Final(ly) Evaluation

What I have Learnt

Throughout this project I have learnt the fundamentals of Design Iteration, going from point to point; Analyse, Design and Testing. Having been reminded of the process which I need to take when designing a piece of work and documenting it’s progress. I have also learnt parts of Processing code and how to manipulate works to portray an image I aspire. These processes have widened my knowledge of design processes and given me an insight to the lengths I need to go to to come to a final piece which works; following the track I took the development of lighting, motion and colour was expanded into and understanding of spaces, and social interacts. Touching on the knowledge I already possessed from life experiences I adapted what I was taught together to create a piece of work which questions the motion of people and the motion of life (what happens around us as people).

What I have Achieved

I achieved the adaptation of a piece of processing code which lead to me creating a digital environment that portrays the physicality that there is motion in everything, even if it can’t be seen. I developed an “Almost Particle System” which represented a particle system that allowed passers to see the environment they stood in evolve in to something which is constantly in motion. The System had a main focus on what was going on around people rather than focusing sourly on the person viewing and when a motion was performed by people the particles would react, showing that every action has a reaction. Symbolising that that there is always a cause from an effect. I also achieved a new found knowledge of depth and concept understanding, relating the two things together because of how my concept was affected due the depth of the space I was using as well as text size.

What Went Wrong

The biggest mistake I made was not taking into account how big the space was in the foyer; I had been doing all my experiments and designs in close proxemics to myself and when it lead to me setting up in Weymouth house the particles did not respond to the environment as well. The particles would not react with each other as well as when the camera was focused on something closer, and the code could not blank out the entire person when they walked past. This had a massive effect on the final piece as a whole, leading to me installing the system and changing the code as I went along, giving different interpretations of what could be used. The benefit of this was a wider knowledge of how the space was effect by the particles, giving me an insight into how cameras react to a large and small space as well as the motion of people walking by.

What I Would Change For Next Time

Next time I would write the Particle System myself from scratch, at the point of deciding to write the system my knowledge was not acute enough to create it. I would analyse the space to a proper degree and begin experimenting in either the space I would be installing in or in a similar space . I would like the Particle System I would create to react to people when they walk on screen, first starting off a showing the whole person and then them evolving into Particles. I would also do wider research in other systems which are related to particles, giving myself a wider insight into what I could have adapted my skills to leading to a better result.


Ascii Art (Design)

Video ascii art is areal time post processing effect that will transform any video into ASCII art. The effect is created in a shader and use Kickjs engine. You can see the ASCII shader in action on

Jan 25, 2015 19:15This is a lovely example of what someone has done to adapt the Ascii Video to be easily used by other users, simply uploading a video it will develop it to be produced with letters, the main feature of a Ascii.  To me when I look at this I am getting an impression of particles, the slight movements that the letters are making looks like the way I want to particles to react in an image, the only problem being that I think the image is too clear here, you can clearly see what is happening and I don’t want that to be the case. I want people to react to what is being displayed and try and disrupt it.

Here below is what I am working with, I have used my phone as an example of the way the camera and code react to the colours to change them into letters. I’ve added the code below.

Jan 25, 2015 19:38

* ASCII Video
* by Ben Fry.
* Text characters have been used to represent images since the earliest computers.
* This sketch is a simple homage that re-interprets live video as ASCII text.
* See the keyPressed function for more options, like changing the font size.


