Things I have worked on over the years...
Hi, my name Matt Dolnik, and I am a Simon Fraser University graduate in Interactive Arts and Technology, with experience in the multimedia training field. My strengths lean towards finding traditional and radical methods to tackle difficult concepts including data and asset management, graphic design, web design, video editing, and programming....
I have excelled in the E-Learning and multimedia training material development field by tackling large projects in the roles of an independent, a team member, and as a team leader. Much of the work experience includes designing and developing storyboards from reference material, creating interactive user interfaces, graphic design and animation of simulations of equipment.
My experience doesn’t stop at the workplace either; the passion to constantly create has led me to take on many personal projects. Whether it’s putting a meaningful purpose to the 40,000+ pictures, videos, and timelapses I have captured in the past decade, or testing my abilities or new technologies for the hell of it; I enjoy encompassing and bringing a sense of order and beauty to the chaos of information that today’s technology can create and capture, simply because I enjoy coming up with solutions to problems, and trying out new ways to look at old things.
Click on any of the projects below...
With the decline of Adobe Flash's web presence in the recent years, the Flash-based picture viewer of dolnik.ca needed an update. Utilizing various current web technologies, I was able to build off of the back-end of the current PHP/MySQL image database that I am using for the Flash version, to create a Non-Flash version of the picture viewer.
For the background image, I used php to pull the highest rated / most viewed image from the current collection and added a blur effect to give the current page a theme that represents the current image collection. At this point the more advanced features of the Flash version such as searching by location, tags, and dates are not incorporated yet, but will be in the near future.
With the decline of Adobe Flash's web presence in the recent years, the Flash-based home page of dolnik.ca needed an update. Utilizing recent web technology such as Html5, CSS3, and Greensock animation platform, I was able to recreate the animated time lapse mountain scenery of the Flash version, as well as update the look and feel of the clouds to add more realism. The scene shown is a videoscape of a mountain top setting based off of a picture of myself during a hike up one of the local mountains around Vancouver.
After 5+ years of having a flash-only based website, dolnik.ca was due for an upgrade. After having a good look around at what the current web practices are, I decided to re-create dolnik.ca and go with a mobile-first based responsive design using Twitter's open source Bootstrap framework as a foundation.
In the name of reusability and for the ease of future updates, I ensured that most of the pages are highly templated, and pull their content from a simple custom CMS using a combination of PHP and MySQL. As for the general design I looked towards a flat and simple, yet textured layout, with a parallax background with a layer in front that resembles a scratched-up frosted glass.
In 2012 a good friend of mine embarked on a motorcycle trip around the world, although I did not create his website (ridetheworldtogether.com) I helped with many small features such as a RSS feed reader which automatically populates any YouTube updates, as well as an interactive map showing their route so-far.
At first I used existing services such as EveryTrail and TripTracker which started to really slow down the map navigation as their route became much longer. I eventually took matters into my own hands and created a system using PHP and MYSQL to read GPX (xml based GPS files) and populate a database with time, coordinates and other info.
I also learned how to use Google Map's API to display a very complex line on a map using data compression as the line plots loaded onto the map exceeds 650,000 points so far. I also created a crude GUI so that all my friend needs to do, is upload the GPX files and press a button to load the points into the database.
This project is done on free time and completely created from scratch. It was created to make uploading, organizing, and displaying pictures on dolnik.ca a very easy and automated process. All pictures uploaded have their meta-data automatically read, and organized into a SQL database to allow for easy picture searching and viewing, depending on factors such as date, location, rating, tags, etc. As of today, this system contains over 8500 images.
In 2010 construction started on the new roof of BC place stadium in Vancouver and I decided to try at an ambitious project of capturing a timelapse animation of over a year and a half's worth of construction. Setting up a webcam at a friend's place across the street from the stadium, I created a simple program in Max/MSP to capture images at a regular interval, and upload straight to my website.
I also added the ability to change the capture interval remotely, and set a different capture rate for daytime and night time. When the pictures were all taken (550,000 of them) I created a crude application in flash that will load certain pictures and play them as a video with an adjustable date range or other features.
I also had ideas to filter out pictures with bad weather so I added code that reads a weather almanac website and adds that information over to the picture database, this information is also relayed over onto the timelapse player to give a sense of the weather at the time of each picture.
In 2009, the landing page of dolnik.ca had an upgrade for usability and stylization using Flash to create a videoscape of a mountain top setting based off of a picture of myself during a hike up one of the local mountains around Vancouver. In the background are randomly generated clouds in front of a timelapse of the setting sun, also captured during that same hike.
This video portrays some of the amazing sights I saw during a 1.5 month Simon Fraser University Italian Design Field School (Italia Design 2009 Gruppo Sei) The Trip starts in Rome, then to Tuscany (Montepulciano, Orvieto, Cortona, Pitigliano, Dolciano), then to Florence, then finally in Milan. I would have to say this was the experience of a lifetime and I would say this video sums it up pretty well, but not enough. This video had well over 32,000 pictures taken for just the timelapses!
