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Moon Phase

The moon knows every language in the world. Across time and space, it can connect people in every corner in the world and share their emotions through the tender light.

produced by: Akira Wang


This 3D projection mapping project is a work that features the imagery of the moon. It intends to demonstrate a balanced computational aesthetic by variations of multiple elements with regard to the moon, which represents the moon phases in different forms of manifestations.


Concept and background research & Technical

It has been a long time since I would like to create a project featuring the moon. I always believe that moonlight can create the gentlest atmosphere and can connect people from different places in the world together as they share the same moonlight. Thus I designed and developed three scenes to express the feeling of echo, wave and transition.

The model is formed by two 20cm width cubes with one 15cm cube. I use the middle cube to place the full moon and the side cubes to represent people in two different locations. With projection mapping on the model to demonstrate my concepts.

It is a projection-mapped generative art piece by creative coding in OpenFrameworks (C++). Concept explanations and technical details of the three scenes are as follows.

Chapter 1 - Echo
This part consists of two stages: Breath and Ripple. First, there’re two shapes in the corner making the sense of breathing, and then when the moon comes up in the middle it begins to send out its light and gets echoed by the two lonely souls, which forms an aesthetic graph looks like the ripple of the water.
The shade effect was achieved by drawing many low-alpha circles with different radius. The lines of echo were stored in a deque in order to remove the initial ones when they have expanded over the screen.

Chapter 2 - Wave
In this scene, the basic element was inspired by the open processing work from Vamoss. It simulates the moon phase and the motion is fluid with the application of the function: y = 4*pow(t[i]-0.5,3)+0.5. I made some extension and variations and connect the different elements using the line of the combination of sin wave forming an effect of electric wave, or can also be seen as the heartbeat.

Chapter 3 - Transition
This scene is created to show the change of sky color from daytime to nighttime and moon from wane to wax. I would like to demonstrate a smooth transition, thus I used the linear transformation of ofColor and different speed of circle moving to form the shape of the moon. I randomly put dots in the sky when the “night falls” and it will gradually disappear when the “daytime comes”, which was implemented by the vector.


Future development

For further development, I would like to explore more on the detailed variations of the moon and make the story-line more rich and engaging. The story inspiring me with the concept wrote that: The moon is a metaphor, a rhetoric, a wave function that collapses, an error that is too late to fold, a line of poems written on the water, and a handful of sad seeds. I was amazed by these describing and would like to visualize the concepts with connected and coherent generatIve art performance.


Self evaluation

I completed this project with my knowledge of basic understanding of creative coding and techniques in object-oriented programming using the language of C++ in the openFrameworks. It’s a project that I would like to try for a long time and I’m glad that I finally successfully expressed what I would like to convey to the audience. Due to the time constrains and limited materials and workplace, the project was actually not finished with that much perfection. I used the projector in my home and shoot the video with my phone. It’s not stable and with low resolution, but I think it creates an accidental coincidence with the feeling I would like to express. So I personally like it much, and hope I would get the change to improve it better.



Works by Vamoss on OpenProcessing:
Visual story - The moon knows every language in the world:
Pictures from HD Wallpaper:
the mOon - video mapping project - live footage: