Motion Capture Class - Week 4

This week I got to put on the Motion Capture suit! We applied 3 different concepts in our work experimenting with different ways the human body can be used in digital puppeteering.

Below we have a pirate and his Smee searching for treasure with his captain.

My goal here was to focus on the way I move my body and the weight I put into my step. I tried to imagine I have a sword and drinking horn around my waist belt and thus there is weight in the way I walk.

Next, we have a snake charmer working to tame a snake.

The Goal here was to focus on my double-jointed back and focus on how smoothly I can focus on the eyes of the trainer so our movements worked somewhat in tandem. I tried to convey being mesmerized with my body.

Finally we have two men moving boxes…

This one we kept simple, focusing on the weight the box has as we transfer it from one person to the other.

Effectively I am still trying to figure out how to add two people at once to Unreal so stay tuned as I update this portion of the post.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch - Fuch's Questions - Designing for Live Performance Week 3

The following are answers to Fuch’s questions regarding Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Hedwig is set in a hyper realistic world. The story finds itself in a broadway theatre.

The space is wide and larger than life.

I see everything in Hedwig's world as dramatized and grandiose.

Time jumps in this story backwards and forwards.

It only stands still when Hedwig is in thought.

The story moves at a very casual pace in contract to it's content which is very larger than life.

Time is measured by the songs Hedwig sings to express herself and key moments.

The timeline is set over one show that Hedwig is able to do in a broadway theatre after the failed Hurt Locker musical which closed at intermission the night before.

The climate in this story is noisy. Hedwig is trying to drown out the noise of her lover Tommy Gnosis outside.

The seasonal feel of the story is fall. Many of the characters are seen wearing vintage jackets.

The tone of the story is whimsical and campy. It does not take itself too seriously.

The tone of the planet is created through Hedwig's interactions with her band, "The Angry Inch".

The hidden space in this story is Tommy Gnosis' Times Square concert just outside the theatre.

The music in this world is angry and punk rock.

I see this as a public world that is meant for common people who are interested in Hedwig after a recent car accident she was in with Tommy.

A lot of the story plays with the isolation between Hedwig and Yitzhak who deal with sharing mutual pain without knowing or seeing it in one another.

Hedwig and Yitzhak are the two main characters in the story who play off each other. Though Hedwig is very verbal with her issues, Yitzhak stays relatively quiet and speaks with his actions.

The characters in this world are all exaggerated and lean toward over sexualized for the sake of humor.

They mainly dress in punk rock attire.

Characters interact through the songs the band has written.

Hedwig has exercised power for most of the story as does Tommy Gnosis though he's never seen.

It is exercised in a theatrical show format.

The language habits are carried out through theatrical monologue and word play.

The language is colorful, quirky and poetic. Silence is rare in this show which makes it stand out.

I think Yitzhak changes Hedwig's world.

In the landscape of the world the set gradually gets more minimal as Hedwig rips apart the Hurt Locker set.

The set moves from an elaborate desert to the backstage of a theatre.

The music gets more minimal and more accoustic towards the end of the show with Midnight Radio.

The show moves from suffering to rebirth when Hedwig gives up the wig for a person she finds underneath and gives it to Yitzhak.

One performance signals to you from inside the world of the story.

These additional layers comment on what we have already discovered by adding a layer of humanity to an otherwordly story.

Bodies in Motion Week 3 - Data Cleaning and mapping to an avatar

This week in Bodies in Motion we practiced Data Cleaning. With our model set-up and ready to go we recorded our motion data and then set out to fix it. Ultimately we found that any time our performer moved in such a way that it occluded one of the dots from the camera the system would get confused. Each person took 10 minutes to tediously scrub through the data to find where the system got confused.


After data cleaning, we were challenged to retarget our model onto an avatar we created on MakeHuman. When it came to bringing it into Motion Builder I seemed to have missed that it was a PC only application. Since I could not get back to the Brooklyn campus on time I tried to do the retargeting in Cinema4D per a comment that Todd made on Slack which states that retargeting can be done in Cinema4D as well.

And then this happened…

So I went back to Motion Builder and did it exactly the way that the tutorial had it and things began to work perfectly! - Yay!

The Final Result . . .

