IMA Capstone Documentation: Blue’s Journey (Jamie)

Documentation Videos

Please view the documentation videos via the following google drive links. The videos are respectively of users choosing:

1) to follow Wolf’s path (and give the gift to Wolf):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V5QuoKAYB7CRQ6KBxqmbxi4jDt9OvrPY/view

2) to follow Rabbit’s path (and give the gift to Rabbit):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mfozaXnxeLqIe8txXN2omLsUDvN9v86p/view

3) to follow Fox’s path (and give the gift to Fox):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11VCWOFjF3vnCse_hcBwPw7Vmhtr-VS09/view?usp=sharing

4) to deny everyone the gift so that Blue opens the gift for herself:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12GOJI4sYCvrKJsWN5NA1nPqqp5lkbKNZ/view

Writing Assignment

Blue’s Journey is an interactive animated story about a girl’s adventure through a forest to meet new friends. Through navigating the various story branches, audiences of Blue’s Journey can craft their own stories as they explore different expectations the characters hold of friendship. Users make choices about whom the main character will meet, and with whom she chooses to establish a closer bond. The project investigates the connection between interpersonal relationships and personal growth, focusing on the different notions of friendship and how these views can change. Blue’s Journey is intended for younger audiences between the ages of 5-10, an audience most likely to find greatest personal relevance in the story as they begin forming connections with their peers.

The project draws research from the genres of film, picture books, and video games, especially from each genre’s approach to visual design, user immersion, and storytelling techniques. In the process of shaping Blue’s Journey, particular attention was paid to shaping the child-friendly user interface, character and environment designs, and the syncing of narration with sound effects. The interactive story is hosted upon browser, with animated videos sized to the full browser length and clickable buttons to direct the story. The webpage is designed to focus attention on the animated story, and to provide clarity for user interactions. In keeping with the stylistic choices of a storybook reading, a single narrator presents the whole story to the audience.

Blue’s Journey aims to produce a positive effect on its audiences by helping them understand more about how others might approach friendships, and by encouraging greater social empathy. The project presents characters in a sympathetic and non-judgmental light, creating a space for audiences to approach the varied views of friendship with openness. Within the relatively new field of interactive stories, an experience such as Blue’s Journey can potentially further understanding on the medium’s use in an educational context, namely within primary level classrooms.

Presentation Slides

Please view the presentation slides in powerpoint and pdf, respectively:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Hy2QXf6jhJG7zEJdz24K_6RGTqJUKF-7/view?usp=sharing

capstone-presentation2

Capstone User Testing Documentation Round 2 (Rune) –Jamie

Progress Update:

This week I finished coding the framework of the project, and am moving on to the css portion of the framework. I’m currently finishing up all the drawings and character poses, as well as the project title animation. Additionally, I’ve been working on the larger animation portion of my project. I have finished the introduction to the character Fox’s home, and am working on all the other character intros. This week, I decided to test both the project framework and the animation intro.

User Testing Feedback:

I played the animation intro and read the narration (in-person voice over) for my users. Here are a few responses that I received:

-The characters are appealing and the background was nice.
-The subtitles were hard to see against the background.
-The subtitles were incredibly distracting from the main action and should be removed.
-The subtitles were helpful to read along to.
-A ladybug character was hard to see when Fox introduced her.
-The worm character had an awkward appearance and could be modified.
-The narration included some long and slightly difficult words.
-The voiceover is necessary to create the best experience of the project.
-The details and subtle movements of the background were helpful in enhancing the immersive experience of the project.

With regards to the animation portion, my users were divided in opinion about the necessity of subtitles. Some users felt that the subtitles were distracting, while others found the subtitles helpful. However, upon analyzing the users’ reactions, I have decided to remove the subtitles as they mostly distracted users from the animated sequences, even if the users found them helpful. The visual elements that were hard to see or awkward will be changed.

