The goal of this assignment was to create an interactive piece for public consumption. This assignment was done in a group with three other students. We collaborated with a group of Engineering students to come up with a concept that would be representative of heating and cooling systems. Our group decided to do an abstract take on the systems and their functions.
For the first step, each of us created a short, looping animation, each one representative of a different system. The system I was to represent was a membrane heat pump. Membrane pumps move water or another solvent through a membrane to heat or cool. Since water/liquid was an important aspect to this system, I chose to represent this using a wave shape, commonly representative of water flow. In Maya, I created a wave form that moved across the screen. I added a glowing effect that added a more interesting visual and could be related to the idea of heating. The blue color is representative of water or cooling.
We then created a code in Max that would switch between each of our animation videos using button presses from an external physical device. What really brought this together was our implementation of the “Holodeck”, a combination of a television screen and a special film that would project our videos and make them appear to float. We projected them to use as a sort of backdrop to our physical set up of miniature buildings and houses, almost like the sky to a city. This is representative of the idea that the majority of places and homes utilize heating/cooling systems.
The buttons that switch the animations were what we used to let people interact with the piece. At our exhibition, it was interesting to see people interact with it. They were impressed by the Holodeck and the holographic effect it produced.