My final project concept was to create a system that “works together” with its users to make drawings in the sense that it would respond to the lines that are being drawn by the users using various built-in parameters. The result was rather different than what I had pictured but I think it points to a new direction for the concept and aesthetics of this project.
In making the system, I started with building a simple drawing interface with the mouse as pen and a mini color palette; however, I could not get the vector to record the color in which the previous lines are drawn, so if you choose a different color, the color of the whole drawing changes. After experimenting with different ofx addons, I had chosen to use the ofxCv “gesture” addon which detects the users’ drawing gestures and determines whether they are straight lines or curves. I tried to incorporate the addon into my program so that the system would duplicate the existing drawing if it detects a straight line and fill the inside of the curve with straight lines if it detects a curve. If the users draw onto a randomly generated region on the canvas, it would trigger the system to fill the path they have drawn.
(Example of the drawings created with the program)
I had some trouble trying to understand the code for the addon and to incorporate it into my existing code, and that resulted in a somewhat glitchy system and drawing experience — the lines would sometimes appear and disappear when you are drawing, and the system fills the drawing with straight lines even if more complicated patterns are being drawn (which means the algorithm would not be able to identify them as either straight lines or curves). However, I think the end result shed a new light on the potential of this kind of system: a dynamic drawing experience, during which what has been drawn keeps changing as you keep drawing. This is also closer to my original idea about collaborating with the computer on a drawing as if collaborating with another human being, where he/she would react to what you draw, but also draws independently, resulting in a self-evolving drawing even without your input. For now, the system’s behaviors are possibly somewhere between reaction and response, and in order to push them into the realm of response, I feel like adding spontaneous gestures and making the drawing constantly changing on its own is an important step.
For future development of the project, I would love to make the drawing experience even more dynamic and have the drawings changing constantly by possibly using timer-based behaviors and adding more possible reactions to what’s on the canvas so that the response appears more emergent.