I also received feedback for my framework. My framework had narration and very simple images (no backgrounds and no animation). I had users test out the framework without any input from me. Here are the responses I received:

-The “next scene” button in the first scene was confusing, and perhaps should be relabeled.
-The forest opening scene’s “enter forest” button might not be particularly necessary.
-The pause after the first scene’s narration produced a moment of confusion, as the user was unsure if that was the time to click “next scene” or not.
-The narration was a little long for certain parts, and could be winnowed down a little more.
-The narration could use some spicing up a little.
-The buttons appear after the question is asked (timing is important).

Moving forward, I hope to create better customize the buttons to create a more uniform art style throughout. I will also be more careful about the timing of when buttons appear and rethink my transitions between certain scenes.

Moving Forward:

I’ll work more with my narrations a little more and soon begin the process of recording the voice over (with a voice actor). I will continue working on the various parts of the project, especially the animation and css.

Capstone Midterm Review (Professor Rune)–Jamie

Capstone Midterm Review

Photoshop Assets

I have been working steadily on my background and my character assets in Photoshop. The project consists of a total of six full color backgrounds and five characters to create poses for. Currently I have completed four backgrounds and am working on the fifth. The background animation is intended to be fairly subtle, with just enough movement to bring a natural liveliness to the scene, yet not draw attention away from the characters and the main action. The background animation can then be played on loop as the scenes take place, and are particularly helpful in creating a sense of continuity when the story waits for the user to answer a question. I have thus far fully animated one background scene.

The character assets are mainly a series of poses that will be toggled visible and invisible over the course of the story. The poses include different postures, gesticulations, speech, and interacting with an object. I have finalized the designs of four out of the five characters, and completed most of the poses for three of the five characters.

The next steps would require continuing to draw and animate all the assets, as well as pairing the poses with the right words in each scene.

Script

I scripted the narration for the story, and made sure to split it into the sections as needed for different parts of the story. Over the first round of user testing, I tested the narration on a few different users. As I had stated in my first user testing documentation, the suggestions I had received were centered on more careful word choice to refrain from a cliché and mundane style, or an overly moralistic approach. In light of the user test results, I have been going over the narration carefully and rewriting certain portions. I continue to refine the narration over these weeks, testing the length of the narration as I work through the narrative voice. I am also beginning to think about someone to provide vocals for the narration, and will soon check with the voice actors who I have in mind.

Interactive Platform

            I’ve drawn the basic diagram of my story’s various branches and made note of the button interactions for the scenes that have them. When I was using Unity to code for the interactions, I created the story diagram layout on Twine, a text-based interactive story creation app. When I moved on to using Eko Studio, I was able to create the framework directly on the platform. Now, as I have decided to create my interactions for the browser using Javascript, the Eko Studio framework continues to be a useful map for my interaction coding.

I had been hoping to user test my basic interactive framework during the first round of user testing. I had created the basic setup for my interactions within Unity, however soon found Unity’s video quality to be unsuitable for my work. I had expected to import all my movie files (created in Photoshop, rendered in After Effects) onto Unity and use c-sharp scripts to code for basic interactions that would determine which movie would play. However, I have found that Unity’s movie texture function tends to have an unpredictable frame rate, which will have a negative effect on user experience of the story. Despite using different video formats, the frame rate remained unstable, with minimal improvements for the recommended “.ogv” format. Through troubleshooting it with multiple people, I realized that I might need to shift my framework onto a different platform.

Next, I chose to use Eko Studio upon a suggestion from Professor Rune. After creating my story’s entire framework, I tried to user test it with videos, but ran into some issues regarding previewing the works. The load time for previewing the works was consistently long, and the interface allowed for less customization. I had also run into various issues regarding the clickable buttons. The button reaction to being clicked did not always show up, and multiple clicks on a single button resulted in repeated playing of the following scenes. Following troubleshooting with different people, I decided to instead adopt a more reliable method: by coding the interactions from scratch. I will be spending time working on a usable framework to test soon.

