Coalition​

An interactive piece on exploration, expression and dance

DURATION

COLLABORATION

7 weeks

DANCE COLLABORATOR

Team of 4

( Advised by Professor Todd Bryant)

Ashley Liang, Aranyaka, Nicolas, Ridwan

MY ROLE

TOOLS

Unreal Engine 4

Motionbuilder

Tiltbrush

Maya

  • Environment & visual director

  • Motion capture

  • Choreography

  • Visuals and Prototyping

Concept

Coalition is an exploration of motion as expression of individuality and the struggle against oppressive societies. It is an immersive live experience that represent the union of motion and sound conveying individuality and uniqueness against the status quo of society. 

Coalition aims to instigate a reflection on this issue by letting users explore a 3d environment via motion triggered by their own expression. In this piece, diversity will be represented by choreographies and sounds from different cultures, referencing the oppression of immigrant communities around the world.

The artists of Coalition seeks to embody these experiential fusion of dynamic live experience, motion and sound in the piece.

Diversity through Motion

We see motion as a form of expression, which can convey individuality and emotions. When placed in the context of its environment, this uniqueness and diversity will often be met with resistance, as society as

a whole prefers to maintain the status-quo.

We chose four representative dances from different cultures to amplify the diversity and individuality. The dances are: Punjabi - Bhangra, Chinese classical dance, Malay dance, Andean Altiplano - Diabladas

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Malay Dance

Bhangra

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Chinese Dance

Representative dances from four different culture 

User Experience

The showcase room has multiple layers of fabric (organza) along with 3 background projectors to create an immersive space where users can interact using batons with reflective tapes, calling out unique avatars.

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Physical environment setting

The general user flow

- Enters the room

- Selects one of four different dancing trackeable implements (led lights)

- With its motion, spawns an avatar projected, on the multiple organza layers.

The interaction of individual dance

- Users spawn an avatar, which mirrors their position and reacts to their motion

- The user’s speed controls the speed of the performance

- The background environment will spawn based on the culture of the performance

- If the user stops, the avatar vanishes, unable to survive in the hostile environment

- And turning the light of the controller off

The interaction of group dance

- Users can choose to interact and dance with each other

- If two users come close, their avatars share their colors and choreographies

- They become independent from their users, able to survive together in the environment

- And turning the light of the controller off

Environment

I was the director of environment modeling. Since the final output will be an interactive experience, I mainly used tiltbrush to draw most of scenes, using bright colors and cultural elements to let audience immersed into the scenery. When participants wave batons and spawn a specific culture dance, the environment will change to that culture, too.

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Cultures in order: China, Malay, India, Peru (La Diablada), 

Components of Batons made by 3D printing

Assembling batons: add bulb and switch

Fabric and Projector testing

Assembling the guiding dance box

Final Showcase

Coalition was displayed on the motion capture showcase at Magnet on December 15th. We were glad to see that many participants are enthusiastic about the interaction between batons and dances. It met our goal which is to encourage participants to explore the interaction on their own, and everyone can indulge in the experience, gain their own inspirations.

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Reflection

1. The importance of planning. Since motion capture is very complicated, we need to plan the timeline and design process, such as finding dancers, record motion data, data cleaning, and rig models.

2. Never say you cannot do this. At first, we planned to use vive trackers to realize the interaction, but we failed many times. Instead of giving up, we tried another way that attach reflective tapes on batons and make them rigid bodies, which was proved to be easier and affective.

3. All efforts are worthwhile. When you are exhausted and doubt if such efforts are meaningless, just do it! The result will surprise you after you devote yourself on it.

T pose!