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Robert Williams Virtual Environments Studio Journal Module 1- Ideation


Brain Storm

I like to organise my thoughts visually using a flow chart such as this. I explored different possibilities within the three catergories listed, Geology, Plants and Biological Structures. From these I thought about what I associated with these catergories and branched out from those thoughts; trying to think outside the box, especially within the biological structures section.


Range of Found Images From the brainstorm I chose different ideas to pursue and searched for images through the internet. These are the images I found and from these I was able to choose one I thought had the potential to be explored. I chose the pineapple skin (Fig. 10) because of its uniformity and mix of square and traingular shapes.

Fig. 4 Palm tree bark- another stacked formation made up of rhombus’.

Fig.1 A cut tomato- six triangles arranged evenly in a circular pattern.

Fig. 5 Rhino skin- wrinkles in the skin creating seperate spaces.

Fig. 10 Skin of a pineapple- repeated irregular squares with traingular shapes layered on top.

Fig. 2 Fossilised Coral- many small circles divided into triangles. Arranged rings getting larger as they go out.

Fig. 6 Rock erosion formation- many irregular circles packed together.

(Refer to the reference page for origin of each image.)

Fig. 3 Snake skeleton- long, thin ribs repeated the length of the spine.

Fig. 7 Surgeon fish- repeated lines along the length of the fish.

Fig. 11 Peacock feathers- coloured ovals inside each other, surrounded by repeated curved lines.

Fig. 8 Timber rings- repeating circles in an outward direction.

Fig. 9 Tiger stripes- close symetry with the spine being the centre of the black stripes.

Fig. 12 Bamboo- repeated vertical lines, intersected evenly spaced horizontals at irregular intervals.

Fig. 13 Turtle shell- series of pentagon shapes with marked centres.


I imported the image into Adobe Photoshop and scaled the image. I also cropped it, so as to focus on the pattern, which simplified it to aid in the drawing process. I used the ‘Black and White’ function to alter the image; removing all colour to emphasise the remaining shapes within the pattern.

My Chosen Found Image Skin of a Pineapple


Analytical Drawings of the Pineapple Skin

First Analytical Drawing- Symetry In my preliminary drawing I traced the main shapes of the skin; identifying the main squares and the triangles inside it. I then used dotted lines to show the tension and direction of the inner lines of the upper half. This made clear the lines within this triangle all connect at a central point.

Third Analytical Drawing- Movement

Second Analytical Drawing- Balance I simplified the analysed image by removing the smaller parts to show the just the main lines again but including a dot to depict the focus of the pattern. I placed the dot in the centre of the main square where the inner lines all connect.

the third drawing is aiming to depict the ‘essence’ of the image. To show this abstracted view of the pattern I continued with the triangles, using solid and dotted lines. I chose to leave a simple triangle and two dotted lines meeting at the centre of the now invisible square, showing the direction of the pattern.


Workshop 1: Emerging In this workshop we were challenged with making our flat picture of the natural pattern into a 3D form. Originally I struggled with this concept unitl Annie Walsh suggested I follow the lines in my analytical drawings and create the peaks that were in my pattern (Fig 1). Using thin strips of paper and folding them to create the peaks and lined them up with my pattern (Fig 2). Fig 1

To develop this further I added layers increasing in scale to create the peak and then decreased (Fig 3) I decided to then remove the form from the image completely to make more natural curves and continue the use of scale within the form (Fig 4). Then came the issue of how to connect these forms together. I looked at replicating the formation of the pineapple skin (Fig 5). I did not like this idea as it was too similar to the original image and did not serve as a real transformation. Connecting the forms in relative size was pointed out as an option by Michelle and I decided this was a more appropriate and natural configuration. It also emphasised this changing of scale through out the form, as well as created interesting spaces inbetween the sections (Fig 6)

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6


Further Development Model 1

Fig 7

Fig 8

Fig 9

Fig 10

To take this form further I concluded I needed more of it and made another two sections of this scaling structure (Fig 7). Again, the issue of how to attach these pieces together arose. I experimented with entangling (Fig 8) as well as simply hanging from a conncted point at the top (Fig 9). I decided to continue with connecting the pieces in one line, however due to human error some sections deviated from this by leaning to one side or being connected on an angle (Fig 10). This only added to the transformation, removing it further from the base pattern.


