Personal Portfolio for Electronic Media Studio (AD23300)

Author - Dominick Lee

Welcome to my portfolio for Electronic Media Studio. Over the semester, we have completed a total of 5 class projects (including this website) and I am proud to share my artistic work with the public audience. The project concepts range from primitive forms of animation to more advanced creations such as interactive experiences which a viewer can enjoy in a unique way. As an avid inventor and programmer, I believe that innovation contributes greatly to creativity and helps expand one's mind to a limitless potential. As the course comes to a conclusion, I have greatly gained the appreciation and understanding for artwork, musical records, editing, animation, and perception of art. In my work, I did my best to mimic tone, thoughts, emotions, symbolism, purpose, and experience so that my audience can enjoy the efforts put fourth each genuine piece.

Michael's Moonwalk of Doom

Zoetrope Animation - 9/5/17

I was inspired to do a narrative expression about Michael Jackson's career and how the stress in his life caused him to abuse himself until he passed away. Michael was a brilliant pop artist who strived to perform him best. On top of that, he had anxiety, stress, insomnia, and other diseases that affected his ability to perform. However, he did not allow these obstacles to get in his way and he continued to perform until his body could no longer take it.

I chose to draw this visual of Michael Jackson doing the bending stunt because it is very arduous to perform this move. This symbolizes Michael's difficult career to do things for the best interest of his audience. In addition, this time Michael performs the stunt, he get weighed down by an anvil that ultimately kills him. The anvil symbolizes the tragic pressure coming from the dreaded depression, drugs, and diseases that Michael was experiencing though the years of his performance. The loop of this animation conveys that Michael's troubles affected him on a long term basis. This animation was played alongside his song "Beat It" because in the song, we hear Michael sing "Beat one wants to be defeated. Show them how funky and strong is your fight...". This shows that Michael continued to fight his depression so that he can inspire others.

I composed my work by taking a single screenshot of Michael Jackson from Youtube and then re-drawing the figure in Photoshop to perform the anti-gravity stunt. Then I continued to draw the anvil to symbolize the stress that was weighing him down. The animation was drawn in layers so that it can be consistent. The contrast was increased and background was removed to make sure the animation is visible. Overall, the animation works and I am very pleased to see it working well with the zoetrope. Suffice it to say, zoetrope animations can show a whole new meaning to a story when a single picture is worth a thousand words.

The Makerspace

Sound Portrait - 9/28/17

I recorded my noises and called it "The Makerspace". I went around to different locations and positioned my microphone and contact microphone where I heard sounds similar to somewhere I enjoy working at – the local makerspace. Although the makerspace is a modern place, the concept has been available even in old times in the form of a workshop, garage, or even living room for some. I thought this idea would be very interesting especially after reading "The Art of Nose" by Luigi Russolo. I appreciated one passage that suggests Russolo felt constricted by the lack of variety in tones produced by musical instruments. As I recorded my piece, I imagined myself while I was young playing with building blocks trying to "create something new". I combined sounds of household items that sound like power tools, screwdrivers, nuts, bolts, sandpaper, and motors to create a "DIY" atmosphere that gave me a nostalgic feeling of being at a makerspace. I agree to Russolo's statement that acoustics can go "beyond just changing pitches" and that "the variety of noises is infinite".

In my recording, I wanted to depict humans working alongside machines inside the makerspace since our world of machines are becoming more automated. The ambience of the piece is set by starting out with machines at work. These may sound like a 3D printer, milling machine, or any rotating machine. I then put my microphone on objects like wood, bottles, plastic, and metal. I tried to cut some of those materials with a saw, drill through them, sand them with sandpaper, put screws inside, etc. I wanted to give the impression that it is a busy day in the makerspace and alot of people are making art. So one thing I really appreciate about this piece is that it an art which depicts people doing art. Mixing the sounds in Audacity was manageable since I had prior experience with the software. Suffice it to say, I have learned alot from this project and how noises can depict a whole environment similar to an experience or a portrait.

How to Make a Smartlock

Stop Frame Video - 10/31/17

I was mainly inspired to do a stop motion video about how to make a Smartlock because my passion has always been to make things, especially around the house. The Kleidoma Smartlock was one of my proud creations that was assembled with a printed circuit board (PCB), a servo motor, some electronic components, wires, and a 3D printed enclosure. This is a simple yet versatile Smartlock that took me several hours to build but was mainly condensed into one minute, as per the stop motion video. Throughout the video, a stuffed animal seal/bunny was used to facilitate the assembly process such as holding certain parts so that it can be animated properly. Since the 3D printing job took overall hours, I took around 400 photos of each part with my DSLR while it was being printed on my 3D printer. The designs for the parts were made by me in AutoCAD. The enclosure along with other parts are placed on a table to be assembled. The "magical" seal/bunny is assembling the project and observing some parts assemble themselves. Lighting, aperture, shutter speed, and EV had to be stable to provide consistent frames for the video. I also used a tripod in most parts to keep the camera still. Zooming in small steps helped keep the video lively. In a couple of frames, I had to use a timer to control the shutter of my camera since I had to hold parts with my hands. Since 3D printing is one of my great hobbies, and among many tinkerers, hackers, and artists, I decided to start off with 3D printing the plastic enclosure and assembly. Finally, the bunny assembles everything and mounts it on a deadbolt. Now, we are finished with a working Smartlock that can be controlled by a phone via wireless. Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed this project as it taught me alot about taking frames and animating them for stop motion.

The BrainCloud Canvas

Processing App - 11/30/17

A picture can express a thousand words. But human interaction can express more since human beings are capable of change of thought and emotion. In several ideas I have experimented in the past weeks, I have come upon an interest to mainly help people express their thoughts of life in a way that goes beyond using the average pencil, paper, keyboard, or mouse. Through my different ideas, I have thought of connecting people through life's meaning of creativity. Many times, creative expressions are derived from thoughts and emotions and even can relate to things that we might do on a daily basis. This is why my interactive piece of art involves querying a user's mind for their mood and portraying that visually with the form of color and simultaneously allowing the user to paint a picture with the perception of the artist and his feelings. Essentially, converting brain waves into more than just simple charts.

To implement my project, I bought a brainwave amplification circuit called NeuroSky and soldered it directly to a microcontroller which processes brain signals. This would allow the user to decide the color of the canvas by controlling their thoughts in the right amount. At the same time, the artist's micro-movements are analyzed with a very accurate 3D mouse to which the user controls to draw a unique masterpiece. The beauty of this is that every masterpiece is unique and cannot be replicated easily. This masterpiece allows the user to convey his or her thoughts in a way in which a simple paint brush can't express. Processing does a good job as the canvas to provide the interaction between the user and these various electronic devices. The SpaceMouse 3D mouse communicates to Processing with the ProControl library as a gaming device. The NeuroSky brain scanner is interfaced via an Arduino microcontroller with Serial output The graphics that are generated from these emotions can be saved on a cloud network and shared to bring people to this ambience of the artist from anywhere in the world.

Software Applications Used

These are some of my favorite applications used to create the projects