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);