VRecked is virtual reality game prototype developed for the HTC Vive which I developed during the two weeks of an university project. It's created using the Unity engine and the project in general really helped me to get started with VR development. Experimenting and getting the basics right was tons of fun. In these early stages of VR it's really up to us to figure out what ideas do work out and what do not.
Feature-wise I managed to implement most of the features I wanted to. You have working and intractable levers to control the crane with varying speeds, a little timer you can pick-up which displays your current playtime, grab-able objects i.e. a clipboard with mission objectives and an highscore element on your dashboard.
In addition to that I made a custom HMD model for displaying in-game footage, a moveable/interactable in-game camera and custom camera controls with numpad key bindings to quickly switch between cameras when recording or displaying the game on an external monitor (without influencing the camera view of the HMD).
One major problem I faced was building destructible buildings. Even though I implemented various solutions to tackle this feature, I pulled it from the final prototype build because of performance setbacks. Performance is really important in VR (for various reasons) and you don’t want to get too many dropped frames or a low frame rate. Nevertheless being able to precisely damage a wall and have this instant feedback of a whole collapsing house felt really nice. But eventually my other approach in only having individual floors that you have to take out and clear, made more sense in a way. Thanks to that change the gameplay was somewhat comparable to a round of super-sized Jenga.
All in all it was a great little project which helped me to now tackle bigger and more deeper VR experiences.
VRecked Prototype Trailer
In this project I wanted to explore and learn the different techniques and use-cases of 3D scanning objects . After scanning several objects using a laser scanner (Structured Light Scanning) and also exploring different photogrammetry approaches we came up with three areas we wanted to focus on. Reproducing i.e. cloning objects, adjusting & matching things to real world objects in a unique way and enhancing & fixing an item.
With this in mind it was pretty clear that I also wanted to explore and master the new powder and inkjet 3D printer at my university.
Using both techniques mentioned above we replicated a little toy character (Woody from Toy Story) and transformed our heads into busts. To cover the second area, a stone from the inner courtyard was scanned and a small cube was matched and printed to fit the corner of the stone perfectly. For the last part, where we wanted to fix and enhance an object, we modified and recreated the Zenit B, a purely mechanical 50 mm SLR from the former soviet republic, produced between 1968-73. This was a complex and tricky endeavor.
Thanks to those areas I learned a lot about when to use practices like laser scanning and photogrammetry. Cleaning and fixing the meshes of the objects was a major part of the process and since pricing for most 3D printing materials is volume-based, I spent a lot of time hollowing out the models in 3D, which helped me to develop a deeper understanding on how to prepare models for printing. Not only on how to lower costs but also on how to make the most out of the material, structurally and aesthetically.
In this self-initiated project we built an animated sculpture that illuminates itself. The intention of our project was to play with visual perception. We discovered that reducing visual data can actually lead to more perceived information. This came to our minds when were hacking and modifying some 3D-Television shutter glasses and wanted to play with the stroboscopic effect.
Flux is a physical kinetic sculpture, that plays with our perception of reality.
Visual information is forwarded to the brain, where it is processed, interpreted and translated into sensory impressions. Generally speaking, visual perception is the product of filtering and reducing data, which enables us to depict our environment distinctly. We envisioned a sculpture that displays an animation in the open physical space. The sphere is constructed according to the fibonacci sequence. It rotates in a certain speed and gets illuminated in a specific frequency. The animation can be seen just by looking at it with your eyes. No external devices like a strobe or a camera are required. The fibonacci sequence thereby isn't anything that only appeals to mathematicians, but is of great significance in the process of understanding aesthetics and harmony as a whole - as far as an impression can be expressed as visual perception.
“You may, at first glance, mistake it for some strange, exotic sea creature – a newly discovered species of jellyfish, perhaps, or sea urchin. Whatever it is, it’s beautiful. Luminous, undulating, it literally glows with life as it rotates in its bowl, beads of white sliding across its surface. It’s not a creature, though – in fact, incredibly, its surface is not even moving. This may seem impossible – I mean, look at it, it’s clearly moving, right? Nope. The only movement is a slow rotation, despite the fact that the surface seems to be crawling. That’s the power of optical illusion and mathematics.” — 3DPrint.com
Case and aluminum plates inside the sculpture were shaped with a CNC machine, the hemisphere was constructed in Blender, Cinema 4D and zBrush and then 3D printed.
Made by Frederik Scheve, Janno Ströcker and me. Thanks to John Edmark for the inspiration with his amazing project Blooms.
Watch Flux in action
The digital world penetrates the real life space more and more, enhances analogue devices and merges with their functions. Further more the things are fully replaced through their digital equivalent, partly unjustified and underestimated. We questioned ourselves, what if the strong features of physical artefacts could also be included in a digital enhancement of things?
During the short-term project Analogies in the Digital I developed Scale. Scale is an analog input device, able to control a variety of things.. e.g. light.
The more you push the two free movable spheres apart, the brighter gets the light. Push them back together and the light fades. It's like pinch to zoom but with haptic feedback.
With the four built-in magnetic sensors it can sense and calculate the position of the two magnetized high-grade steel spheres and map them to a range of values which can be used wherever an input device is needed. They are covered under a black fabric to make the interaction feel nice and provide a smooth experience when pushing them around. The underlaying surface, which consists of multiple layers of acrylic resin, is designed to support the user input. The top layer is oval-shaped and acts like a guide to ensure an easy handling, even with one finger, and provide a user-friendly touch base. It also holds the four magnetic sensors. The second layer in the middle, which acts as the surface for the spheres to slide on, is teflon-coated and very thin. The lower level is holding the sensor cables, the magnetic parts and provides the opening for the main flat ribbon cable.