Capstone User Testing Documentation (Rune) — Jamie

Capstone User Test Documentation

I found that it would be best to user test a very important, though sometimes neglected part of my project: the narration. This is essential for user testing as I finalize the narration and begin recording the vocals. User testing the narration gives me the chance to understand if the narration is engaging, effective in communicating the story, and easy to follow.

After my users have tested the experience, I gave them some time to express any comments or questions about the experience. During this window of time, the users expressed their thoughts on the experience without any influence from my questions. After that, I answered their questions and directed their attention to a few questions of my own regarding the experience.

 

I’ve compiled a summary of user comments:

My first user enjoyed the narration, particularly the allusions to other characters in a single character’s scene. She felt that the narration was easy to follow, but felt less engaged in the beginning than later on. She suggested that the beginning narration be rewritten in a more interesting manner to hold user attention.

My second user also stated that he felt the narration was easy to follow and engaging. He explained that he was initially confused about the child-like nature of the story telling voice; he soon came to understand it’s a story with a target audience of children. This user was concerned about the strong implications of moral judgment in the word choice, and felt that such sentences can be toned down slightly.

My third user said that she enjoyed how the character outlooks are realistic, and that the narration was easy to follow. However, she wished that she didn’t have to decide so quickly whether or not to give a character the gift. She felt that she would appreciate more time with each character to know them a little better.

When I asked users if they would like to go through the experience again, all three users replied that they would. Two of the users explained that the story was entertaining enough to draw them in again. Another user said that the intrigue behind different choices would warrant going through the story more times.

 

Ultimately, I found that the narration could use more work in terms of word choice, especially in the beginning. The heavy moralistic implications of certain sentences dind’t occur to me, and thus I’m grateful that these have been called to my attention. I found it helpful to understand how the users viewed the characters and their thought processes as they thought about the implications of their choices. The users all found that the narration held their attention for the most part, something I was glad to hear, as I was  worried about losing user attention.

Some users raised the question of going back to revisit characters, which I thought was surprising. They explained that they wanted to make an informed decision about whom they chose to give the gift to, and thus felt that going back should be made an option. However, after thinking through the process, I realized that I should maintain the structure of a single visit per character, as this would keep the intrigue of different storylines each time as well as the integrity of these different storylines.

Moving forward, I’ll seek to continue revising and testing the narration, with greater attention of word choice and vocal emotion. I also discovered that the narration is best appreciated with my corresponding visuals. There were parts where the visuals would imply something in spoken narration that I would mention, but it would be helpful to begin testing how my audio and visuals work together to create the story.

Analysis of an Interactive Experience: Way to Go (Krom)

Way to Go is an interactive experience that takes the user on a walk through the woods. The word “walk” is used very loosely, the journey can be taken at either a slow walk or a fast jog, determined by the player’s preferences. Either way, the interactive experience creates an ever-changing environment that simulates the feeling of a thickly wooded forest, both visually and audibly.

The character that walks through the wood is rectangular-headed, with a white colored body that resembles the human figure and works as a human body does. The player has control over the character’s pace, controlling whether the character walks, runs, or jumps. These actions are accessible to the player through the following: the mouse controls the camera/player’s point of view, the mouse’s left click button controls the player’s ability to interact with the surroundings (either by producing shafts of light or sometimes triggering an extreme close up view of a detail), “w” allows the character to walk forward, “e” allows the character to run, and the spacebar allows the character to jump. However, the character moves slightly independently from the player, at times turning his/her head about and looking around. This interactive experience features an overhead perspective, one where the player has a great deal of room to survey the environment. The player controls the camera (or rather the view point of the screen), and is able to move the camera around to face the character, even as the character is running into the direction of the camera. The player is thus separate from the character as the two still have small options to move independently of each other.

The experience does not appear to have a specific objective beyond having the player move the character to engage with the surroundings, whether by running through it or stopping constantly to inspect the details. The goal of the interactive experience seems to be in going through the experience itself. Way to Go doesn’t continue on without the participation of the player as there isn’t a particular linear storyline to follow, the experience of playing the game and the insights a player may gain in the process of it seems to be the main concept surrounding this interactive experience.

