This project explores scale and movement in the cave in reference to perspective. I took an online image of the Burnett Plaza building in my hometown of Fort Worth and converted that into an ASCII image. You can see that process here: http://bit.ly/asciiarchitecture
I then converted that ASCII image into color values and depths:
I then wrote words into the picture:
That's about all you need to know to use the piece. Oh, and you should also hold the main goggles at about chest height while your tiptoes are on the edge of the cave.
What is this piece?
It's nothing more than an exploration of how when letters are scaled or moved in three dimensions they can appear as if they aren't "moving" at all. I.e., as the characters move back into the cave, they scale in height, so when the goggles are held in one spot, it may look as though the characters are standing still.
It's some other things too, but for now, that is the most important thing about this piece.
Why is movement/scale without perception of movement/scale important?
It's not important at all. It's just a new way of thinking about text in 3-D, but it really isn't new at all, so it's more of an implementation of something.
So, do you have anything intelligent to say about this piece?
Not really. You could talk about lack of an inscription on a surface, text's role as an identifier of distance, Cartesian space and perspectival vision in relation to 3-D text, or the narrative possibilities of text on a programmable screen (or in this case, the suppresion of an active narrative). But that'd be claiming my accomplish something, which it does not.
Final Project Brainstorms
Questions for John
Archived set of Sebastian's Cave Writing Questions about Cave Writing software or theory or projects.
Getting the Ruby Environment Setup
Ruby comes installed on Mac and some Linux systems by default. You can refer to the About.com page on installing Ruby for more information. If you are using Windows, I'd recommend installing Cygwin as well.
Some of my scripts will require that you have RubyGems and the gem known as Builder. You can see how to install RubyGems in general here, or you can find a more Mac specific approach here. Once you have RubyGems installed, you can type
sudo gem install builder from the commandline or Terminal.
I read this great two page tutorial at XML.com on how to user builder within Ruby.
Reading assignment responses
Underlines/Notes/Questions from the ELO volume 1.
Underlines/Notes/Questions for Scott McClouds's Understanding Comics, the chapter "Time Frames" in the New Media Reader (711)
Cave Workstation Notes and Hints
Creating Custom TrueType Fonts
Yes, it's a bit of a struggle, but it can be done. To make your own TrueType Font that you can use within the Cave, read the TrueType Font Creation Guide.
Scripts and Cave Code
Simple Cave Start button (XML)
Cave Writing XML Outline (Ruby)
Download here (9/12/09).
To run it, type
ruby -w xmloutline.rb >> test.xml and it will output the file test.xml to your computer.
Produces a general XML outline (a skeleton file to load in the Cave Editor). The outline includes a text object, a group, a timeline, and all the basics.
ASCII Wall Maker (Ruby)
Download first iteration (8 rows by 8 columns, 10 frames) here (9/12/09).
To run it, type
ruby -w asciiAmoving.rb >> test.xml and it will output the file test.xml to your computer.
Produces a wall of text organized in columns and rows. Makes multiple walls that fade in and out over time as to simulate an animation.
You can read my detailed notes here.
Emily Segal has a cool project that is related: check out SPELL
Image Wall Maker (Ruby)
Download first iteration (one Processing sketch animation outputed as PNGs and then scaled by 5 within the Cave) here (9/27/09).
To run it, type
ruby -w imagemoving.rb >> test.xml and it will output the file test.xml to your computer.
You will need to edit the script to match up with the the filenames of the images you want to display as a video. You can download the image files and script I used with the first iteration here. As you will notice, I have the script load all 500 files named from circles-0000.png to circles-0499.png. I made the current frame rate to 30 images per second, but feel free to change it to whatever.
Makes an animation from a group of images. The playback is almost flawless, but I did notice that the images flicker slightly (i.e., in comparison to DVD/Quicktime playback of a video).