This week I tried out with adding a background to the composition as well as changing the look of the spheres and adding lighting and shadow. I also tested out adding textures and a glow to the stars but both requires more work as I don’t really like how they turned out and I want to try to improve their look a little bit.
For the background this is just an image which I took off the internet so I have been thinking of creating my own video (film) content to add to the background. Will work on it over the course of this week and during recess week.
Code wise I have been trying to correct small bugs in my code and make it more comprehensive so I will consult Corey/Isaac on that later on (:
One of the challenges which I knew I would face in this project is deciding which stars (out of hundreds of thousands in our known universe) I would be choosing to focus on. I decided to focus on the Twenty-Eight Lunar Mansions (二十八宿) which are highlighted in the above picture in orange.
Each of the “Lunar Mansions” represents one constellation in Chinese astronomy and has a Determinative Star which is the “main” star in the constellation. Since I was able to find the corresponding Western star to each of the determinative stars, I decided to start collecting data from there.
I arranged all the stars and their relevant data in the above excel sheet and used some mathematical formulas to calculate their Cartesian (x, y, z) coordinates. After some more tweaking of numbers I came up with the values in the last 3 columns above to input into Processing (:
These are the determinative stars plotted into Processing in 3D format (to take into account all 3 axes). So far I’m still figuring out how to navigate in the 3D space in the way I would like to, I recently discovered a Processing add-on called Peasycam which helps a bit! I’m able to interact with the spheres via my mouse but there is a lot more to consider in terms of adding textures, visual effects and interaction for the media art wall.
Erik Samakh is a contemporary artist who describes himself as a “hunter-gatherer” of images and sounds, which he has captured, recorded and exhibited for over 25 years in natural settings. His work is focused on our dialogue with nature through the combination of new technologies and natural elements. In the above installation which is one of his earlier works, Samakh encourages viewers to have “strange conversations” with frogs living in the installation’s habitat through the use of modules in the space which emit sounds to the frogs.