Posts Tagged ‘processing’

First Skills Upgrade

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Ouch. This stuff actually happened before Christmas… I’m not that good at updating regularly. I’ll be back soon with a post about the TUI course we just finished, and hopefully that will make this site a bit more up-to-date.

Well, the last week before Christmas was dedicated to “Skills Upgrade”-courses. The class was split in two, one half was working with James Tichenor and Joshua Walton from Rockwell Group, on different proposals for interactive installations for SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The other half (which I was part of) worked with games and computer vision which was taught by Yaniv Steiner.

The scoreboard featuring "pebernødder"

We spent the week experimenting with different small things within the field of computer vision. The first project we did, was the game “Style Wars” – a reaction game, where you use your hand as the game controller. The game is very simple: you and your opponent face each other like in a classic western duel. When you hear a specific bang-sound, it’s all about being fastest to draw your gun (gun = pointing hand). If you react too early (before the right sound), you lose. The name “Style Wars” doesn’t really make much sense – but the reason for the name is, that in the game, one player has the role of a flamenco-dude, the other player is a hip-hopper. I am assuming that it’s common knowledge that flamenco-dancers and hip-hoppers don’t get along very well.

Dave Mellis captured me and Erlend dueling in the video above. After making “Style Wars” which was based on simple Flash-motion tracking, we moved on to reacTIVision, where we made our own lo-fi reactable with a standard camcorder, a window and a desklamp. We used the table for testing and having fun with both Flash and One of the applications were a “body-mixer”, that made it possible to build your own custom CIID student (or freak) by mixing the legs, torsos and heads from all of us. The controls were three “dials” with fiducials underneath.

Playing with the body-mixer

I uploaded some pics from the skills upgrade on Flickr – you should check them out if you want to see some of the other cool stuff people made, like the Dancing Game, for instance… The thumbnails are here:

The last minute light solutionDaveErlend wonScoreboardJacobFiducials
Danger! Dutch techno aheadDanger!A wallA wallStyle WarsThe camera we used for Style Wars
The camera we used for Style WarsJacob and his thingTired peopleEline explainingEline's light installationEline's light installation
Eline's light installationEline's light installationKevin catching the ballKevin catching the ballUjjval explainingUjjval's sketch with fast shutter
Ujjval's sketchYves explainingAsh checking out Jacob's thingJacob's graphics projected on the wallPlaying with Jacob's thingreactable
A view through Jason's glassesFrancesco againThe dancing gameFrancesco dancingThe dancing gameSimona
1-day reactableFast shutter = Funky colorsYves shooting fiducialsMagnus and the scoreboardSkills upgrade exhibitionIt's in the hair

Computational Design Exhibition: My poster

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Here’s a quick pre-release! My poster for the exhibition this afternoon.

The graphics on the poster describe the head and hand movements of people performing a typical greeting from their home country. Recorded data (using a Wii Remote) consisting of the pitch and roll values of the movements, has been normalised and divided into 400 steps each. The visualisation – formed by coloured ribbons – allows a comparison of the different greetings just by looking at the overall shape.

Coloured Ribbons - my poster based on computational design

Coloured Ribbons - my poster based on computational design

Setting up friday’s exhibition

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Tomorrow is the last day of the Computational Design course. We’re ending the course with an exhibition, where we are showing our work. Basically it is going to be a mix between posters and interactive installations to try out. All based on data from a Wii Remote. This post is just going to be short: 3 pictures I took right before leaving this evening.

Preparing hangers for the posters in the exhibition room

Preparing hangers for the posters in the exhibition room

The eMacs are almost ready for running the Processing sketches

The eMacs are almost ready for running the Processing sketches

Meanwhile Erlend is sucking out the last bit of information in Dennis' brain

Meanwhile Erlend is sucking out the last bit of information from Dennis’ brain

There will be more information later this weekend, when the exhibition is over and I am sober (that almost rhymes).

Computational Design!

Monday, October 6th, 2008

First post in a long time! Last week and this week has been all about computational design. I assume you all know what computational design is, but for the guy who accidentally got in here while searching for pictures of the Pope riding a chopper, i’ll try to explain it anyway:

Computational design is basically when you use a computational approach to design something. It can be everything from physical products to pure aesthetics (e.g. this fuzzy thing called art). It is often used in the field of “information visualization”, where you use computational methods to visualize information graphically to give an overview of e.g. large or complex amounts of data. This is where computers come in handy, as computational design often includes a lot of math and calculations. A classical example of computational graphics is the visualization of Mandelbrot sets. Mandelbrot sets are practically impossible to draw by hand because of their complexity, but for computers it is a piece of cake.

Mandelbrot sets would not be funny to draw by hand

Mandelbrot sets would not be funny to draw by hand

My task for this week is to visualize and present data that we (my group consisting of an american, an indian, an italian, a korean and two danes) have collected by strapping a WiiRemote to people’s hands and heads while they do the common greeting of their home country. Meaning that the danish guy is shaking hands, the italian girl is kissing cheeks, the indian guy is bowing and so on. I’m not really sure how to do it yet, but I have an idea of visualizing the accelerometer data in a way that will show the similarities of the different greetings. On friday we will be exhibiting the results of these two weeks, with both static and interactive stuff to look at and try out.

We use Processing to gather and visualize the data. It is quite easy to get started with Processing – especially if you know a little bit of programming (especially Java) beforehand. I did some small programs in Processing last week, before starting the greetings-project. One of my first sketches was an interactive clock, with three trees growing according to the current time of the day. The trees are generated by using recursive mathematical functions (mostly vectors as in linear algebra) spiced up with a bit of randomness, giving an almost infinite number of different kinds of trees.

The interactive Tree Clock

The partly interactive Tree Clock

By the way, the trees also react to the sound in the room, so if you shout at them, they will shiver.

Another thing I have been doing is a graphics filter, based on the work of Craig T. MacKenzie, that maps pixels in an image and draw lines between them. The result is not as beautiful as Craig’s PixelPath images, but at least I learned a lot about processing images and handling large amounts of data.

A close-up of a patio heater used for processing

A close-up image of a patio heater used for testing my code

The filter approximately half way through processing an image

The filter approximately half way through processing the image above

Final result

The final result

If you’re interested in seeing some really nice computational art, take a look at Alex Dragulescu’s work or just search Google for “computational art”.

Oh yeah, and for the guy who was looking for that “Pope on a chopper”-image. Here it is:

The Pope on a chopper

The Pope on a chopper

If you want more Pope-images, go here.