The idea of a player’s choice is a little subtler than in certain interactive experiences where players are presented with a set of new actions to take at a specific point in the experience. Way to Go has already laid out a set path from which players cannot deviate. The beginning sequence of the interactive experience prompts the user test out the different functions (“w”, “e”, spacebar, mouse) whilst the platform draws an often times squiggly, white line across a dark background. The player connects the two when a white line is featured on the ground as a path in the woods. This path has already been determined by the creators of the experience and cannot be shifted. What is up to the player as choice is the manner in which the character follows the path. An option to a choice in this sequence then, might be to view the character’s actions in a different angle by shifting the perspective view.

Focusing more specifically on a portion of the game, we might consider the player’s choices at any given moment. As previously mentioned, the choice to walk, run or jump is based on the player’s click on “w”, “e”, and spacebar, respectively. The player can move the viewpoint around the space and click around on the environment. These actions and buttons remain unchanged; there aren’t any additions of new actions that the player can do. What’s intriguing then is that a combination of these choices can produce completely new ones. Clicking “e” and then pressing the spacebar will cause the character to take a running jump, which allows the character to float across the sky as a way of proceeding forward. The floating character stares down at the player’s view, allowing the player to proceed through the forest scape in a completely different viewpoint than if the player were following the character by “running” from behind. The location of the character therefore, in relation to the player’s view, may prompt the player to continue the journey in a different way. By focusing on the floating character, the player continues on the path looking upward, creating a different experience than if the player’s view was facing strictly forward.

Returning to the choices of “w” or “e”, walk or run, we might be able to better understand how these buttons changes the player’s experience. The pace of the character’s stride affects the way the player experiences the scenery. The walk option allows players to meander through the space, allowing slight adjustments to the direction the player faces at each moment. The run option however leaves little space for exploring and diverging slightly from the path. When activated, the run option has the character running down the set path. In this sense, the run option decides the strict path and viewpoint for the player, while the walk option is less restrictive.

Each step forward is final; the experience doesn’t allow the player to retrace any steps. As this experience is centered on a walk in the woods and quite possibly, a walk through life, the finality of each step works very well with the overarching theme. Time is linear and so is the road. The selective use of color, in terms of the timing in which color is shown and the parts of the environment that have color, creates an uneven environment. The experience therefore, feels immensely different depending on what the player chooses to focus on. This aspect of the experience too is helpful in reflecting the varied unevenness of an environment in reality, and the choices a person has to make in what they might like to focus on.

A choice in this interactive experience isn’t preceded by any prompting per se, this experience is more about the player’s interacting as they so choose without the burden of a specific objective. However, a few changes of the experience do make room for the player to perhaps make a different choice and try something else. The sudden appearances of secondary characters (all box headed cartoon humanoids but black in color) running either along side or in front of our main character disrupts the mood of a solitary walk. Another similar disruption is the addition of color or the change of scenery from live action footage to a forest with 2D graphic elements arranged in a 3D space. The varied environments create a sense of surrealism, even as very photorealistic elements exist in the space. While the experience features a well-understood experience of a walk through the woods, the walk and the woods feel like they exist in a different world. These elements may prompt the player to a change of pace or to interact further with the environment, ultimately changing the entire experience every time.

 

Interactive Storytelling Project 2: Bear and Cat (Krom)

The following link contains a pdf of the three stories.

Interactive-Storytelling-Project2-final

A synopsis of each of the three stories.

1) The cat observes the house from a distance. It then follows the bear who is headed to the lake. The cat follows the bear under the cover of the bushes, seemingly unnoticed by the bear. The bear unpacks his fishing equipment by the lake and proceeds to fish, under the watchful eyes of the cat. The cat then follows the bear back to his house, where the cat goes up to the bear and they meet for the first time. The bear opens the door, inviting the cat into his house, and the story ends with both characters inside the bear’s home.

