It’s the day before Carnival break and I am very happy and proud of what we have learned and produced since the beginning of 2021. Everything did not went as I imagined but I finally managed to produce a 3D model of moderate quality for the “COVID19 Collection”.
When I receive the professional equipment from the university during the last week of January, I had never used a professional camera before. I only had some theoretical basis from our courses. It was already quiet challenging for me to set the camera and the lights of the lightbox correctly. However, I did it after several hours and finally managed to get my dataset.
After this I was convinced that in the following week I will be done with the processing on Agisoft Metashape. I was wrong, completely wrong… I tried to process my beautiful pictures but they refused to align. I tried many things; re-doing masks, adding some markers but still nothing. After few days of trying to fix problems, I finally realized that my object (computer mouse) was way too shiny and some of the photos were not focused correctly (difficult to see that at first glance when you had never used such a camera before). I then tried with two other objects but once it was too smooth, once it was too shiny. It was a real challenge for me to find a significant object that can be processed in 3D. I realized that we could not choose what we exactly wanted. They are some limitations to the software and it is a bit sad in the framework of our collection.
I finally and sadly found something; a beer opener. It is maybe more representative of my life during COVID19 then the mouse and more interesting to analyse in the light of the lockdowns. Indeed, alcohol consumption among young people (in Belgium) has increased significantly during the pandemic (Steenhoud, 2020).
Anyway, I found this object but I did not have the professional equipment in my possession anymore. Therefore, I had to re-create a data set with the camera of my Iphone. Surprisingly, this attempt was the more easy to do and I finally could process a correct 3D model (I said correct because there are two holes in the model I did not succeed to fill with the techniques proposed; closing holes in the mesh and adding some photos to dataset).
Lastly, I think it was particularly challenging for my fellow student and me to process these 3D models because we had our courses fully online. Even if our tutors were very virtually present and answered quickly to all our questions, I think that it would have been way easier to follow this course in real life with the adequate equipment. Even if my results are not perfect, I am happy and proud from what we have learned this period.
My 3D model is accessible on Sketchfab by clicking on the following link:
Steenhoudt, F. (2020, May 15). En période de confinement, Les jeunes ont tendance a consommer plus d’alcool et de tabac. Daily Science Brussels. https://dailyscience.brussels/fr/vub-onderzoek-vooral-jongeren-drinken- en-roken-meer-tijdens-lockdown/13/05/2020/.
This second period already comes to an end and I can’t wait to be the 17th of December at 16pm to enjoy a well deserved Christmas break. Indeed, this period has been intense in term of workload. However, I learned many new valuable things I have not heard about before. What I really like about this period is that we started to practise and use very useful tools (Audacity, microphones, Voyant Tools) to actually make projects.
As it is state in the name of the course, in Design Thinking and Maker Culture, we actually started to make. When this course started, I was really enthusiastic about producing actual things other than academic papers. This is what we are currently doing with a podcast that you will be able to listen on this blog in a few days. For this podcast which is part of a bigger project, my group and me decided to approach the concept of multimodality. I realized by analysing it that this was probably the best way to communicate and make a clear and understandable meaning of a message. I also liked how we were introduced to multimodality in different environments such as academic, education or arts. It allowed me to get how it could be used and also incited me to maybe use it in further projects.
I was less enthusiastic about the second course, Machines of Knowledge. Indeed, at first glance, it looked like a traditional theoretical course with an academic paper at the end. However, I really liked how through different theories (Feminism, Post Colonialism and data sphere) we approached current societal issues with a very specific method; distant reading. I probably would have liked being introduced to this very new method a bit earlier in the period in order to grasp everything and not being in the rush to understand it two weeks before the deadline. However, I really liked that we had to make use digital programs I did not know because these are tools that could be really useful for our professional careers.
From today, I still have one complete week left to finish all the final assignments. Then I ‘ll probably take some days off to rest a little bit. Then, I’ll start thinking about our biggest project of this year, the master thesis.
When looking back to period 1, I can affirm that these 8 first weeks went really fast and the deadlines arrived maybe more quickly than I was thinking. As a commuting student between Maastricht and Liège, it was also a strange period for me. At the beginning of each week, I was never 100% sure to attend tutorials at Fasos. However, I have been introduced to many interesting topics and this could explain why time went so quickly. Even if it is my fifth year at Fasos, I encounter some struggle to acclimate with new matters, especially with the Real Virtualities course. Indeed, I have never been introduced to philosophy before and it was sometimes hard for me to participate to in class philosophical discussions. I felt way more comfortable in the Transformation in Digital Cultures course.
One of the topic the really pique my curiosity was when we discussed the ideologies behind the creation of web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. It is the latter topic, in combination with the text regarding online communities that brought me to write about activism and digital platforms. I had a lot of fun when writing my final paper and I think that these topics deserve much more investigations. Indeed, during the interview I conducted, what really striked me was the major role that encrypted platforms play within activist groups. I think that this particular aspect of activism has been overlooked by scholars and could deserve more attention.
Another intersting topic, that catch my attention during the courses of period one was thechnostalgia into music production. Music is one of the central points of interest in my life and I have always been amazed to see music producers searching for 1980s synthesizers or older musical instruments to find the perfect sonority in their sound. Anyway, I beleive that this could be a really intersting topic to investigate as I am really passionated about it.
I hope the following courses will introduce me to even more interesting topics. I am really looking forward to start learning new matters next week.