Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

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Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by glegrady » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:21 pm

You have two choices this week. Give a report on your visit to the Media Arts & Technology Open House in Elings Hall, 2nd floor OR give an overview of Prof Gabriele Peters' analysis of what are the main salient aspects of a photograph: http://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~g.legrady/acad ... itives.pdf
George Legrady

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Re: Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by amandajackson » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:41 pm

the first demonstration I saw at the Elings Open House was by Charlie Roberts. Through his Gibber application http://charlie-roberts.com/gibber/, Roberts was able to create high-level audio synthesis by inputting various codes. The Gibber performances are in pure java script.

The following is a video of a collision detection lab, a performance by Marcos Novak. A flying drone, positioned in the center of a large parachute, was made to interact with the surrounding reality and detect oncoming collisions. The drone was composed of a tracking system as well as other video and audio sensors.

http://s69.beta.photobucket.com/user/no ... 7.mp4.html

The drone made buzzing noises, likes bees, this feature was again seen when I entered the Allosphere. One of the simulations of reality was a recreation of life, according to humans. There were green bugs that fed on small yellow organisms and a larger parasite that would occasionally attack the green bugs. If the green bugs were successful in finding food they would reproduce; their offspring having a slightly mutated genome which was directly reflected in the difference in their noise output. Unfortunately, there were technical difficulties during my tour of the Allosphere, but usually during this particular demonstration the energy of the audience would be projected back on to the animated reality as to duplicate the blackbody energy source of the sun.

As a geographer, my favorite part of the Allosphere was the projection of the globe. Usually, with map projections there is a great deal of distortion, the most common being the Mercator projection Image This projection was most often used for nautical travel because while the landmass scale is not accurate, the cardinal direction is. The Allosphere globe has no projection issues, since it is a globe, making viewing, measuring and studying of the surface much for accurate.
Last edited by amandajackson on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:29 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by giovanni » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:58 pm

You have two choices this week. Give a report on your visit to the Media Arts & Technology Open House in Elings Hall, 2nd floor OR give an overview of Prof Gabriele Peters' analysis of what are the main salient aspects of a photograph: http://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~g.legrady/acad ... itives.pdf
I have been today at the event "Allosphere and Friends - VISUALIZING THE FUTURE" hosted by MAT major in
Elings Hall.
The aim was to show some demos and presentations by the research labs, working in the area of interactive graphics, audiovisual and multimedial production.
The partecipants of the tours were divided in 5 groups, doing different paths, to allow a better experience of the different ambients.
I was in the "green group" and my "itinerary" started in the experimentational visualization lab directed by professor Legrady.
In here it was possible to see 3 different projects:
- the first concern visualization of a huge database, containing statistics about the activity of check, registration and loan of items in the library of Seattle.
- the second was about organization of photographic documentation of an ethnic group leaving in Canada, in a diacronic perspective (the first pictures where made almost 40 years ago).
- the third is a system who handle 3 tilting cameras who can do specific operation like recognition of pattern lights, edges etc.using a max/msp system and algorithmic computation.

After that I visited the Allosphere with professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, director of the AlloSphere research facility.
Allosphere is an immersive environment, a 30-foot diameter capsule built inside a 3-story near-to-anechoic (echo free) cube with capabilities of synthesis, manipulation, exploration and analysis of large-scale data sets who can simulate virtually real sensorial perception.
We saw some biological, and mathematical rapresentation and make a tour inside a human body.

Next stop was the graphics lab were Theodore Kim and Pradeep Sen showed us their projects in computational photography, rendering and physically-based simulation.

The fourth was Four Eyes Lab with Matthew Turk and Tobias Hollerer where we could watch recent development in augmented reality, as a spacecraft parked in the UCSB campus or a system to control an airplane cockpit with the use of a simple camera.

Last was a performance by professor Marcos Novak about Transarchitecture and Interactive Media, with a drone-copter interacting with a human performer. The system was composed by a tracking system and some other video and audio sensors, the performer had a glove with 3 markers fotr the tracking and a flute to produce sounds. All the project was elaborated on max/msp.

Personally I'm alreading attending some graduate course in MAT but it was a nice and interesting tour, and an opportunity to explore more researches and activities done in these labs, just it was a pity that I remained out of food....

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Re: Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by kateedwards » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:27 pm

MAT Open House Review

Visiting the open house tonight reminded me of why I want to be an art major. Being able to see the incredible work that fellow students and faculty of UCSB have been developing was very inspiring and a great opportunity for me as an aspiring photographer/digital arts oriented student. I visited a variety of open labs, including a presentation by computer engineer/animator Theodore Kim, and the Allosphere. I also spoke with one of the project director's behind a piece titled "The New Dunites".

