One Last Word…or Two.

On reflection, this has been one of my most challenging classes I’ve taken at UTS. However, I felt I pushed myself in technology, as a designer, and as an artist. I’ve gained new friendships, consolidated existing friendships and met future collaborators.


Day 12 – Wed 8 Feb: Final Presentation

Day 12 –Final Presentation

Session 10

Final presentation day and Murphy S Law had to join the party!

I had come in the day before to ensure the jpeg sequence would be outputted properly. There were problems, however, Jason and Holger were at hand to help. Therefore I felt less pressured this morning until we found that we had to output it again due to the sound.

Gisele also came across issues in outputting her sequence in the script so we were pushed right up to the time of presentation.

We had guest artists come in and other tutors including Deborah Szapiro (this really made me nervous).

When it came to our time to present, we felt good about the oral presentation but then ARGGGHHH the primary animation would not play. Gisele and Jason had to go and output it again. Alas, we gave a super brief summary then on with the show.

Holger loved the sound and thought it held the piece together.






We presented and pretty much recapped on our process through these short weeks.

On reflection, this has been one of my most challenging classes I’ve taken at UTS. However, I felt I pushed myself in technology, as a designer, and as an artist. I’ve gained new friendships, consolidated existing friendships and met new future design collaborators.


Day 11 -7 Feb: The night Before

No Session

Tues 7 Feb

Gisele modified the primary animation sequence based on the feedback given on Monday.


I worked on the supporting animation sequence which, was more narrative than abstract, however, it did incorporate Gisele’s abstract experiments. The particles which Lou and Jack did took on the personalities of the modalities founded on Dean’s Mocap data.

HC 7-8Feb concept board.png

The 500word design rationale was yet to be written, hence, based on the concise statement and all the feedback given I wrote it and then Lou edited it.

Lou did the layout of presentation


Jack continued on the sound.

Day 10 – Mon 6 Feb: ‘NMM presentation’

Day 10: ‘National Maritime Museum Presentation’
Session 9

Today we presented to Kevin Sumption Director of the National Maritime Museum.

The animation sequence chosen to be primary piece focused largely on the abstract perspective of the estuary, namely the emotional and rational state, framed as one state being an intruder over the other to the point where these two states combine as one eclectic entity (Gulley 1964). In our piece we wanted the schismogenesis (when dynamic forces meet in a system it can be harmonic or divisive) of the intruder (emotional state) to ‘take over’ the rationale but in this case the emotion was taken from stance of positive psychology (SevernEstuaryArtAtlas n.d).


Lou was our group’s chosen spokesperson and she presented beautifully our concise statement, which essentially embodied the following:

The Estuary is a space where dynamic forces are in play yet it is a meeting place of these elements. Our piece explores when saltwater meets with freshwater in an estuarial space. Taking into account that the National Maritime Museum is a treasure chest of oceanic backstories, this artwork explores antiquity framed in Homeric and Platonic notions of emotion and rationale and whether these states converge in an estuarial space for its viewers, in order that they may find that metaphoric and meditative stillness where freshwater meets saltwater.

Colour palette deliberately chosen to be black and white as this is palette triggers that the visual language that this semiotics, in play and the image is not meant to be read as literal. The public reading of the piece in panoramic view becomes an individual reading as the viewer is drawn into the meditative visual of the ink/dye diffusing into the oil.

We were delighted that Kevin received our piece as meditative, which meant that our intent of interpreting the literal Estuary as a meeting place (where saltwater and freshwater merge) into a metaphoric estuary where emotional and rational states can co-exit in a harmonic schismogenesis (Bateson 1972). However, Kevin did ask the question, ‘How do you measure the success of a piece?, which could have been euphemistic for you ‘You ain’t quite there!’

I took copious notes as I personally felt, with this project aside, that Kevin’s feedback was invaluable to how an artist/designer would approach a piece of work, taking into account the designated space – and it’s ambient noise, and placement with the space; demographics of their audience; mindset of the audience and much more.


