Thanks for all the kind words about the cat being cute;)
I realize my design is still actually a traditional clock, which really is not ideal. When I look back to the time when I decide to use this idea, I was a little caught up by the expectation of the “cuteness” of it that I just didn’t go further. My lesson here is to try not to be caught up by the ideas that I have, but to challenge even more and out of my comfort zone. And always remind myself to take risks.
Then comes the mechanism of the clock. There are really so many aspects that I need to reflect on. Basically, it does not always show the time right and the arms and legs are unattached. The former is mainly because it’s mainly because whenever the arms and legs coincide, the cat has to mirror itself, and when I let myself import a complex shape to avoid literally drawing the curves out in P5, I planted a seed that there is a limitation for me to try and modify and make use of the point data to be more weird and perky. Or maybe I could… Hmm…
Another problem about my design is that I did not find a good solution to integrate the concept of cat moving the arms and legs with the moving of the long hand and the short hand. While it is unrealistic for the cat to stretch 180 degrees when sleeping, I eventually could not make it its own feature by turning it into something fun instead of awkward.
While as someone who is horrible at time management, the first thing on my list is to try to get the work planned as soon as I can to have fewer regrets in the final result. At the same time I realize I DO need a lot more coding practice than I expected.
The clock project was an excellent opportunity for me to both explore Perlin Noise and how to use it, as well to begin translating my personal style to my digital work. There were some aesthetics that we’re not where I wanted them to be, but I was aware that they needed fixing. For instance the jumping around of the branches every second–I realized too late in the game that my structure didn’t permit for that flexibility because of having to refresh the background.
I read the article that Tega Brain suggested and I thought it was fascinating. I’ve always been loosely interested in cryptography but never really took the time to read more about it (watching Morten Tyldum’s film adaptation of Andrew Hodges’ book, The Imitation Game is about the most learning I’ve done on the topic). In design we are taught that everything should have a meaning. Almost nothing should be placed, coloured, or used arbitrarily, and if it is, there should be a strong defense for it. However, I’ve never enforced this mentality on my illustrations, since their sole purposed has always been personal amusement. After reading the article Tega suggested, “How to Make Anything Signify Anything”, it made me rethink my illustrations. To almost anyone, my illustrations could continue to looks simply like illustrations, but if I were to apply Bacon’s cipher system to my illustrations, it would force me to think more critically about placement, and pattern. I enjoy mixing type and illustration together anyway, so this could really add a new depth to my work. Thank you Tega Brain for opening my eyes to different methods of applying meaning to my work!
It was very encouraging to read Laurent McCarthy’s feedback! I completely agree that I could work on more technically simple but aesthetically sophisticated work. I think taking a more “slow but steady” approach to the technical work will be more beneficial for me in the long run. I think it will also help me to think more creatively, therefor my work will really help me push my creative skills while also learning some interesting coding techniques that I can handle.
All of my peers said generally the same things:
- The current aesthetic is good but it would be great if I could realize my illustration aesthetic
- The animation is too jarring and the piece would be significantly stronger if there were smoother transitions.
I completely agree with my peers and I think I would like to eventually get my skills up to point were I can achieve these goals. In fact, I think my skills have already improved quite a bit since I coded the clock, and could probably get the animation to be smother, but I would have to continue to work to get the aesthetic style there. I think it would be interesting for my capstone project to include Tega’s reference to Bacon’s cipher system, my illustration aesthetic, and sophisticated animation.
My main take away was to spend more time documenting my process, and communicating how I went about developing my idea. I had originally based it on a kaleidoscope and had forgotten mandalas existed so I thought it was a fitting comparison that someone made. I’m also glad that my color schemes worked well and that the animation components weren’t overwhelming.
So I got from my feedback that though some people found the concept of the work to be intriguing, most were disappointed by the visual representation of my concept. I see that it needs visual development that connects to the concept in a stronger manner. I have never thought about citing my artwork before (because of the information being provided, I mean I’ve cited sources of inspiration before but never hard data.) I suppose it is because I’ve never really done data visualization before. I understand that in the future, I should avoid using a default font. I can’t wait to make more computational projects with an underlying concept in the future. Woo! So happy to hear that nobody seemed to have a problem with actually reading the time!!!
Overall I think sticking with the simpler concept of a clock may have been a lot easier to execute, if I had sat with it a little longer. I bit off a lot more than I could chew in the end and ended up jumbling up the concept in the process. In general I think taking the process step by step and not aiming high before I’ve set the foundations would benefit me.
