Date of Award

8-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Digital Production Arts

Advisor

Timothy A. Davis

Committee Member

Tony Penna

Committee Member

Bruce Wisler

Abstract

More often than system designers would like to admit, a discrepancy lies between the implementation of audiovisual control systems and their apparent ease of use to a novice or casual user. System designers and programmers are often hampered by the software tools provided by industry manufacturers and cannot reliably create desirable graphical interfaces that match the level of systems they are asked to program and install.
Popular consumer trends in portable touchscreen devices, pioneered on devices such as the Apple iPhone, light a way forward into a new era of elegantly solving the audiovisual control system graphical user interface problem. Since expensive specialized hardware can be replaced by readily available consumer devices and a wide variety of tools exists with which to create content, possible alternatives to the current methods of designing the graphical user interface for the audiovisual system are ripe for discovery.
Using the latest release of Autodesk Maya 2011, with features such as Python and Pymel, we have developed scripts to generate graphical user interface content for use with audiovisual control systems hardware. Also explored is the potential for a standalone development environment such that audiovisual designers and programmers are not required to operate Maya or adjust scripts to generate content. Given this new level of control over the graphical user interface, coupled with the flexibility of the control system central processor programming, a truly powerful, intuitive, and groundbreaking control interface can finally be realized.

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