I went to the NYU gallery last Friday and saw some work that I really enjoyed by the artist Seoungho Cho. It was a mesmerizing video installation of four large screens looping images of quickly-cut scenes of clouds, a burning light-bulb, and crowds walking. It was somewhat eery and jarring, but also beautiful at the same time. Watching it, I got sucked in. The emotive experience of this work is something that I would like to have in my piece as well, so I will be using it as a reference.
Canal Plastic carries two-way mirrors on plexi-glass, but its almost $300 for the size I need (42″ x 22″). Home Depot carries the window mirror film ($26), and I’ll also probably need to get the Gila application kit ($8.50). A piece of clear plexi from Canal Plastic is only $30. Which means I’ll be able to make my own two-way mirror of 42″ x 22″ for only $65 bucks. Way more cost-effective!
I made good progress this week. I managed to modify the stereogram source code to import my own images. I did a few tests with different depth maps. The first was just a female head:
I found that the resulting stereogram was difficult to decipher because similarity of the shape of the object to your own reflection, causing interference with the 3D stereogram image.
Next, I created an animation of a spinning cube in Cinema 4D, then exported that as a series of PNG images. I then modified the OF code to read in the PNG images in a series as depth maps. This created an interesting effect. Since the depth map relies on a grayscale range to define depth, the cube needs to be lit in a very particular way for the stereogram to generate an accurate representation of the 3D image. Since my cube depth map was not perfect, the resulting stereogram turned out to be morphing, intersecting three-dimensional planes, which were actually really cool and mesmerizing to watch:
I then proceeded to set up the software test on a large screen in the hallway at ITP. I had a few people test it out to see if they were able to see the image. I taped up a piece of the two-way mirror in the middle of the screen. Most people had difficulty. For me, the image is now coming pretty naturally and quickly, I think I must have trained myself to see it more readily now.