Capture video;
boolean cheatScreen;

// All ASCII characters, sorted according to their visual density
String letterOrder =
" .`-_':,;^=+/"|)\<>)iv%xclrs{*}I?!][1taeo7zjLu" +
char[] letters;

float[] bright;
char[] chars;

PFont font;
float fontSize = 1.5;
void setup() {
size(640, 480);

// This the default video input, see the GettingStartedCapture
// example if it creates an error
video = new Capture(this, 160, 120);

// Start capturing the images from the camera

int count = video.width * video.height;

font = loadFont("UniversLTStd-Light-48.vlw");

// for the 256 levels of brightness, distribute the letters across
// the an array of 256 elements to use for the lookup
letters = new char[256];
for (int i = 0; i < 256; i++) {
int index = int(map(i, 0, 256, 0, letterOrder.length()));
letters[i] = letterOrder.charAt(index);

// current characters for each position in the video
chars = new char[count];

// current brightness for each point
bright = new float[count];
for (int i = 0; i < count; i++) {
// set each brightness at the midpoint to start
bright[i] = 128;
void captureEvent(Capture c) {;
void draw() {


float hgap = width / float(video.width);
float vgap = height / float(video.height);

scale(max(hgap, vgap) * fontSize);
textFont(font, fontSize);

int index = 0;
for (int y = 1; y < video.height; y++) {

// Move down for next line
translate(0, 1.0 / fontSize);

for (int x = 0; x < video.width; x++) {
int pixelColor = video.pixels[index];
// Faster method of calculating r, g, b than red(), green(), blue()
int r = (pixelColor >> 16) & 0xff;
int g = (pixelColor >> 8) & 0xff;
int b = pixelColor & 0xff;

// Another option would be to properly calculate brightness as luminance:
// luminance = 0.3*red + 0.59*green + 0.11*blue
// Or you could instead red + green + blue, and make the the values[] array
// 256*3 elements long instead of just 256.
int pixelBright = max(r, g, b);

// The 0.1 value is used to damp the changes so that letters flicker less
float diff = pixelBright - bright[index];
bright[index] += diff * 0.1;

int num = int(bright[index]);
text(letters[num], 0, 0);

// Move to the next pixel

// Move over for next character
translate(1.0 / fontSize, 0);

if (cheatScreen) {
//image(video, 0, height - video.height);
// set() is faster than image() when drawing untransformed images
set(0, height - video.height, video);
* Handle key presses:
* 'c' toggles the cheat screen that shows the original image in the corner
* 'g' grabs an image and saves the frame to a tiff image
* 'f' and 'F' increase and decrease the font size
void keyPressed() {
switch (key) {
case 'g': saveFrame(); break;
case 'c': cheatScreen = !cheatScreen; break;
case 'f': fontSize *= 1.1; break;
case 'F': fontSize *= 0.9; break;


This piece of code relates to my general idea to the best that I can find, the position I am in now is take the sketches I have created and the concept idea I have and manipulate this piece of work to the fashion I want it to represent. Lets get drawing.

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.

Going with the Flow

Back to my days of college it was 100% coursework produced in a sketch book and I always used to start each brief with a flow chart, so here we go, a blast from the past.

My main objective here is to think of every angle which needs to be covered in the Analyse stage of this project.

Particle Systems; where did they come from?

Focusing more on why the idea of Particle Systems came to me rather than where the actually thing originated from, you can search that on Google

Why Particle Systems?

When the sun is shining through a window through a specific beam you can see the dust particles in the air, this is something I have been bought up with at my parents place and I never really noticed the beauty of it. Until my friend Lawrence was explained his thoughts on it, him showing me that the slightest movement from any part of the room caused a reaction in the dust particles. This related back to the echo I believe is cause by every motion of man and women in the world. Leading me to want to investigate into Particle systems.

Where could this go?

More to ‘Where do I want this to go?’, there are of course many options here and the possibilities are endless. To get me started I’m going to draw up some concept ideas and go from there.


These next steps require individual Analysis 

What inspires me?

Particle Systems of course, but this is where it has all come from –v–

Identify some problems I could encounter?

Something other than Particle Systems?


Flow Chart of Thought Track  ^

A Particle System Considered an Original Idea

Here we have a particle System, this not being the simplest one I could find, the basic physics behind it are circles following the mouse around and dropping to the floor.

Just had a meeting with Liam (my course lecturer), to be honest he caught me out helping my self the the kettle on the third floor and asked the dreaded question “how is the project going?”…My response being one of “I could not be any further from the answer you want right now”. To my luck Liam has heard this excuse many a time and pushed me for a meeting to discuss what I was going to do.

