This week, we all rushed to finish up DIP as Thursday was the big presentation with over 200+ people in the auditorium. Everyone put in the effort to help out in one way or another be it with the product’s functionality or the video used in the presentation. I am Yu Xiang, one of the members in Theme 1 and will be telling you my story from my experiences this week.
From Monday till Thursday, it was a mad rush every day to finish up the videos required as well as working on the PowerPoint/script for Thursday. Other than the Design Fiction class on Monday, most of my time was spent with my DIP group. For our group, since our progress on the videos required was severely lacking, I helped them out mostly in the video making process. Our product is an informative shelf that can inform users more about the product through interactions with their five senses after they place the product they are interested in within our product. The video we wanted to present was one with many users of different age placing different products within the shelf and we wanted to film the process of which they use and interact with our creation. So we had to link up with a shop owner in Yue Ya Lou to ask if she could let us use her shop for a short duration to film our video. Hence, we brought everything needed for our product to be functional down to the shop and setup everything there while asking random strangers who came into the shop to try out our product while we film how they interact with it. The entire process was quite tedious but definitely worth it as the video came out perfectly. It was definitely an experience to work together with the students here and learn first-hand how they set everything up for a natural filming process in the middle of everyday life. If the filming was taking place in a studio of sorts, they would prepare lightings and a perfect background. However, within the shop, there couldn’t be so many bulky items that block the route of shoppers and also, we are unable to change the background as necessary. I remember that one of the issues we faced was that the location perfect for the size of our product had a fire extinguisher sign right on top of our product. Since that sign would definitely be captured within the video and make it look very awkward, we had to improvise and come up with a way to cover the sign naturally. Luckily, my group had a huge black metallic board that we could place over the sign and make it look like a natural background. And this is only one of the examples of the many improvisation we had to make in the process of this project. This helped me learn that a videoing process is not so simple as having the product and a camera. To produce a quality video, one needs to be sufficiently prepared and much work is needed to be placed into the process.
On the presentation day itself, I was very nervous as I was told more than 200 people were at the auditorium watching our presentation together with all of my SUTD batchmates. The pressure was intense as I watch the groups before me go on stage and having to speak in front of so many people. Furthermore, our group had a bulky product to be brought on stage within a short amount of time and it was not easy bringing everything up without appearing messy to the audience. Luckily everything turned out fine and the presentation was smooth from start till the end. That was also a memorable experience for me.
Right after Thursday, I had to rush the research project assignment given to me by the Teaching Assistant. We were tasked with writing a code that can record live videos with a press of the spacebar and during the middle of filming the live video, we can draw while holding down the right click with the mouse. Then, to save the video we can just simply press spacebar again. The teaching assistant suggested for us to use OpenCV as it can quickly and easily record and save videos. I struggled for a little as I rarely use OpenCV and had to read the documentations as well as the tutorial to be able to accomplish this task. Furthermore, we had to write a summarized report on a paper given to us by the Teaching Assistant. The paper was about the different methods used in Video Abstraction. The final outcome of our research project is to be able to write a code that can automatically abstract a short video containing all the important scenes/highlights within a long video to help users understand more about the video before watching the entire thing. The paper gave a good summary of the different methods and provided a lot of starting points for us to start learning about the techniques in Video Abstraction. I am looking forward to the meeting next week where we narrow down our project scope as well as learning about the different methods in Video Abstraction.
That’s it for this week and from me. The subsequent blog posts will be written by the other group members where they tell you about their experiences. Thanks for reading!