I was quite surprised to see the feedback I received; in general, it was more positive than I expected. My personal feeling when finishing the project was that the idea had potential, but that I hadn’t executed it very well. This notion was reflected in the feedback to a degree, but I expected to hear more of it. If I were doing the project again, I would make sure to make the sub-hour time frame feel more dynamic. I would also make sure it rendered as a gradient.
My concept was sort of a humorous and light take on a clock: What TIME is it?
T – Seconds / I – Minutes / M – Hours / E – Milliseconds
The feedback I got was overall very kind, positive, and constructive. I thought I did much worse than some of the comments I received, but I was glad that the concept felt “cute, simple, and effective.” I apologize if my clock gave anxiety because it was glitchy, that was not my intention.
Overall there is a LOT I need to work on. Right now the TIME does not actually represent the time, and I would like it to so it is at least somewhat clear as to what time it is. The letters are also rotating on the left, bottom corner access, whereas I’d like it to be in the bottom center. Aside from these technical difficulties, I also need to work on:
- having more intentional design (i.e. color palette choice, text choice)
- more process and sketches as to how I arrived at my current design and typography interest
- working on its potential, such as possible an interactive mouse click that changes the color, font, enlarges the clocks, or more text integrated into it so it doesn’t just great “what time is it?”
Overall, “This project has potential but seems a bit simple, just rotating numbers”.
I got a lot of positive feedback on the aesthetic and concept of my clock. I’d like to go into video game design or animation someday, so those comments were pretty encouraging. My code is a bit of a mess though with the giant lists of coordinates and repetitive functions. It was a bit embarrassing how much I hard coded instead of writing something that would have done it all for me, but laziness got the better of me.
In the feedback many people mentioned that they’re confused by the fifth digit in my clock. Suggestions such as separating the digits with semicolons are made, which I think is an option that is doable, but compromises simplicity. Another way I can think of is to remove the last digit altogether. However then people wouldn’t notice that this is a “special” clock since most of them don’t have the patience to wait a minute for it to change. It’s a struggle.
Tega said that the sticks should bounce on landing, and I think that’s a great idea. I can try it by simply tweaking some parameters.
I feel happy that people like my clock.
As of 2020, an updated documentation for this project is now on my website at hiz.al/tree
A majority of my feedback had two main themes. One was that a lot of people found my clock to be pleasant to watch, even calling it ‘meditative.’ A particular point of interest was the minute-to-minute transition (with the blossoms flying off). The other, more critical feedback was that my clock is hard to read, especially without some directions regarding what everything means. While I understand that, I figured that would be the issue when making a more “realistic” representation of nature through time-based changes, so I am not too worried. There are generally two types of clock artworks anyway, ones that represent time and ones that use time to change some aspects of it. This is somewhere in between but I guess leaning more towards the “using time to make a visual” side. Something that I don’t like but cannot change is how the tree looks at early hours (with few branches). Something that I don’t like but could change is the logic in the generation of branches, mainly involivng starting points to prevent odd-shaped trees.
Also, to the one person that mentioned seeing the actual timestamp in the top corner occasionally: if you press ‘d’ it enters ‘debug mode’ which shows time.
The feedback I received for the clock project was very helpful. In particular, the comments got me thinking about my design and concept. A lot of the comments seemed to support my concept, but would have liked to have seen more in terms of making it come to life (i.e. – having the times start off screen, differences in numbering, etc.). If I were to do this project over, I would definitely reconsider how to make the aesthetics more void-like or maybe move towards a different aesthetic (i.e. – deep space).
Feedback on my clock was mostly positive, but as I noted in my write-up, the performance of my particle system was lacking, which forced me to make the clock small, often a bit laggy, and therefore it a little hard to read or observe over a longer scale. I would have liked to make the method of reading minutes more clear, but it didn’t seem to bother most people. Tega’s link about optimization seemed helpful and I’ll certainly keep that in mind going forward.
I thought the feedback to my clock project was very insightful. It was interesting to see how much the opinion differed on my clock, from the concept, to the visual execution. Looking back, I agree on the the points given that the white frame might have been too much, and that perhaps I could have pushed the visuals of the fire a little more abstract, or farther. The concept seemed to be generally well-received by my classmates, while the feeling was more mixed with our professional reviewers, which I found interesting. Overall I enjoyed the project.
Pretty much everybody who commented on my clock mentioned that sometimes the balls move way too fast and sometimes glitch out, which I respect, because it is true. (especially with the hours balls. I made the mistake of making the clock at two in the morning and not considering how disturbing the output might be 7 hours later). A few people liked the chaos and the energy of the piece, which I wasn’t necessarily going for, but now that it’s mentioned, there is a sense of urgency evident in my clock (especially when you take the glitches into account). Time is so often associated with urgency/stress, so I’m glad that feeling was evoked in some viewers.
