Explorable Curation – Developments

This week I spent some time building on the work that I had previously done for the explorable section of our piece. To recap, we currently have a walkable gallery that we have tested in Unity, with placeholder images and a plan of the layout. There are a range of things still to think about, including lighting design, typography and audio.

Content Development

We previously had placeholders for paintings and so I made efforts to begin to populate the space. Having previously decided on the layout, with sections allocated to different themes and development in Colin’s career, I knew roughly what we needed. I got in touch with Colin Davidson to receive high quality images of his paintings for each part of the gallery. We felt that the high quality was important, not just to bring a professional finish to the piece, but also so that the viewer could get up close to the paintings without losing the quality.

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A few tweaks

Colin sent through a range of what I had asked for, which was amazing, however there were a few images he was unable to send. We had originally planned for a section at the beginning of the gallery to have a few images of Colin’s childhood and images with him and his father, who is also a painter. We only had one image of Colin in art school, which could not stand totally alone. Without these images, I realised that a few tweaks had to be made to the flow of the gallery.

After a discussion with the girls we came up with a solution; we could still talk about Colin’s early days by using the one image of Colin in Art School and one image of him in his studio now. The other section, would then be populated with paintings from Colin’s Belfast theme, and the window reflections theme; two painting styles which Colin mentioned, heavily influenced how he painted people.

Rejigging the explorable

The explorable in Maya need a few tweaks on the basis of these changes and I also noticed that a range of the UVs weren’t done. I took time to redo these, to make sure that our typography, when it comes in, can be placed seamlessly.

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Next Steps…

With the layout and content fixed and gathered, our explorable environment is ready to be populated. Things we’ll be thinking about:

  • Typography – I’m going to be spending time developing the design of the typography. This includes title artwork, how each section is introduced and any information that the participant has to read.
  • Light design – From previous feedback, we realise that we need to guide the viewer through the space using light. I’ll be putting effort into testing the best way to do this.
  • Painting Layout – Physically placing each of the paintings at a height and scale that is most effective for the viewer

With these things in mind, I’m really looking forward to seeing these things come together. Where previously everything was in testing, this is now all working on the final setup, so I will be constantly checking myself against the goals of the piece to ensure that my designs align with our original aims.

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