Over the last couple of weeks we have all been working to try and get everything finished up and sorted out for the Fis exhibition that is happening in about a week’s time. I have been closing out the audio for the project and am really happy with some of the stuff that I have both digitally created and composed on the guitar. I have spent a lot of time in the audio lab getting this work done and I feel very proud of it. This coming Friday we have a show and tell thing to do, this is where we essentially set everything up and have it all ready for the following week (fis). The lectures will be going around each of the groups and getting a final walk through of each of the projects. While I am fully confident that everything will be up and running there are still some elements of the project that both need starting and finishing up. I still have to create the audio for the countdown timer. Conor is finishing up the keyboard and Paul is to start the leader board. Laura has to finish her little animations for each of the screens.
I think this coming week we will all be staying in late and pushing through to get everything finished and up and running.
One thing that has changed though is the use of the track pad and wii remotes. There was progress being made with these but like the Kinect this progress was not yielding the results that we were looking for. It could have been used but with lots of bugs and it was turning into a very laggy thing to use. We were told that the college has interactive white boards connected to the projectors in the labs. We have been assured that by using this we would not be losing any marks for our overall project. We have been told by a few lectures that the technology is there to be used so we should feel free to use it. This is the same for the track pad, there were no advancements being made with this and again we were told that by using Conor’s touch screen computer that we will be ok.
As mentioned above the main focus now is getting the programming up and running, the buttons and the leader board all talking to each other. We still need to also consider the space we have been allocated in the college to display our project. During next week we will be having plenty of group meetings so we will be putting this topic on the agenda.
Over the last number of days I have been working on the Doodleblocks program and trying to get all the categories linked together. I have got the “Cinema” and “Phrases” categories link and I plan to get as much done this week as possible. I hope to get the program totally finished by the end of the week and then all that will need to be done by the FIS exhibition is just to add in the words to the random generator. That will be a bit time consuming but I think if we all take a categories each we should get it done within a day. I think the final thing that needs to be polished of is the scoreboard. I plan to meet our programming lecturer on Wednesday and see if he can help me with the transporting of the score to the actual scoreboard. I know we will need to use global variables to store the actual final score so I am very confident that we will achieve this.
The names of the files will be these:
(including the numbers so its easy to order them)
(the intro file will have buttons linking to the next 5 .swf files)
(from here once a difficulty is chosen it will load one of these files)
(all of these files will load the draw1 file)
(draw1 will load the second round)
(round 2 will load the next files)
(these will load the next files)
(these load the next draw file)
(Draw 2 will load the final round)
(this repeats the process over again)
Its Monday. Felt the need to stress that. As it stands we have roughly 2 weeks until its show time! As of right this very moment I have completed the tasks that I set out to do over the weekend. Last week our buttons arrived! Here is a photo of one of them in action.
It wasnt an easy task but I managed to get these hooked up with use of a makey makey to my computer so that once they are pressed they act as the letter a and w keys. This is extremely important as over the next few days Paul will be adding in code to the program so that once these letters are pressed a new word will be generated. Thankfully this works well. By acting these buttons as a key press it means the user will have a far more enjoyable experience rather than clicking on the screen. Here are some photographs of the makey makey setup that will all be housed in the new doodlestation that is pending fabrication.
Also I managed to fix the audio issues with the animation! I Stripped it and synched it up using final cut, guess that second year editing module paid off. Here is a link to the video!
These past couple of weeks have been very busy between trying to find time to study and to get other modules assignments finished up. Thankfully our last exam was today and I have just one more other assignment to go! I have been trying my best to keep working at our major project as we still have a good bit of work to do mainly caused from the setback of changing our technology. Below is the animals theme which I have implemented into our main program and I am just beginning to animate. As discussed in earlier blogs we will have animations playing after the user selects their difficulty. In this round the elephant will wave his trunk and make a sound. We will also have the giraffe shake his head and the trees will rustle as animal sounds play.
In terms of other design work going on at the moment I am still progressing with the website and creating it through Dreamweaver. I am finding it as a good learning experience as I really wanted to refresh my memory and improve my skills in web development. It is a very time consuming process as I keep changing things around that I am not 100% happy with. I would like to get the website up to a professional quality in the end and I don’t feel like it’s at that level yet. Another aspect of the website that we will have to work on is the gallery. I have a placeholder in for the images in the form of a light box gallery and I hope to take some photographs of people testing out DoodleBlocks to put into it. Another possibility is that when we have the lecturers test our project we can get some photos and add them in later. I have found a really good tutorial which is something I am considering using in developing the website as it will look a lot more professional and I can import css from the Dreamweaver file I have been working on all along. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxphj0U5BGc&list=LLnrN1E-qBpYbpXuvwDz9vtA&index=1
As it stands I am feeling extremely optimistic about the project. I have fine tuned and finished the animation, and I managed to get the button working as we need it. All that is needed for the project is to take Laura’s new animations and add them to the program that Paul is working on. Once they are all integrated my buttons, animations and technologies will be implemented and the project will be complete.
Kieran gave us an interesting idea in regards to using a gyroscopic mouse which is a nice concept. Ive experimented with this on ym computer and it is proving pretty difficulty, so using the wiimote is the most logical and probable step forward. I will experiment with distances however Kieran mentioned that the whiteboards in the college are already interactive and there are remotes that can use it so I might look into using them if they make the program run smoother and will improve the experience. Exams next week so they must take priority!
