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Our Art Project - Need Your Help - Thaw Out!!

Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Carnival of Mirrors - What's in Store...
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Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby kowtow » November 23rd, 2014, 4:21 pm

I have an art idea that I think will be fucking awesome for the 2015 theme, but I need your guy's assistance.

I want to make an interactive kaleidoscope! Using a series of cameras 4-8 and some basic third party software to connect to the cameras. The viewer(s) will stand in front of the kaleidoscope and depending on how many viewers and the brightness of their attire etc., they will impact the image of the kaleidoscope.

The kaleidoscope - the camera will be connected to a basic computer to which a projector or two will be connected. The projector will project it's image onto a number of randomly (strategically) placed mirrored surfaces. The mirrors will project the image back onto a large (6') round screen (cheese cloth, shower curtain, or other diffused opaque surface. The entire (mirrored) screen inner screen should rotate creating the kaleidoscope effect. At night we can use color wheels and music controlled lights in front of the cameras to create an awesome dancing light show.

We can't forget to have the portable laser involved to enhance the effects.

help... :?
Last edited by kowtow on November 24th, 2014, 7:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby chuckularone » November 23rd, 2014, 5:04 pm

I'm in, but can I get a drawing. I'm having a little trouble visualizing it.
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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby kowtow » November 23rd, 2014, 7:23 pm

Here is what gave me the idea. Obviously what we would make would only need to be a few feet deep, depending on the focal length of the projector and the screen size. I would think the project would employ a projector pointing towards the back of the kaleidoscope (pointing away from the participants) with mirrors at various angles reflecting the images back at the participants but shining reflections on an opaque screens of sorts.

If there would be a way to spin the mirrored surface to create a kaleidoscope effect, or if we could do something software/hardware-wise to simulate the same effect all the better.


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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby GreyCoyote » November 23rd, 2014, 7:32 pm

Thats cool! Interesting application. It could all be done with optics right on the projector lens I think. The feedback modes would all have to get sorted out, but it could be done.

Another possibility would be putting a small SVGA monitor into a box made of mirrors. The monitor is driven by a camera that is pointed at the user. A camera **inside** the mirror box (off-angle from the monitor) captures the reflections and pipes this to a single projector that displays the image on a translucent screen. Kalidesoscope! And you coukd make it pretty dust proof. And it doesnt take gobs of power. :mrgreen:
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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby chuckularone » November 23rd, 2014, 7:33 pm

Spinning the images in the software would be codingwise, more difficult, but worth the reliability gain.
Will the viewers have any control over the cameras?
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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby GreyCoyote » November 23rd, 2014, 7:47 pm

Agreed. Basically you could grab a quarter of the screen image (doesnt matter which one) and do fast bit-flipping on one or both axis (foldover technique) to create a background image with biaxial symmetry. Do a little rotation for effects, add an inline look-up table to remap colors and make subtle graduations "pop", etc.

Doable. But thats gonna be some code that has to run fast. This aint gonna be Java, kids! :mrgreen: If Imhad my druthers, I would likely build a little toaster controller around Parallax's Propellor. 8 cpus, 160 mhz. Bulletproof.
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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby chuckularone » November 24th, 2014, 5:41 am

Never played with the propeller, but I am in love with solid state solutions with no moving parts and low cost of entry. Nothing says prepared like having a spare cpu with the code loaded on it just in case there's an issue.

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YANK! Swap. Restart.

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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby GreyCoyote » November 24th, 2014, 6:19 am

They are about to release the Propeller 2. 16 cores. All identical and independent, but all share the same memory and IO space. Just fucking awesome!
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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby kowtow » November 24th, 2014, 6:54 am

Were you thinking of something like this? By using four cameras, one to the left, right, front and in the back of the subject we can create a hologram effect by joining the four images using the refraction properties of plexi

I just created this design that works on the iPad.



If not give me a drawing, or diagram of what your thinking.

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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby kowtow » November 25th, 2014, 7:25 pm

I just built an ipad version of the hologram device and changed the video above to a more impressive one. This can work with the LCD on bottom or on top, so a 50-60 inch LCD on top of an impressively large plexi pyramid and you have yourself some ART. Simple add front, back, left and right cameras and you might even have human ART.

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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby GreyCoyote » November 26th, 2014, 3:41 am

Whoa! That is COOL!
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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby kowtow » November 30th, 2014, 2:26 pm

As I think more about this. Rather than having a single monster LCD, why not four LCDs? The hologram hinges on the angles of the plexi. Having four LCDs with the images timed properly and plexi at proper angles (possibly more verticle), allowing for a much larger feature with smaller LCD panels, or it would allow for the use of projectors.


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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby GreyCoyote » November 30th, 2014, 2:53 pm

Kowtow: you remember the dust, right? :mrgreen:

Having said that, I can see where more screens would be better!

All would be driven from the same source?
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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby kowtow » December 3rd, 2014, 6:09 pm

Ya ya, I think we're good with the dust, but that's only based on my shower panels which are as of yet still untouched by anything other than the last hands to pet them just before Labor Day leaving the playa.

I'm suggesting this four display concept use a PC with four display outputs. Four video images, feeds, etc. could be delivered to the screans/projectors providing the source.

Current concept questions to be answered:
Will LCD screens provide enough brightness to project the image through space to the plexi and into the space on the other side of the plexi?
Will four projectors be necessary to drive enough brightness to create such an effect?
Will projectors even work with this concept (at first blush it seems obvious it should work)?

If the above doesn't pan out like the small scale model does, could I place an opaque white cylinder inside the plexi to create some "cool" effects regardless of the hologram efforts...??? Getting back to an interactive kaleidoscope art (aka employing Steve Martini's mirrors).

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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby Sunbeam » December 3rd, 2014, 6:17 pm

I dont grok any of this, but i trust you-all
Do. Just tell me how to be helpful, and if the answer is - stay out of the way - i can do that too :)

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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby GreyCoyote » December 3rd, 2014, 6:46 pm

"Look who is coming for dinner...!"

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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby kowtow » December 7th, 2014, 7:18 pm


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Re: Our Art Project - Need Your Help

Postby lionsnzebras » December 24th, 2014, 10:03 am

I dont think I can help engineer it, but when its time to build, count me in.
Cant comment on my wife's commitment though, just my own.


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