30/3 Update

Stage Creation/Platform!!!

Step 1: Idea

Step 2: Get materialsInstead of getting a foldable stage, getting crates were just much cheaper and makes more sense since they already had slits. There is space to insert the bulbs. 

Next was trying to get the electric circuit out and the placement of the bulbs. Mainly it was inserting 4 bulbs (2 at the edges, 2 in the middle). Initially I was thinking of doing 3, but the middle part of the crate was blocked with wood, instead of  trying to drill into the wood, (which would have been dangerous since it might not be able to support the weight it was originally intended for) I decided to just have 2 in the middle. 

The parallel circuit mainly consisted of the 4 bulbs, 4 starters, 4 ballast. Additional 12 clips to hold the bulbs in place.

Step 3: Installation left the paper sleeve on because 4 bulbs was brighter than I expected

Underside view of the crate

, Since there was too much light penetration through the slits, I think I will cover it up with a cloth to achieve a the more diffused look.

Left to do: Attach the 2nd crate below to make this platform higher, sand the crate for safety and add attach the cloth


Interface update from https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/ho0011an/ill-work-on-the-oss-ltr/


Updates from the previous stage: I have added such that the spawned object is moves randomly within a bounding box, and experimented with the call to spawn the object.

What I realise is that we don’t speak in one breathe, so because we break our sentences up as we speak, this would cause many many objects to be spawned because of the pauses in between.

Instead, I think another more efficient way of doing this would be to have a button participants can press while they are speaking.

Right now, still not too happy with the way it moves, I wanted more of a zero-grativity floating kinda movement but its like doing the zoomies now.

Also, it’s not the way it spawns is also so ugly, it is just appearing at the target point, but I am looking at a more like blowing bubble like vibe.


Reflections on Designing for The Digital Age Reading

These days, I find that the term ‘UIUX’ has just been randomly thrown around, a buzz-word of our time. I have also always just assume it was for only related to the tech field but after this reading, I have came to realise that this principle can also be applied to physical products, and services. Such designs are grounded by the root idea that it serves human needs and goals within certain constraints.

The reading makes mention of Alan Cooper’s Goal-Directed design.

One interesting thing I picked up from the reading is the question: Will it help users minimise work? under Principles. Work can be cognitive, visual, memory and motor. Truly this is why user survey is important. Sometimes, there are challenges that cant be seen because they are internal struggles. It seems that to have the best user experience is to have smoothest and simplest pathway towards the user’s goal. However, I have came to realise how skewed this idea can be. Speaking from personal experience,  sometimes, because an experience is so seamless, the fact that there is almost no “thinking” needed, I have managed to sign up for brands newsletter that I have no recollection off or auto check boxes has got me signing up for trials that I am not keen on. While reducing the work overload would help with the user interaction, however, going a further step to enriching the experience would be to balance the manipulative patterns. Afterall, if I have to take the extra steps to be aware of these dark methods used against me then it back fires the initial idea of minimising work.

Another interesting pointer shared is Framework definition under Process. It mentions that Persona and scenario are the primary drivers of basic framework. It is broken down to interaction framework, visual framework and industrial design framework. Being an interaction designer, sometimes I struggle with idea of “how functionality is grouped and how the personas will accomplish the most critical tasks”. I am starting to feel that there is a streamlining of design styles and everything are starting to look similar. EG old person naturally means bigger fonts, teens means more new technology to engage, kids means nothing sharp, intuitive movements. Hence, I think if I were to follow this scheme of using personas into my FYP, the personas need to be distinctive, unique individual, that should not be able to be blurred together with everyone else. Completely fictional stories of imaginary people based on little or no research bring no value for the design process and in fact, can in turn back fire. Poorly constructed personas is very much linked to the credibility of this technique.

I really enjoyed this quote: Any good method is a living thing that continues to evolve and grow. Indeed, while there are many recommendations, and structures around, I think human behaviours is consistently evolving and what this means for designs is to not just blindly follow trends or get stuck in frameworks, but to consistently be innovative that are targeted and well-researched for its user.


Reflection on Project Management Reading

Chapter 2 started off with “Project Management is an outcome-oriented process”- Daunting.

Of the 6 project management goals, I would like to elaborate more on ‘To reach the end on time” and also “To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations”

‘To reach the end of the project”
Through out my time in ADM, I never understood what it meant to reach the end of a project. Every submission, if given more time, I could always think of pointers on how I would further improve the project. Sometimes, makes me wonder, if really I was given the time, how much time would I need? Is there really such a concept as ‘The End’? When will I ever be done with a project?