Fig 11

Fig 12

Further Development Continued Model 2

Fig 13

Fig 14

Fig 15

I revisited my earlier concept of the scaling layers based on the pinneapple skin (Fig 3). Instead I chose to make more geometric forms by folding the edges of the paper to create an angle within the section and proceeded to join them together to create geometric curves. (Fig 11 & 12) I settled on the curves being connected on a line of basic symetry and explored this, with deciding to continue the curve right round in a circular shape but still maintaining the angles within the curves, which presented a unique form. (Fig 13 & 14) I continued creating these circular forms in various sizes keeping the the scaling theme and attached them to each other by mirroring and rotating; continuing this mirrored line of symetry idea.(Fig 15)


Tried a reasonably straight arrangement, letting the light travel through the smaller gaps and creating a concentrated section of shadow.

A more wholistic image. Notice the darker sides of the rings opposite to the light source creates an emphasised 3D representation.

Since the form is made up of pionted rings I tried to arrange it in a interweavoven circle. This made some interesting shadows upon the model and on the background.

An internal view down the centre of the model. Shows the decreasing and increasing scale of the rings.

Different camera angle of the arrangement above. Gives more shadow and projects the rings onto the background clearly. Also preduces a sense of hierarchy with a larger ring at the top and smaller one at the bottom.

Simple arrangement with the projected shadows showing the overlapping of the rings in an almost random fashion.

Brought the 30 dgree angle light closer to try and increase the shadow size. This worked well however eliminated the detail within the model.

Photo Shoot Model 1

Here I tried a more random and tangled arrangement. Shadows are cast upon itself by other parts of the model as well as a more heaped shadow on the background.

The bottom end shows the different scale used with this evident throughout the model. Not as much shadow but lights up the underside of the model creating a different effect.


Close up and cropped view focussed on the different sized shapes and the angles used to create them.

Cropped view. Projected shadow is a large singular ring. Shadows on thr model show the form and the angles present.

More shadows present on the model, hard to see the shadow on the background. More of a focus on the arrangment of the model and its versatility.

Whole model in view. Projected shadow not very clear, however shadows on the model help to illuctrate the form .

Photo Shoot Model 2

Clear projection onto backround, interesting shapes. The light is very close to the model so the detail is lost.

Different arrangement, the shadow is clearer this time. The shadows present within the model show the curviture of the ring walls.

Another close up focussing on the folds and shape of the rings.

Close up looking down on the model. Depicts this mirrored growth to create the form. Lighter and darker sections emphasising the form.


The Formation Process Behind the Skin of a Pineapple

Fig 26

There are many species of Pineapple with the common threads being that they grow on the ground and have green spiky leaves. The pineapple emerges from the centre of this circular arrangement of leaves on a stalk. The top of the Pineapple is part of the plant, with the fruit growing around the spiky leaves beneath it; kind of consuming them as the fruit gets bigger and bigger. The leaves reduce in size because of this and leaves little spikes on the outside of the pineapple. The reason for getting the diamond or square shape around the spikes is also to do with the shape of the leaves as it grows. Refer to Fig 26 & Fig 27.

Reference: Birgit Bradtke 2007, Tropical Permaculture, accessed 16 March 2013, < http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-pineapples.html>

Fig 27

What I have taken from the pattern is its triangular spike and made it 3D by using increasing and decreasing scale in Model 1. The model is emulating the form of the remains of the leaves on the fruit. Model 2 is a little more removed from the base pattern. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m still using the spiky leaves as inspiration but using mirrored symmetry to transform the angled curves into connected rings and created the overall form using the idea of outward growth that the Pineapple goes through as it matures.


Rhino Modelling of Emerging Form

The singular geometric ring

Third Configuration

First configuration

Fourth Configuration

I created my basic ring using geometric curves, using the points to transform them into irregular shapes and created surfaces from these points. Since I am looking at scaling and growth I tried different configurations to illustrate these concepts. The first uses copy, rotate and scale and looks at the various angles that I can connect the rings at but creates a reasonably flat arrangement. With trying to expand the overall structure I used the Polar Array tool to copy five rings spaced vertically in my second attempt and used different scaling and rotations to fill the gaps, which created clusters of shapes to show the growth. The third explored the use of a central piont and using the 3 Point Plane Mirror function I expanded out from the central ring; branching out in different directions but not altering the scale. The Fourth arrangement I created led on from this central point concept. Still using the mirror function made a spiral down the bottom and went upwards and out, creating more natural curves; appears as a more organic structure. The Fifth came back to the idea of a cluster but explored the idea of what lighting effect I could create through layering the rings on top of each other. I elongated some rings making them resemble crystals and used ranging sizes to create this closely connected form.