Starting focus ‘Particle Systems’, I knew where this was going because my friend Sam Jones had the same thought track leading to the idea getting botched a few weeks ago, but I can be quite stubborn with my ideas and wanted to stick with it.


To create a Particle System which using a webcam picks up the space of movement people walk in acting as a negative space pushing away particles (small dots) into the space which has no movement. 


This idea is supposed to symbolise that beings are not the only things moving through this world; everything action we take leads to and echo or a response which we may not see, even the movement of an arm causes some sort of motion or power we may not realise.


The idea came from personal experience; having the usual life stories of everything, a realisation has to be made that everything you do has a reaction. 

Here below is a simple example of a particle system and part of the code, I have added part of the code so you can understand what I’m in the motion of doing, I will explain technicals later on.


// Particles, by Daniel Shiffman.

ParticleSystem ps;
PImage sprite; 

void setup() {
 size(1024, 768, P2D);
 sprite = loadImage("sprite.png");
 ps = new ParticleSystem(10000);

 // Writing to the depth buffer is disabled to avoid rendering
 // artifacts due to the fact that the particles are semi-transparent
 // but not z-sorted.

void draw () {
 text("Frame rate: " + int(frameRate), 10, 20);

An Independent Dorset (Reaction in a Space)

Cutting the story short,

10940501_10204803496880531_1863470089400078524_nour objective for this short project was to create a poster which is to promote an Independent Bournemouth, relating to what was going on at the time with Scotland trying to become independent.

The purpose of this was to have the poster located in Weymouth House Foyer and us to get an analyse of peoples reactions; taking into account…

  • Number of people walking through in a space of time.
  • Average time spent in Foyer.
  • Do people take notice of what is on the walls.
  • (If Yes) What do they notice to most
  1. Within a 10 minute boundary : 30+ (People who did not stop)
  2. Average time spent (Under 10 minutes) mostly groups
  3. The main sight focus was the long strip of screens and the space between the two lifts.

This short hand information influenced the location which my group placed our poster.

In the middle of the two lifts, just above the button

The Space –v–

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 16.41.28 Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 16.41.20

A little bit about the poster 

Here what we are trying to get across is the fundamentals of a jigsaw puzzle, this originated from an idea I had when I was thinking of the little cartoons you get in Newspapers. I thought what would be funny is if you had a member of the Monach (The Queen) hunched over a table trying to complete a puzzle of the United Kingdom, but the piece for Dorset would not fit (Always a problem when you’re trying to to a puzzle). This developed on and with a short amount of time on our hands this is what came to us. 

–v–The Results

We presented this version to our seminar group and we were met with positive comments about the imagery of the poster and how it brings to light the situation of an independent Dorset however we did get some criticisms. The criticism was aimed at the slogan/tag line ‘Un puzzle Dorset’ as it came off as rather attacking to people as well as giving of the idea that Dorset was the problem as needed to be removed for the United Kingdom’s sake. From this feedback, we as a group decided that we should come up with a better slogan/tag line for our poster – in the end we decided that ‘Some Pieces aren’t meant to fit’ was fitting. – Shaun Skeen

People did notice our poster when it was located between the lifts, but it wouldn’t get many long looked observations so we did have to push for people’s response.

GROUP 1 6 0 6 10 NO YES
GROUP 2 8 0 4 20 YES NO
GROUP 3 1 1 1 2 NO YES
GROUP 4 2 1 2 10 NO YES
GROUP 5 2 0 0 5 NO YES

Processing Relevance

Here I have been given a brief knowledge of how to present my Processing piece when I put it in the open space, with the information gained it should hopefully benefit to results.