Created by Janno Ströcker & me. Supervised by Prof. Andreas Muxel
Platz & Play
During a project at Köln International School of Design I developed an interactive music installation which was playable at a public transit place. The look of it was inspired by the colourful metro plans that separate each train line with a different color.
We wanted to establish a dialogue and exchange between people from different socio-cultural backgrounds. To provide a fruitful base and give the vital spark for the communication to happen, we created this urban gaming experience.
You were able to make music using one, multiple or all of the ten touch points that we placed on the walls. One major part we wanted to achieve was polyphonic playback, which means that you are able to play more than only one sound file at a time.
Created by Frederik Scheve, Johanna Maria Warchol & me.
Platz & Play Prototyping
The KISDannual 2014 is the official yearly report of the Köln International School of Design, part of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.
The annual presents project work from different areas of expertise and the final theses of graduates from the degree programs Diploma, Bachelor and Master in Integrated Design as well as the Bachelor and Master of European Studies in Design.
Our team, consisting of twelve other design students, developed the journal from the start to the final print.
KISDannual 2014 450 copies First Edition ISBN 978-3-9816722-0-6
Publisher Köln International School of Design Institute of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences Prof. Andreas Wrede
Annual Team 2014 supervised by Prof. Andreas Wrede
Enis Akiev, Julia Verena Antista, Daniel Birk, Steffen Brücken, Jaqueline Diedam, Raoul Döring, Anna Fitz, Marcel Oelschläger, Dieter Pilger, Jakob Plöns, Roman Schlikow, Benedikt Schmitz
Copyrights The individual articles presented here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial board of this yearbook. The responsibility for the copyright of the illustrations and articles is solely the responsibility of the respective graduates. Re-printing, reproduction or use of the graphics and text contained herein are expressly forbidden without the written permission of the editorial board.
This is an animation experiment I did for a seminar. I was interested in trying to figure out how to match animations to a specific beat. The video was created in about two days.
Fasten your seat belts, please!
Days of Animation
During my Intermediate Project at Köln International School of Design, I tried out a different animation technique every single day for several days in a row. I made a website where I published the outcome and kept track of my progress.
My intention to do this project was to explore the idea of forming (daily) habits and to learn to manage and experience the assets and drawbacks between quality and quantity.
Everything started when I came across a story in the book Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland:
“The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an “A”, 40 pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.”
Zoetrope Scanimation Digital 2D Chalk Animation Cutout Animation Sand Animation Phenakistoscope Claymation Flip Book Squigglevision Direct Animation Light Painting Digital 3D Motion Capture
Days of Animation - Website
MotionCapture - Day 14, The final day
Digital 2D - Day 3
Squigglevision - Day 10
Chalk Animation - Day 4
Scanimation - Day 2
Zoetrope - Day 1
Sand Animation - Day 6
Meet my cute little friend Ducky in my first small character animation.
*No rubber ducks were harmed in the making of this film
The Notgames Fest was initiated in 2011 by Tale of Tales and the Cologne Game Lab. The biannual event features a series of selected experimental games in an exhibition that is free of charge to the general public. In 2013 the expo-playground was established to provide an additional space where game designers can show their advanced prototypes to a broader public. In a collaboration with KISD, our job was it to come up with an exhibition design that supports and enhances the atmosphere and makes playing the games as appealing as possible.
This is an exploration of what’s moving and enchanting and fascinating in software applications, videogames and procedural arts, beyond the amusement offered by obeying rules and receiving rewards.
The Notgames Manifesto:
Notgames is not a category. Notgames do not exist. There are no notgames. Notgames is not an art movement. Notgames is not a genre.
Notgames is a project. Notgames is a challenge. Notgames is a question.
“If games form the top of an iceberg, notgames provide the remainder. Videogames are an incredibly versatile creative medium. Beyond the confines of competitive play, a wealth of experiences awaits us. From deep psychological probing to whimsical lighthearted joy, this year´s Notgames Fest intends to illustrate the breadth of human existence captured in interactive art. No more hiding behind the young age of the medium or despairing about humanity’s addiction to empty fun. It is time to wield this formidable tool for the pursuit of beauty in its myriad forms.”
— Michael Samyn, Tale of Tales
Notgames Fest 2013 - ARD Nachtmagazin
During this Interactive Prototyping Project we developed a mobile web application which reads the coffee machine in the student’s coffee bar. Students and staff can now check whether the bar is open for service and if there’s coffee available from anywhere, on the way to university or from the 5th floor of the building.
The implementation was done from start to finish. From research to concept to prototyping and model-making. The mobile app is connected to an Arduino Board via Ethernet and reads the different states of the coffee machine. In addition it also reads if the roll-up door to the coffee bar is open via magnet sensors.
The Arduino Board is mounted on the wall inside the coffee bar and indicates its on and off state with a red glowing heart. For that we laser-cutted the case out of two different types of acrylic resin which are intermateable.
You can find the source code of Stube2Go on GitHub.
Other participating students: Christian Weeke, Daniel Klose, Daniel Scharmach, Janno Ströcker, Jakob Samuel Kilian, Joana Francener Porto, Lukas Rauen, Louise Chi Yan Yau, Mariana Gonzalez Ruiz Velasco, Daniel Miebach, Michael Möckel, Allessandro Miraldi, Sebastian Schacht
Supervision: David Grieshammer Hosting Professor: Andreas Muxel