Computer Animation Research at UCSB -- Theodore Kim
Theodore Kim is a professor with a background in computer engineering who works primarily with animated simulations of "natural motion". His powerpoint presentation demonstrated animations created to simulate natural phenomena such as boiling water, frost, icicles, and lightning. He explained the use of 3D grids to first generate low resolution graphics to get the general formation of such phenomena and then render the images in higher resolution. This technique has been widely used in a variety of popular movies, for example the explosions in "Super 8," as well as smoke in "Sherlock Holmes," graphics in "Avatar," and many other animated films which require the use of artificial water, fire and/or gas. The technique is referred to as a "wavelet turbulence" algorithm, and has even been nominated for an Oscar. I thought it was interesting when he mentioned that the creation of virtual humans is relatively expensive, therefore making them a less popular subject to attempt to render. He showed a few examples of human movement, but these projects were limited and time consuming due to the complexities of our muscles/natural motion.

The Allosphere
Being inside the Allosphere was like an intensified IMAX theater experience, only better. Often we see 3D images of things we are already surrounded by in the natural world, for example when movies make action scenes 3D to heighten our sense of reality. These scenes never quite measure up to what we already perceive human beings in action to be like. Yet the Allosphere allows us to visualize data and numerical equations in an artistic manner, things previously unseen by the human eye. To be engulfed by images of computer generated data is a unique experience I had never imagined--the images are fascinating because we have no frame of reference for what a code should look like or what sounds accompany certain strands of data. The Allosphere presentation included 3D images of a "natural scene," the inside of a professor's brain, and a 2D image of the globe. Each representation consumed the viewer with its sheer expansiveness but also the completely new sensation of visualizing the previously intangible elements behind technologies we use everyday.

"The New Dunites"


This project involved computer generated graphics as well as plastic sculptures of film stills. The premise behind the work is related to the investigation of a buried movie set within Californian sand dunes. The developers used air balloons as well as ground tracking devices to uncover remnants of the set left behind, and then used such information to create graphics of the layers underneath the earth. My favorite aspect of this project was the sculptural component in which film stills were printed and then placed on top of one another to create the sensation of moving through the scene in person.

Learn more about the project here: http://www.dunites.net/

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Re: Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by erikshalat » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:49 am

I visited the Elings Hall Open House on October 25th, and it was like visiting Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory- but with science!

The first exhibit I saw was the Allosphere, a giant spherical room into which video game could be projected onto the walls. Entering the Allosphere reminded me of entering the Griffith Observatory Planetarium and seeing the stars projected onto the ceiling. Everyone who entered the room was given a pair of large 3D glasses (that managed to fit on top of my regular glasses) that allowed a much greater amount of immersion into the "space" we entered. People standing on the bridge in the center of the Allosphere had the chance to witness a digital "habitat" of strange beetles and worm-like creatures. The silhouette of the Allosphere workers became like pyres of "energy" that the beetles fed off of. When the beetles found the source of energy, they rapidly multiplied and swarmed. The worm-like creatures would then swoop in to feed on the beetles. The movements of the creatures and the swarm behaviors were made to reflect actual bug and creature behaviors.

We also saw the inside of a real mapped brain. We got to see dense blood clusters as physical shapes that were always just beyond touch but looked as if they occupied real space. The brain was filled with little data-resonating "planks" that would make sounds depending on the kind of data they encountered in the brain. The hosts of the Allosphere could then call upon them and the planks would share the sound of what they learned. This was a great visualization and audio-recognition of data feedback.

Aside from the Allosphere I also saw the project called the "New Dunites", which I actually had already seen last year. This group had gone out to a desert in California where a large movie set had been buried. Using improvised mapping technology and data visualization they tried to find artifacts buried beneath the Earth. The New Dunites then took the visualizations and made them physical in the form of thick plastic sheets, stuck on top of each other.

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Wk05 - Peter's Assigned Paper

Post by hcboydstun » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:23 pm

Under the broad spectrum of the ‘human visual system,’ Gabriele Peters has detailed six dimensions of visual aesthetics: color, form, special organization, motion, depth and the human body. Combined, these categories form what Peters calls ‘the aesthetic principles.’ These not only define what we see around us, but also become tools from which we can understand imagery.

