My work so far has been focused on creating a single leaf shutter mechanism. I intend to expand on this project idea and add multiple new elements to my design. I will be making a camera with flash, film advancement, a c-mount (which is a simple old mount for small lenses) and its own two blade shutter mechanism. I will achieve this by using a micro controller, a simple flash circuit, and gears that I 3D print for film advancement.
The main intention behind this project is based on the fact that there are no innovations being made in the field of film photography. I have a background in photography/cinematography and know this issue personally. Many of my colleagues still use cameras designed in the 90’s or earlier. Today’s camera market is too focused on digital innovations. We are seeing cameras with more resolution than is necessary and lens design that has absolutely no character. Imperfections are what today’s designs actually need. I will bridge the gap between old world character/charm with the modern world’s micro controllers for camera control and shutter design.
Timeline: 11/12 -Wooden handgrip with holes for shutter done. 11/12 – dual solenoid circuit with shutter dial working (including the arduino code for that setup) 11/17 – modular camera body finished (either in wood or 3D printed) drill hole on the bottom of the camera body for film advancement
Bill of materials: 2 5V solenoids 16mm film cartridge with film battery pack 16mm pushbutton 2 x TIP120 transistor 2 x Diodes 2 x 1k resistors
Playtesting will be with the shutter button & handgrip. The last thing to come into place will be the film advancement tool. This will be using a 3D printed piece and a small gear.
This week we were asked to break down the design of our favorite movie poster or book cover. A cover that interested me recently was Cesar Aira’s book Birthday. This cover is extremely minimalist and was an interesting one to break down for multiple reasons. Firstly, it has raised edges which is something that does not come across at all online. One could argue this is the biggest setback of the design. While it feels and looks great in person it but does not come across well online. There are a lot of people who will be downloading it as an e-book who will not get the same experience. The design also relies heavily on different shades of white, something that also comes across well in person but does not translate. This could be accounted for by using different color modes for print and online.
Below is the online design.
I have broken down the design to show the area the egg takes up. In the upper left hand quadrant we see a fairly centered but rotated “Birthday” on one line, and then “Cesar Aira” below. The book itself is in first person and explores the idea of what a 50th birthday means. It begins simply and literally, soon evolving into a meditation on the author’s past experience with learning, literature, the ego, and death. It reads as a stream of consciousness but it is beautifully weaved through his past experiences and writing of the book itself. One key point is that as a 50 year old man, he didn’t understand the concept of how the phases of the moon worked. This made him question all of his learning up to this point and how that slipped through the cracks. I found this to be a powerful image as the egg could also be compared to a moon. I think the minimal design of the egg itself is very literal, but can be looked at metaphorically in the same way as the writing style.
The bold blue color in the text is a great way of getting the viewer’s attention, while keeping it small and understated. The rest of the cover is very simple, a cracking egg that takes up a considerable amount of the cover. There are only two things you need to know about this book. It is written by Cesar Aira, and it is about his birthday. Also note that this egg is not fully cracked yet.
To demonstrate the difference between the way the book looks online and in person, I took an image on my Iphone. This illuminates the better contrast of the whites seen in person. Also the etching is a tactile example of this. I think minimalist design can be extremely powerful. The more you have going on, there are more places for your eyes and your mind to go. This works in some cases but I think the most powerful decisions a designer can make are what they choose to leave out.
Another design element that is different between the print and the online version, is the fact that the drop shadow of the online version is very visible. In the paper version you can barely see the drop shadow, probably because of the raised edges in the print version. This might respresent that there were two versions made, which makes the online version’s coloring even more questionable.
This cover was extremely successful in its print form and continues to be one of my favorites. I attribute this to its elegance and minimal design, but most importantly it aligns with the concept of the novelette as a whole. This is the job of the designer, to get the point across in the most appropriate and poignant way and it was done effortlessly. My only critique remains the translation to online, as that was the base of the what I broke down in Photoshop.
I cleaned up the game play on my Smash the Pumpkin Halloween midterm game. Now, the array of pumpkins never gets larger than 200. This way the smashed pumpkins are still in rotation. This makes the game harder but also fixes the overloading array issue. Before the game would eventually slow down because the array was being pushed to forever. Now the game runs smoother and is more enjoyable.
I achieved this through two pieces of code. First, I limited the array size seen here.
I also needed to recycle the pumpkins back to the bottom after they reach the top.
