Visual Language: Typography

I have chosen six typefaces that describe me.

  • Inconsolata
  • Courier New
  • Comic Sans
  • Press Start 2P
  • Vidaloka
  • Special Elite

Because of my programming background, I chose two monotype typefaces: Inconsolata and Courier New. I am starting to see Inconsolata more and more these days in modern text editors, and when I see Courier, it automatically makes me think about programming.

Comic Sans is chosen because it reminded me of the simple days of elementary school. A time when people didn't really judge you based off what font you're using. Comic Sans is kind of seen as an ancient joke nowadays. Hopefully it makes a comeback.

I liked Vidaloka mainly because of the lowercase 'y'. My name is Bryan. So even though it's not that big of a deal, it still gets inconvenient when people take down or refer to me as Brian through emails, even when the correct spelling is right in front of them. I thought that if the 'y' was more special or looked nicer, people would remember it a bit more.

I chose Special Elite and Press Start 2P simply due to my interests. I love watching film and I love played video games. Special Elite reminds me of the type on film scripts, and Press Start 2P is a reference to the low bit text that appeared on early video games.

I placed horizontal guidelines along each typeface to look at the differences in the cap height, x height, baseline, and descender.

Creating expressive text was simultaneously frustrating and fun. It took me pages of random doodlings before I got to my final three choices. My process was to write down random words and think about what things relate to those words.

I would then look at the letters used and figure out if there were any special characteristics that could be used to represent the relationship to the word. I ended up with split, sword, and nail.

Intro to Comp Media: Animated p5.js

I have animated the sketch that I drew last week. There were three requirements to this new animated sketch:

  • one element controlled by the mouse
  • one element that changes over time, independently of the mouse
  • one element that changes everytime the sketch starts up

By utilizing the mouseX and mouseY constants, I am able to change the size of the spirals, the color of the background, and the positioning of the tetris pieces, all based off the positioning of the mouse. 

The element that changes over time, independently of the mouse, would be the rotating tetris pieces and the forever growing circle that is added in the middle of the sketch. 

The element that changes everytime when the sketch is started would be the color of the growing ellipse and the color of one one of the tetris pieces.

I added these previous additions to the sketch because I wanted the tetris pieces to look like they are actually falling or spiraling down into whatever hole they've fallen into. And because vertigo is a state of disorientation, the mouse does not do what the user expects it to do.

In addition to these animations, I also removed almost all the instances of any hardcoding. Variables are used instead of constant values, so this sketch could easily be changed to another canvas side.

The trickiest thing about the project was the rotation of the pieces. I eventually had to restart my progress for the rotating pieces, because I was essentially using trial and error to find the correct positions. When I started on a fresh slate, it allowed me to clearly position the pieces exactly where I wanted them.

Intro to Phys Comp: Week 2 Lab

The lab this week was a great learning experience for my introduction to physical computing. Since I come from a background of software engineering, I am used to testing my work with little consequence. Physical computing is NOT the same. I am sorry, my poor green LEDs. I did not mean to burn you and your brothers out. Eventually, I was able to get the current voltage for the LEDs via resistors and choosing a lower voltage from the Arduino chip. I hope it gets easier!


Video and Sound: Bloodchild Sound Piece

by Bryan Hsu and Jingfei Lin

If you haven't read Bloodchild by Octavia Butler, please do so or else none of this stuff will make any sense.

The Bloodchild soundpiece is from the point of view of the achti chosen to be sacrificed for the emergency Tlic birthing. I felt that the relationship between Terran and Tlic is an extension of the relationship between animal and human. In the story, Terrans are fed, nurtured, and cared for, until they are needed to be used for selfish reasons. As Gan carries the injured achti to the house, their breathing and heartbeats become one. Gan is hesitant when killing the achti since he may very well meet the same exact fate.

The audience is required to have already read Bloodchild in order to fully understand this soundpiece. The soundpiece is essentially what the achti hears and experiences, so headphones are recommended to enhance the sense of immersion. If this was an installation, visuals could be used to help heighten the experience, and the next step would obviously be VR.

The recording process all of these sound effects was enlightening. Every sound source (except the music towards then end) was created with what most people would call trash. Most of the recording was done in one day. I went to New Jersey over the weekend, so I was able to capture some more organic sounds such as the nighttime ambient noise and footsteps in a hay field. I ended up becoming very familiar with the Zoom recorder's microphone level. By looking at the sound levels, along with general awareness of external forces like wind, I quickly grew accustomed to rapidly recording sounds without having the need to double check the sound recording with my headphones.

Editing in Adobe Audition was a bit of an ordeal, however I was able to get a hang of it quickly. My final Audition mix is still a bit of a mess though, so in any future projects, I need to remember to be more organized with my sound labeling and track naming. The Effects tool was fun to play around with, but I kind of felt aimless since I was basically using trial and error with the different tools to find the effect I wanted. Overall, this assignment was a challenging and great learning experience.