Unconfined is an immersive interactive installation by Universal Everything and Zaha Hadid Architects commissioned by Samsung Mobile and unveiled at Milan Design Week 2017, to accompany the launch of the new Galaxy S8 phone.
Owen Hidnley and I developed a real-time, generative system to display choreographed motion of hundreds of unique bird-like avatars on monumental sculptural petals designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. The avatars are designed by people visiting the installation. Using a Galaxy S8 phone and a custom application, the avatar design parameters can be changed within a framework that ensures a harmonious end result when hundreds of them interact together. Completed avatars are sent from the phones to a networked simulation running across six PCs. The main choreography switches between several different moods, each with an accompanying soundtrack and lighting design.
The avatars are created procedurally using custom software written in Unity. The system takes input parameters from the phone application and uses them to generate a 3D mesh and a texture. It then bones/rigs the mesh so that the avatar can bend as it moves, adding more life and character to the overall motion.
The final setup in Milan involved 14 projectors, multiple D3 servers, a lighting rig with networked control desk and multiple speakers with a networked control desk. The event ran for eight days with 100% up-time. On average, around 6000 avatars were generated and added to the flock each day.
Read more at universaleverything.com/projects/unconfined.