Firstly, color is interpreted best with the statement ‘less is more.’ For instance, an image with too many strong colors becomes overbearing and the aesthetically pleasing quality about it is lost. Yet, if there are only a few strong colors, these colors become the foreground of what is interpreted and the rest of the colors become subordinate. More so, the colors within an image are more striking when they are complimentary and the focal points of the image:


This photograph serves to illustrate the beautiful effect of complimentary colors as main focal points; both the orange and blue reinforce themselves mutually in what Peter’s calls ‘their luminance.’
Also, images must take into consideration their ‘dynamic range,’ or their ratio of luminance values from the brightest highlights to the darkest shadows. We can see this demonstrated in the photograph below through its full tonal range.


Hence, there is a distinguishable difference between the crisp whites, dark blacks and the range of middle-tone grey values.

Next, form provides us with not only a sense of navigation and space, but also a source of aesthetic sensation. The clarity of form is present in the lines and surfaces (of even contrast gradient and color changes) of the image. As a rule of thumb, an image should contain few shapes, which overall are ‘consistent, simple, and clearly recognizable.’ This helps the eye move navigate the image and make sense of what the viewer is seeing. Yet, shapes do not always have to be ‘positive.’ Shapes formed from the negative space are called silhouettes and can appear beautifully if they capture the main characteristic of an object. Like Muybridge’s moving horse, which Peters uses as an example, the image below is a sharp-edged and clearly distinctive shape. This makes the silhouette aesthetically pleasing to the viewer.


Spatial organization is both the shapes within the image and their mutual relationship within the space they encompass. For instance, too many objects in a single image can cause confusion because of the overload on details.


Here, the central focus of the image is undistinguishable because the attention of the viewer is caught off guard by the closeness of the foreground object. Also, while in most images the upper left corner is where the viewer starts interpretation, the presence of the blurred, large foreground object hinders the viewers’ eye to move around the photograph. The viewers specific eye movement around the picture can be attributed to the ‘golden mean,’ which is a particular ratio of an asymmetrical line division (more commonly found in nature, but recreated in photography.)

Texture, rhythm, repetition and variation also play a role in how an image should be composed. Texture, or the characteristics of a surface, can be seen through pattern or what Peters calls a clustering allusion, which is a phenomena in which the viewer connects an organizing principle even in arbitrary structures such as clouds. Rhythm, repetition and variation are created in an image through the use of regularly, or in the case of variation, irregularly distanced shapes or objects.

Repetition is the repeating of common variables, while variation is the subtle differences in the repetition pattern. For example, the image below illustrates nineteen bucket-like forms. While the forms repeat in their general visual aesthetic, the differing nicks and angles to the figures illustrate slight variations within the repetitive shape.


Also, visual rhythm is described by how the viewer’s eye is drawn across an image. There are several differing types of rhythm: regular rhythms (ab ab…) are most common, alternating rhythms (aba cdc aba efe aba) and progressive rhythms (ab aabb aaabbb).

Next, motion refers to life and action. According to Alexander Calder, motion is most effective by placing highly contrasting surfaces side by side. This is demonstrated in today’s images through the use of the blur and the distinct motion phases. The blur, or un-sharpness in one direction, indicated that an object is moving by the high contrasts within the image. For example, this image below demonstrates high contrast changed in the blurred areas (and thus, says to the viewer that this object is moving.)


Distinct motion phases are the depiction of a number of distinct motions within a single image. Straight forwardly, the image blow illustrates the movement of a dancer:


More so, depth refers to how images articulate a 3-D world onto a 2-D plane. This can be done numerous ways, including overlapping objects, controlling variation in size or controlling variation in height. Objects that are ‘closer’ are bigger and lower and objects that are farther away are smaller and higher in the composition. Linear perspective, which dates to the early 1400’s, expands upon these details by placing objects on two parallel lines that converge on the horizon line. The farthest point ‘in the distance’ then is called the ‘vanishing point.’


Sharpness and un-sharpness also contribute. For example, the contrasting sharp versus un-sharp areas of this image (below) directs our focus to the main element within the composition, her face.


Lastly, the human body is a special tool in which to interpret visual information and, more importantly, a object’ to be studied by itself. Principle axes, for example, are used to examine the human body. Principle axes are axes of symmetry, which constitute an objects global form. In other words, if a human body is skewed or contorted around this particular axis, the viewer will still be able to identify what they are looking as a human. This is considered by many to be an aesthetic pleasing because we can denote the human body as a shape in itself. Hence, the human body is recognizable to use, and thus comfortable for us to see.


