Sample Project 1: Kaiju Video Smasher

Kaiju is a Japanese word that means “strange beast,” but often translated in English as “monster”. ~ Wikipedia – Kaiju

This project aims to give users the ability to control the playback of public-domain segments of Japanese monster films using a foam model of a high-rise building. In the end the final installation should provide a glitchy/noisy media accompaniment to the violent interaction with the physical controller. Since the system revolves around playing media with flexible controls, puredata is a natural choice for a development environment since that is its specialty.

As a general first step, it helps to make a visual flowchart of the system to get an idea of what elements will be involved in bringing the project to life. Below is a simple chart of how the user input will pass through the system to become cut-up monster footage.

kaiju_flowchart1

Looking at the chart, one can already see a few needed features that need to be explored and implemented:

  • Understanding how to hook up a flex sensor and understand its input with an arduino.
  • How to take that sensor input and output a formatted serial stream to the computer using puredata.
  • How to map the sensor values from the arduino to a video/audio controller.
  • How to play and control video in puredata.
  • How to play and control audio in puredata.
  • How to play video in full screen.

Over the next few blog posts, each of these issues will be researched and finally implemented.