- Self Directed / Experimental
- Client / Contract
Self Directed / Experimental
Not quite a serious tool yet much more than just a toy, Microbium intends to be a fun and friendly sandbox for experimentation with simulation based generative art. Designed for simplicity, you will only need to learn one polygon / brush tool to start making interesting art, while much depth in style and motion can be achieved with the flexible rendering and simulating systems. My initial motivation for this project started with a Jellyfish; people really enjoy observing the mesmerizing movements of these forms. This was an experimental project to test some of my ideas for simulation based animation, but the process was very limiting: I had hand-coded procedures for generating and connecting all the parts and components of the form. I wanted a fun tool and better process for myself and for others to experiment more freely, so Microbium came to be.
Starting out as a few simple prototypes to test a realtime physics system I was working on, this project became a bit of an obsession for me as I tinkered with constraints and designed various components of jellyfish anatomy. Being a physically based simulation, minimal input (a user can tap/click the hood to emit a nudging force, and the hood muscles are continuously expanding and contracting) results in complex organic movement which can be quite mesmerizing. As a technical aside, all geometry and physical constraints are procedurally generated through hand-coded methods, which was fairly tedious. In future work, I hope to develop tools for automating or graphically editing simulation constraints to allow quicker iteration on ideas with a balance between creative freedom and technical tedium, making this process more accessible to others as well as my future self.
Spawned in response to (and named after) a Tumblr stream featuring strangely grotesque photo composites, this piece provides a novel interface for generating nonsensical phrases: through interaction with a digital entity conceptually similar to a voodoo doll. Each selection is made by inserting a crystalline needle into the surface of the doll head, creating a string of short phrases over time in order of insertion. Although based on a political figure, I see this experience as an abstract commentary on control and manipulation, as well as an auditory/visual exploration of the grotesque. My initial aim was to develop a system capable of synthesizing arbitrary words and phrases from a limited set of predefined sounds and their corresponding mouth shapes; the final piece is more limited, with predefined words composed of a limited set of primary mouth shapes with accompanying audio. It would be interesting to apply machine learning methodologies to blend mouth shapes based on input syllables; although I currently have limited knowledge of this field, I hope to explore it more as the technology becomes more accessible.
Client / Contract
Destroy Ernie's Evidence
An immersive eight-chapter whodunit with hidden games where users help Ernie the Elephant track down the missing “nature film” he made with the Squirrel Sisters.
Working with one other frontend developer, I was responsible for leading graphics development as well as establishing the site's architecture and build system and our device responsiveness strategy. Core site features I built include the home page intro, each chapter's interactive panorama scene with hidden clues, games for chapters (2, 4, 6, 7, 8), as well as the campaign finale sequence.