WIP Surveillance Computer System

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  06 June 2013
WIP Surveillance Computer System

I'm creating a photo manipulation of a surveillance computer system based loosely on Microsoft's Domain Awareness System.

I'll then use this particular image as the background to overlay a holographic representation of a dictator like political figure addressing the public.

The system consists of several parts. It will be a wall sized screen consisting of multiple display panels.
The 1st is a panel of CCTV feeds. This image is mostly complete and shown below.
The 2nd part is a data panel that displays 911 report information and a map interface with information overlays that takes information from the 911 report interface and the CCTV panel.

I used photos I took myself and copyright free images of CCTV screen captures found on the web. Created a photoshop action to add the scanlines and overlays and reduce the image size to common dimensions so they all line up. Then I used shapes to add the interface elements.
I'm using Photoshop CS6 extended.
I've almost completed the 2nd part of the image and will post that soon.
I'm looking for honest critique so I can improve. This seems like the place to get that.
Thanks for your time...
  06 June 2013
Here's what I have of the map panel so far.

Still need to add more overlays and interface elements.

Last edited by placebo2012 : 06 June 2013 at 07:22 AM.
  06 June 2013
The alert panel:

  06 June 2013
These are the only references I found:

  08 August 2013
Not a single comment. Not even to say "you suck".

No matter. I've been learning and practicing still. Studying interface design and how to develop UI concept elements using Adobe Illustrator.

So the project I started above has evolved significantly. I won't waste anyones time by posting it until it's at a certain point though.

Thanks for....something....
  08 August 2013
Hmm, is the dictator going to be a drawing or an edited photo as well?

I think if you placed a basic sketch showing people what you want to do you would get a better response.

Till now it looks like you are preparing the elements which you will use so without the primary sketch I don't know what anyone can tell you.

The main problem is you just threw a lot of information out there all at once and it was a bit confusing.

But regardless I don't think you will get a lot of people giving feedback especially if its a photo manipulation project.
  08 August 2013
The photo manipulation elements are just the photos used for the CCTV screens and the map images. I can't think of another way to do that. Aside from creating 50 individual photorealistic renders in C4D for the screens, which seems insane. That would take months to create and render. I have a low end system. Which is why I'm doing it mainly in 2D applications. I have C4D and know how to use it well enough, but this system isn't capable of creating and rendering complex 3D scenes.
All the interface elements are created from scratch in photoshop and illustrator.
The dictator(or system operator) will just be a reflection or side or rear shot. The character in the scene will be the computer.
It's somewhat of a political commentary image with the recent events of the NSA and other surveillance state news in current events.
  08 August 2013
Oh, I thought dictator as a virtual oppressive ruler not a system operator. I went too fictional I guess.

No of course you're not gonna do renders for that sort of thing.

Hmm, well I can see the political commentary issue with the Edward Snowden story.

Your title says "wannabe cg artist". Based on that is UI elements as a topic worth the focus for you at the moment?

To make my point you know hyper realism can sometimes get called boring because its too much work to reproduce a reality we can easily recreate using say a camera. I feel since your dealing with editing photo's and the tone of the work is sober and subtle that it will not create a strong emotional reaction from the viewers as you noticed with the lack of comments.

That's my two cents. The edit work seems decent though and it could fit in a syndicate wars or a top down game mood or in the framework you have in mind.... but... you know... where is the punch here?
  08 August 2013
The wannabe cg artist title is because I don't consider anything I've done worthy of earning me the title of actual cg artist, combined with the fact that I truly want to get to that point.

My financial situation prohibits me from getting a new, more capable machine. My PC is an older dual P4, which limits me to 3GB of memory. So I can't really do too much in the way of 3D. I can create scenes, but rendering is another story.
So hyper realism will not be an option anyway.

So I'm trying to create as much as I can in 2D, and then bringing it together in C4D in a very basic scene.
The "punch" as you say, will be in the area of the interface design and the concept itself of an omnipotent virtual dictator. So your comment about this thread being basically the preperation of the elements for the design is spot on.

I really have a deep interest in things such as the Edward Snowden case, NSA spying on Americans, and the surveillance grid that's taking shape, the Domain Awareness System created by Microsoft for the NYPD. So i want to do designs relating to that. I started with material that's already in existence and I plan to build on that because I want people to be somewhat familiar with the subject matter.

I realize it's an odd choice of subject material. But it's what I'm compelled to do, and I think I can pull off something that isn't your run of the mill CG design like robots, spaceships, medieval creatures, etc...
I'm toying with the concept of the dictator/system operator. Possibly something like the President in a stylized artificial intelligence character. Sort of like a combination of Skynet, Max Headroom, and Obama. I want the UI elements to be subtly futuristic looking but not overly so.

I do appreciate your input here. And I won't be offended by any criticisms you have regarding the concept or the work itself.

Last edited by placebo2012 : 08 August 2013 at 02:30 AM.
  08 August 2013
... I did not know Max Headroom... how did I not know about Max Headroom.

Well then hang in there man and I'm sure you'll make it.
  08 August 2013
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