ICM Week 10 Pixel Array Project with Jan

For our pixel array project Jan and I were inspired by two pieces of art, the Treachery of Images and John Baldesarri’s “I will not make anymore boring art.” We wanted to recreate the pipe image with text pixels that read “this is not an image.” Once we got that working we decided to decode the image in red. When you type the letters in the words, they reappear in their original pixels.

First we had to load all of the pixels of the original image. We wrote a for loop to go through each pixel and take the color value. We created an array with the letters that are in “this is not an image.” After that, we re-project the letters over the image with a condition. This condition is whether or not each text variable has been typed yet. This is found in the special p5 function keyTyped. We flip each variable every time it is pressed. If it has not been pressed it starts out red. Once it is pressed it displays the original color of the treachery of images.

Below is our keyTyped function and Letter class we created to store the information of each letter pixel.

Below is the link to the final sketch:

https://editor.p5js.org/wpolitan/sketches/07Zl925Z_

Intro to Fab: Week 1 Flashlight

My main goal for fabrication this semester is in practical hardware design. Keeping this in mind, I wanted to create a usable flashlight with a practical design that felt good in the hands. The first thing I needed was the light, and instead of using a bunch of LED’s I researched and found that these little circular LED’s are cheap and powered off of low voltage. I bought this item from Canal Street Lighting Co.

The light came with a switch and a battery terminal. I cut out the switch and the LED patch, as well as some of the battery contacts.

I picked up a cardboard tube from the junk pile of a hardware store and this would serve as the shape for my flashlight.

I grabbed a rubber stopper that fit it as well in order to be able to place the flashlight down and have it stand up on its own.

This small funnel would act as the conical shape for the reflector. I cut pieces of aluminum foil to fill the inside.

Looking at the back of the LED I found a 3V input, and happened to have a CR123 3V battery around. I created a little battery terminal out of cardboard and hot glue. I used the battery contacts on either side.

I soldered all of the contacts to the battery and back to the original switch that came with the light. I cut a little hole out of the cardboard for the switch.

I then cut a piece of diffusion to cover the flashlight. I thought this pattern would look interesting with the paper I chose to wrap the rest of the flashlight.

This is the final look of the flashlight and it is able to stand up like I had imagined. Next time I would like to get it brighter as a 3v led is not super bright but would get the job done in the dark. Below is a video of how that looks.

P COMP Final Project Concept

A Film Camera for the Modern Age

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.

Visual Language Week 1

Design Analysis

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.

Smash the Pumpkin ICM

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.

P COMP Midterm

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.

ICM Week 4

This week I wanted to focus on creating a simple algorithmic design that iterates, and changes over time. I was really inspired by the 10print example. Instead of using diagonal lines I wanted to incorporate more colors, so I used triangles with fill. I loved watching the program move in rows and grow. I also wanted it to keep changing once it hits the bottom. I began experimenting with different colors and transparencies. Below are some examples of the iterations I went through and the final code.

https://editor.p5js.org/wpolitan/sketches/iAmFy4oRB