Immortal Sins

OVERVIEW

Immortal Sins is an interactive-based film created by Pukkawat Leesawan, Sukij Lertpradist and Jazz Trinos.  The concept for this interactive film is intended to metaphorically represent events based on the 7 deadly sins that have shaped what The Rocks is today.  Viewers of this film would choose paths of the film’s characters and ultimately dictate a scenario’s conclusion. The embedded set of interactive plays would convey a message that we as mortals perish but the sins of humanity will perpetually live on.

This interactive film revolves around the main characters chiefly representing the sins of Pride, Envy and Greed.  The film’s characters would also sparingly portray elements of Gluttony, Lust, Sloth and Wrath. Viewers of this interactive film are able to choose a character’s path through a motion sensor via a Kinect along with GSVideo and OpenNI, which are open source libraries programmed by Processing.  Inspired by the early 20th century Nickelodeon-type silent films, this artwork would relay its theme through satirical humour in a black-and-white setting, which have been edited through the use of Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Photoshop.

DELIVERABLES

Ground research | Concept development | Storyboards | Prototype | Visual designs | Usability Testing | Presentation | Documentation | Exhibition

CHALLENGE

In fulfilling the requirements of the University of Sydney Design Lab’s IDEA9204 Screen studio project, we were required to form a group and produce a screen-based interactive installation.  The challenge for this project was much more explorative in that we were not given any themes to work on as with the other studio projects.  In a way, I found this to be a big obstacle in making the project a success.

ACTION

This was a 3-month project following 4 stages that include Discovery, Design, Implementation and Delivery.

DISCOVERY

Since the proposed project will be exhibited in The Rocks, NSW, we revolved our concept around the area based on 3 themes that include connectionchance and choice.  Based on the area’s convict history, the site was somehow shaped by humanity’s predisposition to sin.  Moreover, it can be said that people who lived during the inception of The Rocks made choices and chances that ultimately led to sinning.

Our group then decided to document this through an interactive film in order to convey a message describing that people are mortal but humanity’s sins would perpetually linger.  In saying this, we envisaged to create a film that metaphorically represents the seven (7) cardinal sins where PrideGreed and Envy will be its major players.  However, traces of the other sins will be found in the film.

DESIGN

As a result of our ground work and ideation, we developed two (2) types of storyboards to plan the development of our prototype.  The first storyboard was created to plan how the film would be depicted.  The second storyboard was created to plan the user journey or interaction.

Selected film storyboard (Film Planning)

Selected interactive storyboard (User Journey)

IMPLEMENTATION

Prototype took place in 3 stages that included filming, videography and programming.

Filming

The formal filming sessions took place in various vantage points at The Rocks, NSW.  All group members acted in the film and took turns in filming.

Videography

A variety of photographic and video-related software were utilised, which included the following:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro – for initial editing and rendering of videos
  • Final Cut Pro – for final editing and rendering of videos
  • Adobe After Effects – for title and credit scenes
  • Adobe Photoshop – for still shots and photographs incorporated in the film

Five (5) steps were put in place in order to have a slapstick-type of film.  The following steps below will serve as a guide on how the group achieved the noted effect:

1.) The desired video clip(s) will be imported in a video editing software for trimming.

2.) On completion of Step 1, the black and white effect will be layered on to the trimmed video that was coloured.

3.) The brightness and contrast of the transformed video clip will then be adjusted to create a sharper image.

4.) A looped video clip of a 1950s style TV screen image will be layered on top of the video clip.

5.) A replicated image of a dirty TV screen will be layered on top of the newly transformed video clip.  The image below exemplifies the final outcome of the edited video that will be used in the interactive film.

Programming

Processing, an open source programming language, was employed in order to make this possible.  Two (2) main open source libraries were utilised in the process, which were:

  • SimpleOpenNI (Open Natural Interaction) – for overall interoperability of natural user interface (NUI) by detecting hand gestures via Kinect.  Hand movement will be used as the interactive controller of the film.
  • GSVideo – for overall functionality of video playback and control.

SimpleOpenNI was used to essentially design the film’s three (3) interaction effects.  The videos below will show these effects, which include Tap & Select, Swipe and Catch.

DELIVERY

The prototype was delivered in 2012 during the following exhibitions:

  • “IDEA Exhibition” (Wilkinson Building, University of Sydney) – An exhibition of interaction design and electronic arts (IDEA) students of the University of Sydney Design Lab.

Usability testing was conducted during the “IDEA Exhibition” in order to evaluate key strengths of the interactive film as well as to pinpoint its weaknesses for improvement.  The image below shows the site of usability testing.

The videos below depicts usability sessions.

I received a High Distinction grade for this coursework.

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