Monthly Archives: April 2015

Chinese Calligraphy Prototyping and Demos


IMG_3810Over the past year convergent media member professor joey lopez (Editors NOTE:  professor joey lopez requests that his name be lowercase in an effort to create reflexive awareness of power structures) has been working on a special project to develop convergent media representations of Chinese Calligraphy through various mediums and convergent media technologies.  His interest began when he was approached by Professor Weihong Yan, Executive Director of the Confucius Institute and Associate Professor of Chinese/Language/Culture/Business at Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, North Carolina, when he visited San Antonio for The American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages Conference. Angelica Docog, the director of the University of Texas San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures introduced professor joey lopez and Professor Weihong Yan after seeing they have similar interests in story telling with high-end media. Professor Weihong Yan told professor joey lopez of a book he had recently finished about Chinese Calligraphy called The Brush Speaks an Ancient Civilization –The Six Writing Styles of Chinese Calligraphy, which includes over 12,000 years of Chinese Calligraphy. The work impressed professor joey lopez through it’s high-end execution and intellectual foresight. Professor joey lopez saw the rich history, the contextualization and significance of work right away and was highly intrigued and began thinking about possible ways to collaborate.


As a founding member of the Convergent Media Collective, professor joey lopez’s places an importance of cross pollination of social and cultural capital across geographical space. Professor Weihong Yan asked professor joey lopez if he would be able to prototype out other cultural representations of the Chinese Calligraphy using convergent media techniques.

This opportunity was a mutually welcomed collaboration due to both professor joey lopez and Professor Weihong Yan’s desire to share culture across geographical spaces. Professor joey lopez’s vision is to create prototypes that he can then share with Professor Weihong Yan in an effort to create a set museum quality pieces that can be shared with the public at large to bring awareness of the rich heritage Chinese culture contains within not only it’s history, but literally in the way it was written.

The following prototypes and demos are the initial results of joey’s initiative to build convergent media representations of the Chinese Calligraphy he was exposed to. In addition to being convergent media, they were also created in a way to take on new cultural meaning and social significance in an effort to diversify their interpretation as symbols. Professor joey lopez’s main collaborator in the development of these concepts and prototypes is Jeremy Zunker, an electrical engineer, software programmer and maker.


Back Lit Laser Cut Chinese Calligraphy Concept and Prototype

Concept-  This concept grew out of a discussion joey had with Angelica about his desire to prototype some laser cut representations of the Chinese Calligraphy.  Suddenly he saw it in his head and presented the concept.  A laser cut representation, two prototypes.  One using the laser cut piece and the other using the inverted cut piece.  The concept is to back light them using various light sources to draw the patrons eye towards the shape of the pieces.  The light representing knowledge, the Chinese Calligraphy representing the interpretation and place keeper of the knowledge.

IMG_2194Prototype-  In order to create this prototype, joey used an image of the Chinese Calligraphy Bronze Age character for the Horse provided by Weihong Yan.  He imported the image into Adobe Photoshop and created a solid interpretation of the hand painted character.  He then imported it into Adobe Illustrator and then vectorized the image, taking it from a pixel based image to a mathematically vector based representation.  This processing then allowed for the image to be imported into AutoCAD, where the vector file was edited further and prepped to be imported into the laser cutter software.  The image was then imported into the laser cutter software where it was then scaled to fit the material being used.  The laser cutter itself is a Chinese manufactured HX-1290SE model with 80 Watts of power.   It has the ability to cut various kinds of material.  For this prototype I had wanted to use acrylic, but decided to wait and use a heavy stock black cardboard, which I believe worked out well.

The laser cutting process took a minute or so and afterwards we had both a nicely cut character and the pieces to put an inverted character together.

After having the pieces cut we found some paper and used an LED light panel I had on hand to create some prototype images of the Chinese Calligraphy Bronze Age Horse character being illuminated from behind with a medium stock piece of paper between it and the light.  The result was a amazing.  Our next step will be to further refine this prototype into a museum grade installation piece that has an “aura” to it that inspires the patron to feel confident when viewing it.


