surroundings.

On another note, Bettelheim seems to suggest that fairy tales are good for certain stages of life, and that at a certain age, the fairy tale has meaning to offer us, but afterwards we grow out of the fairy tale and begin to challenge the notions in the fairy tale. Although fairy tales seem to be better for children to grasp because of the fantasy realm that it creates (consistent with the child’s view of the world) and security it provides children with, fairy tales can be and is also still enjoyed by adults as well. People do not grow too old for fairy tales, and fairy tales can have a positive impact on adults as well. This is connected to the toys aspect. The less we play, the older we become. Therefore, fairy tales provide an escapade to a fantasy world, and thus can also help adults go through life as well. I believe that adults can enjoy fairy tales the same way as children do.

Part from Bettelheim’s text, notably, the “vicarious satisfaction versus conscious recognition” section was slightly confusing. Bettelheim says that it is good for a boy to play with baby dolls as long as he does not “recognize what unconscious desires he is satisfying”. Bettelheim adds that girls sexual desires while riding horses are better if she was not aware of the implications of those. It seems unclear to me what Bettelheim’s argument about those activities suggest, and the reasons why children are better not being conscious of those desires, because it would be detrimental to them? What does Bettelheim mean by that? And do children really experience all those desires without knowing?

Another debatable point that was mentioned by Bettelheim was the point about children creating a double identity in their parents or loved ones. When parents scold their children, the children associate this new side of their parents to an evil character just like in fairy tales. Bettelheim says that fantasies help children be angry at a “false parent” and not feel guilty about it. They can then keep the holy image of their good parent separate from the angry evil one. As a child, I do not recall having made those associations when my parents were angry with me, and so I do not think that this is a given universal standard. At the same time, a question is: will that not be more detrimental to imagine that a parent is a different person when being angry, and will that not create more barriers between children and parents because the child has not accepted the whole identity and facets of their parents? Similarly, the children will not feel that he has done something to anger the parent if the child thinks that it is not his/her parent scolding him? Consequently, the child will not learn from these wrong behaviours.

Fairy tales in the 21st Century  Week 2 scenarios text

It’s very fascinating how there are already different scenarios prepared for different fairy tale situations. There are quite a few categories of things that can happen in fairy tales, and it was interesting to be able to see the different possibilities of directions fairy tales can adopt, and ultimately, the relationships between hero and villain. Although this booklet provides the possible causes and effects of an action by the hero or villain of a story, it also places constraints on the direction of a story, and emphasises the relationships between all of these actions to make the fairy tale coherent and flow.

Experimenting with Fuse – Test 1

Making a random woman in Fuse

As I do not have the adobe suite, I was using the Maclab in the AB to see if they had Fuse and if I could make a test to try the software. With this, I made a random woman. I managed to export the obj file. I then tried to import the woman in Photoshop, however, I could not find the ‘skeleton’ to be able to try the animations available on Photoshop. Next step: 1. Figuring out if I can export the Fuse document into the adobe suite and Mixamo to be able to add effects to my characters. 2. Figuring out where I can find the tab to animate 3D characters in photoshop.

Surface, Depth, Movement Exercise

Mary Kate’s Surface, Depth, Movement capture:

Surface-depth-movement

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1dCW_EJYJpsQUFKRHQ1N0tMa00

For this project, I made videos of things that popped out to me while walking on the streets, or interesting things that I thought about when pondering over the words “surface, depth, movement”. Then I chose those three for the three shots.

I wanted to take my understanding of those words to more abstract ideas and concepts and hopefully I am able to portray them in the things that I chose for the video. I think that surface can be very interesting and not necessarily smooth. As for depth, I portrayed something deep and captivating. And last for movement, I wanted it to be spontaneous and unexpected and non-linear.