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Video and Sound · Week 3

Virtual Sound Walk Project Reflection

As briefly mentioned in my blog post from last week, my partner decided on the theme of a “musical forest” and agreed on trying to achieve a sense of calmness and meditation feel through our environment. By navigating through our forest walk way, we hope our audiences could immerse in the essence and intrinsic quality of nature.

In terms of collaboration, my partner and I got together to plan out the order of our audio selection, and I worked on our main aesthetic choice through searching for assets in Unity’s asset store. For our sound, we hoped to create an ascending feeling as the audience navigates deeper into the forest and thus began our walk with singular instrumental audio sounds such as the flute and violin, and then slowly overlaying and added in stronger and heavier audio sounds such as the piano and orchestra symphony. To emphasize our forest environment, we also included a background audio of birds chipping throughout the entire walk, and bits and pieces of river flowing/sounds of water.

After deciding on a concrete audio plan for our walk, I then started working in Unity by importing a forest/trees asset that has more of a realistic feel to them and then building our environment. I also added a walkway/pathway within the forest to guide our users and audiences the navigate according to our audio plan. As mentioned last week, since I created my own scene and I didn’t start building from the sample scene provided, I faced issues of incorporating the audio trigger setup for our sound clips. But instead, I ended up discovering a way around it by adjusting all of our imported audio clips from 2D to 3D and increasing the radius of where the audio clips can be heard to get a very similar effect.

In terms of the visual and environment set up, we decided to add in some butterflies and bunnies along the pathway to make our forest slightly more lively despite putting emphasis on the sounds. I feel that these little animals/creatures somewhat served as little surprises as people encounter them and also served as guides to indicate where to navigate towards. As our plan was to create an immersive meditative forest environment, we decided on not really setting any borders to our scene in Unity to allow our audiences to continuously explore instead of marking an end to the experience.

In summary, our group’s collaboration process went fairly smoothly as we didn’t work in Unity simultaneously, and I ended up packaging my Unity file according to the instructions provided to us in class and then passing it on to my partner to continue to add to the environment. I think this was definitely a good approach as we would probably face issues or struggle to combine our scenes together if we work separately in two files. Overall, despite facing minor issues such as with the audio trigger and WebDL export changing our scene’s lighting, I feel that the project definitely served as a rewarding experience for us to incorporate our understanding of sound, and adding a visual layer to further convey the mood and feeling of our respective audio choices.

Final Video Project Idea and Storyboard

For our final video project, my teammates and I got together to discuss briefly on our project, and am currently  leaning more towards the first option, creating a viral video campaign for social media. Since we aren’t entirely sure about the boundaries and approaches we can take for this project, especially with us collaborating from three different countries, we decided to each sketch out a quick storyboard of a different fairytale/folktale, and then decided on which one is more doable and manageable after we have a deeper understanding of the project scope and also given our current situation.

I decided to plan out a storyboard for the Aesop fable story, The Fox and The Grapes, which I believe is a fairly simple story with one main character and scene.

Storyboard of The Fox And The Grapes

Key Character: Fox

Key Elements: Grapes, vine, tree, tree branch

“A Fox one day spied a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine trained along the branches of a tree. The grapes seemed ready to burst with juice, and the Fox’s mouth watered as he gazed longingly at them.

The bunch hung from a high branch, and the Fox had to jump for it. The first time he jumped he missed it by a long way. So he walked off a short distance and took a running leap at it only to fall short once more. Again and again he tried, but in vain.

Now he sat down and looked at the grapes in disgust.

‘What a fool I am,’ he said. ‘Here I am wearing myself out to get a bunch of sour grapes that are not worth gaping for.’

And off he walked very, very scornfully.”

Story Moral: There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.

Story Reference: Library of Congress Aesop Fables

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