Laser Cut Chinese Calligraphy Bokeh Lens Cover Concept and Prototype

Concept- This concept came from Jeremy Zunker after laser cutting the initial Chinese Calligraphy Bronze Age Horse. Having read online about the ability to create bokeh filters with laser cut materials. Bokeh is the blur created by using low aperture settings. The side effect of the Bokeh is that whatever is not in focus that is a light source often takes on the shape of the lens aperture being used. So the concept of the Chinese Calligraphy Bokeh Lens Cover was to create a cover that when the out of focus light sources created a custom Bokeh effect.

IMG_2198Prototype- The prototype was created by Jeremy Zunker. He took a set of digital calipers and measured how many millimeters the Canon 6D’s 24-105 L Series len’s inner diameter and then in the laser cutting software placed the Chinese Calligraphy Bronze Age Horse in the circle. The initial prototype proved to be too large of a character to create the desired amount of Bokeh effect. Jeremy then made the Chinese Calligraphy Bronze Age Horse character smaller and it worked perfectly. As you can see in the images and videos provided, the out of focus LED’s we took photos and video of have a distinct representation of the character we laser cut.

While seemingly novel, this prototype has an array of possibilities both in terms of literal meaning, but more so when combined with other techniques, such as abstract and narrative story telling where the Bokeh can then be used to add extra meaning emphasis to the works created.


Mixed Media Projection Mapped Chinese Calligraphy

Concept-  The concept is to develop a processing of the Chinese Calligraphy Characters through projection mapping software such as MadMapper and Modul8 to create unique immersive environments that exposes the richness of the Chinese Calligraphy.

Light Painting Chinese Calligraphy Concept

Concept-  Light painting is the use of long exposure photography along with a light source as a “paint brush”.  The concept of light painting Chinese Calligraphy is to bring the art to a medium which is visually engaging when show at a large scale.

Cultural Re-interpretation Concept

Concept-  Professor joey lopez is a anthropologist at heart and his interest in how cultural practices and re-appropriation of Chinese Calligraphy can be interpreted by hybrid cultures.  The concept for cultural re-interpretation of Chinese Calligraphy is to take some of the characters and juxopose and are immerse them in western mass media.  A simple example may be using the Chinese Calligraphy Bronze era Horse into a major western car manufacture’s symbol.   Such a practice would create an assimilation and introduction to western pop culture of Chinese Calligraphy characters.


Convergent Media Showcase Spring 2015



When: Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
Time: 6:30 DJ and snacks, presentations start at 7pm
Where: Radius
106 Auditorium Cir #125
San Antonio, TX 78205 (map)
RSVP: Facebook or


The Convergent Media Showcase Spring 2015 is a celebration of the University of the Incarnate Word’s Convergent Media students senior projects. Last year was our first Showcase and we had over 100 people show up. We are looking forward to seeing the students show their works which range from narrative films to cutting edge ebook publishing, as well as projection mapping. So come join us for an event of convergent media and see some of the most cutting edge works being made in San Antonio, Tx.

The presenters are:

Jenn Adams HeadshotJennifer Adams




Title: Remembrance of things past

Description:  Over the past couple of years, I have had the misfortune of experiencing quite a few unpleasant events (one might even consider them to be traumatic.) One day I was thinking about how random and irrelevant things or occurrences can cause someone to flashback to traumatic events in their life. It dawned on me that I was most likely not alone in these thoughts. I also learned that in most cases, women who go through traumatic events are often seen as weaker because of it. In this project, I interviewed various women (from very different backgrounds) and discussed what they went through and how their lives have changed. I want this project to show that females, especially those who have experienced trying times, are stronger than the world and society give them credit for.