Response to Artifacts of Consequence by Ashlin Halfnight

This week I had the pleasure of reading Ashlin Halfnight’s Artifacts of Consequence. A post-apocalyptic play about the survival of the human race which debuted off broadway in 2009. Responding to Fuch’s questions this play:

One Simple Sentence:

Four survivors of an apocalypse must work together in an underground bunker to preserve culture and their sanity.

One Complex Sentence on what the play is about:

In a post apocalyptic world underwater three survivors live day to day preserving artifacts of culture when a mysterious stranger comes a board to challenge everything they know.

5 Sentence version:

Minna is the head of a government refuge mission in an underwater bunker used to preserve culture and the lives of several thousand people. She lives with a teenager named Arri and depends on a bounty named Dallas who travels outside the bunker to find special medication called FRPs for everyone who lives inside. One day a mysterious man named Theo arrives in the Bunker against expectation or protocol. Minna accepts him in despite policy challenging procedure and their respective humanities.

Fuch’s Questions:

Space on the planet of Ashlin Halfnight’s Artifacts of Consequence is very interior. We are living underwater as we find out later in the play in a bunker which means that everything is very concealed into a man-made metal space. Space is very contained. The way I imagine it the world is bigger than what we would see on stage. Minna hides a lot from the audience which leaves room for the imagination. Since we are underwater in a bunker I do not see any landscapes other than darkness and artificial lighting. Time seems to jump on this planet over the course of several weeks. Time only stands still at the very end of the show. Time is leisurely as the characters are not exactly in a rush to go anywhere in the bunker. Time is marked by the repetition of people's habits. When we see the procedures that Minna and Dallas go through, ie- "Any injuries? Guns. " we understand that time is traveling. Time works in a cyclical, chronological order over several weeks. There are no storms that happen on the planet however we know that it is dangerous outside the bunker. We do not have extreme temperatures since the bunker is moderated however I imagine the air quality can get very stale without fresh air. The environment can get suffocating. Since we are underwater I do not imagine there is a seasonal feel to the world. The mood on the planet is very serious with sparing moments of joy. The tone of the world is very cerebral. Tone can shift in the world however based on what the youngest character, Ari, is watching or listening to. The unseen worlds are very large, dark and grandiose. These are the chambers Minna has forbidden Ari to walk down because they contain "snakes". The snakes are a cover-up for the dead bodies down the corridors. I imagine the sounds of the world include a lot of strange machine noises. This is a private world which is very beuqacratic. Behind closed doors, Minna is managing and storing bits and pieces of culture and secrecy in what survives in the new world. We see the characters work together and apart in different ways throughout the show. The single most important figure is Minna who appears to be "by the book" save for her own humanity which challenges her to break her own rules for the love of humanity. There are about a 100 people who exist in this world. The characters are the main ones but outside of that the audience acts as a deciding factor in what lives and what dies in the world. I imagine the characters wear a lot of neo-western outfits which are formal but clean and simple. I do not imagine the characters are interested in the latest trend of clothing rather they wear what's clean looking and efficient to wear while maintaining the bunker. Figures interact in very brisk, efficient speak that is very practical. They do not speak in metaphor. Mina has the main power in this world. She has it because she is cold, practical and efficient. Minna stays respected by being stern with everyone she encounters. She begins to lose control however as she realizes that she is no longer able to provide the FRPs for her human cargo. The language habits on this planet are practical with no metaphor. The kind of feeling the language brings is that these people spend a lot of time together and because of this their interactions are kept minimal. Ultimately, their language is very logical and pragmatic. The world changes when Minna starts to lose control emotionally. In the landscape the bunker starts to fall a part with leaks increasing. Minna starts to plan her own demise and asks that Dallas take Ari to safety. Eventually, Theo escapes the bunker leaving Ari and Minna behind. I imagine that the entire story takes place over summer. As time progresses the water temperature heats up. The language gets more stressful as the story progresses because the characters realize they're going to die. We have a moment of happiness in the story before we hit the basic plot of tragedy. We think that Theo loves Ari after their one night together but then we find out he leaves her behind because she can't swim. By the end of the story the only thing that doesn't change is that Minna chooses to die. She is still in control even to the end when she has lost her mind. This progression tells us that Minna's rejection of her own humanity is what does her in. The play is changed by the end because all characters except Theo have died and all of culture is lost.

