Dog of Zone interactive projection - it works! / by Lukasz Pazera

Dog of Zone projection title screen (in polish)

Dogs of Zone were meant to be an interactive projection from its early days. It is what I pitched when I was starting PhD studies at the Intermedia Department of Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland. And that was in 2010. It's been taking an awfully long time and it still does BUT...

I took some time off from work last year and spent about 3 weeks getting back to Dogs. I managed to keep working on the project 1 day (almost) every week afterwards. Well, it was more like 6-8 hours since family duties would't let me spend more. I made some progress and thanks to this regular mini-schedule I was able to keep the project in my head. That had been going for about 5 months. Then at the end of the last year things turned out for me this way that I could switch to Dogs full time. And I spent most of first quarter of 2017 working hard on the project.

I was on the edge of quitting on Dogs completely quite a few times. It's been rather painfull process but I can finally see the finish line now (and the process is getting better). Although it's still a bit blurry line I can at least think about the whole undertaking with more confidence.

The biggest change is probably that originally it was supposed to be 3 projections but, as usual, it appeared to be too much work. It's going to be single projection then. For now at least. Hence, while the whole series is still called Dogs of Zone, the interactive projection will simply be Dog of Zone.

So what does it mean that it's an interactive projection? In general terms the installation is: a set of pre rendered animation loops, Microsoft Kinect for PC and a custom application (codename Spektator) built on Unity engine. User position in space is being transferred into Spektator scene via Kinect in real time (the active area is in front of the projection screen). The scene contains a sort of script for the projection - which is a set of rules for triggering animation loops based on criteria such as user's position and speed. The result is an interactive projection that reacts to user actions.

I hope to post more detailed information on various aspects of Dog of Zone production in coming weeks and months (which should also help with developing the theoretical PhD thesis that Dogs are the subject of). Meanwhile, below are a few photos of the projection WIP being displayed on a wall at my studio. Hopefully, it'll give you some idea on the final effect.

On a side note, I don't have a wall large enough to fit the 3x1.7m projection so I had to photoshop out the door from all the shots (and you can see it was rather sloppy job on some of them) ;).