Randomised Text Database Improvement.

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Going back through research done so far for Practical 1, I collected a series of quotes to use as part of the database. The quotes range from McLuhan, McCloud, Manovich to Yorke, discussing everything from comic book theory, narrative, database cinema, and our relationship with technology.screenshot-195

These were added to the array in place of the standard, Apple, Banana, and Grapes, and then tested. Once tested, I needed a way to let the screen cycle through the quotes. After some research to find an answer, I added a timer to the code that would move to the next frame after 5 seconds. Frame two has the exact same code and would cycle back to frame one after 5 seconds, creating a never ending loop that would randomly cycle through the quotes.

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Improving the Random Comic

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New images were added to the database, and the original images were re examined to delete images that are not square, giving all the images a more uniform corrolation. Using the CSS script, all images were edited to fit a width and height of 300px, and then positioned better. A refresh button was added to the page itself to supply visual acompanyment to the random comics nature, and to provide the unasuming user with the notion that they need to interact with the artifact.

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Button Placement – Random Generation

ipad-with-button-protoThrough discussions, the idea was posed to have the button at the bottom of the screen. Though the suggestion to place it in the bottom corner was appealing, it came with its own problems, namely which corner to place it in. While the bottom left seemed like a good choice when imagining it, the right hand dominance of the general public causes a slight disconnect when they are forced to do something that is left handed. The idea of placing the button on top was also an option, but imagining someone reaching up for it, would cause their arm to block the screen during its opening moments. While this could be negated by providing a slow opening, this may also put the user off by thinking that the entire program was slow paced.

Database and Image sizes, overlapping problem

screenshot-184Problems with a larger database have been slightly fixed by only linking a certain selection to select panels. This does create the problem that images can only be drawn from a subset in each panel, and not the database as a whole.

screenshot-185CSS script was added to apply to all images that keep them at a 200px width, this would be applied to height as well, but some panels are longer than others, and because of the random database, I cannot guarantee which panel will overlap where between the layers. It may be worth going back through the database and only keeping ones that are truly square, or as close to as possible. What if a panel was dedicated to these taller images? Move them into a separate folder and test?

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Contined project – Slight problem

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screenshot-181A slight problem appears to have occured. A somewhat larger database has been culled, and placed into several duplicate databases to test a theory. Each function has been linked to each of the folders and set to random using Javascript. Problem now arrises that the functions all reference the same random number, causing the same image to appear in each panel. Simplist option would be to rename and number different images in the folders, but a better sollution must be available.

  • Miracleman #1
  • Action Comics #1 (1938)
  • Daredevil Redemption #1
  • Doctor Strange #1 (2015)
  • Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes (1990)
  • Uncanny Avengers #1 (2013)

Intertextuality and Parody – Sources to check through

Development in progress

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Development on paper:

  • Using time as a contributing factor, due to the amount of attention creators take to carefully use time in their work.
  • Using different decades of comics to help emphasis this disconect with time. Different era’s having a completely different style. (Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Modern Age)
  • Both Scott McCloud and Marshall McLuhan’s references to the time taking place between panels, “to kill a man off panel, is to condem him to an eternal death”.
  • Having One or two predefined panels, drawing attention to this disconect with time and to imply that the random order has meaning.
  • Setting up seperate databases to coincide with different size panels?
  • What shape should the button be?
  • Should it have an arbatrary aspect, or completely obvious in meaning?
  • Should it connect to the projects nature as a comic, or the use of time?
  • Lev Manovich’s Database Narrative theories coming into play, “database and narrative are natural enemies. Competing for the same territory of human culture, each claims an exclusive right to make meaning out of the world.” [Manovich.5]

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Displaying a final project:

  • Eisner’s theory of the ‘Meta Panel’ taking form in the shape of the monitor, rather than a page. “the panels will be part of what Eisner called the “meta-panel”, in which the whole page is a panel into which the other panels have been inserted.” [Kamen.2015]
  • How will the button be positioned?
  • Further away may intrigue the user to seek out what has been triggered, but will also cause the audience to have to break imersion to attempt to read the panels.
  • Next to the screen gives the user a direct corrolation to the artifact, but may cause some disoriantation, meaning they may have to keep stepping backwards and forwards just to interacte, and then see the artifact.
  • If possitioned on a plinth, possitioning will have to be given a great amount of focus and attention as to not obstruct the artifact or be confused with another display.
  • Kamen, M. (2015) Alan Moore: ‘Electricomics’ is groundbreaking, but print is still superior. co.uk. [Online] 29th September. Available from:  http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-09/29/electricomics-alan-moore-interview [Last Accessed: 07/12/16]
  • Manovich, L. (1999) Database as a symbolic Form. Millennium Film Journal No.34 http://courses.ischool.berkeley.edu/i290-1/s04/readings/manovich_database.pdf [Last Accessed: 07/12/2016]