The Floral Ink Brush
Augmented Chinese ink-drawing experience
Year: 2017 | Individual Project | Tool: OpenFrameworks
"The Floral Ink Brush" is an augmented stroke drawing experience that would immerse audience in the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy and painting, in which the physical brushstroke would become the habitats of digital Chinese flowers. As time goes by, the physical brushstroke would also fade away and therefore flowers would scatter, creating a subtle layer of storytelling. The goal is to explore the relationship between the digital and the physical and experiment with the narrative in that context.
A web camera and a projector are placed right above the painting area, both of which are trained at the canvas. The former captures the contents on the canvas and feeds them to openFrameworks while the latter projects generative flowers produced by openFrameworks onto the canvas, creating a real-time dynamic overlay of physical stroke and digital flowers.
The drawing canvas is made of a special cloth-like material that when touched by water creates ink-like mark, having the similar visual effects of drawing ink brush on a regular paper. The special property of this material allows the water stroke to fade away with time as it dries out, generating an interesting narrative.
Machine Learning for Artist is the core add-on this project uses for shape recognition. The way it works is that you feed a set of instances of the shapes you want to be recognized to the algorithms and train the program to tell them apart.
Rose Curve is a mathematical way of drawing flowers based on polar coordinates and trigonometric functions. Different variations of flower shape could be generated by manipulating tweaking the function parameters.
ofxEasing is a helper add-on for easy interpolation, which. I use to animate the parameters of flowers overtime.
More dynamic growing pattern. For example, flowers could sprawl from the strokes instead of overlaying.
Provide instructions between shapes and flowers. How would the audience know which shape of stroke would produce which flowers? Instructions might be needed to clarify the relationships, especially for those not familiar without Chinese painting and calligraphy experience.
Try out different set-up and placement. What if it's placed on the wall? What if I scale the size of the project? How about just finger paint without using the brush? Can multi users play at the same time and interact with each others painting?
Apart from stroke shape, Chinese characters may also be included, blurring the boundary painting and writing.
Richer storytelling. For example, after flowers are grown, butterflies and birds would be attracted into the canvas and fly around, interacting with the strokes.