This is the footage I shot on a two week backpacking trip on my own around Europe. This two weeks was a little vacation after a 1.5 month Simon Fraser University Italian Design Field School (Italia Design 2009) The Trip starts in Milan then goes to Zurich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Pisa, then finally in Rome. This video had well over 6000 pictures taken for just the timelapses.
The Italia Design field study was an annual collaborative study on Italian design, and the context in which innovation can be inspired by culture and history. The experience in Italy was completely hands-on, and allowed for our group to personally investigate and interview many top designers, architects, and innovative thinkers, and the businesses they run. This allowed us to apply some of the theories and methods we learned towards various projects in field.
This project is a multi-user drawing game where people choose a square to draw on to complete a collage picture as a whole. The concept was based around a multi-narrative version of the "exquisite corpse" (a parlour game where people would each write a part of a sentence and pass it on to a person who would add on, not knowing the complete sentence wikipedia). This project turned out to be very successful, and one of my favourite works. My role in this was developing the initial concept, team lead of four people and head programmer. In 2008, new features using an SQL database allows for automation of creating new "corpses", email notifications, daily user drawing limits and interactive completed 'corpse' viewings.
While working at BC Children's hospital, I was able to work in a research field scenario with UBC researchers developing flash prototypes of anaesthetic monitoring equipment to try and improve on the old equipments displays to make them more intuitive and less strenuous to keep watch on.
This involved discovering methods to be able to find ways to visualize slow changes in values over long periods of time which may not be apparent to the observer because of the gradual change over time. In the end our team was able to connect the visuals to the real life support system to perform testing in the operating theater.
This project, our team was assigned to replicate a building designed by famous architects, in this case we chose Rem Koolhaas's Villa Dal'ava in Paris. We first were to construct a physical scale model and then translate into digital form. My role was in a big part of the hands on work of the physical constructing, and digital modeling. Our task was to make it as clean cut as possible and I feel we did a fairly good job of replicating and understanding the shapes and forms that go into architecture.
This Assignment was done to use the city of San Francisco in an agglomeration theory study. Our group had to summarize the first half of the book "Post Capital Society" by Peter Drucker and connect it to San Francisco in the form of an Information model. I was in charge of co-research and co-design
This Project was a semester long class assignment in which I was one of the members of the team leads for both the programming side, as well as the overall project. The initial concept was devised between three other members and I, which were voted best concept of the class and selected as the pursuit of the project.
The project involves a sort of puzzle where the user drags certain video clips into an interactive timeline in an attempt to solve the mystery of the unknown killer. I was in charge of the initial concept development, the main backbone of the programming of the user interface and video loading, as well as the top decisions of where the project was heading as a whole.
For this project we were told to create a video from a series of still shots. At the time my partner and I were interested in the concept of "Light Painting" where a person would animate a streak of light in front of a long exposure picture. I came up with the concept to have this streak of light animate in a playful way, traveling through a playground, I was also the director and camera operator. This video was also chosen for advertising of a "Hansa Canyon" LED water faucet in a Tennessee Trade show. This project uses no post-production special effects, it was made with the light painting trick and alot of patience.
A project which looked into the area of ambient video displays. This project included a concept of someone dreaming about people painting moving images along a white canvas which was displayed along a 40 foot projected banner in the campus hallway. My role was project leader when it came from initial concept to implementation of how it could be done. The process included creating a large blue-screen, setting up camera and lighting, painting red on the blue-screen and keying out the colors then putting the various scenes in using after effects.
During a class-wide field study of Seattle's culture, our team researched into the various subcultures formed by certain areas of the city. We composed our findings into a long horizontal spread which collaged the many pictures we took with a complex order in mind that describes various groups of people through the context in where they are located.
This order included a transformation from high-rise to low-brow, from rich to poor, from cool colours to warm colours and from order to disorder. The composition was put together with a group of five people working simultaneously on the same poster with a combination Adobe Bridge and Photoshop, then displayed using flash.
A flash game inspired by the classic game of "Tetris." In this game, the user is given a set of blueprints to build a structure, they control a crane that picks up and places bricks in the appropriate spot. Its a race against time and money, as well as the pressure to complete the building accurately. For this project, I was in charge of the Initial concept, team lead of a team of three, and the only programmer in the group.
Warning: Game has sound that can't be turned off
This is a Flash based game that was a team project for a game design course at SFU. This game was based of a previous project in the game-design course which was the paper-based, tongue-in-cheek game of the same name. With influences such as retro 8-bit, top-down, RPG-like games, we set out to create a multi-linear story-based game that ironically has less to do with sex, and more to do with finding clues in order to seduce your targeted "mate" with humorous items.
Warning: Game has sound that can't be turned off
The purpose of this project was to create a physical to digital interaction. Our team decided to create a manipulative puppet in which the user pulls the ropes to control the video of the puppet. The artistic direction was in a morbid fashion reflecting our group's view of the workload of the school at the time. I was in charge of the physical to digital translation, some of the back end Flash work, and constructing the physical rig using parts from a scrap yard. The physical components had their motion tracked by sensors hooked up to a Teleo module (similar to an Arduino) which communicated to the Flash animation.