Ever since LREC a few weeks ago I’ve been obsessing over the way hands are *ahem*… handled in SiLOrB. The current system is lovely and systematic, but it takes a little getting used to. In a perfect world, it would be painfully obvious what a hand is doing without any prior exposure. Of course, in a perfect world, we could whip up a 3D model of someone signing and automatically annotate it and make a beautiful written/animated version. But since that seems a few decades and a whole lot of data in the future, I am playing around in Inkscape again, making hands a little more realistic *ahem*… manually.
The goal is still the same: clear and systematic differences between each hand orientation and each finger configuration. Fingers are described individually and therefore each position of each finger should be compatible with any configuration of the remaining fingers. This means creating all finger configurations (unextended, extended, bent, spread, etc.) for each orientation (or a subset that can be rotated to make all the others), and doing some tests for compatibility. Please enjoy some of the preliminary results below. See if you can tell what each hand is doing (hover your mouse over it to see the answer), and comment if you have suggestions.
We’re heavily into stacking and layering territory here, folks. Even some variation in transparency. No more hiding your fingers behind palms, or even your thumb behind your fingers. Go ahead and use palm-body and palm-down orientations. (Yes, some of them look like jellyfish. Maybe that’s okay.)
The best part, really, is making these monster robot hands. Why not have ALL the finger positions at the same time? It’s mostly an exercise to make sure I know which fingers need to be on top of each other, when the thumb takes over, and when it just doesn’t matter. It’s also a way to make sure all positions are distinct and that fingers in different positions can actually interact with each other in a reasonable way. Don’t worry, this will never come up if you’re using the Signotate interface.
P.S. Stay tuned for conversion between SiLOrB and HamNoSys/SignWriting. If my artistic skills are up to it, faces may be up next.