Shutterthyme's Blog

October 26, 2011

Stepping into a Story

Filed under: Interactive Multimedia Art — Mia @ 12:47 am

I’ve had the idea for an art installation project since my 3-D Design class in 2009. I didn’t have the skills to bring the idea to fruition—until today! In Interactive Multimedia Art, David Fodel taught me how to use a relay switch, PowerSwitch Tail II, to turn a fan on and off from Max/MSP software. That may seem insignificant to some, but for me, it’s the last element of a project-come-true.

The idea, from two years ago, was that a viewer would turn the pages of an interactive handmade book, and the personal story, with digital watercolor illustrations, would come to life. The turn of a page would create an interactive experience with video, audio, light, water fountain, fan, and planetarium turning on or off, according to the page of the book. I recently found a video of a similar ImaginArt project that might give a better idea of what I’m planning.

Earlier this semester, I connected fiducial markers through ReacTIVision and a TUIO client to a Max patch. A webcam can view a specific symbol on the page of a book and relay a related value to Max. That value is sent through the programmed Max patch to an Arduino, a circuit board that connects to the switch. The Arduino is coded to understand when to turn the relay switches on and off so the planetarium, water fountain, and fan turn on in time to synchronize with video and audio—for the interactive experience of the beach beneath the stars. The December installation of our class final projects is scheduled for the Object + Thought Gallery at 1430 Delgany Street in Denver.

Project Flowchart

Project Flowchart

The “Build the Project” section of the flowchart is nearly finished. I’ve purchased watercolor paper for the Epson 4800 printer and need to create the story’s illustrations next. Hopefully, there will be installation photos in December!

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