However, in regards to this project, and acknowledging our time constraints, the points Kevin brought up had to be considered quickly. In essence, Kevin’s main point that he kept reiterating was summed up in one phrase he used of himself – he saw his role at the NMM as an ‘ADVOCATE OF THE AUDIENCE’. (McKever 2009)

Hence, one of the driving factors in improving our piece was all based on the audience, who they were; how they would perceive the film; how we wanted them to perceive the piece.

This meant we had to delve into the audience mindset and utilise devices which who draw them into a mindset we wanted them to be in to experience our piece fully. The 360-degree screen played a main role in getting our audience immersed in the film however although Kevin was able to recognise our piece as meditative, there is a recognition that the meditative estuary may not have been attained by all visitors of the museum, as Kevin would be categorised as a ‘sophisticated audience’, recognising the visual language of the piece and hence respond to those triggers. (Chong 2008, p.126) However, Kevin placed a foot in both camps and hence gave us the feedback we most needed for the piece to work in the museum space, which always stemmed back to the audience and their needs.


Bateson, G., 1972. Steps to an ecology of mind: Collected essays in anthropology, psychiatry, evolution, and epistemology. University of Chicago Press

Gulley, N. 1964, “Homer, Plato, and the Two Cultures.” The Classical Review, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 31–33.

McKever, R. 2009, ‘The Art of Business by Iain Robertson and Derrick Chong’, The Art Book, vol.16, pp. 34-35

SevernEstuaryArtAtlas n.d., Black Rock; Davina Kirkpatrick; 2013 – 2014, viewed 29 January 2017, <>

Day 09 – Fri 3 Feb: Data Arena Test2

Day 9 – Data Arena Test 2
Session 8

I woke up to an email from Chris regarding the assessment results of Task 1 and comments about the blog. That is when I realised the blog was not meant to be the usual social blog but an academic one.

We were back in the data arena to test our developing assets and sequences. Gisele’s ink diffusing through oil was mesmerizing to most of us. So were the dyes swirling through milk, hence we steered the visual concept to more of an abstract narrative, focusing on the metaphoric estuary of a divided mind finding a harmonic estuarine space.



Unfortunately our concept beginning with, the premise of a physical estuary being the meeting place of salt water and fresh water and then framing it a metaphoric ideal of emotional and rational.

We began by focusing on an aspect of estuary, which was a transitional place where salt water meets and then we sought to frame it within a metaphoric abstract narrative of the states of being (emotional and rational). However, the feedback we received was that our visual representative did not relay this narrative and that it was difficult to ascertain how the individual acid elements could connect to form a sequence that would communicate this.

Hence, we left and regrouped.

We stripped all the noise back and simplified our path. Here’s the mindmap we came up with:

mind map.jpeg

DAY 08-Thurs 2 Feb: No session

Day8 – No Session
Thursday 2 Feb

Based on yesterday’s feedback regarding clarity in Today, Gisele and I set out to push the concept of intruder and territory by experimenting in the 2D realm. We utilised oils, food colouring, glitter, and milk.

We took over the Rostrum Camera Room (the ‘Store’) on level two and proceeded to mix the ingredients with the following results:


They were locking up the Studio room at 4pm so Gisele continued the experimentations with oil and ink at home and I worked on some textures with food dyes and beads.


Lou and Jack continued in the 3D realm with particle testing .

DAY 07 – Wed 1 Feb: Data Arena Testing

Day 7 – Data Arena screen testing

Today we upload our blogs for ASSESSMENT 2.

We headed down to the data arena to test our animation sequence also with the acid elements, assets, and static panoramas.

Yesterday I came into UTS and worked all day on one of the panoramic sequences. By the time I left, I was convinced the animation sequence would look horrible in the data arena.



I arrived today still adamant that the sequence would not translate effectively in the immersion space. When the time for testing it arose I took a deep breath…I almost choked as I was so surprised that in the data arena it look decent. The movements which were subtle on the computer screen were of course magnified and one actually felt the turbulence of the movement in the arena. My anxiety dropped a few notches.

