Simulation Theory Progress Report

We’ve got everything in motion having finalized our script, found our actor and half of our locations.

We updated our moodboard to reflect our changes in story and script.


We did some test shots on how the samsung camera looks, how it feels on a dummy, and how close you can get to the camera without a big distortion occurring.

We did a test of putting a 360 video in Unreal, with and without other objects in it.

Flor from Oriana Neidecker on Vimeo.

and have a rough of our “real” unreal world – we want to customize it more but this has all of the main elements

We’ve also located some 3d assets we want to potentially use for the rosharch scene


We’ve found our main actor who will be playing the psychiatrist and we’re in the process of filing the SAG paperwork

Our memory/world falling apart scene will be shot at the Black Lodge in Nolita.



We’re set to shoot the psychiatrist scene on Saturday and the bar scene on Monday or Wednesday.

What we need to focus on going forward on working in Unreal and building multiple layers of 360 video that can revealed/disintegrated through  raycasting to show the disappearing people/move between scenes.  I can imagine this turning into a logic problem and we’ll consider using Wanda as well.

Flor – Exploring 360 images in Unreal

Flor from Oriana Neidecker on Vimeo.
I continued last week’s exploration of 360 images in Unreal.  I like how you can create little bubble worlds you can enter within the main world you’ve created.  They’re like windows.  I love the idea of showing art work within these worlds and want to explore making a gallery in Unreal with bubbles of different work.  It allows so much more.  You can curate a whole world for each piece.  For this bubble I used one of my favorite photos by Flor Garduno of the painter Sergio Hernandez.  The 360 image was taken at the Dreamlands exhibit at the Whitney.

I’m still working on the source code for Unreal but should have it finished by next week.  You need to have Unreal to be able to access it but Chloe and I will be sharing our work through Unreal so that will be a good way to test how well it works and what amount of data you can synthesize from it.



My WoW midterm combined with my Fairytales in the 21st century midterm.  I came up with the concept of my story in Fairytales and used what I learned in Wow to begin executing. That being said I think it is far from done.  I have about 1/2 of what I envisioned for this project completed and it’s something I definitely want to keep working on.

The myth I was originally interested in interpreting was the Babylonian myth of the goddess Inanna’s descent into the Underworld. It starts off saying she was the goddess of heaven and earth but wanted to put her ear to the ground below.  She descends through seven gates to the Underworld and meets her sister, Ereshkigal, the queen of the Underworld.  At each of the seven gates she has to give up an item of clothing that gives her power (or her sense of identity) and arrives in the underworld naked. Her sister kills her and she is lost for a while.  She is eventually reborn and returns to Earth to claim her throne with more knowledge and sends someone else to take her place in the Underworld.

I wanted to make my 21st century interpretation of this myth one based on the Jungian idea of individuation.  The descent to the underworld  represents of her journey into her unconscious where she encounters her ‘shadow-self’.  

The goal of Jungian psychotherapy is “individuation,” which means the integration of our unconsciousness (shadow) with our consciousness (ego), which is what allows your complete Self to emerge.

So before she descends she is only conscious of her Ego and she has to give up her ideas of her identity to encounter her shadow, only once she has encountered, faced and accepted her shadow self does she begin her path to individuation.

Her sister represents her shadow self, the gates are represented by the tunnel of videos where she gives up her ideas, her sister killing her is the loss of her self as she knows it, her rebirth is the beginning of her individuation and becoming her full unique Self.


My tunnel scene is complete but I need to complete the forest and union levels.  I put in jpegs in the video to hold in where I’d like them to go. Video is super choppy because my laptop is about to die with Unreal and Screen capture – without screen capture it runs smoothly,

WowMidterm from Oriana Neidecker on Vimeo.

I “storyboarded” out the levels by staging everything in 3d space with stickers…photos to come


First draft of final script.

“The only journey is the one within.” – Rilke

Forest Level

Opening shot in forest. See trees look down and see body. Or look up and see trees. Try out camera movement if makes nauesous.