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Re: Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by crismali » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:03 pm

“Aesthetic Primitives of Images for Visualization” written by Gabriele Peters lays out the six most fundamental elements in aesthetics in an easy-to-grasp manner. These primitives are not just important in making an image interesting and beautiful just to be interesting and beautiful, but they are important because of the role images play in today’s world. Users will buy products if the ad produces feelings of pleasure, says Peters, and in order to create ads that do this, the aesthetic primitives are needed. Images effect business in a huge way, and in this way the aesthetic primitives are necessary. Images attract buyers, overcome language barriers, and explain what numbers and words cannot.
The human visual system according to Peters is organized in a parallel and modular system. This means that the brain processes different elements of an image in separate areas and in separate amounts of time. Color, for example, is perceived before form, which is perceived before motion, and all of these are perceived in different areas of the brain. An example given in the article explains how a patient suffering from brain damage to the color-perceiving area, can still distinguish beauty and art through form, proving there are many visual aesthetic senses and not just one.
Color is one of the six aesthetic primitives according to Peters. When discussing color, Peters explains that less is more, and that more than just a few strong colors can overwhelm an image and is unpleasing to the eye. Color should also correlate with the content in the image, in principle. Also if complimentary contrasting colors are used the image as a whole is more pleasing. Complimentary contrasting colors are those that are opposite each-other on the color wheel (ie. red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple, etc.) and together these colors do not compete for the eyes attention, but complete the luminescence of each-other.

This image uses the complimentary colors of red and green to create an appealing image.

Another of the six primitives is form. Form, says Peters, provides the source of information necessary for survival, ie. navigation, recognition of prey and predators, recognition of mates, etc. By using silhouettes, curved lines, and range of color, an image is able to communicate information to the viewer in an aesthetically pleasing way.


This image of the Guggenheim Museum in New York shows the architect’s use of curving lines, which in turn create not only an interesting building, but an interesting image.

The third aesthetic primitive discussed in the article is spatial organization. Clarity of spatial organization is important for the viewer of an image because too many objects in one image can lead to optical confusion, the same as too many details can. By using the Golden Mean, an image can avoid the symmetry which appears “static and boring” and instead ring of “harmony and [interest]”.
Texture and pattern are also important to the surface qualities of the image. Peter quotes Feninger here saying “pattern, rhythm, and repetition of interesting, related forms” is one of the 10 most important properties of aesthetic imaging. Nature is full of patterns, and therefore humans are in tune with patterns and repetition. Some examples given are sand dunes, tree branches, and snowflakes.


The pattern here is beautiful and is interesting to the eye without overwhelming it.

The next aesthetic primitive is motion. This is easily distinguishable in images because of blur, (“unsharpness in one direction”) and because the audience know that motion refers to life and action, and vice versa.


This is a classic example of motion in an image, with the lights of all the driving cars blurred into lines. By using certain camera settings and in this case a long exposure, the effect of motion is easily relayed to the audience.

Depth is also another aesthetic primitive, which plays with the former primitive of form. Depth can be translated in a few ways: by using linear perspective, but using sharpness and unsharpness of lines to insinuate focus, and by using lights and shadows.


This photo uses all three of these tricks to show the viewer that there is depth in the image.

The last aesthetic primitive is that of principal axes. This refers to the points of symmetry or focus in an image which are grouped together and considered aesthetic primitives. It refers really to using a human body in an image. If the human body is used, this creates much interest in the image by itself, but also if used with other aesthetic primitives, the human will still be identifiable and interesting to the viewer.


In this image, the human body is silhouetted and deformed from the chest down, and yet the viewer still knows that this is a human. Also, the human adds to the image which might have been less interesting without her in it.

These aesthetic primitives are important considering the role that images play in today’s world and how many images are often forced upon people in their day to day life. In order to capture interest, the image must use the aesthetic primitives. These are also important for artists, so that they may play on these rules or use them to their advantage to make interesting art.

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Re: Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by rdouglas » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:05 pm

During the Elings Hall open house, I was a spectator to a number of unique and technologically advanced projects and performances. After a couple of hours I left the building and was placed into a very optimistic mindset of the practical and artistic possibilities that these artists/researchers and technologies could introduce.

First, I was witness to a quadrocopter performance orchestrated by Marcos Novak and performed by an assistant of his. As the performer moved throughout the space, the drone followed him through the use of collision detection systems that utilize proximity, video and audio sensors. The performer wore a special glove that allowed the drone to more easily detect his presence. Additionally, he was playing a flute during his various choreographed movements.

