How to bring a common language off the ground to reveal the ideas behind a mixed reality project? A concept map helps visualize the big picture. One image to articulate perceptions of a unique world expressed through cinematic mixed reality.
Why will people interact with your cinematic streams? Which communities is your project trying to reach? How can you better understand them to engage meaningful interactions and encourage new behaviors? Interactor studies involve research and interviews to dig deeper into those questions.
A person interacting with cinematic bits is more than a user. The role she plays brings here closer to that of an inter-actor. Taking from interactor studies, how can we define her unique psychology and specific behavior? A persona is a one page document which communicates the profile of a person who will interact with characters, colors, motions or various elements of your cinematic mixed reality.
This is where traditional narrative meets interactive narrative. An interaction scenario tells the overall story of persona interacting with a mixed reality system. It describes in a few paragraphs her actions and motivations. What is she going through?
From camera shots and audio recordings to 3D models and computer vision data not forgetting web URLs and metadata, what are the cinematic elements involved in your mixed reality project? A cinematic content matrix is a spreadsheet document that plans the creation and keeps track of these elements as your project evolves.
What is the relationship between your various cinematic elements? To establish a common understanding among the creative team, the cinematic data model is a diagram which represents the different types of elements and their connexions to one another. This method helps envision the technological tools and frameworks best suited for your cinematic mixed reality project. It also gives directions to the meaning expressed through each element.
A flow diagram represents motion from mainly two points of view: that of the mixed reality interactor or that of the mixed reality system. From an interactor's point of view, for example, a flow diagram shows how a person goes from a fully virtual scene to an augmented reality stream. From a system's point of view, it could show how a virtual character or object moves from scene to scene or is generated by a specific event.
Here is where we communicate more specific interactions with elements of cinematic streams. Interactor stories derive from the user stories method of agile web development. Each story is a short sentence telling one action of the interactor over one element. What specific gesture? With what character or object?
Wireframing of cinematic mixed realities takes away from the page metaphor to reach representation closer to photomontage, compositing or 3D modeling. With augmented and virtual reality displays, even the framing part of wireframing can be questionned! Nevertheless, in the context of interactions with cinematic streams, wireframes remain an essential tool to represent the structure of interfaces.
Methods evolves with time and projects but the goal remains the same: to imagine and communicate the structure and behavior of cinematic interactions systems.
To iterate upon the design, workshops are held on a regular basis with the people involved in a project. A workshop can be a few hours session during which designers, developers and cinemakers from producer to author get the conversation going and bring new ideas around the vision communicated through one of the methods. The goal is to reach a common mindset and decide to move on or to review elements.
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