Once there was a girl that wanted to know more. She ran Heaven and Earth but knew little of what lay beneath. The Underworld was vast and mysterious. It whispered secrets in sleeping ears and left memories of shadows.There was a weight she felt in the forgotten secrets. So she decided to descend.


Walks down to a cave. There’s a door which she knocks.


But one can’t simply decide to descend.


She knocks again.


Going deeper is a process.  


Door slowly opens.


There are seven gates to the underworld and one must arrive bare.  


Cut to black. 


Underworld Level

Videos in Gates:

Will – put your hands up

Ego – get lost in the crowd

Mind – lose your mind

Sex – getting old shriveled

Illumination – knowledge – eclipse,lights

Magic -cults

Godhood -complete destruction


Walk up to a hand that serves as a boat.  Boat slowly takes you through the tunnel.  

Space Lady major Tom plays for entirety of tunnel.  You can look around but you can’t change the direction or the pace.


Boat exits tunnel.  Rides up to shadow-self.


There’s no guarantee of a welcome.  There’s no guarantee of return.


Shadow-self does execution motion.

Body/camera falls to the floor. Cut to black.


VR camera in middle but no body attached to it.

Here footsteps coming from in front and behind of you.

White and black selves running full speed towards you.


She ran into herself in the darkness.


Upon impact everything turns white.
Wake up in forest. Same as first shot.  Pulls out and you see she’s’ golden.


For my midterm I want to make something that I can use in a project I’m working on in Unreal.

I’m recreating this babylonian myth of a descent into the underworld.

I finished my underworld already but am now working on the Earth portal to the underworld from a forest.

I’m really interested in creating a whirlpool portal. I tried creating one with tiltbrush but I don’t really like how it came out when placed in the world.

I played around with the Phyllotaxis code and love the idea of using eyes and how the swirl kind of makes you dizzy.

I want to place it in this walnut I’m using as a cave


It would be ideal if I could eventually make it a 3d swirl you can enter.


Source Code:
var n = 0;
var c = 8;
//var c = 3;

var points = [];

var start = 0;

function preload(){
img = loadImage(‘eye.png’);

function setup() {
createCanvas(400, 400);

function draw() {
translate(width / 2, height / 2);
rotate(n * 0.3);
for (var i = 0; i < n; i++) {
//var angle = i * 137.5;
var angle = i * 130;
var radius = c * sqrt(i);
var x = radius * cos(angle);
var y = radius * sin(angle);
var hu = sin(start + i * 0.5);

image(img, x,y,15,15);
n += 5;
start += 5;

// Daniel Shiffman
// Code for:

Inanna- Tunnel Complete

I finally achieved my goal of a tunnel of videos that leads into the underworld.  After two days of being planted in the same spot on my couch what I imagined finally materialized.  I have been collecting videos for the past two weeks.  Each three videos in a gate are meant to represent what Inanna gives up on her way to the Underworld: Will, Ego, Mind, Sex Role, Illumination, Magic and Godhood.  Once I had all of the videos I had to figure out how to put them in my world and play them simultaneously.Unreal is magical but it learning everything takes a long time.  Watching online tutorials and scouring forums online helps a lot but I’ve found sometimes the simplest things take the longest.  I tried to find the Media folder for hours.  Every tutorial skipped over said you had to use it to make media textures but didn’t say where you could find it.  I scrolled through all of the toolbars and the content browser until I found out eventually it’s just a right click.  One I learned the process I repeated it 20 times.  I now have the importing video and blueprint process down pat.  My tunnel exists and I love it.  It’s the first thing at ITP I feel truly proud of.  I was very particular about my aesthetic and I feel like I carried it through.  I achieved what I wanted for this week (fairytales midterm too) but have much to do until it’s finished (1 week when Worlds on a Wire midterm is due).  I have my look, my underworld, my character and my tunnel.

Everything else character animations, above ground world and shots, unity of selves sequence, 360 filming to come…..

I think I accomplished everything I could on my Mac computer and will now have to continue the project on a gaming computer.

