Individual project | 1 week | Grad School Coursework | 2013
InSight Park Pass is a paper-thin device that can update via localized wireless signals or a tap-touch, and is capable of holding a large amount of data. It can display images and text locally, or project a screen onto a variety of surfaces.
Create a videosketch in AfterEffects demonstrating how a user would interact with a visualization you created early in the course via Processing. Include at least one enhancement built in AfterEffects.
APPROACH & IDEATION
With a wide-open assignment I knew I wanted to do something interesting and fun with my product. I decided to show my visualization as just one part of the product demo, and give it some additional technological features that would gain from being visually depicted.
I wanted it to be a bit futuristic and high-tech, but many people visit parks to escape from technology, and at the very least you don’t want to have the technology take away from being in the moment and actually experiencing the park.
I tried to weigh the real benefits of the pass in parks – greater engagement of visitors, reducing waste, additional learning opportunities, safety enhancements through maps and education – with the downside of adding a high-tech device to the park experience. I think many people would like to be able to escape wi-fi without having to take 20 hour flight (and soon enough, even that won’t be enough) so I throw in a premise that the National Parks have become “Independent Thought Sanctuaries” where internet access is prohibited.
This creates both a motive for an alternative technology and a strong message about what technology in the parks should -and should not– look like. I actually started my ideation by alternating between writing the script and storyboarding, until I had a decent idea of what I had in mind, and then I developed the concept further as I prototyped.
Given the quick timeframe and quick-and-dirty style of the assignment, minimal time was spent on image editing and design. I focused instead on making the story smooth and plausible, despite the fanciful technology.
Since I was in Pittsburgh and only had a few days, shooting photographs in an actual National Park was infeasible, so a local park and some quick photoshopping would have to do. Several days of rain in a row meant my window to produce the create the prototype got even shorter.
RESULTS & REFLECTIONS
The goal of this was largely just to play with the videosketch format, and I did become a fan of how viewer friendly this format can be. While I would like the make a higher fidelity version of the video some day with more time and better photos, it was a lot of fun to see how much imagination you could pack into a video made in such a short time with a little photoshop and video editing magic.
It was very empowering to see how much thoughtful dialogue you can provoke with a short, non-confrontational design fiction video.
This was my first time working with images and transitions in AfterEffects and I found it a bit challenging to use AE as a video editor, though creating the projection display videos were surprisingly easy once I figured out the basic idea. It’s a bit tricky to see on the small viewer, but there is moving video displayed both on the driver’s screen early on, and on the last shot on the path. That last shot shows the visualization I built in Processing for an earlier stage of the project that visualized National Park's visitors and date founded.
I was excited to learn that my video was shown to the following year's class as the example for this assignment