What Stage Am I At? (The Boring Part)

What has happened so far.

I’ve analysed a concept

What I want to portray with my digital environment piece is the concept of motion; not focusing sourly on humans being the main thing which creates movement in the world. I want to bring to people’s attention that, lets say when you move your arm (you can clearly see your arm moving) there is a reaction around the space the motion is taking place. There is a reaction to everything that happens, even if you can’t see it, it still exists. 

I came to this culture because of the recent essay I have written on ‘Participatory Culture’ where fans of a franchise take the franchise into their own hands and create a piece of work in their own image. The culture creates an action in response of something which already exist, but may not be seen. This added to life experiences of everything you do having a reaction, whether it’s not replying to a text or calling the wrong person there is always a response somewhere those causes.

I’ve analysed the space

Using the Foyer in Weymouth House we have been offered one of the screens to install our systems, this is located in an eye catching spot so people will notice the system and also the camera will be facing where most of the action happens (where people walk through). Already knowing that we have been given access to this location I conducted some research with the use of the “Independent Dorset” brief, allowing me to get an insight to the duration people come into the foyer and leading to me having a wider knowledge of how I will present my digital environment.

I’ve analysed Particle Systems

Using something which already exists “Particle Systems” I did some research into some Systems which have already been written and how they look, the use of this gave me some ideas stretching from an environment which is 100% made out of particles and when motion is detected the particles respond with movement. With further research and advise from Liam my seminar tutor the complexity of writing a Particle System was explained as it may be quite over whelming and not work, but I really wanted to stick to the idea. This came back to the concept I have and the fact that I want this piece of work to be seen as art. 

I analysed the possibilities of Particle Systems

Using research and my note book I went into how I could take this possible particle system and create something on my own, doing sketches and looking into Examples which Processing supply like ‘OpenCV’ and ‘Punktiert’ I analysed how the imagery in particles is portrayed. The results of this was looking how the particles where presented, something being small and big and others being shown with the way they move rather than the dimensions of them, but all where really quite beautiful. Some people even found ways of getting the particles to move in such away they created images, just with how to particles moved around the page. Moving forward this took me to the point of wanting the camera to notice people rather than the entire space just being turned into Particles, this is quite a tricky thing to succeed in as the code is incredibly complex and I didn’t know how to write it, but I did recall that using a Kinect webcam already has the programming installed to recognise people from structure and with the library called ‘SimpleOpenNI’ I could manipulate this. 

The problems I confronted

I thought the possibility of this going wrong where quite minor, but when it came to it the code which had been written was specific for a kinetic camera, rather than the Logitech HD system I had rented, this was not a massive problem I could just rent out a Kinect. Before trying this I tried to manipulate the code I already had so that the output would either be my webcam on the Mac or the webcam I had rented, me copying and pasting basic camera processing into the file I already had I had got to the point where the camera would turn on, but then deactivate itself. Leading to 100% having to use the Kinect. The Kinect did NOT work because of the model number being to recent therefore having to abandon all the ideas I had. 

How I have solved the problem

I did not have enough time to write a particle system with to Kinect camera, putting me into a position where I decided I’m going to create something called “An Almost Particle System” this being a piece of work which is inspired and symbolises what a particle system looks like, but is in-fact not one. Using inspiration from a work called ‘AsciiVideo’ I will create a piece which uses motion, colour and possibly light density to portray action inside the space. Enough said.  

Now what?

The next blog posts are going to be the design process of my system.




Individual Analysis. Inpiration

What Inspires Me

AmnonOwed-KinectPhysics-03-640x360 AmnonOwed-KinectPhysics-04-640x360These images above are the result of using a Kinect Camera, exactly like the ones used on the Xbox. I see using these as more of a cheat because the camera is already programmed to detect bodies with the use of depth, having half my work already sort out for me, but with further experimentation and me not actually owning a Kinect I am finding it very difficult to manipulate the code so it will use my Mac webcam instead. Using “SimpleOpenNI” which is a library you can install on “Processing” I was going to have a look what some already created code would look like and try and use that as a bases to create my almost “Particle System”.

Why an almost Particle System?

To be perfectly honest I have run out of time to write a Particle System from scratch, my hand in is next week on Monday and the time it would take to go through this process would probably hit a fortnight. No worries though, this is where the “Almost Particle System” comes in.

In the pictures above you can see the shape of a human body which has been developed in to little lines/dots (quite like particles), to me this is stunning. This is how I would draw a picture, the code and developed again what I would describe as a piece of art and I love that. This also reminds of other works I have seen;

Particleswhiteback‘Punktiert’ another library I could develop from; this particles are beautiful, incredibly simple black on white little balls of different sizes working in correlation with each to have a constant movement around the canvas. This reminding me of something else I saw;


 Looking into these three pieces I hoping you’re getting an idea of where I want to go with this digital environment I want to complete. I have always found beauty in these little motion, there is so much character and life in the little creatures and it’s all created through the development of letters and numbers. Of course I’m going to create something based of these, they inspire me.

Where I could take this idea?

Adapting these ideas to a digital environment where people can interact through a webcam this idea may work very well with the motion of particles around a body. Like the top two images I could reverse what has been done and put the motion dots on the outside of the body rather than the inside, relating that the second image the black particles would react to a persons body or hand or whatever as a negative space.

Lets get experimenting.