Utopia 1

June 21, 2010

Outline for a Level 5  or 6 Brief

This is a more literal interpretation of the original idea which should help this level of student  focus on basic techniques.

Digital Landscape

Create a short video sequence of a digitally created landscape lasting 90 to 120 seconds long.

The landscape can contain

  • Trees
  • Ferns
  • Grass
  • Birds or insects
  • Water
  • Flowers
  • Fire

These elements  can be created using an appropriate generative software application, captured using a screen cam and then put together in a video editing package  to create an abstract version of a landscape.

Additionally include for a couple of real world elements that you have shot on camera such as sky or people.


Some interesting, related ideas for digital landscapes

Le temps passe

Trees and ferns


  • Created using Affine Transformation Fractals
  • Geometric  transformation and self-similarity
  • Bifurcation

Software: VVVV, Fractint


Fractal tree animation

Lost in a Forest

Trees in the wind

Cherry Blossom



  • From particle modelling techniques for dust and explosions effects in games and movies

Software: Particle Illusion


See page 3 “meadows” example in effects examples of Particle Illusion home page

Scruch – Flower generator

Birds & Insects


  • Modelling flocking behaviour of animals.

Software: Boids, Processing


Java Boids Simulator – also a good example of idea behind this brief

Simple 3D bird – Processing

Flock of birds – Processing


Investigate the software and try changing some simple settings to see how they change the visual output.

Once you have something you like capture it using a screen cam, or output to a video file, depends on the package you are using.

Learn some basic AV editing techniques to put it all together.

Create  a couple of natural elements shot on camera.

Create a library of video clips to be edited in Premier Pro.

Combine them to create a landscape using green screen, matte techniques.

Source or record  audio clips to create a sound track of environmental noises that may be heard in your landscape….note this part will count towards your audio unit.

Export from Premier as a finalised movie


Linked units?

Audio Editing


Utopia Installation  Portfolio – a project covering design and construction of an installation for the public to experience their Utopia projects.  Basic components; dark room; projectors; screens; speakers.


June 10, 2010

Or Brave New World

The TV tells us this is a time of change, a chance to create a new society.

What will this new society be like?

How can we start to imagine it?

Should we just rush in and try lots of new ideas without really understanding their full impact?

Can we really hope to get agreement about solutions to complex problems when, in many cases, we cannot even agree what the problem is in the first place?

Perhaps this is where art could play an important role, by allowing us to stand back and take time to reflect upon building blocks of a healthy society.

Creating different viewpoints, and stimulating discussion and debate about the current state of society and where it is heading.

As part of this process your brief is to produce a series of audio visual pieces that represent an  important aspect of society and wider environment to which we are linked.

Suggested Themes

  • Organic Structure
  • Evolution
  • Chaos
  • Life & Death
  • Data visualisation
  • Emergent properties
  • Flocks, herds and groups
  • Spirituality

More to follow