Musical Fountain

The premise for my project was to create a visual flow of sound. The original intention was to have it so that it looked like musical notes were flowing out of my head. I wanted to accomplish this by creating a static image of the top of my head so it would appear like it was open and my brain was exposed. Using a particle system from PureData I would manipulate its characteristics based on sound input to explode out of my head. The lower portion of the patch would be live video to create a more realistic and lively feel to the application. Unfortunately, I was unable to figure out how to apply a texture to the shapes that the particles were made out of. I also was not able to figure out how to split up the static image and the webcam feed. Ideally, I would have made separate particle systems that were affected by different frequencies. It would have been interesting to make it so that the different particle systems emerged from various parts of my face. For example if the high frequencies came out of my head and the low frequencies came out of my mouth. Based off this concept too it would be funny to create something that tracked a persons head and if they sneezed I could create a particle system near their nose that would spew out snot, just an idea.

pd 2012-05-03 21-14-20-78

Final Project: The Mysterious Door

For my final project my starting point was the cover of a Dream Theater album. As you can see below it has a surrealistic artwork, where in the middle there is a mysterious door that inspired me.

So I set my goal to make an installation art that would make people feel different moods each time they open a door.Additionally I wanted it to be easily implemented to many places, and to be cheap at the same time.

How it should feel:
The emotions that it creates on you is very important.
You should feel like you are in Harry Potter, opening different mysterious doors and gates with your friends without knowing whats inside.
Or you should feel like you are in Jumanji. Where you don’t know whats going to happen next.
So basically it should surprise you, whether you know that it is the mysterious door, or you are an ordinary person trying to go through a normal door.

My solution:
Here is a sample video of what it does at the moment. When I open for he first time you’ll here the annoying plant-creature sounds from harry potter. As I open the door more the sound naturally increases. Then I close it and it ends. For the second time I open it you’ll here a cinematic soundtrack. And for the third time I open it to a jungle.

For my setup I used my existing Arduino. On top of that I used a bottle cap, a broken pen, a rubber band, hot glue and a 25 cent potentiometer. You might be unsure about stability, but I can guarantee you that it works perfect, and I don’t think anyone needs to spend more.
As you can see below, potentiometer is glued to the cap, and rod (pen) is glued to the potentiometer. There is also the rubber band that connects pen to the cap.

Then you connect this to a door like below. As you open the door, the pen will rotate the potentiometer. This way arduino will read values and send them to computer. When you close the door the rubber band helps the pen to come back with the door.

Whats on the computer side is Pure Data. “Pduino” is used to get potentiometer values (it increases when you open the door) via Arduino. Then these values are mapped to the volume of the sound. Each time the value is back to “0”, a new sound is loaded.

Whats next:
First thing is to add more sounds and make them feel different from each other.
Next is to install this on several places on campus to see people’s reactions. (Imagine you are entering through campus center and suddenly you here wild sounds. You look to see where it comes from but you cant find it.)
I also tried using a microphone to echo your voice. (So the door opens to a very big room in the virtual world). I should work on that more to make it feel natural.
Another further plan might be to make this project computer free. With an Arduino Audio Shield, this can be easily done.

Please share your other ideas to make this even more inspiring and fun.

Final Project

What a horrible time to find out that the format that my phone records video to is rejected by word press as a “security risk”VID_20120503_205154_xvid

I added some visuals to what I was working on in Processing, There are normally 4 blue circles that get covered with black circles with the varying levels of the sensor’s readings. The not that is being played is also drawn onto the musical scale to show what note is being generated.

I had quite a few problems with this project and am thoroughly convinced that I’ve got my very own gremlin who attends to my project while I take small breaks to try and clear my head of what is going wrong. I’ve had the Arduino decide that it doesn’t have a program that sends serial data about 5 times, and the messages that are received by Processing have only worked for the very briefest of times and have confused me very thoroughly.
Straightening out how to get the sound to start and stop was an area that I had no Idea would cause so much trouble since I used it fairly easily in making a Simon clone during my MQP. For whatever reason I was unable to have a switch on the Arduino cause the audio to activate when pressed and deactivate when released. The only way I was able to get reliable sound was to have the thing always making some noise in order to have it play at all. This seemed like it should be simple logic and yet every way I tried to implement it ended up causing more problems than it solved.
I’ll keep trying to get it working as it was intended to, but the summer heat tends to take my brain and turn it into mush, so I may not have too long before this already challenging task gets to the point where it will be impossible for me to continue thinking about.

Alec’s Final Project

I was unfortunately both busy and uninspired during this project, but here’s what I ended up with. It may take a while to download. And sorry if it’s too quiet.

Project Video

I connect the arduino with Processing to show a sketch of a round creature (i.e. a circle with eyes). When the arduino sketch is first uploaded, it stores the first value from the temperature sensor, and remembers it as the ambient room temperature. Both the creature’s color and the background color change to reflect the temperature. At room temperature, they are gray. When the sensor gets colder, they change to blue and the creature shrinks. When the sensor gets warmer, they change to red/orange and the creature grows.

Other than that, I have special things happen when the sensor reaches the minimum or maximum mapped value (50 less or more than the room temperature for the sensor, or 0/400 for the processing sketch). At minimum temperature, the screen looks like it’s been frosted over and the creature looks frozen solid. At maximum temperature, the creature starts shaking, sends out shockwaves, and sort of spazzes out.

I was able to convert the sensor’s value to both Farenheit and Celcius, but I couldn’t find a way to incorporate that into the project.

If I was able to expand on the project from here, I would have tried to incorporate another sensor, like the light sensor. Maybe have two creatures, one that reacts to temperature and one that reacts to light. And add sound, too.