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Week 9: major project storyboard

Pre-Lab Task

This week pre-lab task is to design a storyboard of your major project focussed on how you will interpret and explore the theme.

Create a storyboard of your major project (by any method, e.g., hand drawn sketch, MS Paint, p5) that illustrates how you plan to interpret the major project theme. Discuss your interpretation of the theme and what the experience of your interactive artwork will be like for the viewer.

Remember to follow the lab tasks procedure (link). You only need to write (100-200) words and please include a reference or picture of any works you discuss. Don’t forget to read and comment on at least two other entries.

Lab Tasks

This lab is all about planning, sketching and iterating on your idea for your major project.

From week 9 we are taking a different direction in the course. No longer will we be writing new interactive artworks each week, instead you will have a chance to go deep on your major project design and implementation with your colleauges and tutor over the next four week.

This week we are not going to talk about any code, just the design and concepts behind your major project. The idea is to write lots of different ideas for your project and then to critique them from different angles that we have discussed in the lectures and labs so far.

This doesn’t mean that your major project has to be completely planned out today—after all, there are several weeks of interesting lectures left to inspire you. Rather than solving the problem of how to make your major project, the goal for today is to find out what problems your major project might present. Problem finding, not problem solving.

Find a group of 2 or 3 in your lab! If someone has advertised themselves but not found a group, reply to their comment and a tutor will set up a meeting for you to collaborate in. If no-one is currently advertising, make a message advertising yourself.

Task 1: Interpreting the theme

In the pre-lab you discussed:

your interpretation of the theme.

Put this interpretation aside for a moment. For this task you and your group friends are going to come up with some alternative theme interpretations.

Major project themes are funny things. We can often think of interpretations that are literal, that is, they directly relate to the meaning of the words of the theme. For example if the theme was “the world in the palm of your hands”, a literal interpretation could include a picture of planet earth held inside some celestially massive hands. We can also interpret themes in an abstract or oblique way, where the exact words aren’t as important, but somehow informs a creative process. For example, an abstract/oblique interpretation of “the world in the palm of your hands” could be about microrganisms in your hands going about their everyday business or could be based on anagrams of the letters in the theme prompt.

Here’s your task:

For each member of your group, come up with one theme interpretation which is literal and one interpretation which is abstract/oblique. For the abstract oblique one, feel free to get as crazy as you want as long as their is a definite connection to the theme.

Write your alternative themes down and post them in your lab channel.

Task 3: Affordances and Interaction

What is going to be interactive about your artwork?

In this tasks you have to write down the affordances and interactive features of an artwork based on the storyboard but the twist is that it should be someone else’s! Here’s what to do:

Take the storyboard from another member of your group and write down two affordances from the interactive artwork. Outline what kind of interactions these affordances lead to and explain how they enhance the experience of the artwork.

Post your affordances in the chat along with the story board you analysed. Then, look at your story board and respond to the affordances your colleague came up with. Are these how you envisioned your artwork would work?

Task 3: A Coherent Artistic Vision

In some of the best artworks, all the different aspects work together to enhance the experience. We call this idea “coherence”. In a major project, this would include at least:

  • colour
  • shapes and forms used
  • interaction
  • sounds (if any)
  • movement
  • interpretation of the theme

In this exercise you will analyse the coherence of your own storyboard. Here’s what to do:

Write down at least one coherent aspect of your storyboard, that is, a set of elements of your planned artwork that will work particularly well together. Write down at least one element that you don’t think quite fits yet.

Share your coherent and incoherent aspects with your group. Do you agree with your colleagues? For the (so far) incoherent elements, make at least one suggestion for how each of your group mates could integrate the artwork elements more effectively.

N.B.: Some excellent artworks could be amazing because of their incoherence and not in spite of it, but let’s just focus on the idea of coherence in this lab!

Task 4: Presenting your MP Storyboard

You will have created an MP storyboard for your pre-lab task this week. During this lab you will have to present this story board at least twice: once to your lab group and once to your tutor.

Post your storyboard (and text) in your lab channel - look through the storyboards of the other folks in your group and ask a question about the story board from each of your other group members.

At some point during the lab, your tutor will join your meeting and ask for you to explain your story board for them. They will give you some thoughtful feedback and help think through the feasibility of your major project idea and whether it meets the specification so make sure you take note of what they tell you!


What’s a storyboard?

Any series of drawings or diagrams which shows what your sketch will look like and what it’ll do. It doesn’t have to be beautiful—it can just be basic shapes & stick figures.

Your sketch should have several different “stages”, so you might have one (or more) drawings for each stage, and some notes & comments on how they fit together.

Your sketch doesn’t have to have ‘scenes’, it can be just one setting, however it will still need to be interactive and dynamic enough for 3 minutes, so you will still need multiple diagrams to show how it will evolve and develop over time.

Can I use my storyboard drawing(s) in my interaction statement?

Yes, you can.

Can I change my ideas after I’ve shown the tutor my storyboard this week?

Yes, you can, naturally ideas and plans for an artwork can change. You should be careful, however, about changing too many at the last minute.

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