It was interesting to see people’s progress at the recent round table event. We came away excited by the potential of the works but also it became clear that we had probably over complicated our own approach. We’re about three weeks away from the first experimental public Blister Cinema event in Margate which has a game playing theme to tie in with Games Expo East Kent 2015 (GEEK), We felt we were getting bogged down in the details of the simulation effort. Because GEEK is a game festival we want people to freely play and don’t want to be explaining complicated interactions to them. We remembered back to when we first met our scientist and how Neil was keen to describe the physical process in terms of everyday words such as PUSHING, ROLLING, ARRESTING, DILATING, CASCADING… We thought why not just create simple Kinect games which could illustrate these type of verbs.
So for example take PUSHING – just have a single figure and a single cell and allow the figure to push the cell about. Add some gravity and a timer and you could create a Keepy-Uppy game. Now we know that Leucocytes don’t actually play Keepy-Uppy with cells and gravity isn’t particularily a factor in a blister, but they do engage in physical interactions – pushing other cells about.
The simplifying idea is to decouple the interactions from a strict physical interpretation.
This frees up a lot of stuff and makes the simulations much easier to code, allowing us to experiment more quickly, it will also generates more intuitive interactions, and finally it will generates simpler looking footage which will be easier to fit into a future edit. It shifts the focus of the film from being a series of illustrative simulations to something more experimental on one level looking at the art of interaction itself, which is what we really wanted to make a film about about all along!
By including a descriptive voiceover of this type: “See them pushing, squeezing and probing ….”, the connection can be made from the simple spontaneous interactions to the more complex bilogical processes. This isn’t to say there won’t be some complex visuals too – just that these will be created from multiplying / overlaying bits of simpler things in the edit – not done live.
Once we came to this decoupling idea – the rest of the show begins to fall into place. Take Growthlines with its intuitive shadow play, which we’d now like to include. When we’ve shown it before people played with it without being told what to do, or what it was. Now who’s to say that it doesn’t represent a dilating bloodvessel as it swells and bulges? Fade from growthlines to a swarming leucocyte animation representing the VASODILATION and we can finally start to have a clearer idea of the finished film and one that won’t break our back to make.