.: 9 January 2015 :.

Forestry 2020 : Building Final Concept

Just one more week before and one more week after the Christmas break. The deadline is approaching! However, after last week’s positive response on our presentation, we gained even more energy to push ourselves.

A week of connecting dots, planning a video and building the final prototype.

Connecting the Dots

We spent the first days of the week trying to connect all the dots. The project had been very complex and we did a ton of work. Fortunately our vision guided our entire project. Secondly, we reflected regularly and therefore stayed in control of the process. Thanks to this approach, all the work we did and the final concept were strongly connected. When this became visible, I got really proud.

Thanks to our vision-centred approach, all the work we did and the final concept were strongly connected.

Once we solved the puzzle, we started working on our final deliverable. We aimed for building a physical experience prototype as well as a video to explain the experience.

Exploring Crane Controls

Even tough redesigning the crane controls did not have our focus, we did came up with a bunch of interaction ideas. After exploration and evaluation of the ideas we decided to go for a mechanical steering wheel, including various resistance feedbacks.

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Planning the Video

It felt good that we had made all major design decisions. However, the question that kept bugging us was how to shoot the final video. The ability to control the crane movements in the frame as we intended was essential, but we did not feel like going back to the forest. We would have to ask an operator to move the crane as we wanted, wasting his entire day.

On top of that, shooting scenes in the actual forest would force us to make the rest of the video very realistic as well. We would have to make a super polished cabin and try to fake that this cabin was positioned in the forest. We just did not believe we could be consistent in visual quality when combining outdoors and indoors shots. Alternatively, we looked into combining 3D modeled shots of the crane movements with indoor shots. However this required us to learn 3D modeling in a very short period of time.

We just did not believe we could be consistent in visual quality when combining outdoors and indoors shots.

We stumbled upon a miniature forwarder machine and after some testing with filming miniature cars we were convinced it would work out. The rather low fidelity of the toy forwarder was just as we wanted, making visual imperfections in our real size cabin less obvious.

Building the Prototype

After ordering the miniature models, we spent the rest of the week building the real size prototype and working on our design report. I could really notice the team performed like a well oiled machine. Effortless we stepped up a gear, divided the work and got a lot of work done before the Christmas break. It just felt great to be a part of!

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