Welcome to my studio

Hi, my name’s Clifford Sage, welcome to my studio. I’m a CGI artist working in animation and world building.  Although I often find technology entrancing, I’ve always appreciated the power and vastness of nature and wilderness- which fuels my interest and curiosity in the potential of virtual worlds. 

Audio and visuals have always gone hand in hand for me, I started my visual practice in 2001 alongside my audio project “Recsund.” I’ve used the medium of sound as a diary throughout my adolescence but later discovered the intertwined nature of audio in my visual work.  I am curious to use sound in interactive and generative ways through game-play and puzzle solving, exploring new ways of storytelling and immersion. 

I am looking forward to taking part in this residency to develop some ideas that I have started to form throughout the last few years, but never had the chance to indulge. I find this opportunity very inspiring but am also overwhelmed with the potential of what can be done within the relatively new area of interactive game design I’m going to be exploring.  I hope that I’m able to create an immersive piece throughout the next few weeks, while exploring and experimenting with ever-changing narratives.  

Please feel welcome to look around my studio, and feel free to leave a comment or questions for me in the comments section, hope you enjoy!

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INTERACTIONS [Landscape]

I think a good landscape should be enticing and thought-provoking. The power of landscape design is immense and should never be underestimated. As I mentioned before for this reincarnation of Tuner I plan on bringing it back underground to grow the sense enclose, need for air and to assist in the game plays interactions of fish collecting practices.

SCANNERS
The Scanner is like a radar mechanism, when found and attached to the boats roof hook, all 3 of it orbs rotate about their orbits, at each turn displacing a line to their nearest corresponding subject, ie Fish, Junk and Rockets. All these three orbs speeds can be controlled individually sonically creating an ever phasing sequence. Initially this control was access via the Midi protocol each orb having their own physic knob here on earth. But now the foam of interacting will need to be re-designed into the GUI interface.
The scanner is also a lantern for dark zones epically when the internal torchlight fades due to the boats’ strength depletion . I will supply the new scanner in operation (video), here below are some (blurred) old in game shots.

DRAINERS

The world’s past that Tuner inhabits is not totally know but one thing for sure was it that it is a relic of a vast manufacturing of some sort. A kind of off world mass production station that has now been abandoned. In parts of the landscapes we find Drainers, they are often the source of where fish are. They are forms of filter mechanics and it is here we find fish trapped but also in surrounding zones the caretakers the ‘Staff’. In order to re ignite a Drainer we first need to find a Staff member. Some Staffs are often imprisoned when found bribing off drains by-products. So it is a combination of freeing staff taking them to their machines and then saving fish. The story of staff being imprisoned by making profit off machines spin off resources is a remark I would like to grow upon of our own worlds manufactured waste.
After the Drainers are re-ignited the audio has a chance to become more rhythmic through the pumping and cycling act of the devices freeing fish everywhere. This worked OK during live performances but I want to design the act of freeing fish to be more Intune with the landscape design. The fact is these initial Drainers look to out of place and I got to fix this.

PRISONS

The idea of prisons was meant to be a fun way of story telling via the interactions of the prisons’ architecture (locks, passages) and freeing of staff members!
It is an ace way of utilizing a landscapes form to entice immersion through it’s designed structures. Currently, there are only three designs two being purely static cages and one (pictured above in blue) the rotated causing the timing key to be able to grab a staff member. I plan to construct classic lock systems and distractable forms that push the in game physics’ engine creatively. Physics is another key aspect of the project. In an early version I ran the program on an experimental Nvidia branch that allowed for real-time physic based liquid simulation and hi fidelity destruction. Due to instability issues and limited platform portability I’ve declined these but still can get great effects from the classic internal physics (+chaos) 😉 .
Here is an image of the now static cage Prison that used to fall apart when trying to entire a staff member out.
Above image of lone staff member poised in pool beside a mackerel and bush at night. The way staff members were originally designed was so that their four feet and tail like neck could bounce and flick them about and it does quite well, layered with audible collisions the staff member when awoken can dance to work.

BINS
Bins are used to rid of junk floating in the water works. By ridding of Junk and sending them to a bin they get processed and in turn feed the boat. The boat never really runs out power. but some internal elements (such as boost, torch, laser, radio power and scanner) require elements recycling in order to function 100%. Above is the corkscrew and cross box below is the Gate Crusher.
The idea of a gate having a crushing system was that the energy from waste was being shared also in other structures and in turn will allow the gate to open forcing the player to learn their good ways.