2) The story begins with the bear packing up his fishing equipment by the lake. He moves to another spot of the lake and begins to fish there, attracting the attention of a cat. The cat then begins to follow the bear to his home. The bear notices the cat when he reaches his house, but seems disturbed by the cat’s presence and shoos the cat away from following him into his house. The story ends with the bear inside his own house and the cat watching the house forlornly from a distance. The cat eventually leaves its spot from watching the house.

3) The bear and the cat initially live together in the house. However, the bear dismisses the cat from his house. The bear then goes to the lake and unpacks his fishing gear. When he begins to fish, the cat watches him secretly from behind a nearby bush. The cat follows the bear secretly all the way back to the bear’s house. The bear goes into his home and the cat watches the house forlornly from a distance.

A brief background description: what is the setting, who are the characters.

The story roves between the area surrounding the bear’s house, the nearby lake, and the path in between the two locations. One constant throughout the various locations are the bushes that occur throughout. The characters are the bear and the cat. The bear is an anthropomorphic character, wearing clothes, owning a house, and going fishing. The cat is an animal character, wearing no clothes, walking on all four paws, and desiring to be received into a home.

A brief “panel description” for each panel.

(These should be brief, and describe in neutral, literal terms what is happening in the panel)

The boards are numbered in accordance to their order as listed in the first story.

*background

1) The cat is in a sitting position on the grass. There is a pink house in the bg*. The cat is facing the pink house. The cat is sitting at a distance away from the pink house. There are hedges lined up on either side of the pink house. The cat and the house are in the lower middle and center of the board, respectively.

2) The cat is on the lower left portion of the board. The cat is in a crouching position. The cat is behind the hedges. The cat is looking at the bear. The cat has a neutral expression. The bear is on the right portion of the board (upper, middle, and lower). The bear is holding a basket in one hand. The bear is in a walking position. The bear is in front of the hedges. The bear has a neutral expression.

3) The bear is in front of the hedges. The bear is in a walking position. The bear is in the center of the board (upper middle, center, and lower middle). The bear is holding a basket in one hand. The bear is holding a fishing rod in the other hand. The bear has a neutral expression.

4) The bear is squatting in front of a lake. The bear’s hands are hovering over his basket. The bear is in the center and right middle portions of the frame. The fishing rod is on the grass next to the bear and is positioned in front of him. There are two hedges in the bg. The bear has a neutral expression.

5) The bear is standing in front of the lake. The bear’s hands are holding onto the fishing rod. The fishing rod’s fishing line ends in the lake. The bear is standing next to his basket. There are two hedges in the bg. The cat is in a crouching position beneath the hedges. The cat is looking at the bear. The bear is in the upper middle and center of the frame. The cat is in the left middle of the frame. The cat and the bear have neutral expressions.

6) The bear is in a walking position. The bear is holding a basket in one hand. The bear is holding a fishing rod in the other hand. The bear is in the center of the frame. The cat is in the lower left portion of the frame. The cat is facing the bear. There is a pink house in the bg. There are hedges lined up on either side of the pink house. The bear has a neutral expression.

7) The bear is in a standing position. The bear is holding a basket in one hand. The bear is holding a fishing rod in the other hand. The bear is facing the cat. The bear has a troubled expression on his face. The bear is in the center of the frame. The cat is in a sitting position. The cat is facing the bear. The cat is in the left middle and center of the frame. There is a pink house in the bg. There are hedges lined up on either side of the pink house.

8) The bear is in a standing position, leaning out from the door of the pink house. The bear is half hidden by the door. The bear is looking at the cat. The bear has a neutral expression. The cat is in the sitting position, just outside of the house door. The cat is facing the bear. There are hedges lining up on either side of the pink house.

9) There is a pink house. There are hedges lining up on either side of the pink house. The cat and the bear are not in the frame.

