ICM Final Project Proposal

For my ICM Final I plan on making a unique experience to create music using user input. This will be done in two ways. First through a line input by the user. I will be building upon some of the work I have made for ICM using a lettertonum class that holds the value of user input and can attach other values. This is how I assigned music to text in my last project with Ray. I was also very interested in the 10print examples and I love seeing the array work across the screen. I will fill the screen with the user’s text input and create a visualizer that is displayed through the color of the letters.

I was inspired by Dan Shiffman’s coding challenge #76 of the 10print challenge.

I really wanted to incorporate a random element into my design. I like this example by Mimi Yin of a randomized text generator. I will be using music as my random element, and I put all of the melodies and beats in the same key so that they are essentially in the same language. This allows the random element to be pleasing and make the viewer want to engage with the experience as they get something different each time.

This is an example of how text used as pixels will work. There are a lot of interesting projects that have used this method. I will make a visualizer that changes colors based on the amplitude of the sound files that will be playing. All of the sound files will be in an array and the array location will be referenced in each object of my lettertonum class.

The chrome music lab is a big inspiration for making something fun and interactive using music & visualizers.

For the music style I am largely influenced by Sarah the Instrumentalist. She makes incredible low-fi beats with great drum tracks. I will include a lot of jazzy melodies and drum loops that fit a similar genre.

In terms of project title I want it to represent the idea in a concise way. I am thinking: pick & play or letter beat randomizer.

My one sentence description: Create a beat using text and watch your song come to life.

This project is for anyone without musical experience to have a fun time and explore the different combinations embedded in the code. The things I am unsure about are how fast to make the 10print screening and how to make it more clear exactly whats happening without a long description in front.

Logo & Brand Design

In designing my personal brand I will be building upon some of the work I’ve already done in terms of color palette and typography.

Also I made a simplified version of my ITP winter show poster. It contained too many elements and lacked a clear visual style. By stripping it to its key elements I think I have a much more successful poster.

I chose two fonts for my personal style guide. They are Ibarra Real Nova and Lobster.

In my initial sketching I knew I wanted to just work with the letter W. I used a combination of thick rectangles and thin lines. In my past work I’ve experimented with subtraction to create new patterns and wanted to use that technique as well. If you start with W and work left to right, it read ‘W’ ‘I’ ‘L’ ‘L’. This is sort of a hidden trick as most people would not understand this initially. But I find the logo pleasing without that knowledge as well.

ICM- Sound Project with Ray

Ray and I started out with the idea of creating a randomized music creator/visualizer. This would be based in text. We originally wanted it to play a sequence of drum loops/melodies that follow text input from the user. We eventually ended with a random generator that categorizes every letter to a specific drum loop and melody. What you type into the input field, is visualized with the text itself and circles that are connected to the amplitude of the mic input. The drum loop and melody at this point is only based in the first two letters.

Below is a video example:

Here is the link to our final project.


Visual Language: Composition

For my ITP Winter show postcard I wanted simplicity to live at the center. While brainstorming I was faced with the problem that ITP cannot really be summed up in an image or two. There is so much going on in this program, so many disciplines and people from all over the world. The prompt also asked to keep a human centered design. In order to achieve this I chose the most important details I wanted to include.

1: This is the Winter show NOT the spring show and it is in Brooklyn.

2: What are the dates for the show?

3: What kind of a program are we, and how can we display the humanity and community we have here?

Keeping these key thoughts in mind, here is my final design.

Bold and front and center we have “ITP Winter Show.” I chose Christmas colors and snowflakes to drive home the winter point. Using the same font, not bold and half of the size, I put the secondary information. This includes the dates and location of the show.

While thinking of Christmas colors, it was hard to ignore that red and green wires would look nice. I found multiple designs on Flaticon.com that could work for my idea. I eventually decided to use these icons because they filled the page beautifully. I deleted the normal wire endings from this icon as well in order to put hands in its place. I found some mitten looking hands to do this and accentuate the Christmas theme again.

The bottom left of my poster still needed something to fill the space and to add personality. I found this icon of two people holding a wrench together. This helped with the idea of working together, and I thought my snowflakes could make nice replacements for their heads. They also look like gears in my opinion, but this is an added detail that might not come across.

I mainly chose to use vectors and icons for this design because I want to build my skills there but it would be interesting to see how I would design a second one using a photograph as the main element.

Week 3: The Laser Cutter

This week I was inspired by the dial designs on the ITP Intro to Fab website under “Make a Potentiometer Dial.” I started with some inspiration and sketching in Adobe Illustrator.

I picked up white and translucent acrylic to laser cut my dials.

I measured the diameter of my potentiometer knob, and found it to be 0.2345 inches.

I loaded my design into the computer attached to the 60W laser, and applied the recommended settings for acrylic.

I cut out different pieces, one that could independently move the shutter speed with a little knob on the end. The other piece is where all of the etching for the numbers would be.

The piece with the knob will be the thing actually moving the dial itself. I used the sharpie/dry erase marker method. I am not super happy with how the etching came out, this is partly due to the font I chose in Illustrator. I will definitely be doing a second pass on these to make my adjustment knob larger and the etching more clear. I was happy how nicely it fit and the general sizing.

Intro to Fabrication Week 2: Guides and Repeatability

This week for fabrication, I learned an important lesson. While attempting to create something I can use in my physical computing project, I realized how hard it would be to repeat things that rely heavily on carving/sanding. I originally thought my project would be five camera handles, but while attempting to make the best camera handle I could I realized it would require a lot of hand carving with a dremel. I started with some drawings and inspiration from camera handles I already liked.

I used dimensions from camera handles I liked and formed them into my own design.

After finishing this first handle I realized I needed to make a more repeatable design. In order to do so, I bought some wood that had an angle on one corner, this way it I would just need to cut them down to size and make holes for finger placement.

I also drilled holes in the top and side to connect wires later on.

Overall this was a much more repeatable design and I think that it will actually work better with my camera as it will attach to the side of the camera with the straight edge.

Visual Language Week 3: Color

To develop my own color palette I used one of my favorite movies as inspiration, the film “The Conformist” by Bernando Bertolucci. It is filled with beautiful colors and Vittorio Storaro is a cinematographer who knows how to use colors powerfully. This scene is dark and beautiful at the same time, the range of oranges/burgundy/black/bright yellow sends a powerful message.

The two images below are both photographs I took, that I thought would look interesting in my color palette. I used the Photoshop forced index color mode feature to force these images into the palette.

For my first work with shapes I wanted to show the gradient of my color palette using strips of rectangles disappearing into the background.

Below I experimented with different shades that could be used to create the same light bulb.

Below is my take on Josef Alber’s “Homage to Squares.”

I did the same experiment below as with the light bulbs, instead using a slightly more opaque background color.