ROCKET
The Rocket is the life pod for each “fish” and ascends them to a safe place far far away. The project has gone through different version in all aspects and still does, but one thing I will admit is strange, but in its bizzar nature I like, is that the act of freeing a fish by air I find symbolic considering they are already in a world of water (toxic on non-toxic). In this day and age we humans have become so God like how we think of other species that the act of teleporting an animal is not so far-fetched in the amount of constructive change we need to give back to our planet right now.

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INTERACTIONS [BOAT + INTERFACES]


The boat in Tuner has a couple functions in addition to its moveability it currently contains 6 other operations such as Its fish Basket (safe), four feeders (to temp fish), a Missile and Laser system (to access uncharted areas) and telescopic neck adjuster (to see into crevasses) plus a radio!

Control

Until now the interactive medium to control the boat (and virtual world) has been via MIDI. In order to gain more user-friendly experience and accessibility I am wanting to redesign the entire user interface system.
Thou it will (at least still at this stage) require a mouse, I plan on creating a simple an on screen clickable GUI interface!
Initially I was going to go about this utilizing physical based locomotive animations ie 3D hinges / sliders, but found out the current way the boat floats is causing too much feedback in the boat’s buoyancy! Here below are images of this initial 3D design (Basically a steering wheel).

The design incorporates leavers, knobs, sliders and buttons. Representing these classic interactions is an essential element of the immersion and one I respect deeply. As I mention before though unfortunately due to time I will currently only be able to construct these via 2D widgets that’ll Ill share here!!

The Basket

Basket design , intended to be larger!


An essential part of the boat is a safe storage place for the fish! The current design of the basket is simply a liquid orb. This is great for solo passengers (fish) not for updated intended use of collections of fish. The idea of a collection of fish in a basket is so (as one would have needed to before) run back to the fish source for each successful fish send (rocket departure) . Now with a larger basket design a batch load can be saved more gradually.
(will update this with new design)

Radio

Sketch’s of portable Radio
Mock radio in hand and in water

When I started creating the audio samples for Tuner, I entered my bad habit of making new music from them. When ever creating a new library of sounds the temptation of putting them through a composition is irresistible. So as a result the initial performances of Tuner have played these tracks. Some are pure ambiances some are more rhythmic driven and these would play moving through the space mixing as we go automatically.
An Idea of an ambient score will still be present, But ever since I started a mobile lite version of the project (just back before UK lockdown) I had to bring the radio into this project. It will act as a companion player the old scores and also a teller of stories as we enter different regions (FM).
A key part of Tuner is of course the sound. It is why initially it is called tuner as the project was mainly a testing ground for ‘tuning’ audio synthesis in the game engine. Though the project does touch upon Unreal engines in built granular synthesis most of the audio is pre-recorded and prepared for manipulation via animation values.
What it means when a sound is associated with an act, event or moving gesture is immensely important and fundamental to the project.

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TUNER

Tuner an audiovisual piece originally designed as an experimental live AV project showing initially at Somerset House Londons AGM 2018 festival (since performed at Club Adriatico, L.E.V. Festival, Genot Centre, MK Gall, Xolo,Bleep) and has endured various reincarnations. Now as part of Vital Capacities residency I am developing it to be playable piece as a download and also a recorded showcase! The project has primarily been designed from a solo performance point of view. Programming all the input events and actions via audio instrument protocols with MIDI and OSC. This was to allow a unique haptic setup where I could control multiple elements live and be more at home, as it is part of my music practice also, recsund!
Continue reading “TUNER”

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What On Earth am I doing?

Well for starters it’s going to be made within a computer program (CAD)!
Continuing of my past projects shared Universe of ‘Tuner’ and ‘ProDancer’ we may find our selves in an off world sorting office re-distribute saved animals from past realms and sending them off adequately!

Hope to conclude as a downloadable executable both VR and Monitor based! As a wide narrative I’ve often related works on signalling and ever find it captivating in a virtual sense, here are some past worlds I may extend their essence into this currently unnamed one.


disabled becon from Buddha Geomatry child

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