Based on Wenwen’s latest idea, which suggested we look at time travel as an interpretation of multidimensionality, we have agreed to create an installation which would be experienced as follows:
A participant approaches our installation. The walls and floor are black, the atmosphere is dark.
As they step onto the floor a geometric animation appears under the participant’s feet and a small object appears on the wall far in front of them. Sound is generated in tandem with these animations. As the participant moves from left to right they notice that the small object follows them. Intrigued, they approach the wall to take a closer look at the object. As they do so, the object grows and animates and the sound responds in parallel. The closer the participant gets, the more the object grows and animates, eventually animating into a portal / window / gateway. As they reach the wall, they begin to see another world / space / environment through the object, and they begin to hear the sound of this other world. Their curiosity is rewarded with a glimpse into another dimension. As they move from left to right the portal follows them, allowing them to see and hear different parts of this new environment. As they walk away from the wall the image of the other dimension fades and the portal closes.
Another person approaches the installation. As they do so they have a similar experience, except that the dimension they see and hear is different from the person before them.
We will use the Xbox Kinect to track participants’ position and Unity to feed back and project animations onto the physical environment in relation to the participant. We will send data from Unity to Max MSP to create and manipulate sounds in tandem with animations in realtime.
For the other worlds, we will design several environments / spaces with corresponding soundscapes. They could be highly abstract (particles, basic lighting etc) or cinematic (underwater, outer space etc.).
We will render these spaces as videos, to be seamlessly looped. We will apply these videos as textures to a plane within Unity. When the participant enters the installation, Unity will randomly select one of the pre rendered environments for the participant to see. As the participant approaches the portal, we will fade the chosen video in to the centre of the animation.
We will use masking to create a moveable portal which reveals the animated environment.
The initial animated objects will be in black and white, while the other dimensions will be in colour for contrast.
At the moment we intend for the installation to be usable by one participant at a time.
Motion activated LED lights positioned along the side wall will draw the user in closer.
We will create sounds for the animated object on the end wall and under the participant, sounds which are tightly coupled to the movements in these animations. We will also create soundscapes for each environment / dimension which will fade in as a participant approaches the wall.
Firstly this idea fulfils the brief in at least two ways, one where we develop digital 3D objects and sounds with a close formal link, the other in which we create an object which allows participants to look into other dimensions, dimensions which in some way represent each member of our group, their interests and their creative outputs.
Additionally, a huge benefit of this plan is that it will allow us to incorporate lots of the animations and sounds which the group have created already over the course of this project (flowing forms etc.), making maximum use of the content we already have. It also means that almost everyone is guaranteed a job, as any one of us who wants to create an visual or sonic environment can do so.
Finally it reduces the need to work with complex gesture recognition beyond X/Z body positioning, which we have already established with the Kinect and Unity.