I next entered into a small room adjacent the elevator to view a small demonstration by Charlie Roberts. His project is called Gibber (http://charlie-roberts.com/gibber/) and it is Javascript live coding environment to synthesize music with relatively simple syntax. Since it is a realtime environment, people can join a session that you or another has created to witness your code creation as a musical performance.

Lastly, as part of group, I was invited into the Allosphere to witness a few demonstrations of this unique scientific and artistic instrument. Led by Professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, we were immersed in three dimensional worlds of various kinds. The first world was a seemingly undersea environment of different creatures who fed off of one another. The second world was a very mathematically coded performance of different visual planes consisting of arrows that pointed to the fifth dimension. Along with some accompanying sound, this demonstration was the most intriguing to me. The last two demos took us inside the human brain and inside the blood vessels of the body.

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Re: Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by sydneyvg » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:15 pm

-Sydney VandeGuchte

Due to time constraints from classes throughout the day I was only able to visit a few of the showings at the MAT Open House in Elings Hall. However, I found most of the projects fairly interesting, particularly the Allosphere.

When I first arrived at the Open House, I stepped into the last few minutes of the Translab by Marcos Novak. From my understanding, he had some kind of flying drone that was under computer control. He spoke on how pieces such as this one that were visual, sonic, visual as well as an event in itself due to its interactivity were challenging to display; institutions have to accommodate for them. For instance, if put in a gallery space, this particular piece would need to have its batteries changed every 30 minutes. If a work were only technological it would not require as much effort on the part of a gallery to present and sustain a project, such as this drone, over the span of a year. I wish I had been able to catch more of this presentation than just this conclusion, especially since I wasn't even able to to see the drone fly!

The next showing was Legrady's Experimental Visualization Lab which brings together aspects of computation and visualization. The first project presented involved statistical data analysis and visualization. The lab has gained access to data from the Seattle Public Library in regards to which books, videos, and other items are borrowed and how often. Between the years of September 2005 and September 2011, they have recorded of nearly 10 million checkouts per year. The data is put into multiple forms of visuals, some of which use color coding to distinguish the items and circles for the different weeks they are checked out. I felt as though this data was more so just being used to practice and learn the process of making visualizations rather than acquiring important information from the resultant visualizations.

His next project involved collections of photography and videos from his time spent in Northern Canada with the Cree Nation during 1972 and 1973. The collections create a visual ethnography displaying the habits, customs, and culture of these people. The description of these actual people was fairly brief but they discussed how the collections would be assembled by image quality and then sorted with algorithms that would make them easily accessible to the Cree and the public. For some reason this project reminded me of Google's option to use an image to search for other images on Google Images except on a more intimate scale.

The last project was a robotic camera system that consisted of a swarm of 3 cameras, each on custom rails. In a sense, the cameras are being trained to have human vision by being coded to recognize and shoot specific features in a space. Legrady and his team are working on how to take the spatial visual data from the camera and organize it in ways that would potentially allow for 3-D construction or one full image on a panorama type scale. I'm interested in the individual images would be overlapped in the creation of the latter form.

The final showing was the Allosphere! When one stepped onto the bridge placed inside of this sphere, one entered a completely immerse environment.The Allosphere involves visualization and sonification as the data is being computed during real-time interactivity. I particularly enjoyed the time we spent "inside" the human brain. We were immersed into f MRI data of brain-blood density at all regions of the brain. We were looking at the isosurface 3D mesh of points that all have 1 particular value of blood density. Whenever the pitch of the points were high, the blood density was higher, and vice versa. It would be really cool to see this being used in classrooms of the future to learn the anatomies and processes of different regions of the body.

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Re: Wk05 - Elings Open House OR Review Assigned Paper

Post by pumhiran » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:30 pm

I went to the Eling Open House around 6:30pm on Wednesday. This is actually my first time in the Eling Building. The tour for AlloSphere was 7:00pm so I got a chance to look around before then.

The first project that I saw was the collection of data of what has been checking out from the library. The color (red, green, blue, yellow, purple) indicated the objects that people check out such as books, movies, music, etc. What so great about creating this visualize data is that it gives people a big picture rather than analyzing numbers. Once again, this project shows the relationship between art and science.

Going inside the AlloSphere was definitely an interesting tour. With twelve projectors projecting at the wall and 3-D glasses, the rest of the tour group and I were able to travel inside the brain of a person. The secret to this experiment is the sound waves that tell computer to create a visualize images of the brain. Personally, traveling through the brain is almost like traveling through the cave underwater. Once I realized Eling Open House only occur twice a year, I was happy that I went there.


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