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Friday, 13 April 2018

Interaction/experimental animation

Modelled Interactive Animation (MIA) : Can animation be better defined by tracking interactive behaviour in Contemporary 3D Animation practice?

Can human-computer interaction be naturalised, and if it can, should it be?

These are my current research questions...

I am interested in the 3D models (kinetic and otherwise) constructed by experimental animators and developments in the use of technology in 3D Animation practice.

Animators including:

Len Lye 

William Kentridge 

Stan Vanderbeek 

To name a few...

In experimenting in the triangulation between human-computer interaction, human-nature interaction and human-material interaction in my experimental animation practice, I am exploring conductive textiles, paper and simple coding using the humble raspberry pi

Beginning with coding and app development which commenced in June, I will post my experimental research work here.

References located at the intersection between interaction design/experimental animation will be posted here.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Interaction embedded in 3D animation

To identify and evaluate interactive processes embedded in contemporary 3D animation practice, I am exploring the space between 3D animation and interaction design practice. 
I am reading...

The Design of Everyday things
Don't Make Me Think
The Fourth Revolution: How the inforsphere is reshaping reality

I am listening to...

Interaction Meet Ups
UX Podcasts (see list)

This is explored further in my learning Experience Design (LED) Human9 Blog

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Wandering away from brings me back to...

As I wandered away from the the SAS (society for animation studies) conference in LA, I found myself in a museum. I felt engaged and intrigued (don't you just love it when masses of information is beautifully organised and creatively connected through storytelling). This was a couple of years ago now.

It was only this morning as I woke up early, unable to get myself back to sleep, that I realised the documentary I watched late last night featured the interactive studio which had bought that experience to life. The studio responsible for its creation...Second Story Interactive Studio.

In watching the documentary, there is a sense of familiarity in the skills these designers use. They come close to the experience of a 3D animator. Watch the video on There are other short videos on YouTube but I haven't been able to find this actual interview there.

Animators are unusual creatures.. They are actor-engineers who can fully visualise, construct, anticipate in and project out simplified models of a complex world, complete with the people and stories that bring a whole world to life.

Their work can communicate for a purpose or invite an audience in to enable the viewer to construct their own narrative. The extent to which this happens can be the difference between art and industry. Interaction design embraces this and it's refreshing not to be shoe-horned into one or the other.

I actually enjoy both.

I explore this further in my learner experience design (LED) Human9 Blog

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Research refocus - Interaction Design.

I am beginning to review the research I have conducted over the last 10 years and have concluded that although I wasn't aware of it the time (which seems to ridiculously obvious now) my research is located at the triangulation between...

Contemporary 3D animation practice
Human Computer Interaction (technology)
Human Nature Interaction (ecology)


What is the tension I experience when I interact with CGI Software as a stopmotion animator working in the animation industry and the visual arts?
How can I communicate my practice-based research to others in Academia and the wider research community?

And began with asking...

Was the tension one of :  
Craft Culture ?
Cultural values and beliefs? 
Embedded Processes? 
Haptic & Tactile sensory perception?
Software design? 
Periphery device design ? 
Cognitive load ? 
Something else... 

Animation theory was limiting to the scope of my enquiry. 

Since I walked away from these restrictions I have reviewed my research findings while working on a couple instructional print and e-learning projects. 

It seems to me that, on the surface of it, the tension I experienced as a traditional craft based stop motion animator in the controlled conditions of the studio or in wilder spaces in nature has allowed me to think about the notion of interaction generally. 

Whether that is interaction with ones materials, or the spatial awareness of the studio, the interaction with CGI software, the perception of motion in nature, or the sensitivity to change... 

It is clear to me that CGI users can be artists, technicians, programmers, craftsmen/women and model makers. This diversity makes the construction of a typical 'persona' particularly difficult. This can lead the user of the software to conclude that 'this software simply isn't designed for people like me'.

Added to this is the evolution of the software itself and how this has been integrated into 3D animation practice resulting in the evolution of contemporary 3D Animation practice and creating very difficult economic shifts in how one makes a living as a commercial 3D animator.

Adapt and change is the name of the game.

The new assumption I am making is that I may be able to develop intuitive interactions. For me, this begins with knowing your user - user based research, understanding naturalised ways  in which humans interact with each other and experimenting in natural more complex systems such as in Nature while thinking about Interaction design.

Friday, 27 January 2017

In the beginning...

There was... sound,

and motion,

and form.

Humans breathed,

Crawled through the world

And formed small scale models in their minds.

From bits and pieces,

On screens and hardware...

Abstracting from complexity

Small worlds are made.


or rather,

3D animation...

A film

kinetic Sculpture,

dynamic Projections,

Animated films

Viewed by others

Born in the minds of animators...


(Disregard old references of frame, drawing, painting, still image, film theory, the screen mind, spectator and outsider research... and embrace uncertainty, complexity, abstraction, mental modelling, forming, dynamism, process, practitioner research and insider experience)

Monday, 8 August 2016

Helix - 12 Panels

Helix : 12 Panels

During the last 6 months I have produced instruction design for a mental health charity. The charity had a substantial archive of psychological and psychiatric resources and so I was able to conduct research in evolutionary psychology and mental modelling at the charities academic library. 

This was useful in informing my practice based research project that investigates tension in contemporary 3D animation. I am producing a set of 12 panels that present my research track as a static, 2D model. This will be developed as a short film that answers a number of questions investigated in my project.   

My thinking is that the research thesis is necessarily a dynamic form, most often represented as a concrete solid thing.. a written document with a few images and references within the forms disciplines (generally).

I think about my research as a living thesis that is dynamic, interdisciplinary, interconnected process. It exists in the context of a world of Quantum Physical and Newtonian Physical principles in a technological, systemic communications age.

Its a tricky process and there are many aspects that one must necessarily address, such as ones research methodology, informed by ones ontological and epistemological perspectives and a miriad of very important questions that position the research .

I am slowly working through the representation of these and planning to write a paper on each aspect. It is anticipated that this will take approximately a year to complete.

Thesis Panels & Animated Film