Robert Bell 09/05/1980

This site is dedicated to experiments in audio-visual moving image and constructions in 3D virtual space. It contains notes on surrounding theories and processes.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

October 2010

Friday, 13 June 2008


To view the Final Composition here is a link to the course website......

I will post photographs of the show viewing up on the blog but here is a 3d model of how I envisage the piece to look and at what scale it should be presented at.

The next step would be to turn it into an interactive viewing interface, this could incorporate many separate animations on screen at the same time.

The project would work best as an interface, it would no longer simply be an audio-visual animation, the screen would turn into something to investigate up close with the viewer choosing what to explore and at what point.


Front Elevation Reading with Audio

Perspective Reading

Perspective Reading with added relief map extrusions

Sunday, 8 June 2008


The final project pieces will not be posted up here but I will reflect on them and the project as a whole none the less. I am pleased with the completion of the task. It was a great exercise in methods and processes and taught me alot about the simple act of timing, rendering and most importantly I feel project organisation.

The simpler the outcome got the happier I was as I feel I have produced an 'honest' result to my brief. It may seem that not a great deal was achieved in terms of animation but this project iwas I feel very large in terms of management and preparation..

At times the proposal was not central to my thinking and this slowed the project down as I forgot the main aim of the whole thing. A shame considering the writing of the proposal was a very useful exercise and the part that although initially struggling with, I actuallly enjoyed immensely.

It is very difficult to clearly state why you want to do something and then how!

Stylistically the result is somewhere in the middle. Interestingly minimal but at the same time too conservative in approach. To me though it is still an 'animatic' or test piece, a working out of ideas in one technology that can then be followed through with more imagination.

It has definately helped me with 3D software skills, not in terms of modelling, texturing etc but in terms of new approaches to form generation and dealing with time and sequence, areas that I will try to incorporate into wider architectural visualisation.

I have not really had the time to see this through to an installation or interactive outcome, but this is the next step. I am content to realise this. This I feel is the major learning to come from the last term, that nothing comes easy in this field, and that only through hard work and alot of hours do results show themselves. I struggled at many times to get to the next stage mainly because working with computers can lack a sense of scale and immediacy that I get from other mediums.

I have pushed myself to do thorough research and the hidden benefit of such projects is all the little bits of new information that you pick up along the way, even if they dont immediately inform your work. I now know about stereoscopy, the history of the phone exchange, how to make your own dialtones and obviously alot more about a building in Vauxhall.

It is a shame that this has to end now as I only just feel that the project has got to that brilliant stage when it becomes malleable and decisions feel intuitive. Obviously I would do things differently if going over again, but I feel that I have got alot out of the system and can now move on with a clearer focus.

Although not a convert to purely deterministic approaches to projects I have noved away from trying to pre-judge outcomes and getting confused with simply trying to visualise an 'image' that I feel may look impressive.

The next project that I undertake will be more interesting as a result I'm sure.


The next step is to bring the readings to life and to add greater dynamism and visual intrigue to the piece, at the moment they are too flat and lifeless. They are dealing with frequencies but hardly move. Each element has to have its own motion frequency as well.

I have been looking into sound frequencies but animation itself has a frequency. A frame rate of 30fps resonates at 33.3 milliseconds and has a frequency of 30hz. Here are a few other examples that will inform my next step.

1ms = flash strobe light
2.27ms = 440hz (tuning device)
50ms = 20hz (lowest frequency of human recognition)
100ms = blink of an eye/reaction speed of a human.
150ms = time delay for a telephone service
200-670ms = general beat of modern dance music

With this in mind we can determine the frame rate for each the window tones:

Tone range = 20-100hz
= 50ms-10ms

Therefore a brightness level of 100% (100hz) = 10ms = one one hundredth of a second.

We would have to render are animation at 100 frames per second however to achieve this result.

40hz = 25ms = one fourtieth of a second = 40 fps
50hz = 20ms = one fiftieth of a second =50fps

This is very difficult to achieve in reality but we can achieve the effect of resonance nonetheless.

This next study is rendered at 50fps and has the tones resonating at 50hz. In other words the elements go through a cycle of being visable and not present.

Note that having some elements stay constant highlights the resonating elements.

The optical result I feel will play on the desired sense of secrecy and conspiracy that I wanted fromthe outset.

Because of the playback device the result is inconsistant, sometimes frames are dropped that are present at other time sof viewing.


I realise that both perspective and elevational representations have there benefits.

The bass flicker animations highlight the variation in tone very well and also the shadow causing the secondary visual beat is clear to read. For analysis of the tones in three dimensions they give us less however.

Rendering the model in perspective and also with camera movement is what is needed, it also adds greater dynamic to the animations.

Audio will be added, but for now here is a perspective animation showing a reading of the top two floors.


Reading each tone individually floor by floor gives a detailed analysis of the site but produces a fairly slow paced animation. I feel that it would be great to see and hear the building in a faster paced fashion. The next two experiments contain a render of each floor as a still with audio containing all the frequencies together as one sound. These are then animated in sequence.

The result is an interesting stop motion reading of the facade as a whole simulating a graphic equalizer on a stereo.

Left side:

Right Side: