BAMS – Medal project – Medal videoPosted: May 28, 2015
This video is made to be played when viewing my medals, click here to view the finished medals
As part of our brief for our BAMS project, we have to create two medals, one of which has an element of “new technologies” incorporated into it. Rather than making two separate medals which have separate ideas behind them, I felt very strongly that I wanted to make a pair of medals. After having discussed it with my tutors I was told that this would be allowed for the brief, and I will incorporate the “new technologies” in the form of augmented reality for use on both the medals. I plan to use the software Aurasma in order to overlay this video, when scanning either the male or female hand medal.
The video is of both mine, and my friend Ambrose’s hand (which are the male and female hands on my medals) caressing each other. This is the gesture which the medals aim to represent, although in reflection I do not think that the medals themselves are immediately clear enough to the viewer. While there is nothing that I can do to change the design at this stage, I hope that by overlaying the video it will then be clearer to the viewer what I’m trying to express. One of my main problems when designing the medals themselves was the issue of trying to capture that gesture of touch, and especially when relying on another person to make the imprint (Ambrose’s imprint on the back of the female hand medal) which I don’t think he entirely understood what he was supposed to be doing. In retrospect, I think if I had filmed this video at the beginning of the medal process before casting the imprints, it would have been much clearer to Ambrose what I was trying to capture, as well as clearer to myself precisely what gestures I was trying to express, and this likely would have resulted in a much stronger and clearer design of the medals. Unfortunately I left it until this point as I viewed it as being much lower priority than the process of making the medals themselves, and didn’t realise the extent to which it could inform my design as I already had a design clear in my head.
In terms of the video itself, I am largely happy with it, although I did run into a few difficulties. One of my main issues, is that the lighting on the hands in the majority of the shots is very dark. Unfortunately, this is something I had little control over due to where we were filming, with the light only stretching to a set position, and the camera only being able to move so close to the table. In order to keep the hands in shot without using the zoom on the camera (which I didn’t want to do as the camera lost focus and detail), the light always ended up behind the hands leaving them in shadow. However, while it isn’t what I intended I think it may in some ways be a happy accident, as the contrasting lighting does set a very particular mood which makes the hands seem more exceptional.
Another issue was the quality of my camera, which while functional, is only a small handheld with no manual focus control and because of this there are several points in the footage where the camera automatically changes its focus. If I were to film this again under ideal conditions I would try to book out a more professional camera from the university, and have a third person present during the filming to control and adjust the focus of the camera. Unfortunately due to time constraints and availability of my friend Ambrose this is not possible, but I do not think that the quality of the video is so poor that it needs to be redone completely.
The last major difficulty, after the footage itself, was the matter of trying to find a music track which matched the tone of the video that I envisaged. In my previous videos that I have made for my Interaction Design project, I was lucky enough that the video editing software I was using (iMovie) had not one but two music tracks which perfectly matched the tone I was looking for. This time however I had no such luck, and none of the tracks were anything close to the tone I was looking for. This led me to looking on various websites for copyright free music which I would be allowed to use in my video. After listening to at least 50 tracks, I finally found one which was along the lines of what I was looking for, only to find it would cost me £52 to purchase. While I am not adverse to paying for content, I was expecting possibly a few pounds, maybe £5 maximum, as you would pay for any song on iTunes, and needless to say £52 was far above my budget. So, beginning my search again I then managed to find a website which provided free music, as long as credit is given to the artist (www.bensound.com). I was looking for a piece of music with a very slow and gentle rhythm, with a reflective mood, but all of the tracks I had heard up until this point were very upbeat and uplifting even if they were slow and gentle. While the video is showing a series of tender moments, I didn’t feel like a “happy” tone was appropriate. Rather than trying to make something heart warming, I wanted instead for the video to be emphasising the importance of the gesture and touch, which I feel the very slow pace and minimal nature of the music does well.
Another thing I would possibly have liked to of done, is possibly make two separate videos, for both the male and the female hand medal. The female medal video showing largely gestures where Ambrose’s hand is caressing mine, and vice versa for the male medal. However, I’m not sure how well this would work in practice, as I think if I were to set out to film shots where “I am caressing your hand” or “you are caressing my hand” it would potentially be much less organic, with one hand being largely static and not knowing how to respond, rather than the current interplay between one hand touching and the other reciprocating. I could perhaps look at re-editing the footage that I have in order to make two videos in this manner, but I expect that it would become a sequence of very short cuts between takes, trying to show only one hand’s caress and edit out the response. This would likely make the footage much more fast paced than I would like, which would throw off the whole tempo and tone of the video, so for now at least I think it is better to keep it as one video for the both medals.
As to what exactly will be the trigger image for the medals when using aurasma, I am not entirely sure yet. I am currently torn between using the front and reverse of both medals, or using just the front sides. While the front and back of both medals are relevant to the video, and are representations of touch between the two hands, I feel as if having four images to trigger one video may seem like over kill? and that users would then be expecting at least some variation in the video depending on what they scan. However my issue with only using the front sides (choosing the front as the medals will be displayed forwards facing, and viewers are most likely to scan the front unless otherwise specified) is that people might be disappointed that nothing happens when scanning the back side, and there is no reason for it to only bring up the video specifically when looking at the front of the medals. At this point I am leaning towards using both sides of both medals, but that may change in discussion with others and in practice once I have the aurasma working and can get a feel for it with the medals.