The Glory

Screenshot from Royal Wood's THe GLory
My St Enoch Square Motion Tracking pieces remain one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on, and I’m really pleased that an updated version has now been used in the video for Royal Wood’s The Glory, directed by Adam Makarenko.

You can see the effect in action around the 2:35 mark.

Adam contacted me a few months ago about using the program, and I made some updates to it, adding things like a functioning interface(!) and support for different image sizes(!!). I also refactored the Voronoi/Delaunay code to use ToxicLibs which made it much more stable, and updating it for Processing 2.0 made a big increase in speed. I’m hoping to have an opportunity to develop it further at some point- using shaders for some if the image processing should make it faster- and a proper file loader and preset system would make it much more useable.

Screenshot from Royal Wood's THe GLory

It’s really great to see what someone with a bit more artistic vision can do with tools that you’ve made, so thanks to Adam for the opportunity and the great work.

Computer Art and Design video

If you look back through the earlier posts on this blog you’ll notice that it originated as a way to show the coursework I was doing during my HND Computer Art and Design course (and yikes, there are a lot of unexpected slashes in that URL) which I did before moving on to DJCAD in Dundee. A few weeks ago I got invited back to my alma mater to be interviewed for a film they were making to attract people to the course. Here’s the result, featuring a bunch of very talented alumni, and me! There are also some snippets of my graded unit work and my Processing showreel featured, which is nice. The students have put together a really nice showcase for the course.

The main reason for writing this is to encourage anyone wondering whether this course might be for them to go and check it out. When I applied I had pretty much zero art and design experience, just a few terrible renders I’d made in 3ds Max and some horrendous sketching, but David thankfully decided to take a chance on me, and within just a few weeks he’d blown my mind with something that’s radically changed my course for the better and opened up an enormous number of potential doorways for me. I can’t really thank David, Dianne and Andy enough for all the help they gave us, and it looks like the facilities they have access to are better than when I was there too.

Anyway, if you’re interested in the course and want to talk about it with someone who’s done it (in a totally non-official capacity), I’m happy to oblige- that’s the least I can do after all that I got out of it. You can leave a comment here or go through my contact page.

Here’s the video:

I’ll not mention the fact that they misspelt my surname though… wait, what?

The joys of alpha testing

I know I’ve been away for a while, but you’ll no doubt be glad to know I have a selection of interesting stuff lined up (which I’ve been meaning to write up for ages) as I put together my new portfolio site.

First up, everyone loves a bit of glitch art. I’m a particular fan of GlitchBot myself. These pictures came about as a result of me mucking about with masking a photo using gaussian distributions. This is broadly the result I was going for:
eye glitch1
Thanks to a strange edge case, where an alpha version of Processing 2.0, the crappy Intel integrated graphics on my laptop and not calling background() during the draw() loop collided, I got stuff like this:
eye glitch2
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HD Movement Tracking: further and final iteration

Well, the end of year show has come and gone, and all that remains is the write up. Here’s a quick run down of the work that I showed and some of the development that went into it. I’ll also show the code I cobbled together from other peoples’ code wrote to do it. If you’ve not seen it already, you might want to take a look at the first and second posts that show the earlier stages. Done? Onwards!
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HD Movement tracking: first iteration


I shot some updated footage at the right resolution for my St Enoch project from two different points of view. In retrospect, shooting at 1920×1080 was probably excessive for my needs, and can cause extra problems (e.g. I don’t have a big enough monitor, resizing stuff on the fly in Processing is non-trivial, and it takes longer to process), so the results here are 1280×720. The ultimate goal is to make some large (A1-ish) prints which will probably be from PDFs anyway.
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Work in progress: Tracking movement in St Enoch Square

As part of the final unit on my course, we’ve been given a general brief to create a piece based on or in St Enoch Square, one of the larger public spaces in the centre of Glasgow. I have decided to focus on the movement of people through the square, and see if I can create some sort of “data-driven” piece using Processing.

Here is a video showing some of the development work I’ve been doing, using some footage from a previous project.
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Shiny: Additive blending with OpenGL in Processing

This sketch was inspired by a combination of things: the particle systems chapter draft from Dan Shiffman’s forthcoming Nature Of Code book influenced the additive blending aesthetic, while I got the idea of a three dimensional “colour space” from this talk from Mario Klingemann.

All that’s really going on here is the RGB/HSB values of each pixel of an image are mapped to XYZ coordinates, while the camera rotates round the centre point. Changing the mode from RGB to HSB creates a different shape from the same collection of pixels, while the low opacity and OpenGL blending create a nice glowing effect. It’s interesting to see the connections between shades in an image- almost always a continuous spectrum without large gaps.
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