** password: applications ** Applications | What IFs & Choices: Guest Speaker Bret Victor

Applications | Our Choices & What Ifs [Group Presentation on Guest Speaker Bret Victor]

Bret Victor came to our Applications class as a Guest Speaker and it was an interesting talk. My group was one of two that presented on his lecture/workshop. This is the final video in our “What Ifs & Choices” which included a Web-Based application to fabricate an app in real-time, through a competitive voting process and two other “commercials” that were shown in class. [Guest Speaker, September 17th & September 24th Group Presentation]

Our Process: We had a “Brainstorming Session” where we took notes on themes that resonated with us, dissected the targeted audiences for the app and the presentation, and voiced a bit of our disappointment, as we had all read Bret Victor’s “Brief Rant” for Phys Comp (which I reacted to in an earlier blog post, on here, myself.) He showed/spoke to us about the incredible design that he created for Al Gore’s “Our Choice” app which is a companion to the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Our Result: Michael would create a “What Ifs” app to allow the audience to chose what features could be included for their own Global Warming Crisis app, however we ultimately had pre-programmed the results beforehand. Billy created the app look/UI design, which we used as stills in our videos to animate the process. We interspersed “interstitials” throughout the presentation, which I edited together and sourced from web content (majorly Creative Commons work & King Deluxe’s treasure trove of art.) Yiang created a musical visualization in Processing that was projected onto the ceiling, to induce the effect of being in a bubble (this was one of our themes, and a term Bret mentioned in his talk.)


Thank you to my group members: Billy Dang, Yiang Liang & Michael Onnepo they made this frantic process of editing, worth it!

Things I’ve learned:

-Web content takes A LOT of rendering, because it’s compressed at H.264 but in Final Cut you are in Apple Pro Res

-The ITP Production Laptops are amazing…should’ve figured out that they are faster than my comp a little earlier

-Render while you sleep

-4 videos in 4 days in insane….3 videos is just as crazy…hell One video in 3-4 days is just nuts

-People get very mad when you tell them they are creating an app from their choosing but instead control the results and trick them. Even after we told them it was an experiment and showed them their actual choices, the room was a tad icy.

-All the hard work was worth it, before & after. I was impressed and touched by my peers. They brought their many insights to the Post-Presentation discussion and really came alive. It was an incredible feeling.


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