Having designed for ample diverse platforms for print and screen, I thought I would have a fair idea of how my design on screen would project in the 360-degree data arena but I was ever so wrong.

Hoger had suggested some camera moves to add depth and dimension yesterday but I wasn’t sure what he had meant. However, viewing the sequence in this immersive environment, I understand what he is suggesting now as one actually feels part of the created visual space and the compulsion to enter or wade through this space and around its inhabitants is compelling.


Gisele’s particle tests in were very successful so we knew they would have to be integrated into the primary animation going forward. Jack’s particles too would be incorporated but we thought we needed to interject some 2D assets which we could attach to the particles. We tested Lou’s static panorama, however, it was the wrong resolution. This was a lesson to us all to ensure future assets are of the correct resolution as the low quality is screechingly magnified.

Chris and Hoger’s feedback was fantastic in bringing us back to the premise of human connectivity to the artwork. Being in the data arena was insightful for us as designers and facilitated a way in which we could try to understand what the Museum’s audience may require in order to be able to connect with the piece. Chris alluded to our research of antiquity and pointed out that the Maritime Museum has a treasure trove of archival elements which we may consider incorporating into our virtual space. Then he suggested looking at the lines metaphorically and physically of the estuarial space.

Day 06 – Tues 31 Jan

Day 6 – No Session

No formal class but came into  UTS to work.

Gisele worked from home building assets and conducting tests. We were in touch throughout the day. Gisele made dynamic particles in Maya and MotionBuilder.

Jack and I came into UTS to work on the acid elements. Jack created particles, which could be included in the animation sequence.

Based on Monday’s feedback, of the panoramas, we were informed that the connection between estuary, as a transitional space, and the human psyche, in particular, regarding the emotion and rational state, needed clarification. Chris responded well to us framing our research in the writings of Homer and Plato and suggested come from the perspective of and hence utilized the antiquarian research as the narrative driver.

Holger also recognized there was a disconnect between the piece and its audience. He alluded back to Dean’s notion that we all have left a genetic footprint in nature. We were encouraged to concentrate on how people would respond to the film.


So taking these points into account, and I worked on the panorama, which would immerse the viewer in the 360-degree space and bring them into the physical estuary. I added the particles adapted from  Dean’s motion capture data, selecting the motion from the siphonophores and arthropods. The siphonophores, whose movements are dictated by their surroundings (JelliesZone n.d.), represented the Homeric notion as Homer’s heroes were swayed by their emotions. Whereas, the arthropods, with their exoskeletons, are rigid and have choice in their direction of movement (Oceanic Research Group 2013).


Holger had shown us previously how to integrate the MotionBuilder assets into After Effects. I have utilized After Effects before but never using the 3D option. This was fantastic! I have been able to achieve the parallax effect – ( 2017) on the 2D platform where I move the background images at a slower rate than the foreground content thus creating a 3D effect. The 3D option in After Effects means I can move the camera instead of the background and foreground content in order to achieve the effect of the viewer moving in and through the scene.

Holger was great in helping Jack with the particles, and I was not succeeding too well in the morning with MotionBuilder and I then reflected on what Chris said regarding combining 2D elements so I focused on 2D After Effects for the rest of the day.


The JelliesZone n.d., Siphonophores, viewed 13 February 2017, <>

Oceanic Research Group 2013, Arthropods: Underwater Knights in Shining Armour, viewed 13 February 2017, <> 2017, How to – Parallax Scrolling, viewed 11 February 2017,<;



Day 05-Mon 30 Jan: Concept Development Presentation

Day 05 – Concept Development Presentation
Session 05

Holger introduced Softimage which allowed for simulations on an element. It also looked like the node structure was utilized in ICE which I briefly came across when I utilized Nuke for a tracking exercise, last year.

Like Motionbuilder, SoftImage too was daunting for me, as I had abandoned the 3D environment to focus on 2D animation processes in my degree.

