Joy Tartaglia – Paper Nature

I drew some waves of varying shapes and sizes. Touching the different waves will change the volume of the background wave ambiance. Changing the volume will also shift the video that’s playing. The fourth wave on the right plays a louder splash noise. The seagull will play some seagull sounds.

There are actually two videos playing simultaneously, though the simultaneous part is probably unnecessary. One changes layers so the second video can be visible or unseen, with a black transition to make the change a little smoother.

I definitely didn’t have enough time to mess around with the video portion of the project. I wasted time trying to figure out how to incorporate the seagull idea into it, first thinking I could play a video on top of the other videos, and then deciding to just stick with putting the image on a gridshape, which took even more time to figure out. If I could, I would’ve at tried moving it across the screen, and maybe add more seagulls.


I focused on smoothing out the issues that bugged me most: the looping videos, the single seagull, and the lack of seagull movement.

The gulls were a simple improvement. I decided to stick with the silhouette image and I simple made more objects. I changed their size and rotation and gave them different positions. Then I had them move a little. Since they are kind of flying towards the screen, I ramped the volume on their accompanying cries so it starts quiet and gets louder.

The looping videos was an issue I smoothed out through my prior experience with fading in objects. I made duplicates of each videoplane so when one finished, the other could start and there’d be a smoother transition between the end of a video and the start of the same video. I ended up shuffling the layers of all videos and objects to accommodate the extra videos, but that wasn’t much of a problem. The problem was the fade and timing of the transitions between the videos. At first, I thought of having all four videos run simultaneously and having all of them looped, but after tons of fiddling, I realized there was a simpler way to do it. In the end, I used a bunch of delay objects to delay the bang that would start the duplicate video. The delay would make the bang wait until one video is nearly completed, then the line object would fade out the ending video while the next video is just starting to play. There’s still a little awkwardness since the camera’s position and the waves vary between the beginnings and ends of the videos, but I think the fade looks a lot better than the awkward pause and abrupt loop.

I kept the black transition between the two different videos. Since they were a slight change in location, it seemed more appropriate. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with how everything turned out. I thought to add something else to the skies, but I wasn’t sure if anything besides clouds would work, and clouds seemed a little redundant.

I also decided to stick with using the clip instead of stabbing the seagull on my paper controller, so no marker-drawn seagulls were harmed in the making of this project.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Daniel McDonough says:

    I find the use of real video very interesting. And the way you hid your wires very novel. The paper and video have a solid correlation in the volume and it has a solid progression. I actually prefer the silhouette of the seagull as I think in produces a nice connection between the paper and video.

    This may be improved by adding more interactive parts. It almost seems empty with only the seagull and waves to be interactive.

    How did you manage the transitions?

    1. Joy Tartaglia says:

      The transitions between the two videos use a black object that covers both videos. It’s always there, but its alpha is on so it’s essentially invisible. When a transition is activated, a line object fades the black object in. When the line is finished, it sends two bangs. One is directed to a message that changes the layer of one of the videos to “hide/show” it, and the other is starts another line object that fades the black object back out. The transition between videos is essentially an abrupt layer shuffle that’s hidden underneath a black rectangle.

  2. Colin Ancalmo says:

    I enjoyed the intuitive control of this piece, having the larger waves trigger louder wave sounds. Also props for the wire (or rather paint) management for this one.

    One thought I also had when seeing this one was of a storm. Perhaps as the waves become louder, the video could become darker as well to simulate that a storm was approaching.

  3. Jonathan Shiery says:

    I like the use of video within this project. It makes it feel very unique from the other projects I have seen. The drawing of the waves and how they relate to what video is played is also very intuitive and seamless.

    The only thing I would personally try to change is maybe try making the controller more interesting than just flat on the table, like maybe as a pop up book, but it works well in its current state.

  4. Tom Towadros says:

    Good work getting the videos to transition that smoothly. With something as chaotic as waves I can imagine that it’s hard to get right. I like how the paper prop mimics how waves grow as they reach the shore, and likewise with the volume. It would have been really cool if the physical prop was more 3 dimensional than just a flat paper. Any idea what you would have done if you could have filmed the video at your leisure from any angle you wanted?

    1. Joy Tartaglia says:

      If I had filmed the video as I had originally wanted – one long video to loop – then the project might not have had slightly different scenery and would have been a little less interesting. I had to take apart a 17s video because there was camera movement and I had intended for the camera to be still, and I ended up liking the slight change in scenery in the end.

      There is a small chance I would have thought of it over the trip, but it’s not likely. Instead, I might have considered taking video at different times of the day in the exact same location. I’m not entirely sure what I would’ve thought of if I had the idea for the project in mind while on the trip, but it probably would’ve gone one of those two ways: just one long video, or two/three long videos at different times of the day. With the latter idea, I could color in the sky on the controller, probably a day/night split or morning/day/night. I’d use clouds as the conductive part, probably drawn in ink like the waves and then traced over with graphite.

      Alternatively, I could’ve come up with more or less the exact same idea I’m currently using. I’d just film two longer videos in two different locations. Or, since I was planning on changing the volume of the waves, I’d film three locations with the waves further or nearer to the camera to correspond with the different volumes. Then, if I had really put some extra thought into it, I might have come up with the same day/night idea and then filmed all three locations again. That would be a total of at least six videos, the waves would have unique video for each, and there controller would have a pretty sky to go with it.

      It’s too bad I wasn’t able to go back this past weekend, nor was I able to go to any other beach. More varied video would add a lot to my project.

  5. Sylvia Lin says:

    I am super impressed by your Max patcher!
    Just for context, I asked Joy to share with me her patcher so I could learn how to make the transition work – although I still failed to figure it out despite Joy’s help… But Joy’s patcher is so well organized and clearly documented!
    As I said in class, I like how you took volume control into the account. Maybe you can draw the rocks as well so it matches with the video clips even better?
    I noticed the video was actually taken a on a gloomy day so the sea is not as light-blue as you drew. Did you consider that when you drew it? Or did you make it into a brighter drawing on purpose?

  6. Jeremy Trilling says:

    I really like the concept of augmenting real videos with a tangible waves. I also really like the wire routing techniques you used. I wonder if there is a way to bring some of the texture of the ocean to the demonstration like water samples of varying sizes?

  7. Ryan Doyle says:

    Could use either more visual or audio elements in my opinion. It feels like it needs a little something more.

  8. Isaac Donkoh-Halm says:

    I really like the transitions on the videos! It feels a lot more natural and easier to follow.

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