(Jumpy and blurry due to screen capture on Mac with Unreal)


Inanna’s Descent

I want to make a story based off the Babylonian myth of Inanna’s descent into the underworld.  This combines with my Fairytales final. End goal this would be a first person VR experience but for now a 3rd person video would work.  The story is that she goes into the underworld against the advice of others in order to gain knowledge that she can bring back to the world.  There are 7 gates to the underworld and in each gate she must leave something behind.  Each gate represents something like Ego or Will.  I’d like to make the tunnel out of old videos with a symbol that represents giving that up.  For example Will is all videos of people putting their hands up.

copsHands copy


So your surrounded by this footage when your walking down the tunnel to the underworld.  When she gets out she meets her mirror image.  I’d like to make them opposite colors. They move towards each other. A death and rebirth kind of thing.  I’m not sure yet if I want to continue the story from there.  


Whirl pool that leads to a tunnel to the underworld
My first draft of my underworld
Above ground – neutral no sense of time period. Character will be rigged and colored





I ran into a lot of problems on my first iteration of the underworld. I originally wanted the whole world to be made of water and to take place at sunset. I made a few rookie mistakes that caused my program to crash continuously. I imported 3D models of skeletons I found online but failed to realized they were all rigged. After placing 8 of them in the scene my unreal wouldn’t open without crashing – making it hard to fix the problem.

2 days later I was able to open it long enough to delete the skeletons and then I changed the landscape to gold for good measure. Then I decided I didn’t really like my version of the underworld anyways and decided to start from sketch.

Over the weekend I’d tried a VR experience in a trippy mirrored world where your a robot with people dancing and praying to cats and you shoot cats of your hands. I loved the mirrored visuals in the world. I realized that this was what I liked so much about the water and maybe I could just use a mirror instead and it would take up a lot less of my computer’s energy. I played around for a bit and realized I could almost achieve this with a sky filled with clouds and highly reflective marble. It wasn’t exactly mirrored but it actually worked better.

With this new color palette I reverted back to my reference images and was struck my the one with hands coming out of the wall of a tunnel. Very creepy. But I wanted to make my world beautiful too like the reflected cave reference.

I found a 3D asset of hands (this time making sure they weren’t rigged or animated) and made a black and white version. I then planted them as foliage throughout the world. In my opinion the final effect was mysterious, disconcerting and beautiful and evoked everything I wanted my version of the underworld to. In this whole process I think I did my first application of my teacher’s advice of thinking smarter not harder in Unreal.

Underworld_Landscape from Oriana Neidecker on Vimeo.

Playing with Tiltbrush

This week we were tasked with exploring Tiltbrush, Quill or Medium.  Tiltbrush was one of the first programs I’d tried out in VR so I thought I would try Quill out instead.  I quickly found out that I am much fonder of Tiltbrush than Quill.  Using Quill after Tiltbrush just felt so flat.  It lost a lot of the wonder of painting in 3D.  There were no shadows and the background was a flat white.  If there was depth I couldn’t see it well.  I’m sure much of this preference has to do with my artistic ability.  I’m not the most talented painter and my frustrations of painting in Quill were the same as those I have of painting on a canvas.  It seemed so much more serious, it wasn’t really transporting.  I was so disheartened with my Quill whirlpool I didn’t save it.  I have the fbx files but it’s not worth finding the image.

My inspiration for what I wanted the whirlpool to look like was Anish Kapoor’s whirlpool made with the blackest ink.

This is basically what my Quill whirlpool looked like:

Obviously I wasn’t very happy with my result. I decided to revert back to using Tiltbrush in order to make a whirlpool I wasn’t horribly embarrassed about.  And using Tiltbrush is just so fun. I blocked myself off an hour to explore all of the different backgrounds and effects.  It feels so magical.  I love the different backgrounds – painting in space just makes you feel more free and you can appreciate your squiggles even if it’s only because of the effects. I used the splatter brush to make the water and it added a lot of depth.  I didn’t realize how important the shadows were to helping my brain process the depth and height of what I was making until I didn’t have it in Quill.  I used the smoke as the foam on the water and snow as for water sprinkles.

Much better.

I tried out using the audio reactive brushes and they were AMAZING.  It was so pleasurable.


Here’s some great space painting music: