CHRIS BARKER

 

FLOCKING WHIPPETS

Flocking whippets is the first collaboration with Artist Gina Moore, who I have known since we worked together (briefly) at Animagrafx in Melbourne.  I had the pleasure of supervising Gina's PhD dissertation at RMIT, and we share a lot of the same concerns and questions regarding digital worker's relationship to tools and technologies.  Flocking whippets was the first VR collaboration we have done, examining motion capture, flocking algorithms, person and space in VR. This was a "dark" VR experience, and made the user control unlikely parts of the environment, heightening uncertainty - by looking around, the user's view "grouped" and directed flocks of animated whippet dogs, directed and shifted the soundrack, and ultimately collapsed and exploded the animated meshes of the dogs.  Lots of work under the hood here for optimization - vertex caches in Unity, vertex displacement shaders, and some nice flocking code ported from Gina's python code.