Author Archives: majacoby

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Participants pilot a feathered vessel (more commonly known as a pigeon) by gently turning their faces in the direction in which they’d like to travel. Feathered Vessel creates an odd intersection between the militaristic concept of surveillance drones and the more mystic concept of becoming/taking control of an animal.

This project was made with Processing, developed by Ben Fry and Casey Reas; and FaceOSC, developed by Kyle McDonald.

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Above is a significantly scaled down image of Feathered Vessel‘s map. It’s a composite of a bunch of satellite photos taken from 500 feet up. The map is 10,000 pixels by 10,000 with a DPI of 72. Initially, I thought I’d need to split the map into tiles and load them depending on where the view screen was, but Processing was able to handle the strain of re-positioning the entire image every frame.

FaceOSC was used to sense the x and y rotations of participant’s faces. As FaceOSC is unable to sense faces in profile, I had to spend a lot of time making sure that side-to-side movement covered enough distance to prevent participants from turning their heads too far in an attempt to move further in a particular direction. I’ve come to appreciate the fine line between gimmicky controls and sleek movement.

In its current iteration, Feathered Vessel tracks face position, the map’s position, and time. If I were to build upon this project, I would try to implement a more complex event system where crossing certain thresholds causes various animated occurrences to happen, such as a car that speeds down a road or a field that caches on fire.

As I worked on this project for both Concept Studio: Space & Time and Electronic Media Studio: Interactivity, a near identical post about Feathered Vessel can be found by clicking here.

A zoetrope creates the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of progressive images and using rotation to blend the images into a looping animation.

I wanted to create a digital zoetrope that functions primarily through the same rotational mechanisms as a physical zoetrope, but with a couple of extra touches specific of the digital medium.


Above is the image that is being rotated in the video to create the illusion that each of the 12 runners are running. To create this image, each frame of the runners’ animation was placed around a circle at 30-degree intervals. The intervals are 30 degrees because 360(the number of degrees in a circle) divided by 12(the number of frames in the running animation) is 30, thus allowing the runners to be evenly spaced.





The falling animation is a bit different from the running animation. Because the runners fall in unison, the zoetropes used for the falling animation only contain one pose at a time, and are switched out for every frame of the falling animation. This is the digital trick that would not be possible in a physical zoetrope.

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Satoshi Kon – Editing Space & Time is an entry in Tony Zhou’s video series Every Frame a Painting, in which Zhou discusses and analyzes a variety of people and techniques pertinent to the world of cinema.

In the above video, Zhou focuses on the signature editing style of the late Satoshi Kon, the director of animated movie classics Perfect Blue, Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers, and Millennium Actress. Kon’s editing style is best characterized by his use of matching scene transitions. This use of match cuts closely mirrors the duality of subject matter in his films, such as dreams opposed to nightmares and real life opposed to film.

You can find out more about Tony Zhou and Every Frame a Painting here.

For more information about Satoshi Kon, click here.


“A mixture of puppet and hand-drawn animation, The Necktie is the story of Valentin and his quest to find meaning in his life. Stuck in a dead-end job, he has forgotten all about the things that used to bring him joy. Years pass, and boredom replaces all his aspirations and hope for the future. It is only on his 40th birthday, when he rediscovers an old accordion hidden in the depths of his closet, that he regains his lust for life.” ~ National Film Board of Canada

(Unfortunately, filmmaker Jean-François Lévesque does not appear to have a website. )

“MONOLITT is an interactive installation that quite literally paints the mood of the city, using social media feeds as an input. The installation takes electronic signals and lets them manifest themselves in the physical world. Using sentiment analytics, the installation links tweets to corresponding colored paints in realtime, feeding them out through the top of the sculpture, letting them flow into a procedurally generated three-dimensional painting.” ~ Artists’ Statement

Syver Lauritzsen’s website can be found here.

(Sadly, Eirik Haugen Murvold doesn’t appear to have a website.)

IMG_1485The Energy Game is played in a room that represents the space of a day. Players enter on the left side of the room and proceed clockwise, completing tasks as they progress.

DSC_1454 DSC_1455 DSC_1456Each player is given a pair of rubber gloves and a bottle filled with twenty (20) pills. Each pill represents a unit of energy, which must be spent to progress through the game.

DSC_1451Energy is spent on tasks. A task is a single sheet of paper with a question on top and two options at the bottom. All tasks must be visited in order (No time-travel allowed!), and each task will require one (-1), two (-2), or three (-3) pills to be placed in the task’s cup, or for the player to simply move on to the next task. Some tasks require interaction with a more detailed task (which is to the right of the task) before proceeding.

IMG_1477If the player spends all of their pills, they must place their bottle under the cup where the last pill was placed, and deposit their gloves in the provided plastic bag. The game is over when the player runs out of pills.

IMG_1497The Energy Game was inspired by Christine Miserandino’s “Spoon Theory”, an account that gives an explanation of what it is like to live with a chronic disease. Miserandino uses spoons as a metaphorical replacement for the concept of energy, thus allowing it to be measured. In most cases, individuals with chronic diseases tend to have a more limited amount of energy to expend each day than individuals who are able-bodied, thus it becomes important to plan what tasks energy will be spent on in order to get through the day.

DSC_1463The goal of The Energy Game is to get participants to think about how many tasks they do in a typical day and how they find the energy to do them, in addition to introducing the idea that energy can be a finite resource that is preciously spent.

Critique this Character! is an exercise in evolving design through public opinion.

The image on the far left was distributed in a survey asking participants to critique the character’s physical attributes, suggest changes, and provide a name for the character. The input from each survey response (of which there were 58) was turned into an individual frame of animation which was incorporated into a basic walk-cycle (the middle .gif), resulting a looping animation (the rightmost .gif).

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