For the past few weeks as well as working on developing our project we have also been creating a PR Campaign for our project for our Public Relations module. Although it is not necessary to put all of the plans into action for the module we as a group really want to carry through on some of our ideas to promote our project. We have designed a poster, business card and a flyer as our promotional items – here is the final look:
As another aspect we had to create a press release which required a small square logo. As our main logo is very wide I created a new square logo that ties into the rest of our aesthetics by using our DoodleBlocks fonts and colours.
Here are two of our theme animation designs. We have the cinema round and the phrases round complete at the moment and the next round that I have started to animate is the Sports category.
This week we had our last WIP presentation. We had got in early on the Tuesday morning just to fine tune everything and make sure that all of our technologies were working exactly how we wanted them. As I said in previous posts, I made the station where the camera will sit for the touchscreen, but I put the shelf into it to high so that was the first mistake. Although, its only a matter of just lowering the shelf for the camera to sit on so that its output is bigger along the glass which the touch screen will work on. Unfortunately when we went into the actual WIP we didn’t get enough time to set up and that led to a bit of a disaster because hard drives began to fail, computers began to freeze and we literally hadn’t got all of our work to show them at that specific time because everything was either on the hard drive or the computer. Thankfully in the end we got everything up and working and I think after a bit of a dodgy start, I think we did a great job in recovering the presentation. I think all of the lecturers were pretty impressed. After the presentation we met our supervisor Glenn and he gave us some feedback in terms of the improvements that could make, which we were delighted to hear because in my opinion everything can always be improved. One of the things that we were asked to maybe consider was the fact do we actually need to make our own touch screen because Conor has his own touch screen and the program runs perfectly on it but our argument was that we want to test ourselves and gather as many points as possible and we think we can do that if we make our own home-made touch screen. Other areas that we need to look at is making sure we have user tested the program lots and lots of times just to get the users feedback on it. One thing that they were really impressed with was the animation that Laura made in terms of each category. For example she has curtains opening across the screen for the Cinema category and I have to say she has done a fantastic job with it. She also has little animations for each of the phrases completed and I think they look really brilliant. We now have exams coming up but we have designated ourselves individual jobs over the next week to get done. I have to now focus on the program and get all the categories linked up and just fine tune the program. I also plan to look at finishing the scoreboard.
Yesterday we had our Demo presentation; although we all thought it could have gone better we were really happy with the result that we got from the lectures. We had everything set up running fine and dandy in the room before we were to start then…..disaster, I dropped Laura’s hard drive, and when we got into the room it wouldn’t register of her laptop and just when we thought all hope was lost she managed to get it working on a computer and we were able to show the most up to date version of our project. As mentioned in the other blogs from myself and the group we changed the technology that we are using for our project, this required some setting up on our part. Due to the timeline of the presentations we were unable to get into the room to set everything up on time. Fair play to the lectures they gave us a bit of time and even though the timer was started while the group still set up I decided it would be best to start talking and doing my part of the presentation. It was up to me to introduce the project to the lectures and tell them who we are and what Doodleblocks is all about. I then set about talking about the fact that we changed from using the old technology to what we are using now. I noticed that the group were still setting up so I tried to be calm and collected and go slow to give them an extra minute to set up. Even though things went off to a rocky start when everything was up and running we began to shine as we usually do, this is evident from our result.
After our Demo we then had a supervisor meeting with Glenn, it was then that he told us out result and told us a few of the comments made from the group of lectures. This was all very good constructive criticism that we gladly took on board. There were also some suggestions as to some of the problems we may face in the future. Some suggestions were to use the Conor’s touch screen computer as the interface and another was to use a gyroscope mouse. I wouldn’t be to familiar with the gyroscope mouse but with a little bit of research maybe it might be something that we can possibly use for our project. There was also another suggestion that we mount the Wii remote behind a plane of Perspex and let the user then use the other side as a canvas of some sort. I like this idea I must say, give the impression you are drawing on paper, not really.
The last few weeks have been building up to today for our ‘demo’ presentation. As mentioned before we had setbacks with the Kinect and unfortunately had to change our technology very recently. Since then, we have all put in a strong effort to try and make sure that we would reach the high standard we want to be at for our demo. Everyone has been working very hard as due to our change of technology we also had to almost fully change other aspects of the project such as the audio and animation video, that were previously completed. It has definitely been a stressful time, but I think that we have all coped very well after our decision to progress and not waste time, when it was very unlikely we could get the Kinect working before the exhibition. So far our back up plan of the interactive screen and touch pad are progressing very well. Conor has also re-done the animation video, which looks even better than our previous one now that colour has been implemented. As for the audio that Neil had to redo he has found a perfect replacement for our voice-over audio, which is now complete, and is making great progress on our animation sounds. Thankfully, the issue with the Kinect did not affect our actual program or graphics so Conor, Paul and myself have been able to continue on developing these aspects.
As for the presentation today it went better than I had thought after we got of to a shaky start – technology seemed to be failing us left, right and center! Between computer screens freezing, a hard drive crashing and an issue with the led sensor we definitely had our fair share of problems. Thankfully, we handled it well. We communicated our work and progress of our project to the lecturers efficiently who seems impressed by much of the project. After speaking to Glenn afterwards he informed us that the main issue the lecturers are anxious about is glitches. This means that we will just have to work very hard over the coming weeks to ensure that we smooth the possibility of these out and user test to ensure everything will run perfectly at the exhibition. We still have a lot of work ahead of us but thankfully after next week our two exams will be over and we will have even more time to put into making our project the best it can possibly be. After our presentation we had a short meeting to discuss our individual contributions for next Tuesday. With regards to the design work, I hope to have all five animations completed and perfected by next week. This will be a challenge as we have two 50% weighting major projects due this weekend as well as exam revision but I feel I will have made great progress with the designs by achieving this.