Second Configuration Fifth Configuration, Front View

Fifth Configuration, Right View


Workshop 2: Forming

In this workshop I experimented with the concept behind the form of my lantern mimicking the up and outward direction that a pineapple plant grows. My first attempt used different sized, twisted pieces ‘growing’ from the one point and as a group taking up a larger area. Michelle suggested that I think of the form as one piece rather than individual ones to be a true volumetric representation. The second version explores this better, starting with a ball of plasticine and ‘teasing’ the strands out from it. My third form relates to the individual components that my lantern will be made of and creates a more geometric and rigid shape for the form of the lantern.


Further Development of the Lantern Form

I looked at how we are able to hold pineapples. Either from the top or bottom is possible but the bottom is probably more comfortable and practical. I decide that the lantern will be held by an up turned palm.

I take inspiration from how the pineapple plant grows as it produces the fruit. I have previously mentioned itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up and outward direction of growth, which I tried relating directly to the overall form. The red arrows indicate the direction(s) that the form is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;growingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

I thought about the lantern wrapping around the arm like a vine and growing in width as it spiralled upwards. Also spiralling outwards from a central point of the hand. From these light would stream out in different directions much like the form itself.

Thinking of the lighting effects, I tried creating a form that utilised lights placed in the centre and that would shine through clustered components to give off layered shadows. Using a form I created in Rhino in the previous week (far left), I tried intergrating it with the human form. I feel it could be an interesting solution as it incorporates the spiral from the hand and leads upwards branching off over the shoulders and head. This overall size has the potential to create interesting lighting effects.


Scale Representation of Developing Forms

Using white plasticine and a drawing mannequin for scale I modelled the forms I had sketched. The above form uses the growth of a pineapple bush with the tenticle forms leading from the hand, with a main tenticle running up the arm and around the neck. This connects the torso with the form and mimicks the growth of the arm from the torso and branches out like the fingers from the palm in the human form. The lighting would be direct considering the shape of the components, however there would be some layering occurring from the cluster of tenticles.

This form relates specifically to the angle of the leaves of the pineapple plant and how they are large in the centre and diminish in size as they get closer to the edge of the bush. The longest ‘leaf’ wraps around the arm as this idea of continuous growth and the scaling ‘leaves’ as extension of the fingers. The rotating of the components making up the leaves would create intersecting beams of light adding a randomness to an organised form.

Here I tried increasing the size as the spiral heads towards the shoulder. I also used a representive cube as the shape that I created in Rhino. It creates a more geometric feel to the form, which will be most likely for the final lantern. It is is an interesting effect by merging the curves of the spiral with hard rigid lines of the repeated cubes. The emitting light would accentuate this spiral form through the direct cuts in the components.


Scale Representation of Developing Forms

Here I took another form from my Rhino sessions and created it to scale, again using representive cube components. Front on it grows out and you almost lose the hand in this expansion, however side on it comes across very flat and seems to loose the depth that is present in the other photos. It has the potential to create direct lighting effects from the holes in each components front and back which would hit the human form behind and incorporates it through the lighting rather than the physical lantern itself.

Exploring the form through plasticine illustrates how complex the intertwining of the components could be and would be a combination of layered and direct lighting which might be an intringuing combination. However it does resemble the shape of a pineapple which is what I need to avoid otherwise what is the point of the whole module? So this option probably isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t viable but a good eperiment when considering the lighting effects possible.

This is possibly the most adventerous with the form wrapping around the whole arm, neck and head. It uses the concept of growing from the palm of the hand and increasing in size as it moves up the arm. The way the pineapple bush seperates in the middle to let the pineapple emerge is used here except its the head that the form is parting to allow. This would be using direct light creating the image that the human form is the central source of the emitting light and the lantern is aiding this.


Final Lantern Form For my final design I have merged my first and last forms, taking the growth from the palm of the hand and the tenticles wrapping around the shoulders, neck and head. I acknowlegde that this is ambitious, (It can always be simplified), but I believe it will be worth it considering the lighting effects gained from the overall size and will create the belief of assimilation between the human form and the lantern. The layering of shadows from the growth at the palm and the direct lighting around the head add to the presence of the combined forms.


