PComp Final: Sand God – Ideation

In my PComp final project, I wish to explore the following concepts:

  • How would AR impact the physical world?
  • How we can combine AR and AI to tell a compelling story?

In responding to these two concepts, I’m planning to create an interactive installation that allows the audience to defeat a physically presented monster by summoning an mask god existing in the AR world. The
audience will use drawings on the sand to summon and make attack / defend commands to the AR god, and apply damages to the monster. When the monster is eventually defeated after multiple successful attacks, the monster in the physical world will turn to a smiling face.

Below are the storyboard of the interactions between the audience and the

1. In the initial status, the audience will be facing an installation put on the table.

In the front, there will be the summoning stage: a big circular area
covered with sand, and a smaller circular area below it. The best bigger circle will be decorated with several tiny human figures holding their hands up, signifying it is a place to summon something. The smaller circle is painted with with mythical symbols, signifying it is a place to trigger the
summoning action.

On the right of the circle, there will be a pen-sized stick that looks like a wand of a wizard, sticking onto the installation. And this will be the audience’s tool to draw patterns onto the sand.

On the back of the installation, there will be wood pieces carved into the shape of a monster. And together, they set the stage of a fight between a tribe and the monster.

2. To begin, the audience will draw a pattern on the sand. There will be carved patterns (or maybe with instruction texts) on the installation to tell
audience what patterns to draw at the beginning. To draw the patter, the audience will pick up and hold the wand, and use the end of the wand to draw a pattern onto the sand. When the pattern is finished, the audience will hit the smaller circle with the wand, to signal a completed pattern.

3. A hidden camera will be used to take a picture of the pattern, and analyze it. If it matches the designed pattern to summon a god, a god will show up in the AR application.

4. To continue the fight to defeat the monster, the audience will continue to draw other patterns provided on the installation.

5. There will be mainly two categories of patterns – one for attack commands, and one for defense commands. Ideally, when the command is correct, the audience will be able to see the action of the god (to attack/defense) in the AR. The AR is also timed to draw tiny monsters to attack the summoned god.

And on the AR app, there will be statics showing the life of the god (which will decrease upon the monster’s attack), and the life of the monster. The
audience will continue to do so until the monster eventually defeated.

6. When finally the monster is defeated in AR, the monster on the installation will alter shape and change to a smiling face, meaning that the battle is over, and peace has arrived.

ICM Week 5: Arrays

This week I made a motion tracking Match Man that can track your pose in front of a camera and turn it into a “stop-motion style” animation. This should be an ideal tool for any Kong Fu practitioner who wants to learn the Sonic Punch from the master but is too shy to ask in person. 😀

Here is what it feels like in Super Slow Motion mode:

Here’re the movements:

And here’s the guy who slowly did the Sonic Punch…

This project is built on top of a machine learning library called ML5. It is a super friendly JavaScript library which empowers anyone with even just a beginner-level coding skills to take advantage of the mighty AI and to do all kinds of stuff, from image classification to pitch detection. In this project, I used a model called PoseNet that can track the movement of a human body in front of an everyday web camera.

I also cooperated with Ellie Lin to create a Bread Man that can turn yourself into a piece of moving bread.  Check it out and have fun!