A brief “context description” for each panel based on what it adds to the storyline.

Story 1

1) The cat is sitting at a distance in front of the pink house, gazing at it longingly. There are hedges lined up on either side of the pink house in the bg.

2) The cat is crouching under the hedges, watching the bear. The bear is walking in front of the hedges, holding a basket in one hand. The bear does not appear to notice the cat.

3) The bear is walking in front of the hedges, with a basket in one hand and a fishing rod in the other.

4) The bear is squatting in front of the lake. He has set his fishing rod down on the grass and is unpacking his fishing gear from his basket. He appears to be looking into the lake. There are hedges in the bg.

5) The bear is standing by the lake, fishing with his fishing pole. The bear’s basket is set down beside him on the grass. The cat is crouched under the hedges watching the bear. The bear appear to be looking into the lake.

6) The bear is walking toward his pink house. He has his fishing rod in one hand and the basket in the other hand. The cat observes from a distance, facing the house.

7) The bear turns around from his walk toward the house. He still has his fishing rod in one hand and the basket in the other. He has a sympathetic look on his face as he looks at the cat. The cat has approached him, and sits gazing up at him.

8) The bear has stepped into his pink house, and is leaning out from the open door. He is looking at the cat. The cat is still sitting and looking at the bear. The hedges are in the bg.

9) The bear and the cat are in the house together, and are not seen in this frame. The pink house and the hedges are still in the bg of the frame.

Story 2

1) The bear is squatting by the lake and packing up his fishing gear into the basket. His fishing rod is set down in the grass in front of him. There are hedges in the bg.

2) The bear is walking away from the spot of the lake he was at in the previous frame, basket and fishing rod in either hand. The hedges are in the bg.

3) The bear is standing in front of a different spot of the lake, fishing. His basket is in the grass next to him. The cat is crouching under the hedges watching the bear fishing. The cat is unnoticed by the bear.

4) The bear is walking along the path lined by hedges. He is holding his basket. The cat is crouching under the hedges and looking at the bear, seemingly following him. The bear does not seem to notice the cat.

5) The bear is walking back toward his pink house, lined on either side with hedges. The bear has his fishing rod in one hand and the basket in the other. The cat is standing on four paws at a distance from the house, facing the bear.

6) The cat has approached the bear and is sitting near him, looking at him. The bear has stopped and turned around from his walk to his house. The bear is looking at the cat with a worried look on his face. The bear is still holding the basket in one hand and the fishing rod in the other. There are still hedges lined up on either side of the pink house.

7) The bear has gone half way into the pink house, with only his head peeking out from behind his front door. The bear is looking at the cat. The cat is sitting right at the front door, looking at the bear. There are still hedges lined up on either side of the pink house.

8) The bear has gone into the pink house and is no longer in the frame. The cat has retreated to a distance away from the house and sits, facing the house. There are still hedges lined up on either side of the pink house.

9) The cat has left the spot where it sat watching the house. Neither the bear nor the cat is in the frame. There are still hedges lined up on either side of the pink house.

Story 3

1) There is a pink house and hedges lined up on either side of it. There are no characters in the frame.

2) The front door of the pink house has opened and a bear is peeking out from it. A cat is sitting at the front door of the pink house and is facing the bear. The hedges are still lined up on either side of the house.

3) The bear has left the house and is standing at a distance away from the house with his fishing basket in one hand and a fishing rod in the other hand. The bear looks at the cat with a troubled expression on his face. The cat is sitting near the bear, looking at him. There are hedges lined on either side of the house.

4) The bear is walking along a path with his fishing rod in one hand and his basket in the other. He is walking a long a path lined with hedges.

5) The bear is squatting in front of a lake, unpacking his fishing equipment from his basket while his fishing rod lies in the grass in front of him. He is looking into the lake.

6) The bear is standing up and fishing at the lake. His basket is in the grass next to him. The cat is crouching under the hedges, watching the bear. The cat does not seem to be noticed by the bear.