This reading opened my eyes to the idea of goals vs objectives. It describes ‘goal’ as universal targets that are common to all projects while ‘objectives’ are specific to your own projects. The idea of an “end” is not so much a dead end, but instead being able to meet a set of objectives. In the my head, how I saw this was, objectives has different degrees/ extent to them, and so if I am aiming to fulfil level 2 objectives and met them, even if I did not make it to level 3 objectives, because I have identified what I wish to achieve at the beginning and achieved it, I have ‘reached the end’. And this obviously will not be the end-of-the-road for the project, instead I would view it as an emotional closure for anyone working on a project. In my opinion, knowing just when to declare a work of art finished after working it for months can also get very blurry, so setting objective that are measurable and quantifiable as mentioned would also help artists build a healthy relationship with their art pieces.

“To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations”
Personally, if given a chance to work as an individual, I would gladly choose to because I have pretty much spent my uni days running away from potentially disappointing my group members. So, I was quite surprise to see this as a goal. Reminds me that as much as I seem ‘alone’, I really still have to rely on others to get things moving such as eventually the person coordinating the FYP show, my mentor prof, even to the smallest role of people running the various machines. I foresee FYP teaching me to be open to feedback, what others have to say about my progress. All while I do not loose myself incorporating others into the process.


Personally would wrap up Chapter 5 with the sentence “Properly planning the greatly increases its chance of success” in however I choose to define success. As my own project manager, I have to understand my work well enough to plan it properly and be wise enough to know when to seek advice. While I am still not entirely certain of what a FYP entitles, I also wish to be someone flexible to adapt to unforeseen sceen circumstances.


16/3 Update

Currently, the big idea is:

Playing around with Unreal:


Wanted to try out the water plugin with Unreal and also the idea of floating actors
However at this point, everything felt slightly flat, and i wanted helium balloon-float not water-float

Also tried to connect Unreal w Touchdesigner via OSC potentially for the MicInput


While building my space, I wanted to just see what I could with the free packages in the marketplace.

The following are the ones I used:

And this is what I created:

I retained the water element, but wanted to build on it. During the week of building, I wanted to focus on lighting. Maybe perhaps… because of this paragraph from a book I was reading (Steven Scott: Luminous Icons):

Obviously I am no Steven Scott, but I really like the idea of experiencing “something spiritual”, and also because it’s inline with the ‘zen’ idea of my project. While my project has no direct correlation with “proportion”, I still wanted to try to incorporate this idea with building lights of the ‘correct’ colours(murky blue-ish) and manifestations (light shaft, fireflies).


You would think just trying to get it up on the screen would be easy, just got to make the aspect ratio the same as 3 projectors.. thats what I tot too…

Anyway summary:
Spout- doesn’t work with 4.26, latest only 4.25
Syphon- Unreal doesnt support

Lightact 3.7- which doesnt spout, cant download on mac nor the school’s PC because it was considered unsafe due to the little amount of downloads

BUT I did try Ndisplay, which is an integrated function in Unreal
I could get it up on my monitor

Though I couldnt get it up on the projectors, but i think it could be due to my config files, i need perhaps another week or so on this


With the interface, this was the main idea:

Plan 1 would have made everything seamless because it is all integrated into Unreal. But ofc

So I am back with Plan 2, via OCS.

On touchdesigner’s end:

I have basically managed to split the audio that comes in via the mic into low, mid and high frequencies. For now, im only sending the mid frequency values over to Unreal because it represents the ‘voice’ values best. But, I had to clamp the values because of the white noise present. I might potentially use the high and low values for something else, such as colours? We’ll see.

For now, one of the biggest issues I feel is the very obvious latency from Touchdesigner to Unreal.

But moving forward first, the next step would be to try getting an organic shape and also spawning the geometry only when a voice is detected.

Since I wanted the geometry to ‘grow’ in an organic of way, I realised the best way to go around it would be to create a material that changes according to its parameters rather than making an organic static mesh because when it gets manipulated. by the values it’s literally just going to scale up or down.

This is how I made the material:

Using noise to affect world displacement was mainly the node to get the geometry ~shifty~. But I think as you can tell from the video, the Latency and the glitch is really quite an issue. And once again moving on, trying to spawn the actor in Unreal when voice is detected.

For that I am using Button state in Touchdesigner to do so. When a frequency hits a threshold, which assuming comes from the voice, the button will be activated. When Button is on click, ‘1’, the geometry should form and grow with the voice, but when the button is not on click, ‘0’, the geometry should stop growing.


Currently this is the button I have but it’s consistently still flickering between ‘on’ and ‘off’ so, I am starting to think maybe I should change to ‘When there is a detection of change in frequency instead, button clicks’.