Concept and animation: Anya Shapira
Programming: Dieter Vandoren
Music: Yuri Yushtein
Master Animation St Joost Breda, The Netherlands (2011)

3D StudioMax, MaxMSP, Photoshop, Premiere

This interactive installation uses viewer’s body movements as an input to affect an animation flow on screen.
It combines the use of two different disciplines – interactivity and animation. In my opinion both disciplines can benefit from this integration. Interactivity can use certain qualities of animation to make content more appealing and interaction more interesting. The interactivity, on the other hand, helps the animation to turn passive viewer into an active participant, thus the old principles of animation take a new form.

The installation consists of five animated movies. Each of these films designed to takes the audience for a journey through a landscape. Every landscape has its specific ambience, colour scheme, and sounds creating an atmosphere, feel, and mood in line with a certain emotional experience. In one of the movies the audience are travelling through a relaxing, quiet landscape in the calming green and brown colour scheme complemented by a soft meditative sounds, encouraging relaxation. A few birds accompany the journey, moving harmoniously through the hills, fields and forest, discovering one peaceful scene after another. In another movie the audience visit a dark, gloomy world. Dominant colours are black and dark grey. Depressing sounds with elements of horror add to the general experience of restlessness and pessimism. Nervous flight of bats appears and disappears from the picture. They are travelling through dark cave, empty rain-soaked fields, watching stones falling threateningly down from the mountains. Butterflies light-heartedly flittering between plants, optimistic yellow-orange colours, cheerful sounds are the ambiance of another movie.

Only one movie can be played at any given time. By moving around the screen participants can activate the trigger areas in the movie thus switching to a different film. The presence of a participant is marked on the screen by a cloud of animated particles. Particles follow sensitively the participant’s movements left, right, up and down. Trigger areas leading to the other movies are represented by the elements in the landscape, which differ in their colour from the main colour scheme of the movie they are currently watching. They are actually parts of landscapes from the other four films. Participants can activate a trigger and let another movie to be played by letting the cloud of particles go over a trigger area on a screen. On an intersection between the trigger area and a cloud of particles, the current movie fades and the new one emerges. At the same time the colour of the particles that activated the trigger is changing into the colour of the triggered element with short sound accompanying the process.

This installation is a prototype. The goal was to demonstrate that animation could add another dimension to the interactive experience by triggering an emotional response. This, in turn, prompts the audience to further engage with the installation, creating a deeper bond with it. I assume that if this prototype can work with abstract content, it has the potential to function in more specific context.

To see animation:

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