ASSESSMENT 1 – Concept Development Presentation

In the afternoon, we presented our conceptual proposal for the brief. Based on our discussions after the collaging workshops. We decided to explore Estuary as a space where nature paradoxically displays its strength and it’s vulnerability within the ever-changing framework of state. The Estuary is the meeting place of the two (Queensland Government 2013). We framed our analysis of the concept of Estuary by analyzing the human emotional and rational state and whether these states are diametrically opposing or whether they indeed meet and merge in an estuarial space (Gulley 1964).

My personal research delved into the antiquarian philosophy of Homer and Plato. Homer was a poet who’s Heroes were prone to have mood swings and were violently passionate. Today they would be diagnosed as bipolar or mentally unstable. Homer equated passion or emotions with bodily organs, namely, the lungs, head and chest (Hoystad 2007)(Luo &Yu 2015).

Plato, four centuries later, would criticize these heroes as being child-like, whose souls were sick because they allowed their emotions to overrule their rationale. He categorized the ‘soul’ in 3 parts, reason, emotion and desire. And argued emotion and reason have a relationship whereby emotion is subordinate to reason and operates as a function of rationality, ( n.d.)(Thompson 2013).

In the context of the estuary, Homer would identify with the Siphonophores, which flow with the current as Homer’s heroes follow their heart. Plato, in contrast, parallels the rigid Arthropods, with his dogmatic perspectives.

The following panorama is a visual representation of this diametric thinking. It is framed in the context of the estuary. The intruder, rigid Plato, attempts to invade the fluid Homeric space.


This theme of emotion versus rationale, framed in an estuarial space was further explored in the installation piece of Davina Kirkpatrick, who suffered an immense loss when her partner rudely died. She tore up his shirts and distributed them on a fence located within an estuary called Black Rock (Severn Estuary Art Atlas n.d.). Here she monitored it for a year and this monument of death grew a life of its own due to the life of the ebb and flow of the estuarian environment. Kirkpatrick’s piece was deliberate. She found her own estuary where emotion and rationale merged as the result of this process (Tidal Cultures n.d.).


The feedback we receive was interesting. We had a healthy debate where the concept of males being more rational than females was discussed. This added an extra dimension to the artwork displayed. Artwork, which evokes discourse always contain some value. However, it did challenge our group to consider how we are to frame our visuals to connect with our audience. Holger spoke of the interconnectivity of humans to nature or lack of. Jones & Fairclough (2016) quote Whatmore in recognising the human emotion is integral in the connectivity of people as well as the land we in inhabit. This is the strong premise that drives our concept of estuary and state of mind/being. The opposing forces within this context find an equilibrium in a metaphoric estuary.

mon feedback 1.jpeg


Gulley, N. 1964, “Homer, Plato, and the Two Cultures.” The Classical Review, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 31–33.

Hoystad, O.M. 2007, ‘The Complex Man of Antiquity’, A History of the Heart, <>

Jones, O. & Fairclough, L. 2016, ‘Sounding grief: The Severn Estuary as an emotional soundscape’, Emotion, Space and Society, vol. no. 20, pp. 98-110

Luo, J., & Yu, R. 2015, ‘Follow the heart or the head? The interactive influence model of emotion and cognition’. Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 6, p.573.

Queensland Government 2013, WetlandInfo, viewed 28 January 2017, <>

SevernEstuaryArtAtlas n.d., Black Rock; Davina Kirkpatrick; 2013 – 2014, viewed 29 January 2017, <> n.d., Emotions – How Rational Are Emotions? viewed 29 January 2017, <>

Tidal Cultures n.d., Tidal Related Artworks, viewed 29 January 2017, <;

Thompson J. 2013, Notes on Ancient Greek Philosophy – Plato on Emotion, Desire, Reason, viewed 29 January 2017, <>


Sat 28 & Sun 29 Jan

Saturday and Sunday 28 & 29 Jan

We continued to work on the project.

We all agreed to do some research and each do one or two panoramas based on our collaborative collages for Monday’s Concept Development presentation.

Gisele and I started the conversation rolling on what our critical stance should be based on our discussions and Chris’ feedback relating to our collaborative college and the human emotion and rational.