After more or less finishing up the Tether drawing program I'm starting to revisit the Teeter game idea. It is getting easier now that I know a little more about Processing and some of the cool things you can do (mostly thanks to The Nature of Code by Daniel Shiffman). Using Box2D makes the game physics a non-issue, which is a relief since I thought I might have to program it all myself. 

At this point I have a working program, with Leap controlled teeter-totter and semi-random particles of two different shapes. I want to add a few more particle types, tweak how and where the particles spawn and make it so the game has levels. 

In the video below, the red and green dots show hand height for left and right hands. The direction of the torque on the Teeter is determined by which hand is higher and the strength of the torque is determined by how far apart the hands are.


Today I finished a sculpture that I've been working on for about a week and a half. Twine wrapped around a frame and armature wire providing some out-of-frame shape. The process was long and tedious, but it was a great learning process, especially seeing how things happen in a way that is different from what you imagined. I've had this idea in my head for a while, so it was nice to get it out so I can start thinking about the interactive pieces I want to do with twine. 

I also had the good fortune to stumble upon the work of Kia Utzon-Frank. She has done some very cool things with thread and string that remind me of a few ideas I've had. Seeing her work gave me a huge spark and I now have a slew of new ideas. As I was looking at her work and thinking of new ideas, I started playing around with a few of them in Processing. It is amazing how easy it is to get an idea up and running, and to play around. I could do the same thing with pencil and paper but it would take a long time and would be very tedious. Being able to draw with code helps me work through ideas quicker. A few of my sketches are below.

Molecules Update

I have been working to clean up the Molecules program and add some new interactions and controls. Some of it was just rewriting the Processing code in a more elegant way using classes and PVectors instead the brute force method I used when starting out. Incorporating the different interactions is an interesting exercise because I really have to think about what motions make intuitive sense for a certain control. For example, I went back and forth between using a closed hand or open hand for freezing the molecules before finally deciding to use two hands to freeze. It also requires a bit of playing around with the controls to see which motions get picked up or how the motions blend. 

Mid-March Update

I haven't posted anything in the last few days, but have been working intensely on build outs of the tether drawing program and a molecules program with more gestures.  One thing that has been very interesting is trying to decide what things the Leap should control in these projects.

For the tether drawing program, I went back and forth between using a menu library to build a mouse-controlled menu or building my own Leap controlled menu. The Leap-controlled menu proved to be a little difficult because the Leap is not very well suited to small precision motions (mostly because it is hard to hold your hand still). Additionally, including more advanced functionality and gestures requires a lot of refinement, as it is easy for gestures/motions to be recognized when you don't want them to. 

On the molecules front, I'm working to include more control modes to practice working with gestures and other ways of defining behavior. Hopefully that will be up and running soon. 

Lastly, I started playing around a bit with using Processing to play with images, especially to pull colors from the image and make color palettes. A few images from these experiments are below.

New Drawings 2

I kept playing with the attractor/repeller program and ended up rewriting it to include a few new things. First, I wanted to use vectors for the positions, velocities and accelerations as well as set up classes for the attractors/repellers and the particles. I also adjusted how the force was calculated, which produces less symmetric images but models the physics better. I like the un-symmetric results, and will likely switch back and forth as necessary. The last thing I did was make the program 3D which gives some nice depth to the shapes and, when I slow down the velocity enough, produces some nice streaking.