This project was for the UCLA Design Media Arts course DESMA 24: Motion. For this assignment, we were tasked with creating an immersive experience by projecting an animated piece onto three walls within a room. Standing within the room as the work is playing, viewers would feel enveloped in a new environment and atmosphere. The assignment was namely inspired by Coca Cola's 125th year anniversary Future Room concept, an immersive piece our professor Refik Anadol worked on.
My first thought when assigned this project was that I wanted it to be set underwater. The ocean contains a unique atmosphere beneath its surface- a setting where time seems to have no substance, a setting that feels natural, yet also out of this world. The deep tones and sounds of the ocean often produce the impression of a subconscious, dreamlike state. Always fascinated with the visualization of mental processes, I wanted to use this opportunity to take an audience through a type of subconscious process people would ordinarily not be able to physically experience. Thus, I decided to create an environment imitative of what I envisioned a dreamscape would be like, narrating the process as one's mind falls into deeper sleep and then wakes up.
(Above: process images as I modeled and animated the house on Cinema 4D)
As it was my first time using Cinema 4D and only my second time working on Adobe After Effects, I faced quite a few challenges as I tackled this ambitious project. Firstly, many effects I originally planned to use required expensive plugins, leading me to simplify parts and search for alternative ways to animate certain elements, namely the bubbles that appear as the house falls beneath the water. Working with a minimal amount of plugins and effects also enabled me to familiarize myself more with each software's basic tools. Another challenge was working at such high resolution, which prevented real time previews and resulted in two-day long renders. However, this led me to be more attentive and organized with my time, ensuring I completed parts early so as to have extra time to render, test, fix and re-render clips if need be.
This was the first time I created an art piece at this large a scale. As I worked, I quickly realized my inability, with my skill level and time, to fully execute everything I originally planned. However, I learned to think more on my feet and make rapid modifications on the go to reduce its complexity without compromising the overall flow and atmosphere of the piece. It was definitely a rewarding experience overall to see how everything came together despite my previous inexperience.
+ Photographs from exhibition