My final project, “Antagonistic Drawing Robot” (I haven’t picked a better name yet) is a drawing app that allows you to collaboratively draw with a robot. When something is drawn on the app, the plotter may copy your mark… or add its own spin on it. When the drawing is finished, you will come away with a piece in both the robot’s “style” as well as your own.
This project is still in progress since I was not able to work in an efficient way with my past restraints. I will be finishing it hopefully next semester as a side project in Golan’s 60-212.
My project was heavily inspired by Sougwen Chung’s work in exploring artistic co-creation with robotic units.
Chung’s work, however, uses machine learning to create the robot’s improvisational drawing techniques. Nonetheless, I spent quite a long time researching her practice and how it explores the relationship between human and machine through this form of mark-making.
In contrast to Chung’s work, I am not using machine learning. My project also lies more in the realm of a funny/surprising drawing app than the type of gestural, elegant art that is Chung’s work. I am trying to tap into the robot’s “personality,” which considers the idea of robots often being seen as the antagonist in the future of human life. This is where the concept of an antagonistic drawing tool comes in. An example of this, and another inspiration for my project, is fugpaint created by Ben Fry. The tools in the drawing app “misbehave” or act in ways you wouldn’t expect a normal paint tool to act. The robot in my project will do the same, misbehaving in ways that endow it with a certain mischievous personality.
I hope to get to a point where the robot is making more sophisticated marks so that the final piece can stand alone, like in Sougwen Chung’s work.
This project was honestly extremely frustrating and difficult for me. Compared to how much time and effort I put into making it work and get to a somewhat solid point and the current outcome, it is very unsatisfying for me. I learned a ton, which makes it worth it, but I cannot let this project go unfinished with how much time I put into it. It is not where I want it to be, but I hope I can make it the project I originally imagined at some point next semester.
My project is going to be a collaborative drawing session with the plotter. When you draw something (on the drawing app that I am currently making) the axidraw will respond is some altered/responsive way. I plan on adding as many features as I can that allow for different variations of response. For example, maybe one drawing feature reads in your drawing’s coordinates and draws hairy lines that appear to sprout out of your drawing. Since what is being drawn onscreen is also being projected onto the area where the axidraw is plotting, it will look as if the plotter’s lines and the user’s lines are a part of the same surface/drawing. Right now I am running into a lot of issues with getting the initial drawing functionality and projection working properly so I am not that far. Below, I am showing my line plotted as a dotted line.
Plotter draws dotted line of my line ( and you can see a bug where the pen doesn’t go up when it goes to make the first drawing).
Demo of above:
Initial interactive tests –> plotter mirrors what I draw (+ some funny faces made by Shiva and I)
The goal is to project my screen onto the area of the paper so my drawing is overlaid with the plotter’s drawing. The projection mapping didn’t work in time for this crit 🙂
Sougwen Chung has been a big inspiration for my work.
I am planning on doing a real time interactive project with the axidraw in python processing. This will require me to port the existing java processing for real time control code into python first. When you draw something (on the drawing app that I will be making for this) the axidraw will respond is some altered/ interesting way. I plan on adding as many features as I can that allow for different kinds of interesting interaction with the axidraw. For example, maybe one that reads in your drawing and then turns it into something that looks like an animal I don’t know(this would require machine learning obviously) or maybe it takes your line and applies a simulation algorithm to it to make it look altered. What is being drawn on the app is also being projected onto the area where the axidraw is plotting.
I am really inspired by Sougwen Chung’s work and how these interactions with the machines become a kind of really intimate performance. Also the mark marking in her work is absolutely beautiful and so gestural, I am in love with it. At the same time, I am kind of interested in those antagonistic drawing programs – not in an antagonistic way but in the hopes to have something with a completely unexpected outcome.
Right now my plan looks something like this? ish:
- Set up projector
- Port java axidraw control code to python? or find another way
- Start coding the plotter/drawing interaction features
- Create the gui for the drawing app
- Map the projector to the area of the plotter/do the transforms so image isnt warped
My interpretation of the blob family prompt manifested itself into an exploration of the differential growth algorithm. After dong some research on the algorithm itself and code tracing a few different implementations, I landed on Alberto Giachino’s Differential line growth with Processing. I have mostly been working in processing, and it didn’t require any outside dependencies, so it made the most sense to use this one as the base. Jason Webb’s 2D differential growth experiments also really helped in understanding how the algorithm works and how it can be modified. After playing around with the algorithm in the hatching exercise from last week, I wanted to see how I could constrain the growth to one specific shape, more specifically, in a blob-like shape. Golan had showed me how to use an off-screen graphics buffer, so I thought it might work if I tried to use that as a layer mask of sorts. The off-screen graphics buffer would contain white filled blobs (made by modifying the radius of a circle with perlin noise) against a black background. Therefore, whenever a node was at the location of a white fill, the differential growth cohesion and separation forces would act. When a node on the circle was at location of a black fill, there were no forces acting on it to make it grow. The nodes that were growing then formed into the shape of the blobs, and to my surprise, sort of collapsed in on each other where the edges were. It made what looked like the outline of the blob. The two pictures below are the blobs rendered digitally.
I had a lot of fun with this one! I love texture and I love organic/bodily looking things.
Here is the code:
Continue reading “bookooBread – BlobFamily”
Before this assignment, I had never been on plotter twitter. And wow was I really missing out because there is some crazy, crazy stuff. The diversity in what people can people can make with this one tool is pretty insane. I feel like personally it offers some stylistic choices that I felt like I was missing from programming art. I love the imperfections and unexpectedness of using physical materials, so seeing how people can combine that with algorithms and code that also offer some unexpected (or expected) outcomes is really exciting.
I felt like this approach to blending color was super interesting and really taking advantage of what the plotter can do.
I was really drawn to the plotter work of @Sheltron3030. I think one thing that I was drawn to was his use of 3D in the 2D space of the paper. Using the plotter he was able to get such incredible depth that would be pretty difficult to do by hand. I also really loved the small distortions/gaps in each plot. It added this uniqueness and character that otherwise wouldn’t be as interesting without these “mess-ups”. Some of his plots also remind me of the look of screen printing? I’m not sure if it is the material/pen he used or just the mark being made, but I love it. Especially the ones with white pen on black paper. Kind of looks like the cover of unknown pleasures…?
Large mutli-color circles. Picture of cardboard coming soon.