The Final. Finally.

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Audio Transcript

Presented for your reading pleasure. Trust me, it sounds better when spoken by synthetic beings in funny outfits. The Red Panda character is based on the Hermione persona in the persona writeup, who has an active imagination and enjoys role-playing.

Red Panda (RP): This is the stupidest costume ever. Who thought that it would be a good idea to be The Red Panda? What are my powers anyway?

Robbie (R): You can climb bamboo, and cary your young in a pouch.

RP: That’s it? Ok, we’re going to come up with something awsome this time. Bring up the outfit app!

R: App is up. Waiting.

RP: Show me popular superhero outfits in the costume genome.  Female. Last ten years.

R: Working. Ok, here are 9 popular outfits. Which ones do you prefer?

RP: She-hulk? Really? That’s so not me. How about 2, 5, and 9?

R: Cross breeding genomes of 2, 5 and 9. Working. Ok. Here are six choices. Which ones do you like?

RP: I like 2. Change the skirt though.

R: Randomly generating 4 skirts from the current genome. Here are 4 choices. Which ones do you prefer?

RP: I like 2. Change the fabric to scale armor.

R: Randomly generating four armor sets into current genome. Here are four options. Which ones do you prefer?

RP: I like three. Can we print that here?

R: I’m sorry, but this printer is still broken from when you tried to make your new sidekick, radioactive girl. You’ll have to pick up your new suit in the old lab.

RP: Thanks Robbie. Call the printer repairman please.

R: Wait! You still only have the power to climb bamboo and carry your young in a pouch. Do you want to change that?

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Storyboards for the final

Better late than never, but these went through a lot of revisions:

storyboard 1

Page 1 (click to enbiggen)

storyboard 2Page 2

storyboard 3Page 3

storyboard 4Page 4

storyboard 5Page 5

I’m also going to take a chance here and do the project using the Xtranormal desktop. It’s kind of outside the bounds, but it’s an interesting tool, almost like CG storyboarding. I think it’s worth finding out how it will work for this.

And on another note, I’m doing this while listening to Merrie Amsterburg’s album Season of Rain. Good finals music.

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Adobe Creative Cloud

I bit the bullet and got Adobe Creative Cloud. $30/month, but at least the software is always up to date. So far I’ve been using Photoshop (which I know) and Priemier (which I don’t).

Premier is nice! From my perspective, it’s intuative, in that all I had to do was watch a few Adobe tutorial YouTube videos to get started. The only part that’s been confusing is exporting. I can get the full resolution in mp4 if I select “use import settings”. I’ve only tried once to export in .mov format, and got a 4:3 aspect ratio and lower resolution. This post here seems to address that. I’m going to try that this evening.

It turns out that I had uninstalled QuickTime as part of my ongoing struggles with iTunes updates that don’t install properly (Apple seems to assume that you’ll run as Admin by default. Whatever). Anyway, after installing QT once more, the option to export appeared in the options. It even worked. I pour out a tithe to the format interchangabilty gods.

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Deliverables (4/25)

  • Sketch your storyboard out first using the guidelines in this lecture 
  • Take a photo of your sketches and post it to your blog 
  • Show it to at least 2 people 
  • Write down what they thought, what worked and didn’t 
  • Revise sketches of your storyboard 
  • Post photo of updated sketch to blog 
  • Replace sketches with photos in panel 
  • Post set of all photos to blog (add text with photos)
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Idea Generation Deliverables

Summarize brainstorming techniques:

I used Time Travel, Mind Map and CounterAction Busting.

Time Travel consists of imagining how a particular problem would be solved in the past and future. The Personal Excellence website suggests from 10,000 years in the past to 10,000 years in the future. I went from -10k to +1k, mostly because I think that the machines that replace us will have significantly different fashion tastes.

This was, for me the most fun and original form of idea generation. Looking at how life was lived at a period in time made it easy to look at different philosophies of design and generate scenarios around them

Mind Map is a way of organizing ideas hierarchically and visually. The particularly nice part of this exercise was using the FreeMap project. The process also led me to consider how the system should determine fit, which was something that I hadn’t thought of before.

Counteraction Busting asks you to consider the forces that are standing in the way of progress of the idea. This reminded me most of putting together business plans where all aspects of the marketplace need to be analyzed and accounted for. This helped to identify mundane but important points, like how to initially populate the “ecosystem” of “genomes” and the need for designer tools.


Generating good ideas is never easy – there are a lot of issues that need to be thought through. These techniques provide a nice set of techniques that generate new perspectives on the concept. I actually think that it would be beneficial to try all the techniques, but possibly under a stronger set of constraints. I think that Variable Brainstorming might be particularly useful.

Evaluation Method

Our target demographic was tween girls, and we had access to Brian’s daughter. We presented each one of the concepts in scenario format and asked her to rate them on an open-ended scale. The results will initially show up in Brian’s Blog.

Initial User Reactions

As this process was actually integrated with evaluation method above, the user was in this case the evaluator as well. The scenario walkthrough was very effective in portraying complex information to a tween, and allowed for considerable interaction in the story as opposed to trying to explain the concept as a series of facts. Probably the most surprising finding was that if it were possible to be “uploaded” and live in a completely virtual “candyland”, this would be by far the most preferred option (from the 1,000 year future option in Time Travel).

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Raw brainstorming notes

First, the link for the 25 techniques is here now:

Time travel

  • 10,000 years ago.
    • Items aren’t designed so much as made directly. Stone tools are made interactively, based on how the rock feels.
    • With clothing, this could be done as an interactive sculpture, where the item is pulled and pushed into shape, maybe with touch interaction to work with the textile patterns. In the same way that a master stoneworker developed a vocabulary of hand techniques, the user could use different kinds of contacts to produce analogous clothing effects. I can see gestures that translate to stitching, etc.
  • 1,000 years ago
    • What you wore reflected your station in life and your cohort. Tunics, belts, trousers. Elites imported silk and cotton. Embroidery and colored trim are typical decorations. Around 800 years ago, fashion began, and motifs start to arise. If you are royalty or a courtesan, your dress also reflects your station, but is determined by subject matter experts as to what you should wear for a particular occasion.
    • An expert system that “designs” a working outfit based on what’s happening in the local social context, national and international fashion and general rules of esthetics could be an analogue here.
  • 100 years ago
    • Around 1870-1950, mass production is well established, so there is a large amount of similar items (think Sears Roebuck). At the same time, there is an upscale market for custom items that are enabled by high quality textiles and skilled tailors and seamstresses. In this case, fashion is driven more by what the clothing designer/fabricator can do with the available material and the local fashion. A somewhat theatrical example of this is the curtain dress from Gone With the Wind.
    • An expert with a knowledge of how to best exploit materials is implementable. Developing the context for the expertise is probably tricky, but would have an implicit social/crowdsourced component. The material and capabilities would probably change significantly, so printer-specific knowledge would be critical.
  • 10 years ago
    • Global market and information flows are well established. H&M and similar stores start the IKEA-ification of clothing. Price for low-end fashion collapses. Quality deteriorates to items that can be worn once or twice before they disintegrate. Timeframe from design to retail to remainder bin can be measured in weeks. Shopping is done in stores and online. Designers are more directly connected to their customers through social media.
    • 3D printing probably just extends this, but tightens up the loop and moves the profit model over to IP rather than sales of merchandise.
    • The idea of clothing that is explicitly designed for one use is very possible, and in fact could be designed to change over time in interesting and unique ways, adding a performance attribute to the clothing as it crumbles through the day.
  • 10 years from now
    • This is probably the period of time the concept is aimed at. Not sure what to put here.
  • 100 years from now.
    • Clothing and biology merge. The trend that started with surgical augmentation (well, haircuts, probably) goes to the endpoint. Clothing is alive and intelligent. It may or may not be a (temporary? manipulateable?) part of our bodies. Interestingly, there is a TED talk on this:
  • 1,000 years from now.
    • We are patterns in computers. Because we have a biological heritage, I’m assuming that we still want to interact based on what we currently call our senses. Change can be instant though, and conceivably boundless within the (digital?) ecosystem. I wonder though if after some experimentation with extremely rapid shifting “realities” that we prefer a more “human” fashion timescale. Paradoxically, the cheapest things to make will be those virtual items that can be anything. The truly rare items may be items that are “handmade” in the “real world”. Which kind of implies that we go back to stone knives and bearskins.

Mind Map (built using Freemind)

  • Designing without design

Counteraction Busting

  • It hasn’t been done this way before
    • Disguise it
    • Make it attractive
    • Educate
  • The concepts behind it are kind of tricky
    • Hide the concepts completely
    • Simplify the concepts
    • Make the concepts cool
  • It may not make a “finished” product
    • Add simple design tools
    • Automatically finish product using heuristics.
  • Requires making “genomes” for every component that can be used
    • Crowdsource (voluntary, like KML files. This means that there is a “Genome designer’s tool like sketchup?)
    • Hire designers
  • Requires tools to build usable genomes
    • Make simple tools for everyone
    • Make sophisticated tools for power users
    • Free
    • Sold (Adobe)
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