University of Oregon - Department of Architecture - ARCH 424/524 Cheng - Advanced Design Development Media

Assignment 5

Scientific Comparison or Imaginative Speculation


To develop skill in using images, models and animations to make a convincing argument or tell a story.

Option 1: Scientific Comparison

Becher and Becher's book of Water Towers, each page displays a unique structure photographed frontally under similar lighting conditions.  The photographers centered each subject in the frame so it would fill approximately the same size area each time. Through the consistency of format, they emphasize the unique idiocyncracies of each tower.

Your challenge is create consistently formatted sets of images from your classmates' models and use them to support your ideas about an aspect of Maybeck architecture. For an example of this approach, see Michael Meade's Exterior Framing study or Michael Great's Overhang study.


0. Crit your peers giving comments on modeling, rendering and web design quality with special attention to improvement.

1. Make your work accessible. Start by creating a revealing 100 x 100 image of your own model called login.jpg and upload it to your place directory with your model named login.fmz where login is your gladstone or darkwing user name. Update your symbol library with any new pieces that could be used by others. Check to see that they download correctly as a usable models. ON THURSDAY, FEB. 17 bring your files on a ZIP drive to be placed on the Klamath-Millrace Pigasys Course Disk.

2. Collect models. Examine your classmates' work and select 3D models relevant to your topic.   Look at how the work has developed over time and has adapted to different circumstances. Consider the topical study that you began earlier in the term (or propose a new one) and make a list of related aspects (3 minimum) to study through comparisons. Copy the models which would support ideas and observations about these aspects. In some cases, you will need to create additional partial models to complete the sets.

3. Create consistent renderings, QTVR panoramic images, VRML models or animations.  Experiment to find views or paths which show the most about the aspects you are illustrating. In some cases, you will need simultaneous views of the same model such as plan and section to tell the story fully. Carefully position lighting to be exactly consistent in all images.

Adjust backgrounds, materials and textures so they support rather than distract from your comparisons.   Using color analytically rather than naturalistically may be more illuminating. Keep artificial colors consistent with your web graphics palette, using bright saturated colors sparingly as accents.

4. Explain the renderings. Create one web page for each aspect of your study and write explanatory paragraphs comparing and contrasting the images you have created. Design how the text blocks visually compliment the images.

OPTION 2: Imaginative Speculation

Artists such as Jan Dibbets and David Hockney have shown us how photographs can be used to create spaces and form which don't exist in nature.  By combining views taken at different times from different viewpoints, they create a composite picture akin to Cubism. Hockney's work, such as the Scrabble game, shows multiple facets of a changing subject to create a complex portrait not limited to one view. Dibbets takes the perspective distortion inherent in single photographs and collages them to create spatial depictions that don't really exist.

Your challenge is to explore how digital rendering, animation and image manipulation tools can create new kinds of surreal spatial representations. You are to create a imaginative story and illustrate it with collages which combine computer renderings and photographs.

Can you make compositions which capture the essence of Maybeck architecture? You have the opportunity to combine 3D models and renderings of different buildings to synthesize new spatial experiences.


0. Crit your peers (see Option 1)

1. Make your model accessible (see Option 1)

2. Collect models & images: Examine your classmate's work and plan a simple story or journey that you will illustrate. Sketch out how you will capture and sustain viewer's interest through a sequence of images, tourable models or animated pieces. Download relevant image and model files. Digitize your own photographs, take digital images or collect public domain images to supplement the pieces you have found.

3. Create renderings, QTVR, VRML or animations: Combine models through copying and pasting or loading and placing symbols. Rather than creating a Frankenstein of disjoint pieces, look for compatible pieces and model transitions between major rooms. Don't worry about completing a full 3-D model.  Instead, work as a set designer and sculpt out a spatial sequence for the camera's view, omitting any unseen areas.

Find views and pathways which accentuate the story you want to tell. Adjust lighting, materials and colors to be harmonious with your web site graphics and to highlight the most spectacular parts of the journey. Create the images, tourable models or animations which support your story, collaging in phographic imagery to enrich the computer-generated world.

4. Tell the story. Sequence your graphic products so that they build up interest in your subject. Use text to explain each step of the story, crafting the use of fonts to create an artistic presentation.


Models accessible: Thursday, February 17

Sketch of topics, story and images:  Tues, February 22

Draft images & products:  Thurs, February 24

FINAL HAND-IN: Tuesday, February 29, 9:00 am.

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edited Jan 9, 2000 by nywcheng