Bio:  Jennifer Adams is a graduating Convergent Media Senior at the University of the Incarnate Word. She is originally from Dallas, Texas but has grown to call San Antonio her home. Her passions include: film-making, live music and photography. She plans to work in the multi-modal media field post-graduation. She is inspired daily by the people around her, nature and the ingenuity of others. When she has time to herself, she enjoys concerts, art, and documenting her experiences. She is currently working with ArtPace, an artist-in-residence art gallery, as their external affairs intern.
IMG_7196Katherine Benavides




Title: Heels: An Accessory for Beauty and Power

Description: My capstone project will consist of an interactive magazine about the impacts of high heels on women, in society, as a beauty standard/power symbol, and in the workplace. There will be multiple aspects to the online magazine – aiming to build 5 pages that will include videos, Flash development, and graphic design.

Bio: Katherine Benavides is a graduate student at the University of the Incarnate Word. She is from Crystal City, TX. Katherine graduated from St. Mary’s University with a bachelor’s degree in English-Communication Arts, and has experience in video production/editing, graphic design, and journalism. During her undergrad, she served as the News Editor for the University’s paper. This May, she will be completing 4 years of work experience with Valero. Some hobbies include working out, country dancing, and volunteering.
1782096_10203239779576045_1788471580_nBrittany Deike




Title: Pain Unknown

Description: A game that takes the player through the pain and difficulty other creatures of earth face in order to teach the player the hardships within the lives of others.

Bio: Brittany Deike is a 20-year-old student at The University of the Incarnate Word majoring in Communication Arts with a concentration in Convergent Media. Brittany is a member of the band Years Gone, and takes interest in social media promotion and ventures. She is an avid gamer, and believer of learning very valuable lessons through the gaming world. With this idea in mind Brittany has set out to create “Pain Unknown” a first person game in which the player must navigate through the hardships that others face on earth in order for the player to experience first hand what others go through on a daily basis. Through “Pain Unknown” Brittany hopes to help achieve a stronger understanding of humanity through the common struggles of all who inhabit the earth we share.

Rory Dew HeadsotRory Dew




Title: How To Not Starve: Basic Cooking Skills for College Students

Description: This project is an e-book designed to give college students a basic knowledge of kitchen skills so as they are able to cook for themselves. Through a series of recipes, written instructions and demonstration videos, consumers should be able to develop enough cooking skills to feed themselves with cheap, quick and healthy meals.

Bio: Rory is a senior at the University of the Incarnate Word. Since moving from Australia to the U.S in 2011, he has been consistently exploring the cultural differences between two deceptively similar cultures.

Mercedes Esquivel HeadshotMercedes Esquivel




Title: No Such Thing

Description: “No Such Thing” is a documentary that showcases children with (dis)abilities. However there is no such thing as a disability, only a bad attitude. This video was inspired by my sister who is currently working towards becoming an Occupational Therapist.

Bio: Mercedes is a sophomore at the University of the Incarnate Word majoring in Communication Arts with a minor in English and Speech and a concentration in Convergent Media. She was born in Dallas, Texas but has lived in San Antonio the majority of her life. Mercedes currently works as an Event Coordinator at the Rosenberg Sky Room. She loves traveling around the world and spending time with loved ones. After finishing school, Mercedes would like to pursue a career in Public Relations.

1888612_10203435136179746_5431938424913361712_nMegan Gaitan






Bio: Megan is completing her third year at University of the Incarnate Word majoring in Communication Arts with a concentration in Convergent Media and is currently in the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program. She was born in Beeville, Texas, has studied abroad in Rome, Italy, and loves to travel. She enjoys

Ryan Headshot MaybeRyan Ibarra




Title of Project: CTRL

Description: CTRL explores the relationship between humans and technology in the digital age.

Bio: Currently a senior at the University of the Incarnate Word, Ryan Ibarra’s passion for media, technology, and storytelling is evident in his work. With experience ranging from audio production, video production, and various types of media, he continues to push boundaries in new and creative ways.

