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Interactive Zelda Head
Created Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Added Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

This project was supposed to be a “new” sculpture.  I believe we were supposed to take a previous art piece, preferably a sculpture, and make it into a new sculpture.  Originally, I wanted to use my “planes in space” computer and add some electronic elements to it to make it less analog and more digital.  This is further described in my original proposal for this project:

As of now, I am thinking about taking a “home-made computer” I made in my sculpture class last year and adding things to it. What it is now is a box made of poster board shaped like a computer tower. It has a hole in the front on the top of the box. Through that hole, one can see pre-made “screens” (images of computer programs pasted to sheets of poster board). One can also change which screen is visible to imitate the change of programs on a computer. So right now, it is completely manual. I’d like to make this a little more automatic and electronic to more resemble a computer. So perhaps adding some LEDs to it or putting a small screen in the hole, putting a small fan in the back, having a “power cord” come out the back, and maybe I can find a way to use a mouse or mouse-like device to control what is seen on the screen.

Eventually, I decided to reuse a wire sculpture of  Princess Zelda’s head (from Twilight Princess).  Side note: both the “planes in space” computer and the Zelda head were made in my sculpture class the previous year.  Holograms and three-dimensional projections is something I’ve always been interested in, so that’s where I got the idea for what to do with Zelda’s head—I wanted to project Zelda’s face onto the wire head, essentially creating a three-dimensional projection.

I contemplated numerous different ways to go about doing this.  One thing was certain: I needed to cover the wire with some kind of material.  Otherwise, the projection would “pass through” the head and display on whatever was behind the head.  However, I didn’t want to ruin or lose the wire head (since I did such a good job on it :D), so something like clay and paper-mâché weren’t viable options.  After much consideration, I decided to use shrink wrap which I would spray paint white (it was originally transparent).  As you can see in the images below, the shrink wrap didn’t conform to the shape of the head quite as well as I had hoped, but it wasn’t too bad.

In addition to all of this, I took the Princess Zelda model from the game and animated her face in Maya.  I then imported the animations into flash to make the animations interactive.  Depending on where you click on Zelda’s face, she responds with different reactions.

Ultimately, the interactive Zelda face was projected onto the shrink wrap-covered Zelda head.  During the crit, we also removed the Zelda head sculpture and tried projecting the interactive face on students’ faces.  This became the impetus for the remade version of this project.