rkc + yany1 : final project : the truth is out there

Move the UFO with your mouse and click the mouse to abduct cars!


For our final project, we created a generative landscape with a slight twist – an alien (you, the user) shows up and abducts all the cars because you have the power of mouseX,mouseY, and mouseIsPressed at your fingertips! The most difficult part was getting the car to fade away (because we first had it so the car popped off the screen, but since we had more time we decided to make the car disappear slowly so it actually feels like the UFO is abducting it). Moving the bridge was a lot more difficult than it should have been because we first constructed a class of objects, but had trouble with the code. If we worked on it more, I think we probably would’ve made it more like a game and added sound effects. This project is very different from what Lexi and I planned to do initially but we’re really happy with the results!

Here are some initial sketches:



Looking Outwards 11 – rkc

For my project I’m planning on making a constellation map. To plan out how we can make our map more interactive, I looked at Shaun Utter’s modification of Google Maps’ API.


His site show popular cities and the images change from one city to another every four seconds. The colors change based on the city and population city. The colors that Shaun Utter used emulates modern art.This site is basically a slideshow of different cities in neon colors so I think he could’ve made it more interactive. Maybe he could’ve made it so that viewers can pick the city that they’re looking at? There’s also no indication of what city is on the page currently so that could’ve been better.

On the other hand, artist Lee Jang’s work is not interactive at all, but I liked how he made his maps take the form of something in nature. For example, his map of Seoul emulates a tree (top), while his map of the streets of Moscow emulates a flower.



I guess what I really liked about his project, ComplexCity, how he was able to take something simple and everyday like a map and add his own perspective to it to make it unique, something I hope we can do with our constellation map.

You can see more of Shaun Utter’s work here and more of Lee Jang’s work here.

Project Proposal – Ramya Chinta

For my term project, Lexi Yan and I will be working on animating the night sky/constellations. Our map will be similar to the landscape project in that the constellations will look as if they’re passing by you but we hope to make it more interactive. While we are still planning out specifics about how interactive it will be, we thought it’d be interesting if you could switch between the summer sky and winter sky so we’ll be working on rotating the stars. We will also probably make it so that if you click on certain constellations, a little bit information about their origins and mythology would come up. We can probably also put a scroll bar on the canvas so as the person scrolls, the stars switch into the positions that they’re in during the next season. This project should be a nice challenge for us!


rkc-Looking Outwards 10

As a student, artist Andrea Polli, received a PhD in Computing, Communications and Electronics from University of Plymouth in the UK, and received a MFA in Time Arts from the School Art Institute of Chicago. She’s currently a Professor Art and Ecology in University of New Mexico’s College of Fine Arts and School of Engineering. Along with being a professor, she creates interactive digital installations that deal with environmental public policy. For example, her installation “Particle Falls” is a visualization of the pollution particles in a part of Santa Clara County. Polli created the installation that has sensors that can count and show particles of pollution with laser light scattering in real time. Polli chose to install this in Santa Clara County because the county failed an air quality evaluation. I really enjoyed reading about Polli’s work because she creates her installations to inform the public about ecology and environmentalism, topics that we all need to know about so we can make changes in how we act today.

Particle Falls from Andrea Polli on Vimeo.

Here is her website: http://www.andreapolli.com/

Project 9 – Composition – rkc

I ended up being able to make a spiral for this project. I looked at the code from the examples and it was basically trial and error to get the flower and spiral. The little flowers around the spiral however took a long time to make because I had to test out how many pixels the turtle was going to move around each time to make 9 flowers around the circle.


Looking Outwards – 8 – rkc

Lexi posted a while ago about a touch screen installation in The Museum of Modern Art in NYC called I Want You to Want Me. When I was reading about the project I was blown away by how beautiful and different the data visualization was. Lexi wrote that the visualizations are reminiscent of the style of Pixar’s UP. One of my favorite aspects of this project was how the images were made to look more vintage. The beginning sequence of the sad love story in UP that Lexi mentions starts somewhere around the 50s so that sequence is also rendered to be look vintage. What I like the most, however, is how much detail the artists, Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, put in the balloons. For example, pink balloons represent girls and blue balloons represent boys. Brighter balls represent younger people while darker balloons represent older. How the balloons move through the screens represent relationships in real life. Some balloons travel through the sky at different speeds. They take different routes from each other but sometimes they travel alongside others for a little while. I Want You to Want Me shows that data visualization can take a topic an abstract topic, like dating and relationships, and make it visually arresting.

Lexi’s post can be seen here and you can read more about I Want You to Want Me here.

Project 8 – Portrait – rkc

This portrait is a portrait of my friend so I wanted to make the portrait with an object that represented her. To make the flowers, I looked at the Khan Academy code that Professor Dannenberg told us about in lecture when we began to learn about objects and classes and the code I wrote for the landscape project. I experimented with how the flowers should move across the canvas (whether they should bounce around, whether new flowers should appear each time someone pressed the mouse, etc). In the end I went with mouseMoved() so you’re coloring in the canvas and it increases interactivity. It takes a long time to fill in the entire canvas because I made the flowers smaller (so the portrait can resemble my friend). In the end, the many layers of the flowers somewhat resembles impressionism…or maybe not…


Here is a screenshot of the portrait in progress…

…and here is a complete portrait!

Looking Outwards 7

Amanda Cox, studied statistics at the University of Washington, and is now a graphics editor at the New York Times. She and her team are responsible for the informative and interactive graphics that are published in each edition. To create her graphics, she uses R, the statistical programming/data analysis language. Her video and her work were interesting to me because she and her team work on data visualization and graphics. Most audience members probably don’t realize how much time and technical knowledge is necessary to create those visuals. (I didn’t until I read about her). I really liked how Amanda stated that the graphics are a story. Readers should be able to take a quick glance at those visuals and quickly glean everything they need to take away from them. Cox and her team take away the technical jargon and pay attention to typography and design to create visually arresting graphics.

Amanda Cox – Eyeo Festival 2011 from Eyeo Festival // INSTINT on Vimeo.

website: amandacox.tumblr.com

Project 7 – Landscape

I kept the moon in the same place because when you’re driving, everything else seems to be moving away from you except for the sun and the moon, which look like they’re following you. Clouds are wispy so I made them transparent. The UFO is flying around for no reason. If I spent more time on this project, I would make the top of the cars curved (because people don’t drive Honda Elements). I would also randomize the colors of all the cars, place a window on the UFO, and probably put some grass by the road.

nightimeufoclouds.js code

basic sketches: