I’m really stoked about how this project turned out. But at the same time, I’m glad it’s over because it was a crazy amount of work in a very short time. But that’s what makes it exciting, right? …RIGHT?
Anyway, on the off chance that you want to nerd out on how this whole thing works, here’s the writeup I put together for my work blog.
I think the most compelling part of the TEDxAustin Fearless Portraits we created was the animated drawing process that reveals the person’s image and their favorite word.
I created some videos that illustrate exactly how these images appeared on the big screen at the TEDx event. In addition to the one posted here, I made a YouTube playlist with a few more.
For the nerds reading this, here’s a quick description of what’s going on. For starters this is a Processing app that I developed in Eclipse using Proclipsing. The app monitors a folder of photos on my Mac and when my DSLR transfers a new photo to my machine, the app picks it up. From there, the app identifies the placement of the person’s face using OpenCV and quickly creates a WordCram word cloud of the user’s favorite word.
Then a particle system goes to work. As the particles move around the stage, they leave a trail. The color and shape of the trail is based on textures and shapes that I found did a good job at revealing the composite image below. Since OpenCV gave me the rectangle representing the face, I can tell the particles what they should be drawing according to what side of the face they are currently over.
I’d like to call out two people whose work was a huge help and inspiration for this project. The first is Daniel Shiffman whose book The Nature of Code has been a daily read (and re-read) for me the last few months. Second, Sergio Albiac who creates incredibly stunning generative artwork.
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