After working and researching in using processing over the past few months, I have gained a great amount of understanding of how it works. At the beginning of the unit I struggled, probably because I didn’t know what a lot of the code meant. I understood the basics but when it came to ‘for’ loops and ‘agents’ I was lost. It also hindered me in what I wanted to produce. I poster earlier in my blog that I was unsuccessful in creating what I wanted for my first idea. However, after some research I can up with my final idea and what I wanted to achieve with it, I feel I accomplished both of these. My steps for my final idea were:
1. Track and draw over any movement on the screen, that movement represents public performance
2. Anyone stood still on the screen is not drawn on, reflecting private performance
3. Those who aren’t drawn over will be encouraged to move/perform in order for their movement to be drawn, making them public
I managed to meet these steps and was successful in doing so. The installation works slightly different to how I imagined it, but obviously I am still new to the software so it is difficult to replicate exactly what you imagine. However, I still achieved what I had set out to do whilst exploring my chosen theory taken from Goffman’s ‘Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’. There were some other minor problems to do with lighting in the background but they did not largely effect the installation. What I could improve on would be dealing with how the lighting in the background effects the drawing of movement as well as other ways to draw and animate movement. I could try different patterns or even a completely new way of representing movement as a public performance. I would also try another test, but for a longer period of time. By extending the duration of the test more people will have passed by and stood at certain times in Weymouth house. Thus, there would be more chance of people interacting with the piece. If I was to test again but with this situation, I would not crowd around it with the rest of the group testing their installations as I found it drew a lot of people away because we appeared to be doing work in quite an open space people did not want to get in the way.
As i’ve said in my previous few posts, I encountered some problems with my installation. Those problems as I’ve said have now been solved and it works fluently with no glitches and with a better frame rate. As you can see in the video below the delay/fade effect created after a person has moved works well. When people are stood still they are not effected by movement drawing and those moving are. The person on the far left is an example of a minority that I mentioned about before in (People in the space), they are stood at the side because they believe they would be getting in the way. This is not the intention however, but the purpose of the installation it is not always obvious to every person walking by or maybe they want to remain in their own private performance.
Here you can download my final code:
After testing some problems arose which were quite easily solved. One problem being that the outline was not very visible around people because they were far away from the camera. By simply increasing the stoke their outlines were more visible and actually made a better outcome than I expected. When I was testing the installation on my own at home it looked good but in a large area it work really well. I was asked about it by a person stood close and I explained to him what it was and what I wanted to achieve, he said it was “really cool and intriguing”.
The first problem I encountered when testing my installation was that it was very glitchy and it had a slow frame rate. I looked into my code to try and find the route of the problem. Once found it was rather easy to solve. Before testing I found out the resolution of the screen (1080 by 720) I had changed the size of my processing sketch to the same measurements. However, I had not changed the resolution of the video itself. By changing all three lines of code below to same resolution the installation worked at a better frame rate.
video = new Capture(this, 1080, 720);
opencv = new OpenCV(this, 1080, 720);
This is my first live test in Weymouth house. From this test I realised that it works a lot better with more people on the screen. Previously I have only tested it in my house with only one or two people, which is quite a small space.
In order to test our installations we set up a macbook and webcam in Weymouth house. We connected the webcam and laptop to the screens on the ground floor. We placed the camera on to of the screen to get a good view of inside the building. At first I tried my installation with the webcam looking into the middle of the room where there where a lot of people moving around. I also tested the installation set up with a webcam facing the door to the building animating those who were walking in. I found that it worked better with the webcam and screen facing the entrance as it was very light outside. This meant that the installation was able to draw more of the outline of those walking, it was slightly darker inside meaning less movement was drawn onto the screen.
There were many people walking through the space we tested in. Some people walked passed with noticing what was going on and what we were doing, obviously too busy performing to impress their friends. There were a minority that stood by the door and waiting as if we were taking photos and they did not want to get in the way, which was quite funny to see. There were others who were intrigued by what we were doing and actually interacted with the installations. I overheard one person in a group asking “shall we go over and see what it is?” but the rest of the group held back and did not want to draw attention to themselves. I a sense this also reflects on performance as that group wishes to remain in their private sector rather than publicly performing to the camera to see what it’s all about.
After testing other chosen colours I have decided to stay with a slight opaque white as it stands out but it isn’t too bold and works well on people’s movement whereas black did not.
I have tried experimenting with different colours. I decided on black as I thought it would be more subtle. However, after testing the installation in a public space I decided that it wasn’t very effective. As you can see in the screen shot above the person moving in behind me is only blurred slightly and due their dark clothing there was not much of a visible effect. It’s only the person’s head that is distorted by the colour. This is not what I wanted to achieve and therefore black is not an effective colour. I will continue to experiment with other colours and note down their outcomes and decide whether they are effective or not.