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Mapping, Meaning, and Motion: An Artistic Framework for Visualizing Movement Quality

Resource type
Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ph.D.
Date created
This dissertation presents the development of an artistic framework for visualizing movement quality that is composed of a series of artistic visualization systems, a set of design strategies for aesthetically representing movement quality information, and evaluative studies of the movement experts’ experience in perceiving movement quality visualization. In digital technology contexts, movement quality information can be accessed and obtained by exploring the semantics of an expressive motion framework called Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) as well as the use of computational techniques to measure, analyze, and capture this type of information from the human body in motion. LMA has broad application across research fields of art computing (e.g., character animation, gesture recognition, interaction design, robotics, visual language, interactive arts, and game design). However, the integration of LMA within the visualization domain is still under exploration, and there are no contributions in that domain for representing high-level semantic information such as movement quality. This thesis’ research aims to develop understanding of how LMA can be used as a semantic design resource for visualizing movement qualities by (1) outlining potential visual mapping to represent movement qualities and (2) creating a set of design heuristics for abstract visual representation of movement quality. To generate better understanding of how LMA can be artistically applied to visualization contexts, practice-based research was used as an approach to developing a series of visualization systems that used LMA as an underlying model to capture, represent, and map movement quality to a visualization system. Movement experts were selected to participate in evaluation of the visualization systems, and the comparative analysis method was used to critique, analyze, and compare these visualization systems. This study contributes new knowledge gained from art practice by illustrating how movement theoretical models and movement expertise can be modified and adapted to the design and application of more richly articulated human movement knowledge within the visualization domain. Finally, the study provided a set of design heuristics comprised of eight design guidelines for representing eight movement qualities. These design guidelines can be applied and further explored in various areas, such as visual communication design, abstract animation, and movement analytics.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Schiphorst, Thecla
Thesis advisor: Pasquier, Philippe
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