Aaron Mosmeyer HeadshotAaron Mosmeyer




Title of Project: The Hero

Description of Project:  What makes a hero; Fighting for one’s own ideals, or instead for what society deems righteous? I will be presenting a narrative short film that puts a superhero in this position and asks if he is indeed the hero, or is instead a villain.

Bio: I am a junior convergent media student at UIW. My passion is film-making and narrative storytelling. My hobbies include video gaming, watching various films and television shows, and cosplaying at local conventions.

BJNBrittany Nelson




Title of Project: Imagination Meets Reality

Description: Most days we go through life in our same mundane routine with the same boring outlook on life. For children every day is an adventure even when they are doing the same thing over and over again. As adults, we can learn so much from children and all we have to do is simply open our eyes.

Bio: Brittany is studying convergent media at Uiw and is currently a junior. She was born in Oklahoma but resides in Cibolo, Texas. She enjoys creating videos and crafting in her free time. Brittany loves to work with children and will be working for iD Tech in the summer, teaching children about technology and programing.

Mae'gan Pena IDMae’gan Peña




Title of Project:  My Second Home/ Land of the Morning Calm (Both are working titles)

Description:  “My Second Home” plunges the audience into a intimate environment created with an array images and sound that shows how everything to city life to the life in the country can be.
By using projection mapping and sound,  “My Second Home” takes the audience on a trip to South Korea, a place that I know call my second home. Since coming back home, I have always been asked how Korea was, and I could never fully explain my experience through words, so with this project, I hope to present my feelings and love of the country.

Bio:  Born and raised in San Antonio, it was always a little strange to people that I have always have had a sense of adventure and leave home. I had always wanted to study abroad since I was in middle school and by the time I was a junior in high school, I was able to go to Japan for a semester. When college came around, I decided to spread my wings to South Korea as well and I spent a year and a half there. While I was there, I used my skills a as a communications major to help the university that I was attending. Now, I’m back home and trying to get readjusted to life in San Antonio.

SSStephanie Saenz




Title of Project: Sense

Description: Using projection mapping, Sense creates an immersive space that plunges you into an eye-candy wonderland. Your sense of space, balance, and sight will be tested as you surround yourself in auditory and visually stimulating projections.

Bio: I am Stephanie Saenz, I am a Convergent Media major with a minor in Fine Art. I have worked at SeaWorld San Antonio as a contractor with Kaman’s Art Shoppes for the past 3 years—I do caricatures; I am currently interning with the Corporate Communications Department at University Health Systems here in SA.

IMG_1488Robert Wilson




Title: EndingEndingEnding

Description: Visual projections accompanied by original music

Bio: Current student at the University of the Incarnate Word studying Music.

San Antonio Alliance for Women in Media host the 2014 Media Olympics


In 2013, Mariana Brazos, a University of Incarnate Word student proposed a capstone that would take the steps to create an official Alliance for Women in Media chapter student chapter in San Antonio.  Mariana not only successfully created the student organization, she also landed a job with local station Univision 41 as a field reporter.  Over the spring and summer of 2014, Sidne Auvert, a fellow UIW masters student, took over as president and built up the student org.  It has been amazing to see the student organization grow, what’s amazing is the fluidity between the professional and student chapters.  The fluidity has created internship and job positions that were not offered before.

The San Antonio Alliance for Women in Media hosted the 2014 Media Olympics is San Antonio event that brings media outlets together to participate in a field day style event.  The goal of the event is to bring everyone together to build commeradory  and a bigger sense of community.  The proceeds of the event all towards a scholarship fund for college students who are studying the field of media.

For the second year the student chapter participated in the activities and this time brought a whole crew with UIW Cardinal red shirts and all.  The fluidity referred to in the first paragraph was going full steam at the event and it was amazing to see the students be able to interact with the professionals in field.  It was also amazing to see graduates of the program representing their media outlets.