You Must First Invent The Universe

7:53 PM in General by Kevin

Carl Sagan said: “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

Our challenge was to invent a universe that can be created by the viewer, and building its complexity is no easy task so far.  After the Interim Presentation, the various critique gave us a clearer direction on the weaknesses and inconsistencies of our concept.  We also felt that our concept wasn’t sufficiently communicated to the audience.  This is a short post in response to the feedback and the revisions we’ll make to our concept.

The Concept: is a galaxy that the audience constructs and explores by detection of presence.  Presence to the screen feeds (particles) to the growth of a galaxy, where sufficient input will complete the galaxy and trigger an exploration into the magnificent arena.  The image above shows the Carina Nebula in its the colour complexity and in unambiguity the beauty that surrounds us.  Through the installation we want to connect people to the beauty in others and the world around them.

We constructed a simulation of the concept in action, the growth process of the galaxy created by viewer presence.  A construction of the galaxy is established by the viewer.  The progressive movement into the galaxy is looped with itself.


Feedback and Revision

The feedback revealed that the sequence of the installation can be long and uneven for the different viewer.  A viewer interacting with the screen for a short time will not trigger the same visual effects as the longer-time viewer, which is fair enough.   At the moment, any viewer interacting with the screen will generate Stars to populate the galaxy, so viewers with any length of stay will be taken care of.  A way to making the experience more equal is to let every interaction contribute to the “moving in” of the galaxy, thus viewers of both stay time are rewarded to the weight of their stay.

Other opportunities include maximizing use of warm and vivid colours to that of the Carina Nebula to generate positive emotions, and strengthen the reward of collective participation.  We hope to explore this further in the coming week.


Inspiration: Hubble 3D

Hubble 3D from Imax created a 3D experience of the Carina Nebula, and the result was mind-blowing, especially when viewed in 3D (Thanks to George for the tip).  The making of which can be found here.  The 3D experience was a result of a 3D model constructed with photo imagery.  We hope to either construct the universe by use of layers and/or by plotting objects in 3D space (upon experiment proved that it can be quickly implemented).  For the time being, we’re testing which method will yield the better result in the end.

A prototype was done on Processing to test out the layer effect, which can be found here.



We made simple prototype was made to test out how rotating space in Quartz Composer would look like, which can be implemented to give the galaxy a constant, subtle rotation to help attract viewer interest.

Experiment 01: Click Here for the Video.



Now we’ll focus on improving the aesthetics and revise our interaction model further as discussed above.

We want to thank all those who made a comment to our concept, it helped much with the development! :)