Animation produced for the Perth Light Night

I have recently been involved with preparations for the Perth Light Night on Friday 26th November. I was working with my friend and VJ partner, Graeme to create some animations to be displayed around St Johns Kirk and across the water from where the main celebrations were being held.

The first part was an animated salmon created in Blender 3D. This was my first attempt at properly rigging and animating a character, so I was glad that it didn’t need to be too complicated!  The animation was eventually rotoscoped into a very bold white on black style and splashes and spray were added. It was then projected onto a screen built entirely of water being sprayed up from a pump situated at water level.  Fireflies were added above the water to add a bit of interest while nothing else was happening. The style was necessarily quite striking because subtlety would be lost on the water screen anyway, but I think the simple bold look may be worth investigating for my interactive work.

The second part was a film recorded of an actor playing John Knox. I was involved with the filming and had to construct the fake beard which had a nasty habit of falling to bits mid-shoot, one of those ‘small window of opportunity’ moments where you try to get the shot before it falls apart again!  I used particles to create the smoke effect and animated it to form into the man’s shape as he appeared.

The third part was create a moving photographic slideshow showing old and new Perth and fading  between the two. This was relatively simple work applying old film style effects to the old photos to further distinguish them from the new ones (both were black and white).   I faded between old and new photos taken from roughly the same location, this was a bit more work as the position and lens type of the cameras were sometimes significantly different. Here’s a link to some excerpts from the animations:  

During the whole event, there were a lot of things going on including a medieval market, a brass band playing on the street, a dance event and a spectacular fireworks display.  The most interesting find though, was an interactive floor projection by Wang Yu Yang which used processing to track people as they moved around and project different animated lights onto them. This was a very successful exhibit with a large mixed crowd getting involved and playing with the different visual interactions such as one where water ripples were generated from people’s movement and another where electricity appeared to be conducted from one person to the other. There was a part of the piece where a single large circle of light was projected onto the floor, all the children instinctively stood underneath it, the adults seemed more reluctant to do so. The other interesting part of it was that the smallest children were not tracked by the computer very well meaning that their light blinked off and on much to their distress! There’s an image of the piece here:    ahttp://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/nov/27/this-weeks-new-events

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About garrywhitton

I'm a masters student studying animation and visualisation. I am exploring the use of games technology for therapy and relaxation.
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