Cornell Box in Response to Artifacts of Consequence

After being asked to create an abstract box inspired by the works of Joseph Cornell and in response to the play I came up with this.. I challenged myself to use a minimalist array of primarily dark bluish green shiny paper because I wanted the dark colors to emulate the mystery of where they are and for the shininess to represent the camp I felt when exploring popular culture. The gears to me represent the cold and mechanical choices Minna needs to make to stay alive. The pink neon represents the sharp contrast that the romantic subplot between Theo and Ari has to the rest of the world. The sharp shards of iridescent explore the fragments of humanity the characters hold on to.


Bodies in Motion Week 2

This second week of Bodies in Motion we studied skeleton structures and how they relate to the screen

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Next we have our world building. My first attempt was trying to make a house look like it’s on fire.

This was playing with perspective


Here is a statue I made of my Teddy Bear Carter using a 3D scan

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My First week learning Motion Capture at NYU's Bodies in Motion Class Week 1

For my first lab in my Bodies in Motionw experimented with how Motive works. It was interesting to see how the camera in the virtual environment could literally be anything from a chair moving around the room to a piece of cardboard we found. This makes me think a lot about the ability different objects have to move against physics and wonder what ways I can “break” the system. In other words would it be possible to make the virtual camera lens in unreal breath by mapping the points to fabric?

We also learned about the importance of wanding a room to make sure that it is fully calibrated. As a camera technician myself I find calibration to be crucial to any successful shoot.

PComp Project

Final Project Ideas - Concept 1

The Bayer Pattern is the current standard for how cameras take pictures on sensors. They consist of physical gels on the pixels that filter light to determine color.


Link to Arduino control of Canon

Take a picture - RED, BLUE, GREEN with a gel slider then composite them into an image at full resolution from black and white.


Build a Zoetrope

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Physical Assets Tutorial takes a Physical Beating

Final Project Pitch Link

Reading Questions:

As a person who only exists in the machine, how do you not have anxiety breakdowns without a physical biological connection?

Does the creation of digital spaces create more fear of losing data?

Technical Assignment:

I don’t like when things don’t go according to plan but this week I had a lot of problems getting unreal to work on the machine I was on. It took an hour to finally figure out how to update Unreal on the school laptop. It took another hour to figure out that my assets weren’t importing correctly.

Picture of coffee I drank in the early morning after on and off troubleshooting for several hours.

Picture of coffee I drank in the early morning after on and off troubleshooting for several hours.

When they finally did I could not get the textures to match right or the capsules to fill in, in the same way that they did in the demo. I ended up calling it quits there and will try again this week with my new scans in preparation for my final.

3D Scan and Mixamo

Discussion questions for the reading:

Are breast physics used in heavily CG composited films as well?

Is it a legal issue to ask a user to declare performed gender on a platform?

Using Maya, Mixamo and Wrap 3 I took a 3D scan I have of me and made an animated model

Wrap 3 is great because it allows you to mold two rigs together and helps find the common geometry between them to fuse an average. This allows one to quickly rig skeletal figures. One of the biggest challenges with this assignment was understanding how to navigate the viewport but once I got that under control I was able to throw it into Adobe Mixamo.

Wrap 3 is great because it allows you to mold two rigs together and helps find the common geometry between them to fuse an average. This allows one to quickly rig skeletal figures. One of the biggest challenges with this assignment was understanding how to navigate the viewport but once I got that under control I was able to throw it into Adobe Mixamo.

Two of my favorite animations applied in Adobe’s Mixamo was the stride which is reminiscent of the “Brooklyn Strut” from Saturday Night Fever and finally…

The Twerk… Which is what I did when I was finished.

My first circuit

For my first circuit I managed to get a piece of copper stuck in my 5V port of my Arduino. I also managed to short a cable and finally figured out how to use wire cutters. Having said that I was able to build a contact switch that lit up when the buttons weren’t being pressed. If I learned anything it is to be more gentle with the cables.


3D Scan

This week I scanned my good friend Hafi for the 3D Scanning assignment. Hafi was in his underwear so he could put CG clothes on the model later.

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I feel like were I to do this again, I will light it as opposed to depending on overhead lights. For practice sake I relied on overhead florescence which are in general just not good to use. One thing I did that worked however was have Hafi do a few pushups and sit-ups before hand. I think this helped capture his physique better.

