Act on a Scroll

This project started as a casual conversation about immersive media design & act of storytelling. To not make it a technical project, we wrote about scroll, as a poetic object.

The Poetics of a Scroll

To scroll is to navigate, to unroll, to make something appear.

Scroll is to let go, move ahead.

Scroll has to roll, on its head, belly or toe.
It is on paper, on cloth, on bamboo , on sticks, on leaves, on leather
whatever the material is, it is for better.
Scroll is a trip. A lane so straight that it shoots you in a space.
Read aloud with a thunder, and kept quite like a hush under.

lift it up till the dress unfolds.
shift the crowd with what it holds
roll it up till its asleep
let the people embrace its dream.

do we write ?
or do we read ?
until you roll it open.
A blankness, a language may get revealed.

Initial Concept

After finishing up the above exercise on poetics, we decided that format of the project will be a performance inside an immersive projection space. The act will involve storytelling that will unfold with each act of the brush stroke on the paper of the scroll.


Steps involved in the performance will be :

  1. The Artist walks to the the center of the room & opens the scroll kept there.
  2. As the scroll roll opens, the walls light up to signal the start of the interaction between the artist & the scroll.
  3. The Artist takes up his/her brush and draws a character on the scroll.
  4. As soon as the character is completed on the paper, the first part of the story appears on the walls.
  5. The Artist rolls the scroll to open it further, and draws out the next character – the second part of the story unfolds on the wall.
  6. Likewise the interaction continues on the scroll by the artist; while on the walls it keeps enriching the story.

To break-down this concept or actions we will need to figure below technical solutions :

  • Recognition of the character drawn by the artist by an image identification program & trigger a section/element of the story.
  • Ability to add to the existing story timeline by triggering more character markers.
  • Projecting the story on the walls of a room.
  • What parts of the story shall be uncovered/triggered with each mark.
  • What will be those symbols/script/drawings on the scroll.

To start small for this concept, we can start by asking the questions :

How to recognise the characters drawn by a human artist ? And then trigger an action from it.
How to trigger animated stories or characters with different triggers? Like a drag and drop style story creator.


As an offshoot, to start small with the available resources at hand, we can also explore :

AR Concept : Use AR markers to trigger different characters already made for a story and then trigger different animations from it. We can make these AR markers appear on a scroll.

Setup 1 : Have a room with different AR markers on a wall placed closely. When one illustration is triggered the animation makes the user move to the next trigger area and the story unfolds. Like a jumping rabbit helping explore the wonderland.

Setup 2 : Have a room with different AR markers on walls independent of each other. Trigger a whole world around the users phone which he can explore by moving his phone around. Add elements to this world with each AR marker which gets triggered.

Next comes the story we want to tell with the concept – it will define the markers for the AR trigger. For initial phase we can trigger different parts of a scene like – characters & background and motion & music in a single frame. After that is figured out we can move further to triggering parts of a scenes or a character of the concept.Further we can even change the scenes when a loop of story is done.


This project is a work in progress. Further developments on this will be updated in due time.