I liked the clock feedback mostly because it showed me what other people are evaluating for. When I start the pieces in this class I don’t really know what the critical parts to pay attention to and the things that people commented on (i.e. color scheme) really didn’t occur to me. And even when I completely failed at the concept, it was nice that people could find good things to say about it. I think I actually learned the most looking at the feedback on other projects as opposed to just my own because that allows me to see what is and isn’t successful in the particular assignment.
I am incredibly thankful that my clock seems to have generally been well-received; general consensus when it came to improvements involved making the constellation fragments connect more orderly to construct shapes of some sort, rather than be as random as they are now. I agree with this sentiment and also came across the thought during my process, but because of lack of time, did not finalize my product with this in mind. I hope to revisit this asset and to ensure that later-formed lines’ x1,y1,x2,y2 coordinates be the x1,y1 or x2,y2 of previous lines so that the constellations will have a higher chance of forming polygons, and avoid haphazard intersections. I feel this would also alleviate the critiques that the hours are hard to read because of the random placements of the fragments; with less intersections, each fragment would ideally be distinctively apparent and the reader would be able to easily count the lines.
The initial velocities of the different dots definitely should’ve been randomized so they weren’t all the same direction. Lauren’s point that the piece lacks of strong focal point is accurate. Perhaps it would be slightly nicer to look at had I chosen a nicer color (maybe just a nice white), but also have slightly different colors per hour would also help. Having the piece be slightly more intuitive to it representing the hours left in the day is important, though I really like how it breaks down the hours used up so far.
It was very exciting to have had the chance to be reviewed by top notch creators in the field! (Thank you for your time!!!)
I very much agree with a lot of the points they brought up! As a functional clock – my piece is somewhat difficult to immediately decipher time with. I think I had taken the assignment as an opportunity to just play with looping gradients that entwine and tangle with each other (hence the extra “unnecesary” mouse feature). Exercising designerly restraint will be something I work on in the future – as for the clock – I did have various color versions posted; I wonder what they thought of that?
(and perhaps start on the programming more immediately – a big restraint was simply getting the technical to work within my personal time limits. I had less time to really consider design; in hindsight, during my exploration/ideation process, I might have spent too long looking at a variety of ideas that I hadn’t narrowed it down to a single one to refine until time ran short)
Lauren McCarthy’s comment about having visual variation and a focal point are really important things that I missed while composing this clock! I have to always remember that no matter what I’m making, composition is very important. Tega Brain brought up ways I could have made my “clock” actually keep track of the time of day. If I redo this project, I think I want to try to use lighting to my advantage (I didn’t use lights, even though this is in P3D) and also figure out how to make my own waves so that I can control how often they appear (somebody suggested using sine waves with perlin noise as the offset, not the actual waves. Sounds plausible). I also think the comments about inconsistent art style are important.
In general, people seemed to like my clock (or they’re all just very nice), which is good because its my favorite of all the projects we’ve done so far. I’m really proud of it, and I haven’t yet gotten tired of watching it. Still, there were some flaws, as people noticed. The main complaint was in regards to my physics: some didn’t like how the balls overlapped at the bottom, and some didn’t like the jostle-y-ness. I was well aware of this before I turned the clock in, and most of my time working on the project was trying to fix this. There was basically an inverse relationship between these two issues. I could raise the sensitivity, which would reduce overlap, but lead to more vibration and shaking throughout the whole sea of marbles. I could also reduce sensitivity, which would make the marbles bounce around less but also make them more likely to overlap at the bottom where there was a lot of pressure on them. I ended erring on the side of high sensitivity, so as to reduce overlap as much as possible, and then put a velocity cap on the marbles so they couldn’t shake past the point of legibility. I think I did the best I could without implementing a seriously more complicated physics system. So, in short, I agree with the complaints against my physics, but I couldn’t do much to totally get rid of those issues.
My color palette was a little more across the board. Some people said they really liked the monochrome, and in general I do too. I especially like how I prevented the color generated from being too gray/brown. However, Tega suggested I do more with interesting color palettes, and that’s not a bad idea. I knew I didn’t want totally random colors, but I did want a lot of potential color options. Implementing particular color palettes would take a lot of work if I really want there to be as many options as there are now, but maybe it would be worth it? It might make the whole thing more dynamic if minutes, hours, and seconds, were more differentiated. Some people suggested an accent color, too, but I actually thought about that and decided I preferred the aesthetic when the only thing distinguishing the active marbles from the inactive marbles was size.
All in all, I wasn’t surprised by most of my feedback, and I’m still pretty happy with my clock!