Assembling the Brain Gardens

Now that I have a good number of models, I can start assembling a ‘brain garden’. My original ideas was something I realised I couldn’t do because of technical limitations however just for purely theoretical purposes I decided to create a test version of it. (Unfortunately, I was correct in that the software I was using was not capable of loading a 3D model over 500MB. I tried to look for different software however it seems that commercial AR is limited). I did this because I wanted to try to visuals my initial idea even if I couldn’t use it, just to show my intentions.

I created a model that was inspired by the natural formation of tree roots and plants but used a wire texture so that the roots of the garden look part man-made and part natural. My intentions were to blend the two as the hypothetical basis of my project is about the use of cell growth in A.I, a combination of naturally occurring acts and human interference and manipulation. I also liked the aesthetic of hanging fruit like grapes on a stalk and envisioned something similar for my brain garden.

I divided my brains up into groups, wanting to do so in a way that used ones which contrasted with each other as I found that to be personally visually interesting. I wanted them to all move together in a very fluid way but also independently. I also experimented with a ‘heart-beat’ like motion that involved using the scaling animation option to make the object pulsate as if receiving nutrients and signals from the attached roots. Other animations I used were ‘orbiting’ like ones where brains orbit each other and created different movement paths, along with this spinning and slow movements. My reasons for this variety is that I wanted to give the garden a sense of cohesion but also one of individualism, with each brain it’s own entity and not just a sum of it’s parts.

After making three models I uploaded them to SketchFab which allowed me to check they were running properly (sometimes animations and textures don’t load, especially with larger files as more problems can occur). I did struggle to get them all to load in correctly but after a few try’s each of them worked and I was able to view them on both my computer and ipad. Adjusting the AR/VR setting I was able to make them larger so that when accessed they would create a more imposing impression and seem tree like. When small the animated model is more like a brain plant, scale gives it more of a presence and walking around inside it is the interactive element I’ve been looking for during my creative process.

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