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Digital Fabrication- Apocalyptic Surveillance

Project type

Digital Fabrication & Prop Making


Spring 2024

Imagine that you're stumbling through the forest in a post-apocalyptic world. Weary and looking for a place to rest among the mix of industrial rubble and greenery, you pause by the foot of a tree when a glint of metal catches your eye. You walk around the trunk and are surprised to see a mostly intact computer. Rusted, overgrown, and dilapidated, it has become one with the land, except for a glowing red eye in the center of the screen. Unsettled, you move to the left, but the eye follows and does the same when you walk right- remnants of your past world governed by Big Brother-esque surveillance. Disturbed, you decide to walk on, but you catch yourself looking over your shoulder more than a few times, feeling the glowing red eye on your back.

In making this dystopian prop, I first tackled creating the glowing red eye that would follow users on the screen. I used TouchDesigner for both the visual and motion-tracking elements. I designed the basic eye shape using the torus tool and then added animation and color glow effects using tools such as the lumablur, transform, level, ramp, and displace components. I then utilized the optical flow component to create the motion-tracking portion of the design.

After creating the digital component, I began fabricating the computer and computer box. I measured, cut, and welded the metal sheets together to create a box that would fit an old monitor I had laying around. After building the box, I connected everything using a mini-computer, webcam, monitor, plants, and LOTS of cable adaptors!

For some of the smaller details, I used Adobe Illustrator and a Vinyl Plotter machine to design a logo for the "DoubleThink Solutions" corporation (pictured below). I also 3D modeled, and then print, a CPU cooler fan using Fusion 360.

This project was a labor of love, and it was so fun to practice my fabrication, digital design, and technical skills all in one project. Experiential design is my passion, and I can't wait to create more tactical pieces blending the physical and digital.

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