Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Live-in Aquarium

Project Overview:

My goal is to create a space that looks and feels like a goldfish tank. People can touch and feed the fish as they swim through space and they can enter the tank to see through the eyes of a fish.

Technical Requirements:

3 computers (preferably laptops): two running flashplayer (projectors), the other running Director- DART (connected to intersense)
Connector for projector
2 projectors (high lumens at least 8 feet from the ground)
wall or projection screen.
Fogscreen (7 feet from the ground), water absorbing mat
X Y coordinate sensor (lasermouse) connected by USB to computer projecting flash interface.
Intersense trackers (installed in AR lab)
HUD goggles

Design Specifications:

There will be no audio in the first draft of this project.

Flash interface: I will program the Flash interface to contain 2D fish with a randomized behaviour on a dark background with brightly colored fishfood pellets dropping from the mouse position. This player will be projected onto the fogscreen. The XY sensor will be coordinated parallel to and calibrated to the same dimensions as the fog so they can be considered the same object. The XY sensor will emulate the mouse so that the user seems to interact directly with the fog itself. The user will be able to move the cursor by moving their hands up, down, left and right in the field. On a “click” or gesture which breaks the surface of the XY field or fog the fish are programmed to swim away from the contact point as if frightened away. They quickly return and continue their regular behaviour, which is swimming in a school in the general area around the position of the cursor. The interface will be rear-projected from a height of about 8 feet from the ground in order to avoid any hot spots or glare in the vision of the user. The user will be encouraged to walk into the aquarium environment in order to immerse themselves in the DART 3d environment.

DART interface: I will be using either 2D or 3D cast members in DART in order to create a 3D effect. Fish will be programmed with the same patterns of behaviour as they have in the flash interface only it will be on a 3D plane. The Fish will appear in the HUD goggles as if they were swimming in the space around the viewer (it is unclear at this point whether avoidance is possible or even all that desirable a behaviour). The position of the fish will be determined by the intersence tracker as revolving around a static point in the room.

A flash movie (imported from quicktime) will be projected on the back wall or fogscreen. It will have random behaviours that play certain clips of people walking by. The clip will show a fish eye view of people walking by the aquarium, looking in at the person, and tapping on the glass. The clip will be filmed by myself using volunteers for actors.

Thu, October 18 2007 » Future Cinema, YSAR