  • Make pieces bigger.
  • Add an eye catching design.
  • Something which people can relate to ‘Participatory Culture’
  • Interesting
  • Nothing Offensive

Concepts…A designer who writes essays

Having just gone through writing an essay for my ‘Cross Media Creativity Perspective’ my brain is filled with what I would call ‘MindBlowingChaos‘ ‘Concept Overload’; working with ‘Participatory Culture’.

Extract from my ‘Cross Media Creativity’ Essay – Focusing on the ‘Doctor Who’ Phenomenon

“Through out this course my position in the cross media sphere has been enhanced; coming into the perspective from a ‘Digital Media Design’ view my knowledge of Cross Media Creativity has expanded to more than just the knowledge of tablets, computers and phones. Being taught that cross media creativity is more that just viewing media on a screen I have learnt that the use of re-inventing a franchise in your own way is part of this perspective. When thinking about productions like Doctor Who I would always consider the show to be running on its own power; the cast and crew creating the show in parallel with the audience enjoyment in the phenomena. This reflects an understanding of the power fluctuations between the creator and consumer. This having a huge role to play with such a big phenomena cross media creativity brings the audience and what they love watching together and allows opportunities to be part of it. This unit has impacted on my future media consumption; a guilty pleasure of mine is watching Doctor Who fan made trailers and now when watching them I don’t just view what someone has created; I view why they have created it that way, what are they trying to say and how could this effect the entirety of Doctor Who. To come with future projects I will now always take into account how it will be consumed and what production values may effect my inspirations. Throughout the unit the learning curve has been hard, but enjoyable giving me an eagerness to learn how much wider the scale goes with Cross Media Creativity.”

Above is an example of my own interpretation of ‘Participatory Culture’, this created by me in First year.

Taking this theory concept in to context I am going analyse a way of ‘maybe’ incorporating it into my Processing piece; taking a Phenomena in the world and manipulating it into a work.


What is Processing?

Processing is an open source programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) built for the electronic arts, new media art, and visual design communities with the purpose of teaching the fundamentals of computer programming in a visual context, and to serve as the foundation for electronic sketchbooks.


This work above is an example of what can be created through the use of Processing. My knowledge being based in HTML/CSS the potential to create something above through a piece of code is quite over whelming; being able to sit down a use a pencil to create a piece of art similar to the above would have been expressed as ‘common sense’ to a person like me, but being able to use ‘code’ to write a work of art has opened my views to this.processing_workshop_20141010Processing Spiral


Above is the result of the code…

Here I’m at a point where I am experimenting with the potential of what could come out of coding, hopefully eventually leading me to the point where I become inspired by something I would like to create.

Here I’m find the repeat of the spiral too simple; something so basic which hasn’t taken me long to create doesn’t satisfy what I want to do.

Moving on the something better a bit more complex


Italy: Social Acceptable Touching

Anna Troisi is taking our lecture today; advised by Liam to take us into the world of her work.

  • Communicating an idea to someone who wants you to work for them Anna explains that there is a benefit to logging emails and interactions with the client.
  • The explanation of your ideas is incredibly important; having the abstract describe the philosophical rather then the structured content of the work.


In Italy it is described that interaction with people are more socially acceptable than in the UK; Italians touching each other much more than lets say the British do.

A project Anna is creating inspired by here recognition of this (her moving the UK) is explained through smart phones;

“Said that you would touch smart phones more then you touch girls”

Inspiring a project; here she used her personal experience to start the bases of an idea…not necessarily leading to anything at the time, but for future reference she has logged it maybe to come back too.

Talk to me Digital Art

  •  Violet is the latest result in artificial intelligence, which can reproduce the capabilities of the human brain with greater speed and accuracy.
  • She is an artificial linguistic entity. Activated at Derby, on 27/02/1985. Her instructor was none. He taught her to sing a song.
  • You can type in questions and the Ai will answer them to the best of her ability.

Looking into the project that Anna has assisted on I find it very interesting, the work which goes into Ai systems is incredibly innovative and one day may stretch to huge lengths.

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is an academic field of study which studies the goal of creating intelligence.”