Preparation and Visual Diary

In your week 11 lab instead of submitting a regular visual diary to the forum, you should submit a “sketch” in p5 of one aspect of your major project.

  1. fork the major project repository and clone it to your computer.
  2. take one aspect of your major project from the storyboard and ideas you have been working on in weeks 9 and 10. (this could be a scene, a character, an interaction, an animation, any one part of your major project plan).
  3. try to implement it in p5.js in your MP repository - it doesn’t have to be “finished”, it’s just a sketch
  4. commit and push your sketch to gitlab
  5. take a screenshot and add it to your visual diary post.
  6. answer the following questions in your visual diary post:
  • how does this sketch fit into your major project plan/storyboard?
  • how does this sketch reflect the major project theme?
  • how does this sketch engage the viewer?

Your sketch should be done in p5 in your major project repository (so that you have made a start on your project).

You still need to make 2 comments on other sketches.

The week 11 lab is all about making a start on your major project. Make sure you have forked and cloned the major project directory and sketched one aspect of your project in p5 before your lab.

Defining your project

Now that you’ve sketched part of your major project. Let’s ask a few more questions about your artwork.

Write a sentence to explain each of the following and share with the group:

  • Think of a good comment about your sketch. What do you think went well or what are you proud of about it?

  • How does your sketch communicate the project theme?

  • How does your sketch fit in to your artwork’s interaction?

  • How will your sketch be engaging?

  • Imagine a viewer doesn’t interact with your artwork. Will your sketch still be engaging?

Sharing your sketch

Form a group of three or four and send your sketch to another person in the group.

Now that you have another artist’s sketch it’s time to think about how it might be used in a different artwork.

Imagine another way that this sketch could be used in an interactive artwork. Write down answers to the following questions:

  • What would the sketch communicate in the new artwork?

  • How would the new artwork be interactive?

  • How would the new artwork be engaging?

Share your answers with the group. Discuss with the group and the original sketch author about how your ideas are different to their major project concept. Your tutor will join the group to find out how different your new ideas were from the original sketch author’s.

Avoiding Major Project Pitfalls

Time to look again at some major project pitfalls. Read the following bits of advice and think about whether any apply to your project plan and the sketch you have made so far. Discuss with your group and tutor about how you can avoid these problems in your work.

(PS: If you haven’t read the major project FAQ, now is a good time!)

Don’t make a game

You’re required to make an artwork, not a game. If you start explaining your project by saying “my project will be a role-playing game” then you are on the wrong track. There’s more discussion on this point here.

Don’t make a powerpoint presentation

If your “interaction” is limited to clicking the mouse to advance through a number of scenes with text explaining what is happening, you’re on the wrong track. There’s more discussion on this point here.

Don’t overuse assets/code from the internet

As always, you’re totally allowed to use assets/code from the internet as long as it is available under a license for your use (preferably creative commons). But using too many assets from the web is likely to hold back your project significantly by overwhelming your original contribution.

Remember: If you’re using an image/soundfile from the web without a CC license (that is, copyright materials with all rights reserved) you can generally only use 10% of it for educational work.

If you are tempted to use lots of image assets from the web in your work think about what you are actually adding to the experience. It’s usually better to simplify your idea and communicate the same concepts using simpler drawings in p5.

Think outside the box

Students often come to us with ideas that are really hard to implement (e.g., drawing/animating a whole lot of characters). We haven’t taught you to draw in this course, so unless you have lots of drawing experience this will be very tough to do well.

Rather than feeling overwhelmed about making complicated drawings, think about how to simplify your ideas.

People are hard to draw — why not draw bugs, or robots, or cloud beings, etc etc. You could also communicate your ideas with an abstract p5 artwork; this can sometimes be even more engaging and clever than an artwork that looks like a movie.

Focus on what you can do

Think about what we’ve taught you in this course. Drawing in p5, designing interactions, using sound, using colour. Take this opportunity to take these skills to the next level. Don’t get hung up on things we haven’t discussed (e.g., game design).

Show your friends

Test your major project on your friends or on others in the forum. It’s easy to create an interactive work where the viewer isn’t sure what to do. The best way to solve this is by testing on other people before the due date.

Read the specification

You must read the major project spec and make sure you are following it. Most importantly make sure you are making an “interactive p5 artwork for a new-media art exhibition”. Not a game, not a video, not a movie, not a powerpoint presentation—an interactive artwork.

Following the spec often makes your life easier not harder. Games are hard to make; interactive artworks can be much simpler and still be very engaging and appealing.

Updated:    11 Jan 2021 / Responsible Officer:    Head of School / Page Contact:    Charles Martin