7) The bear is walking away from the lake with his basket in hand. He is walking along a path lined with hedges. The cat is following him, crouched under the hedges, watching the bear. The bear does not seem to notice the cat.

8) The bear is walking toward his pink house, which is lined with hedges on either side. His fishing rod and basket are in either hand. The cat has followed him here, and is watching him at a distance, still seemingly unnoticed. The cat is facing the bear.

9) The cat sits and looks at the pink house from a distance. The bear is not in the frame, most likely having gone into the house. The pink house is lined with hedges.

Reflections on choices made about the visual elements and their composition. How did these choices contribute to the flexibility (pliability) of a panel? Did some panels present difficulties and how were those difficulties overcome?

My storyboards play out over a few different settings: the vicinity of the pink house, the lake, and the path between both. The very different settings meant that a lot of the storyboards could not be separated from each other; a problem I encountered when I play tested my story. To counteract that, I tried to make a constant between the three settings. This played out as the hedges lining every storyboard. In this manner, I would be able to break up the storyboard pairs a little, as I did in the second story by having the bear move about the lake to find a good fishing spot. I had initially encountered issues surrounding the direction in which the bear walks. I made the bear walk in one direction when he’s walking toward the house, but walking in another direction when at the lake. I thought it would imitate the nature of walking ‘there and back’, but it seemed more problematic and less flexible. Changing the bear to walking in just a single direction in all boards allowed for much more flexibility, and I was glad that play testers did not feel bothered by it when I had changed it. The neutral expressions for the most part was helpful in allowing users to decide what they believed the bear and the cat were thinking. The troubled look on the bear’s face was good in creating some emotion in the two characters meeting, although I still left this rather vague for flexibility.

Reflections on how panels changed meaning according to their context.

The boards have taken the form of very different storylines, ending in either the cat being welcomed into the house or being left out in the figurative cold. The intentions of the cat were mostly constant throughout the three stories, however the relationship between the cat and bear were the most drastically altered. In the first story, the bear first meets the cat and feels sympathy for it, thus accepting it into his home. The second story finds the bear disturbed by the cat he meets, walking back to his house while nervously checking for the cat behind him. He locks the cat out of the house. The final story featured the cat and bear having a relationship that began before the story played out, and one that eventually would still leave the cat outside. The troubled look in the bear and cat’s meeting has changed over the course of the three stories to mean sympathy, pity, or discomfort. The board with the bear squatting in front of his basket could mean either that he was packing up his fishing gear or just unpacking it, signifying either the start or the end of the fishing trip. The pathway in which the bear walks can either be toward the house, away from it, or even in between various spots of a certain location (such as the lake). I was happy and surprised to find out the number of possibilities my storyboard combinations could hold, something I never thought plausible when I began the project.

Digital Sculpting Response 1

The Sweetie project, while stemming from very honorable intentions, may be best handled by investigative authorities. The BBC article featured excerpts from an interview with an operator on the Sweetie project. The operator had spoken of the emotional impact the project had, stating “some of the men [the operators] interacted with literally give [him] nightmares.” Once more, despite having truly honorable intentions and working to uphold a high level of professionalism, these operators may not be properly equipped to handle interactions with the predators. Investigative authorities would also have the larger body of information to work from, and can convict the predators far faster than if independent organizations handled the project and had to pass the information back to authorities. Nonetheless, the Sweetie project has revealed the staggering impact that 3D models and animation can have upon the world.

The 3D model that posed as a real girl, also known as “Sweetie”, was very well rendered. The texturing mimicked real skin and stretched along as real skin would with each movement. Her hair was also incredibly realistic, so carefully layered with individual strands of hair. The technical challenge surrounding the process of modeling and animating such a realistic model is large. The challenge grows larger still since the animated movements have to be realistic enough to fool predators, as well as quickly administered in response to the predators’ actions. Ultimately the Sweetie project presents quite a feat, a true mastery over 3D modeling and animation software.