Desired Lighting Effects of My Developed Form

Fig. 28

The lighting characteristics that I would like my form to possess are a mixture of direct and layered lighting. The layered lighting would be from the cluster of components on the palm of the hand and as the form expands up and around the shoulder direct beams of light would be emitted from the line of components, creating walls of light around the neck and head of the wearer. The images illustrate the elements of which I would like to use. The top image (controlled roof system) shows the use of direct lighting and the pattern it can create on a surface. This image uses geometric shapes like my form and shows the hard lines in the shadows seperating the light from the dark. It is appealing because the shape of the openings are defined when they are projected onto the floor, which is something I would like to replicate in my lantern. The second shows the layering of shadows and how they can be used to distort a space and give it a new perspective. The cluster growing close together and out from the hand in my form would create these intersecting shadows to depict centred energy of growth like in a plant. As the form extends out from this cluster the lighting clarifies and becomes simpler, allowing the lighting to be less concentrated around the head and gives direction to the form.

Fig. 29


Employing the Lighting Effects in My Lantern My lantern will be made up of connecting individual components in lines. Because of this construction, each component has a hole in the centre in the form of a irrregular pentagon. Viewing from left to right, holes are shown along the body of the lantern outlined in black. The red lines in the second sketch represent the light direction from each component. These first two sketches depict the outline of the form, the placement of the light emmitting holes and the light direction, so in my final sketch I combine this information to show the clustering and layering of light around the hand and the light dispersing up and outwards around the shoulders of the human form.


Online Image References Fig.1 Roxana 2013, The half of fresh tomato isolated on the white, Amazon Web Services, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://www.colourbox.com/image/ the-half-of-fresh-tomato-isolated-on-the-white-image-1468638> Fig.2 Sharp Patterns, AAA Round Fossils, Ring, Rings Coral Fossil Cabochon 2013, Etsy Incoporated UK, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://www.etsy.com/ listing/74561828/sharp-patterns-aaa-round-fossils-ring> Fig.3 BettesBoots 2012, Snake Skeleton, Blog at Word Press, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://bettesboots.com/2012/04/20/snake-skeleton-casperwilderness-15/ Fig.4 Ritchard Ditch 2009, Palm Tree Bark, Blog at Word Press, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://richditch.wordpress.com/2009/06/> Fig.5 Torsten Lorenz 2013, detail photo of a rhinos thick gray skin, 123RF Limited, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://www.123rf.com/photo_5610934_detailphoto-of-a-rhinos-thick-gray-skin.html> Fig.6 Douglas Williams, Erosion pattern in rock, Visual Photos, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://www.visualphotos.com/image/1x6187217/erosion_pattern_in_rock> Fig.7 Ted Szukalski 2013, Striped Surgeonfish - Great Barrier Reef, Digital Photo Gallery of Ted Szukalski 2013, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://digitalphoto.com.au/gallery3/index.php/Animals-Fauna/fish/Striped-surgeonfish-089> Fig.8 Getty, DNA fingerprinting of timber can help tackle illegal logging, Australian Geographic, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/tree-fingerprinting-helps-track-illegal-logging.htm> Fig.9 DecalSkin, Tiger Skin, Decal Skin Online Store, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://www.decalskin.com/artwork/tiger-skin.html> Fig.10 Selvin Chance 2003, Pineapple skin, Pbase Photos, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://www.pbase.com/image/16638638> Fig.11 Mel 2010, Peacock feathers textures patterns backgrounds, pictures Blog at Word Press, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://mrsbissing.wordpress. com/2010/05/04/peacock-feather-inspired-button-bouquet/> Fig.12 Yellow Bamboo,Magic Murals 2012, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/ref_elec3.html#elec23> Fig. 13 smash_la 2011, Tortoise Shell, Blogger, accessed 7 March 2013, <http://smashingla.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/tortoiseshell.html> Fig. 26 Birgit Bradtke 2007, Growing a Pineapple Fruit, Tropical Permaculture, accessed 16 March 2013, < http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-pineapples.html> Fig. 27 Birgit Bradtke 2007, Baby Pineapple Fruit, Tropical Permaculture, accessed 16 March 2013, < http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growingpineapples.html> Fig. 28 Elsevier B.V. 2012, Heuristics rendered preview, Science Direct, accessed 23 March 2013, < http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0926580512001148> Fig. 29 livebreathestyle 2012, Gorgeous lighting at Hotel Sorrento, Blog at Word Press, accessed 23 March 2013, < http://livebreathestyle.wordpress. com/>


Wk 3 Journal Module 1