Below is the game play for the cleaned up version!
Below is my final source code for the whole project.
Looking back on my first blog post I can say that I have come a long way in solidifying my understanding of basic coding concepts. While I used to do some C# coding in unity a few years back, I figured out that I really needed to reinforce more of the basics than I had expected. This has helped me conceptualize and think about future projects, now having the base understanding. In my first blog post I also expressed a desire to learn more about the internet of things and incorporating more into my code. This was achieved through serial communication and seeing my 10print design changing with a potentiometer. That was an extremely gratifying experience and I hope to only build and bridge my skills and classes more.
The landscape of code is vast, and I believe that there are harmful elements. Although coding itself is not to be blamed. I think back to Ken Perlin’s discussion in our Applications course where he talked about human nature being the cause for how bad systems can be in place. The technology is just a tool and not inherently bad, although unfortunately used in harmful ways. And just like any other tool it can also help me be more creative. I find it is very helpful to bring my artistic sensibilities to different platforms as well. This includes P5 sketches, installations, interactive art, etc. I am excited for the future and all of the projects to come.
This is the start of an ongoing project to design my own small film camera. The first step was to create a shutter mechanism. The first prototype consists of a simple single leaf shutter design acting as a window over a pinhole. I also added a shutter dial with a potentiometer that controls the amount of time the shutter stays open, otherwise it stays in the closed state. As I attempt to allow for even quicker shutter speeds, I will design a multiple leaf shutter. I also added a rugged momentary push-button switch as the shutter button.
To actuate the shutter, a push/pull solenoid is moving a piece of black cinefoil over the pinhole. This is currently not “light-tight” as these design elements will be implemented down the line.
The potentiometer is getting readings between .5-5volts, that I have mapped to a reasonable shutter range (2ms-250ms). This is equivalent to normal shutter values of (1/500-1/4). This is being read by the “intValue” and delaying how long the shutter stays open before closing itself. Another thing I will be improving upon is getting the shutter to know it’s been pressed to delay the actuation of a new one; this will stop the arduino from getting backed up and allow for film advancement in the future. An issue I ran into while designing this prototype is also a latency between shutter button and the solenoid, this is accounted for in the lack of current running from the 5V pin from the arduino. Hooked up to a power supply with more current, these shutter presses will not have that same latency. I will however need to complete my two blade design in order to get quicker shutter speed values.
I will also be implementing PWM for my solenoid so that once the pull operation starts, we can turn usage down to around 25% to lower the power consumption of the whole circuit. I look forward to improving upon this design and adding more elements for my final project.
This week I set out to make a Halloween themed game. While it still needs a lot of work, I’m happy with my use of classes and am excited to build upon that. It is a very simple smash the pumpkin game, where there is a particle system creating an array of pumpkins. They are randomized and generate from the bottom of the screen upwards. The cursor is turned into a hammer, and when you smash a pumpkin the image updates to a smashed pumpkin. Also once you hit 50 smashed pumpkins, they shrink to half the size. I need to find a way to update my distance function for when the shrinking happens. I was having trouble getting it to update without throwing the program into some kind of infinite loop.
Here are some photos of the game in addition to the main source code.
This week we demonstrated different types of serial communication from P5.JS to the Arduino IDE. I decided to have a potentiometer determine a couple of the color values in my sketch from last week for ICM. This was my take on the 10print challenge where the computer draws lines at different angles horizontally. Below is a video of it working, along with snapshots of the code in Arduino and P5.
This week we talked about defining our own functions, and tidying our code. While I slightly changed the look of my project from last week I made a lot of changes within the code to expand on what I was trying to do. I originally set out to make an interesting 10print example using triangles instead of diagonal lines. This week I implemented a for-loop instead of an if statement for the actual 10print horizontal printing functionality. I then wanted to further randomize things with some sort of user input. I thought using an object I call “color” would be a fun way to change things up. That way while it is printing different triangular shapes I used the mousePressed function to change the colors being printing. As I continue to expand on these ideas I will be making it more user interactive and intuitive how to change the shapes and the amount times it runs.
I also added a new argument to my printing functions called “times” which dictates how many times each function will run. This became interesting when I realized that if I call two functions in draw at the same time, the spacing would actually be different because they are being drawn together. This created crazier patterns and is an interesting idea to try and expand on in the future. Below are some examples of the resulting images and new code.