Portfolio

Hey, I’m Zach Mason, an Interactive Designer and Creative Technologist who creates work ranging from apps, games and animation, to interactive code, installations and digitally generated sculptures. Here are several key solo projects which most define my work, but if you’re interested in seeing more, there is full documentation of all my own projects from the last four years of university in the archive tab.

EMOTICO

AR App created through Unity and Vuforia using object targets. Designed as a satirical user experience to make viewers question the use of medicine to regulate emotional states within modern medicine. This however could be used in industry to create apps which could actually provide heavy detail on medicines when a user aims the app on their phone at the box of the medicine.

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AUGMENTED REALITY BOARD GAMES

AR App created through Unity and Vuforia using image targets. Designed as a proof of concept for augmented reality board games intended for increased engagement and versatility. The idea being the pieces are the flat tiles seen, with the chess set on top being generated through augmented reality on the phone. These pieces could be changed in the app to represent any standard board game, even allowing for the user to create their own games with the app and existing board.

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PRAISE THE MATERIAL

Computer program created through Processing 3.0 with a webcam feed and projector mounted in a table top surface. The program reads colour data from objects placed on the table and then radiates that to generate sound and colour from this. Intended to provoke users to question their reliance on the objects which they need every day. Could be finished and presented as a full room installation for artistic purposes, further highlighting the human emphasis on materiality.

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OBJECT RE-SYTHESISER

Computer program created through Processing 3.0 with a webcam feed. The program reads colour data from objects placed on a table in a straight line, acting like a visual synthesiser. These objects colours are then read, and converted into variables which generate the object you see in the centre of the screen. This could be converted into a science museum installation, using the objects to generate visuals and sound for an interactive area.

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PORTRAITS OF THE MACHINE

Machine learning video output from Runway. Trained on images of my face (un-cropped), beginning with a standard facial generation trained model. The computer then begins to learn from the over 500 images I give it of myself. The final output of this trained model can be seen above. This was created to provide artistic visuals and imagery as well as to highlight the materiality we possess digitally through the mass photography of our own faces. These images could be turned into sculptures or prints which I have done for artistic purposes to make the visuals more physical to the viewer.

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DIGITAL MATERIALITY

Data Visualisation generated through AutoDesk Fusion, GrandPerspective and Illustrator. The towers represent blocks of data on my computer, with the size being representative of the size of the file, and the height of the towers reflecting how recently they were accessed. This piece was again generated to show users how much we hoard in a digital space without even realising it due to how intangible these files are. This could be automated into a software for other visualisation purposes for users to highlight data in new ways, such as spending through bank account applications or for data exploration on a computer.

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SCULPTURE OF THE MACHINE

3D model created through the use of Runway machine learning, as well as AutoDesk Mudbox and Fusion and ReCap Photo for photogrammetry. It was created to be 3D printed at life scale from machine learning visuals trained on my face. It was created for artistic purposes but very similar methods could be used to recreate faces and busts of dead celebrities and actors for use in film CGI and other animation purposes.

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PHYSICAL LIMINALITY

Video Animation created using After Effects, video shot on Canon DSLR. Bust printed in PLA Plastic using 3D printer. The short video aims to blur the lines between digital and physical space in a highly visual way. This could be used as a transition style for video production, moving from something very physical to a computer generated shot. The physical prototyped 3D print could be used for various applications with projection mapping to enhance its purpose.

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UNCANNY VALLEY

3D model created through AutoDesk Mudbox and Fusion. Intended to represent a non object. Something which is both extremely tangible, and incredibly confused at the same time. To divide viewers by their predisposition. A teapot, boot, a face and arms, a table perhaps? Every viewer I have talked to about the object views it differently. Some see it clearly, while others don’t desire to comprehend it. This is the reaction I hoped for. I see it being push forward alongside other similar objects as a set of intangible items for artistic display.

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NEGATIVE REACTION

Game created in Unreal Engine. Based purely off reflective objects, the game invites the user to manipulate a negative space environment. The objects can be broken, time slowed, and gravity shifted. All akin to the properties we associate with black holes. The game aims to shift conventional gaming norms, with heavily simplified mechanics. The purpose of the game is unclear, but the user can navigate a maze space to break objects and use their light to clarify the darkness around them. This could be placed within a science museum exhibition, especially with the incorporation of VR to allow for an enhanced negative space experience and possibly to teach children about science such as the effects of time, gravity and light.

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THE MIND PALACE

3D animation created with AutoDesk Fusion, Mudbox, Maya and Skannect along with the Xbox Kinect camera. This animation was created to reflect a personal understanding of mental state. It uses scans of my head, along with the flat which I lived in at the time to represent mental concepts. The whole space has been intentionally distorted in order to create a memory like feeling to the visuals. I could see this being shown within an art gallery or shown as a VR film to create more of an immersive experience, allowing the viewer to be at the centre of this mind palace.

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ARCHIVE