My Personal Avatar - Performative Avatar Class

For the first assignment, I created my self-portrait in Adobe Fuse as well as the Power Puff Girl generator. I chose the latter because I grew up loving the PowerPuff Girls and their nemesis, the rowdy rough boys. As you can see, the Adobe Fuse generator takes a much more realistic approach to Avatar creation whereas the Power Puff Girl Avatar system is much more simplistic...

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Despite the obvious differences in aesthetic, both systems gave me control over the body, hair, eyes, clothes, and facial hair. Neither gave me control over tattoos. While Adobe Fuse was quick and painless, I found it represented me a lot less quick than the power puff girl generator. I think the more details you have to fill in, the more time it takes to make something like this. Both Avatar simulators are missing a flexible ability to change body weight and posture. One question I have after the reading is - is it ethical to make an avatar that makes you feel cuter than an accurate depiction?

VES Awards 2018

Last Friday I went to the Visual Effects Awards. I had a great time. In general, it was a lavish night full of some extraordinary and interesting people. I made contacts with different compositors. Many of whom were my age and graduated from the Computer arts and motion graphics program at the School of Visual Arts here in New York.

There were compositors working on projects as varied as the upcoming Cohen brothers film to Disney's Mary Poppins Returns.

HBO's go-to VFX Supervisor Lesley Robson-Foster received a distinguished award from the society commemorating her career. They celebrated her upbeat attitude when it came to working on set and her passion for making exciting (and in many cases gruesome) visual effects.
Outside of that there were many people interested in Virtual Reality filmmaking. We picked each other's brains and geeked out over what the future might bring.

Photo at the awards

VES Awards 2018

New York, New York


Brooklyn Realness

This venue was lit!

The Zoetrope of Brooklyn Gentrification - Emotion of Motion Final

Expressing the Cycle of Brooklyn Gentrification I plan to tell a story making an interactive zoetrope machine.

What's a Zoetrope?

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Using levels as the trigger, the user will set the zoetrope into motion on a virtual vinyl record player in a steakpunk fashion. The vinyl will turn thus creating the motions of people being forced to leave their houses and cockroaches reigning high.


Zoetropes were initially called "Daedalum" or "The Wheel of the Devil" which poetically fits into the story of gentrification. I hope to show images such as silhouettes of people leaving homes and cockroaches moving into them. The lever you pull will look steam punkish.

The machine they sit on will be an old fashion vinyl record player which will turn set to Natti Vogel's "We all move to Brooklyn".

Emotion of Motion

This week I was challenged to make a button that did something when you pressed it. The song that immediately came to mind was Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse". 

Working towards my final project I want to design a "machine like" factory of buttons that allows you to feel like you're in a control room. The emotion I was going for with this one is energetic

Essentially the two states the button sits in, are "rest with anticipation" and "activate" which is what happens when you toggle down.

This is what I came up with.


Making a Face for the Computer

For my Emotions in Motion class I was challenged to make a face for my computer. I wanted my computer's "Face" to represent me so I went with some fun colors and pretty basic astrology. I am a Virgo with an Aquarius Rising so I made the face a Virgo symbol. For the monstrous mouth I gave it the lines of Aquarius to reflect my own monstorous tendencies. 

AbelCine Welcome Home!

This weekend I went to AbelCine's Open House which was the official unveiling of their new Brooklyn Location. Having been to Abel's West Village location many times it was bitter sweet to see this beautiful new facility. Ultimately though, I was inspired and happy for them.

Inside they had every major camera manufacturer from Canon to Sony, RED to Arri and yes, even the new Alexa LF. The energy was exciting. Speakers such as the SNL Digital Short Cinematographers and Academy Award Winning Cinematographer Claudio Miranda gave presentations on the future of digital content making. I gobbled free food and played around with cameras and networked.

AbelCine has taught me a lot in the past year. I took film geek training courses such as REDucation, Zeiss lens care, Sony FS7 training as well as dozens of Color Workflow workshops they held. Honestly, I became fond of the West Village and knowing that these camera brainiacs were only a few minutes away. With that said, film is an industry of innovation and bringing things forward. The new facility is state of the art and truly a marvel to look at. Who knows, perhaps the Olsen Twins will move into their building again one day!

I truly wish you the best of luck AbelCine. Welcome home!

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