GDV P.4.3.3 Real time pixel values

This is the last assignment of the Generative Design’s Book ‘P’ part. ‘P’ as in basic principles. As always I start with copying the summary of P.4.3.3. ‘The color values of pixels can again be translated into graphic elements, but with two important differences: first, the pixels are constantly changing because the images come from a video camera, and second, pixels are translated sequentially by dumb agents that are constantly in motion rather than simultaneously. The motion captured by he camera and the migration of the agents thus can paint a picture right before our eyes. A dumb agent moves across the display. The color value of the current real-time video image is analyzed at each position and serves as a parameter for each color and stroke value. The mouse position defines the stroke length and the speed of the agent.’ Until so far the introduction. Here you can find the original programs.

As usual I prepared a Flickr summary page of all images I have created during this session. And on the loftmatic page you can find the programs if you click on the previews. I did not put any video material on the site. And you will never get the same results of images which I have because when you run the program it must be connected to a video device. Which in turn shows your environment instead if my habitat.

When I let the program run for the first time it gave me a ‘There are no capture devices connected to this computer.’ And that was certainly true. So I connected a Sony DCR-PC110E PAL to the MacPro. That did not work. I tried a Sony DCR-PC100 PAL which did not work either. And I connected a Canon HDV XL H1 to the Mac Pro. In short they all gave me a NullPointerException in Processing. In the console it says 2014-11-09 13:39:30.148 java[41089:1646798] Error loading /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/DVCPROHDAudio.plugin/Contents/MacOS/DVCPROHDAudio: dlopen(/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/DVCPROHDAudio.plugin/Contents/MacOS/DVCPROHDAudio, 262): no suitable image found.  Did find: /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/DVCPROHDAudio.plugin/Contents/MacOS/DVCPROHDAudio: no matching architecture in universal wrapper 2014-11-09 13:39:30.148 java[41089:1646798] Cannot find function pointer NewPlugIn for factory C5A4CE5B-0BB8-11D8-9D75-0003939615B6 in CFBundle/CFPlugIn 0x7f87e9430100 (bundle, not loaded). Which is very impressive poetry indeed. I have no internal camera on my MacPro. So I checked the same program on my MacBookPro and that worked fine with the internal iSight camera. And that is what I had to use during this assignment. To begin I changed all variable names to get a better understanding of how the program works. And I made the line length very short. Its giving me strange remarks in the Console. For instance: DVFreeThread – CFMachPortCreateWithPort hack = 0x1876e330, fPowerNotifyPort= 0x1876cfe0. DVFreeThread – CFMachPortCreateWithPort hack = 0x17817030, fPowerNotifyPort= 0x17816f00. DVFreeThread – CFMachPortCreateWithPort hack = 0x18774ca0, fPowerNotifyPort= 0x1876ddb0. No Idea what this means but three times the word ‘hack’ worries me a bit.

Commented out the CurvePoint_X. That gives me a random drawn vertical line on the left side of the display window. Changed it to CurvePoint_X * 1.2 in the curveVertex line which gives me horizontal lines only.

Changed CurvePoint_Y * 1.2. Set CurvePoint_X back to its original state. This gives me vertical lines only.

If you multiply CurvePoint_Y * 1.2 before the endShape command you get a slightly bended horizontal line at the end. Changed that. Brought all variables back to their original state. Added an ellipse after every shape is being drawn.

Replaced the ellipse by a rect. Weird. I got a NullPointerException in the message area and a lot of red messages in the console. But the program started anyway. Is this possible? Started the program again and now it seems to be fine. No errors.

I have commented out all lines of the beginShape. Replaced the CurveVertex line with a rect. And that seems to work fine. I get a more structured and less chaotic image.

Hmmm… would type work? It does. Need to add color. Changed stroke for fill to change the color of the typeface. And it works only with one character. I think it has something to do with the fact that counter is not updated. Left out the textSize random value. Found it too chaotic. Need to experiment later for using the right text. My point is that I am writing pieces of the program on my MacPro. Share the file with my MacBookPro. Check if the program works. If it does and it looks good I skip to another variation. In a later stage I will make the final visuals by taking my MacBook Pro to a more lively location.

I am going to remove almost all randomization except for the positioning of the objects. Used two arcs for creating the objects. Radians (90), radians (180) and radians (270), radians (360).

Made an asterisk-ish object using arcs only. Used a for loop for that. That seems to work fine too.

Used two triangles to make a kind of flattened square on one of its sides. Compass needle maybe? And that is the end of the first program.

In the second program I renamed all global variables. Just for a start I replaced noFill with noStroke. That fills every object with white. Replaced all stroke commands with fill commands.

Added an alpha channel of 50 for each fill. But maybe that is too much. What about 10? That gives very transparant objects. What about 1? That is too less. 5 Maybe? That looks fine.

What about introducing the stroke again. But a very thin one? Looks good. In addition I made the stroke color the same color as the fill but without the alpha channel.

Reduced the length of CurvePoint_X and CurvePointY form -50, 50 to -10, 10. Time to remove the fill. Used the stroke with a 50 percent alpha.

Let’s make another variation by exaggerating one of the curvepoints in each line. Strange enough it doesn’t do anything. I’ve put CurvePoint X to – 100, And curvePoint_Y to 100. I reduce it to 50. Still nothing happens. Maybe I have to make the minus part the same number as the plus-part. That works. Increased it to 400. But that is way too big. 100 Maybe? Put the alpha of the line on 10. That gives me (after a while (5 minutes)) a cloud like image which is quiet nice. It is abstract but I don’t mind.

Replaced the first line object with a rect. It is definitely too large at this moment. Changed the random factor to -10, 10. It is still not clear to me how this randomization is handled.

Replaced the rects with ellipses.

Ellipses combined with curves. Maybe its better to do one with curves only. One with ellipses and one with rects. Ok. Lets exaggerate this by doing an and thing. Every line gets a rect, ellipse and a curve. Switched off the strokes and used fills. But I think it is a bit too harsh. So I need to make the objects smaller. Finally I ended up with using three different objects. All operating at separate places of the display screen. Sometimes they mix sometimes they do not.

I am going to get rid of these scribbled lines. I will replace them all with ellipses. Time for some structured chaos (within the chaos).

Used the objects of P_4_3_3_01_GDV_09 to create new images.

Now I was not really satisfied about the results until now. I started to create simple objects in Processing. But on a certain moment I made a swoosh-like object which was too large if you compare it with the earlier examples. For the color I used a 10 percent alpha. Suddenly I got a kind of strange structure on my screen. I had to wait for it for at least 10 minutes. So it takes a lot of time.

The next variation I will use a wavy object. In fact it’s just one line. It’s not correctly positioned. But that doesn’t matter. I like it this way. It also got a kind of silk-like or rough paper quality in it. And it takes also about 10 minutes to render.

I have gone totally abstract now. Not with bright colours but with very soft layers of alpha. It still gets its color from the iSight camera. But by rendering the images this way it gives the images also a kind of 3d-ish look.  I have no idea how this works but it does. And that’s fine by me.

Let’s see what happens if I make the waves longer. So its less waves but longer waves.

Some very loose line objects.

And that finishes this part of the Generative Design book. It took me one year to make all the examples. Sometimes I even did not know why something happened but if it looked good it was fine by me. I am thinking of making a book with the best examples. But for now I will continue with ‘Complex Methods’.


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