Project 4: Performance

In this collaborative project, students are required to work in separate groups and come up with online performances. I got the opportunity to be in the Visual Effect groups. Visual effect group is more like a flexible service group, so our team members have to understand what effects are wanted and discuss the possibilities of applying effects on the stage.


By reading the text ‘Light is like water’, I was interested in the visual effects of the combination of waves and sea creatures. I’ve been looking into the use of projectors. The projector show ‘Harmony’ from TeamLab is a really inspiring combination of set design and visual effects. The projected images change in line when the visitors’ movement.  Besides that, mirrors are also used to create a space that seems to spread out infinitely. TeamLab has been a really influential team to discover.

After discovering the show from TeamLab, I also did research the local artist Jeff Dobrow. In the show ‘Brighton Together’, an interactive, immersive, and involving experience was provided to the audiences. The show was played outdoor, interacted with architecture. I like this scene from the show where petals and butterflies rotated in a dark orange background.




I’ve attached two mood boards below. The first one is a quick mood board that is done in the lesson. In the second mood board, I’ve added more reference images about fish, waves, and material images. It gave me a direction to work on and experiment. Overall it shows a fantasy atmosphere, and I really like it.


By reading the script from the writing group, I understand that our group needs to present two sorts of effects, they are the fantasy part and the reality part. Below are the notes that I made in the meetings.

Here is the storyboard from the scrip group, and it really helped me to understand what exactly we need for each scene.


Below is the image of the timeline with effects details.


Digital Works

After understanding the needs of the script group, I quickly started drawing the sea creatures. Below are the sponge and the fish that I produced. I was trying to print these out, and stick them with string, so they could look like floating. However, I soon understood that this is the job for Set Design. Sadly these didn’t come in handy.


Projection Experiment

Below are the photos and a video of my star projector. As I was looking for the effect of waves, the star projector projects a great effect in the dark environment. By looking at these photos, I can see huge differences between the effects in photos and in real life. The feeling of the atmosphere is stronger in real life.

In order to experiment with projecting the wave effect on the room, I used cardboard to make a tiny space for modeling the stage. Below are the photos of the projecting waves and lights on it. I am happy about the results, but I am also worried about projecting effects on actors.

I tried the projector in the group meeting, and I realized that the wave only shows clearly in a dark environment. To use it as the background in the performance, a green screen was used to record it. Below is the photo that we were experimenting with and recording the effects. The result was great, and the video worked well.

Rainbow Paper Experiments

Besides the star projector, I also bring a roll of paper material to the class. It is a transparent rainbow paper, and it has special reflection as a filming paper. I wanted to know if it could create an effect that looks like under the water, so I decided to do a few experiments. This rainbow paper didn’t reflect the lights well, however, it could work as a filter. Due to the heavy flu, I wasn’t able to attend the rest of the project. This experiment video was recorded by Tobias. However, the results weren’t pleased. It blurred the face and many details. The second video was also unimpressive, however, I love some of the cropped images, it seemed suitable for using as the backgrounds.

Please click the links to access the videos:



I’ve done a lot of doodles based on the original text and the script in my sketchbook, it also includes some quick ideas and sketches. A photo gallery of my sketchbook is attached below.

Personal Engagement

This project was really fun, I’ve discovered a lot of interesting effects with different materials although some of them were less than satisfactory. It was a great lesson to teach me that communication between all groups is an important key. I wish I have more time to communicate with the members from other groups, and I would love to see the projections on different surfaces and materials, such as the installation of the rice field from my research work ‘Harmony’. Also, I would exchange ideas with the Set Design group, see if my fish and sponge can join their sets. Due to the Covid restriction, it is unfortunate that the performance is only presented live. Personally, after this project, I will continue researching and experimenting more about the projector in life and in the video since the atmosphere and experience are two initial elements in a show.

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