Digital Portrait Project – Part Two [Practical Media]

basic-ideaThe initial idea of using an infinite canvas to explore a digital portrait is intriguing. Our true selves are made up of different aspects that we display in different environments and through different media, there for the physical and digital worlds are both extensions of ourselves just as much as the other. Both equal and influence the other. This could be represented by an even split through an individual with the infinite canvas feature allowing a user to explore the different sides.

As the internet is the extension of the nerve system, that should be shown as branching from the brain on the digital side, but they should also be able to connect to aspects of the physical world. For example my love of comics is shown largely in the physical world, confounded by my large physical library, but is influenced and shared through discussion and research online. Branching pathways may be an option, borrowing for Scott McCloud’s ‘trails’ technique in his early infinite canvas comics [McCloud, 1998]. However, McCloud used trails to inform the reader of which order to read the panels in, it may be better here to set them up as a branching path system. A good example to look at would be A Webcomic Tetrad by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, as it uses the infinite canvas comic to explore how McLuhan’s four laws of media can be applied to webcomics.


Maybe, starting with a structured collage that can be navigated with a panel overlay..?


I like the idea of using photographs for the physical world and screen shots for the digital, but I think more information needs to be shown. My research needs to be implemented more. Perhaps post-it notes for the physical world and something else for the digital, I’m not sure what else. Panel layout shout be added as an overlay that branch out to each other in a connected fashion (things related to the film fan connecting to each other and spanning into the film research area, research in general, research in games, convention work etc.). A prototype layout is next to be made before implementing the infinite canvas feature.

  • Goodbrey, D. (2001) A Webcomic Tetrad. [Online] Available from: [Last Accessed: 29/09/16}
  • McCloud, S. (1993) Understanding Comics. Harper Collins, New York.
  • McCloud, S. (1998) Porphyria’s Lover. [Online] Available from: [Last Accessed: 29/09/16]
  • McLuhan, M. (1964) Understanding Media. The Extensions of Man. Routledge Classics. Oxon.
  • Shedd, A. (2005) No Borders, No Limits: The Infinite Canvas as a Storytelling Tool in Online Comics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Idaho.

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