Projector Simulation (Final)

December 12, 2006
My final was actually due today and it has changed a lot since the last post about it.  I did end up building the lightbox, only it divorced my projector idea and decided to take on a ‘life’ of its own.  This project, ended up in a similar direction, but more effort went into capturing the aesthetics of a projector, nostalgia, timelessness, etc.

At first I wanted  complete control over the images, since this whole project’s success hinged on its aesthetics and the deliverance of them.  After dissecting down into classes, specific characteristics of a projector and what those functions do to emote the audience, I realized that my keeping total control of the images, I was not using those functions to their full capacity.  However, I still did not want to do simple text mining in the google images API bc those images came from too random of sources and only relied on the ‘meta’ descriptions to enable the parse.  How we got around that was to take advantage of the proXML library in Processing which allows us to use the flickr XML (vs RSS) feed, who are a far better source for poetic imagery (or photographer wanna-bes..shall we?) and you can basically do a search for whatever keyword you’d like and watch your “slideshow” in the processing sketch.

November 29, 2006
The majority of the day was spent setting up the serial communication between processing and arduino. I am using an ultrasonic distance sensor to control the alpha values of the second state of displaying text. The code is working properly but the sensor data is still a bit unstable, even with a capacitor. Perhaps a little more math is required to calibrate the a more appropriate value between analog values and the alpha’s 0-255.

November 27, 2006
The last week has been spent finalizing the Processing code and finally have it working to look like a real projector. I inserted timer outside of the main loop to keep track of the millis, which is cycling through our pictures (content TBD). Also, a noise class and flicker class was added to make the “projection” look more realistic, in addition to a number of jitter effects.

Finally, a second state was added (which well be triggered by physical distance sensor) to display text that fades as the use approaches the lightbox. The idea behind that is a sense of fleeting voyeurism and feeling of unattainability.

November 18, 2006
Building the LightBox

Initially we had the intention of obtaining a heart rate to adjust the pulsing of the light, but after some research, we found that the most feasible way to do that was by creating our own monitor using a piazo mic sensor and then recreating the circuitry from scratch, which would prove too time-consuming (and some what auxiliary to our primary intention); so we scratched it. However, being somewhat married to the idea of a lightbox, we wanted to create a fade up and down of light using some, (*gasp*) “pulse” width modulation code- no pun intended.

We’re using some white super-bright LED strips that run on 12V and can be strung together. The trickiest part about the circuit was changing the voltage w/o shorting out the microcontroller or my mac’s logic board. Luckily, Todd referred me to his transistor lab . The only change we needed to make was to connect a DC power jack to the power of the LED strips and GND to common.

Then, we used a variation of Clay Shirky’s PWM code which I found on the Arduino tutorials page.

Jerbear also helped me with setting ‘mode’ states, adjusting Clay’s code, to increment the LED values up and down.

Link to my Arduino Code


November 11, 2006
While my midterm idea went rather successfully, I decided to shift gears for my ICM final. I am making something entirely practical for my PCOMP final, so I really wanted to make something less practical but more aesthetically-pleasing with content-driven meaning for my computational media final.

Addie had this amazing idea of creating some sort of clock that would use your heart rate to calculate your death and so I asked Tom (Igoe) about different ways we would monitor pulses as sensor data. When he told me about various devices, some of which had hackable LEDs that correspond to your heart rate, I began thinking about lightboxes and pulsing lights. While we haven’t quite figured out the logistics of data interpretation or specific input/output details, I created a few images that I thought (at least visually) roughly represented a model. Something where sequential algorithms in processing can change the the brightness or tint of the heart on the light box?? any comments/suggestions would be awesome. We really like the idea of the piece having a life line or a death, but a beautiful and natural one. The idea is not to emit a sense of deflating or depression, but more to give the experience a life-cycle and an acquaintance with “death” and its inevitability. (thought process too buddhist perhaps?…) I just really want to focus on the content and implications of this work, rather than putting too much of an emphasis on the technical.

And i love addie!


2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. addie  |  November 8, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    awesome, thats totally how I would of explained it had dan given me more then 2 sentences! I am so exicted!

  • 2. Vera  |  November 18, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    Niiiice. Way to go sis. Although seeing those hearts/lungs is giving me flashbacks to my horrendous days of head/neck anatomy dissection. 😛


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