Cansu’s project

Kinect Corners

For the first step of my project, i had to learn how to use Kinect since it is the tool for the game to be played. I had to connect Kinect to the computer and use a software that will track the body and make this communicate with Max/MSP.

First of all, I managed to do the bodytracking with Synapse. This way joints such as elbows, hands, knees were being tracked. The link below is telling all about what to do to get Kinect track your body:

Later, i had to learn how to transfer the information of these tracked points to Max/MSP. What Synapse is doing was sending these information to Max through OSC protocol. OSC (Open Sound Control) is a content format for messaging among computers, sound synthesizers, and other multimedia devices that are optimized for modern networking technology. In order to get these messages from Synapse i used ‘udpreceive’ object. When i used it, i was able to see the numbers in Max window. Again the link below was a useful reference :

Since only right and left hand would be enough for my game, i didnt need to use all the body point coordinations. Later i used ‘unpack’ object to seperate these numbers in x, y and z coordinates.

My aim was to achieve to get 1 value when the hands were in a certain area on the screen. This way i will be able to use this 1 value as the trigger of my animation. For this, i used 4 corners of the screen. Both hands had to give 1 value when they are in that specific corner, otherwise it should be 0. That’s why i used ‘split’ object and created specific coordinate intervals. Then i connected this to the 1 and 0 messages. Later, i used ‘&&’ object and its duty was to act like an ‘and’. If both are the values (x and y) are 1, the number object gives 1, too.

P.s. Since i didn’t need the z values yet, i didn’t connect them to anywhere. I left it there in case i need in the future.

Here is how my patch looks:




Examples from Turkey

Here are some examples from Turkey. These are from ‘Filika’ which is a company that one of our instructors Selcuk Artut is involved with, as you may already know:

Here children play with their voices and catch the biscuits like in the case of atari game. They were shouting to shoot in the atari game. I can apply the same idea to my project: 


More examples

This video is where i get solid ideas how to make my project become real. Audio/video playback, zoom and rotation, video clips, contrast and saturation, multiple video sources can be controllled in the animation. He did the animation in after effects and altered them by using max/msp/jitter, midi and maxi-patch:

This is an augmented reality game for children. They can actually get inside of the storybook and get involved with it. This project is quite related to my project since it is using Kinect and focusing on children and it is a game like my project. It can also help me define the age interval for my target audience. In this case, they are focusing on kids who are 4 to 6 years old:

And also i have found this very recent exhibition from Moma. It is called ‘Century of the Child’ and i think it can help me building a concept for my interactive game and making it something more than just a game:

Here you can find information about the exhibition:

Finding some examples

This project is the most similar and related one to my project, because they used an old atari game and make it interactive to attract children:

Here is the audience is young people, but the idea is still the same: playing a game with the body:

This one is not actually an interactive application but i like the style of animation. I am thinking that my characters can have the same simple, funny, black and white style:

The idea of interacting with an animation is interesting in this one:

Why 2d?

We can easily say 3d animation production is more expensive. They spend a lot of money with expensive softwares and many people to work. When 3d animation is done by Pixar, Dreamworks or BlueSky, it looks amazing and it is really fun to watch. Because those movies are big productions with big money and lots of succesful animators. However, they are not the only 3d animations, there are some bad examples unfortunately. For example, if the animation is done for a tv show, since there is not much money to spend on it, it looks like an unfinished video game rather than a 3d animation. Moving forward with this idea, since i dont have staff to work on a complete, long, good animation and no sufficient time, i dont think i would be creating a fun-to-watch 3d animation.

Secondly, when it comes to 3d animations, people’s standards are quite high. There are many incredibly good animations done by those big companies, and our eyes are used to seeing good stuff and expecting it somehow. Since you can do much more realistic things in 3d, people would expect something realistic or something to follow some physical rules at least. Otherwise, it would look like a mistake. What i mean is, nowadays, if you are going to do it, it can not look worse than Shrek. On the other hand, 2d animation is not like this. One can go with more unrealistic, cartoonistic and exeggurated stories. You can actually say more with less. Plus, you can do some mistakes in 2d animation but since it is already unrealistic, you can easily hide the mistake in the exegguration. In addition, the exegguration will work for children as well, because it has to be something fun to keep their attention on the game.

Thirdly, as i mentioned in my background information in the firstdraft, i dont feel very comfortable with using 3d since i newly started learning it. What i want is to use my drawing skills. This doesnt mean that i am going to do all the animation with the old-school technique, i may use some softwares or even a tablet. Since i explained in my last post, this won’t mean that i am using completely traditional animation or computer generated animation. It depends on the level.

Lastly, if i decide to give my time and energy to master in 3d modelling and animation, then, my concern is not to have enough time to deal with Kinect and Max/Msp and hardware (installing it all) parts.Both 2d and 3d modelling can be time consuming, but since learning about modeling, texturing, animating from scratch will take more time for me, 2d is the best option. Also, since i want the installation to run smoothly, i should give enough time to the interaction part as well. In addition to this, i think i will have less problems with running a simple black and white animation as a png sequence in Max/Msp. Otherwise i may face with crashes or software problems.

2D vs 3D, Traditional vs Computer-generated

My first proposal was focusing more on my background information and reasons for my project. It was more like for me to gather everything together and brainstorm about them. Afterwards, i have noticed that i was not very clear about what is traditional animation, 2d animation, computer generated imagery and 3d animation. I am still contuniuing my research about this concepts to decide on my animation style.

To start with comparing, 2d animation is the process of  one drawing followed by another in a slightly different pose, followed by another in a slightly different pose, on and on for 24 frames a second. 2d animation can be both traditional or computer generated nowadays. The traditional method exists since 1800s, artists draw every frame of the film by pencil, then these images were painted onto clear plastic sheets called ‘cels’, and each of the thousands of handrawn and painted cels were photographed one at a time over a hand painted background image and those thousands of images compiled to run as film at 24 frames a second. Today most 2D animation involves using computer software to one degree or another, from just digitally coloring the cels to be photographed in the traditional method or just doing the animation in a software, to doing every single element in the computer. So, as you can see 2d animation can be both traditional and computer generated, but it depends on the process to define how much ‘traditional’ or ‘computer generated’ it is.

Some examples of 2d animation: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Snow White, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park

On the other hand, 3d animation is (aside from stop-motion, which really is a form of 3D animation), is completely in the computer and things that you create exist in an X, Y & Z world. Modeled 3D objects, can be treated almost as a physical object. You can light it differently, you can move a camera to look at it from above, or below. In 2D animation everything is drawn. “Moving the camera” in 2D means drawing everything from another angle. “Moving the camera” in 3D is simply dragging it to another position to see if you like it better.

Some examples of 3d animation: Toy Story, Shrek, The Incredibles, Jurassic Park (the dinosaurs), The Transformers (the robots)

Nowadays, most of the films combine 2d and 3d animation, with real videos and stop-motions. Even if it is a 3d animation the creators begin with some sketches for key frames and animate them firstly. For example, South Park is a good example for describing this. When it first released it was a cut-out animation in the pilot episode. Later, they used softwares but they still wanted to keep the cut-out animation features. So, although it is actually done in 3d softwares, it still is a 2d animation. Plus, we can say it is not a traditional animation but a computer generated animation, to be clear about the difference. Now that i am more clear about this, i will continue to compare the two and try to explain why i picked 2d animation for my project in my next post.

Here is a video to have an idea about how traditional animation was done and what the processes are: