Stick Man

categories: projection mapping, animation

tools: MadMapper, After Effect

collaborator: Gilad Dor

Stick man are the main characters in this video installation. Multiple videos are projected onto a wall corner, which reveal a hidden world at a plain space. Each stick man has their own fate that they repeat like an infinite loop. Some stick men walk on a path and disappear. Some keep jump from a cliff. Some just sit and watch. Some tries to keep hanging in there. Behind stick men’s unified face, where are they going? What is in their mind? Are they the same person or not?

 

Creative Process

concept

Day 1: I wanted to create a miniature world that mini human dwell in. I first imagined the installation to be a web like structure (picture reference below). Mini human walk on their paths, and those paths weave into a web structure. 

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Technical challenges

Day 2: We started by creating a video of a person walking in a square. We used Premiere. We keyed a green screen video of a person walking, and we made him walk in a square using keyframes. We tried to project this first video onto the wall. We realized if we sized the human down, his would walk in a smaller square. Our next step would be figure out the distance we want the little human walk.

 
 

Day 3: We tried to create more animation by using After Effects. This is my first time using After Effects. We put few tapes on the wall and tried to map it onto the tape. When we mapped the animation with MadMapper, it was very pixelated and easily distorted. Although we tried to adjust the number of pixels in After Effects or move the projector closer, it was still not very ideal.

 
 

design

Day 4: We started to think about the physical installation of the project. How could we take the mini people out of the wall? We first thought about hanging a frame in the air and put tape across. We bought PVC pipes and connect them into a square. It doesn’t look visually very interesting as we expected.

 
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Day 5: The next day, we decided to put tape in a corner, and it looked amazing. The corner space is very inspiring to me. I started to drop shapes onto the wall through MadMapper, just to experiment. Gilad liked it a lot, and he expanded our animation to not only walking but more movement. Through MadMapper, I drew shapes in the projection and created a world that these mini people live in. Those shapes create a minimal, geometric, yet dynamic world. I also changed two tapes from 1inch to 2inch. It makes the mini people less pixelated, and the 2inch tape also pop more to viewers’ eyes to create more dimension.

installation

 
 

Reflection

To me, this artwork reminds me a conspiracy that human world is a mini lab controlled by aliens. In this installation, the viewers become the “alien.” How does this perspective affect the audience? The mini people in our installation behave like they have a set destiny of what they are doing, but they are unconscious about their destiny. They follow it without doubt. This art also explores the theme of path, finding path, following the path, or not.