By Zach Biron
This was the central question that motivated my development of this project. One of the greatest issues of our time is the conversation of Climate Change, and how the politics surrounding taking action have halted progress for generations, especially for children and adolescents. As government legislations worldwide continue to poison waters and pollute our skies, climate activists and scientists alike agree that humanity has critically injured the planet and set restoration efforts back centuries. Air pollution is attributed to nearly 12% of deaths globally, fossil fuel burning has increased tenfold, and global carbon dioxide emissions have increased by nearly 50%. In 2022, global average temperatures have risen and weather extremes have seen a large uptick. Where does this leave us? When the basic act of fighting for the planet's longevity has become a political war, is all hope really lost?
This project is intended to present a clearer picture of how bad the issue has become and hopefully inspire viewers to form a deeper relationship with the cause and form more sustainable habits. In this presentation, an "artificial intelligence designed to fit in the palm of your hand" (an animated character brought to life through voice acting and motion-capture) leads viewers on a trip through history and possible futures.
View the full presentation above, then scroll through this site to discover how this project was brought to life!
I first began experimenting with Motion Capture when looking for ways to incorporate 3D elements into Adobe Aero. I discovered "Deepmotion", a service that uses Machine Learning to capture motions from a video and output a useable motion performance. This was my first test of their service (Thanks Jordan!):
This first test proved I could record a full motion performance that would serve as the main character of the AR presentation. So I wrote a script, brought in a friend for voice acting, and created the final audio track in ProTools; combining music, sound effects, and vocal modifiers to create an immersive experience:
Using this audio, I recorded a full length motion capture in sync with the dialogue and sound effects (which felt as ridiculous as it looks):
To simulate surrounding environments, I used Blender to map HDM photos to 3D spheres which, when viewed from the inside, would create 360 degree views of the world:
To give users an awareness of the time left and encourage longer engagement, I created a countdown timer in Premiere Pro and exported it is a GIF so it could play continuously throughout the presentation:
Finally, I imported all assets into Adobe Aero and crafted the full presentation through a combination of visual effects, 3D models, immersive audio, and interactivity:
In some additional fun, I used Machine Learning (DALL-E 2) to generate imagery I could turn into the project's artwork:
US Global Change Research Program, NOAA, World Bank, WHO, IPCC, Climate Central, Arctic Council, Center for Science Education, UNESCO, Biological Conservation, PNAS, EPA
Special Thanks to Sarah Wright, Lanes Miller, and Ava Makris
Last edit: 04/25/2023