Wednesday, 18 March 2015

App in a Day Workshop with Invisible Flock

On the 28th of January, the Technology Research Cluster / LCA hosted a training workshop in Prototyping Geo-located Apps which was delivered by Invisible Flock's Ben and Richard. It was aimed at developing HE/FE staff's CPD and Research Interests, as well as future scoping skills for the college. The software explored was AppFurnace, which though simple and intuitive to use ( think powerpoint ), allowed for powerful exploration of App development for Iphone or Android - with further coding in Javascript to facilitate deeper interactions.

The aims of the workshop were:
  • An introduction to locative art - the field and concepts
  • Mapping narratives to place - identifying sites, walking and location as practice
  • Writing for games - creating quick multi-stranded text
  • Layering narrative through multiple mediums - exploring use of media to tell stories
  • Generating sound - creation of field recordings and found sound
  • GPS content creation - technical introduction to GPS, location and mobile phones
  • Simple coding - simple beginner introduction to technological creative tools

Having the expertise of Ben and Richard and Invisible Flock's Projects as Case Studies - staff got a good insight in using these digital tools and approaches within art practice and storytelling. A good discussion on the creative opportunities and issues with developing for this type of audience was had during the day. 

It was quickly picked up by the participants, how these tools could be used to create teaching material, particularly for field trips, or location based activities. Having a representative for the Students Union was also useful, as they saw it as a good potential for making an App for Fresher's Week, to help students know the city or similar engagement with social media and devices.

Some feedback for the workshop from staff:
I found this [workshop] extremely useful in terms of concepts and contexts for applied projects for teaching and personal practice. The potential for dealing with narrative in a spoken word format has strong potential for development of alternative platforms of expression for Illustrative practice.
Eleanor - Senior Lecturer, BA(Hons) Illustration 
It was a brilliant session – fun, informative, practical. The instructors were great. The level was just right. It was accessible. It served to demystify what app-making is. 
Kai Syng Tan - Junior Research Fellow 
I can see a lot of potential for using this on study trips as a teaching aid – to ensure students visit specific exhibitions or points of interest for example. By being in the location specified this could trigger information or tasks for the student to complete to pop up on their phone.
Rebecca Long - Lecturer,  Extended Diploma Art & Design 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Cluster Member Spotlight - Mat Clark

Mat Clark is a senior lecture on BA(Hons) Animation, and is about to start his Masters course in Animation at Sheffield Hallam University, where he will be pushing his own practice and storytelling skills.

Mat's research as part of the ACT cluster has been focused on advanced modelling in Maya and Mudbox. With Garry Barker and Annabeth Robinson - he is been involved with working collaboratively to realise Garry Barker's Illustrations into 3D Animations and CGI models - to allow Garry to see his work remediated digitally, as well as explore new possibilities of storytelling in the future.

© Garry Barker 2014

This joint venture was disseminated at the Staff Development Week - as part of the Research Day, where the project's current work in progress was presented - in the next academic year, motion capture and performance will be explored.

Mat has also successfully created a new plugin for MAYA called the Super Lattice Modifer, which has been a popular download in the 3D community.

©Mat Clark 2014

More of his research and creative practice can be found on his blog

Digital Tutors

Digital Tutors is an online resource of Video based tutorials and teaching materials to keep you upto date with software and creative media techniques -
Its excellent for CPD - by giving you training in relevant software ( eg. Adobe Creative Suite or Autodesk Software ) that we use at the college, as well as skills like Digital Painiting and Animation. Some content also has quizzes and certificates to demonstrate learning and time spent training.

Presently, the library has 5 concurrent seats to access this online resource. You need to request a login from the Library and is for STAFF only.

I've been using the website for over a year - particularly to get upto speed with Unity and Maya to support Curriculum development and student learning, but its been good to dip into other software to pick up techniques and good practice with programs I'm already familiar with like After Effects and Photoshop.