Advanced Multimedia Authoring – Week 07

Research

During the break, I met with the performers, who will be helping me greatly with my project. I had really been sweating on meeting up with them, because it marks the beginning of work really getting under way.

The following is a short video of some of the footage I captured whilst we were seeing what gave a workable output from the Wii remotes. No, the dancers weren’t drunk, but we did discover that using another body to stabilise each other would give a less erratic data stream from the Wii remotes. Very helpful when trying not to accidentally trigger events…

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Up until now, everything had really just been talk – ideas and ‘proof of concept’ work, but nothing concrete. Now that I’m getting data, I have a new and exciting problem: what the hell do I do with it?

First of all, I need to store the information I’m attempting to map, so I managed to put together something of a Frankenstein sketch in Processing that does just that. It’s made up of several other sketches and possibly isn’t as efficient as it could be, but for anyone interested in storing/mapping data from a Wii remote, it’s a good start.

Once I took a look at the data I have been getting, there was another glaring problem: I want triggers to be constrained to parts of a time line. That is, I don’t want lights to flash every time a dancer raises their arm (for instance). Perhaps a light will flash when they do it once, but the next time they raise their arm, I may want that to trigger a sound effect. The only way I can see this happening, is to make data also time-sensitive. This is something I hadn’t thought about when I first started planning the project, and a really good example of why I needed to start working with the performers as soon as possible.

I’m unsure if Processing is the right program to be taking care of this, because it’s nature is quite separate from a linear time line. Somehow linking the sequencer within Ableton Live could be an option, but I’m not sure how I would get data back out of that program again. Either way, this issue is a deal-breaker, so it’s something I’m going to have to get on top of this week when I meet with the dancers once again.

Update 15/09/2009: I just came across this fantastic library/tool for Processing, which adds timeline functionality to variables. Could be spot on for this project.

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