Live Imaging Midterm 1

For this project, I wanted to combine a couple of ideas that I’m interested in. I wanted to work with programmable LED’s, I wanted to work with a live camera taking pictures of hand-drawn stills, and I wanted to play with some audience participation. For the programmable LED’s, I started by building a new lamp/camera mount for subtraction class.


The lamp has two lighting elements inside – a fairly bright element that uses a slider, and a Neopixel ring whose RGB values can be independently controlled. It has some potentiometers attached to it that I haven’t gotten to work consistently, but for this project I’m hoping to control the lights through Isadora.

(I had been hoping to use Max for this project, but as I started looking at the scale of this thing, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do everything that I wanted to do if I had to slog my way through Max as well.)

In order to send RGB values to the Neopixel ring, I had to borrow heavily from Arduino’s website on accepting a matrix of Serial values. I wound up with a code that could take five separate integers and assign them to different light values – Three for the RGB values on the Neopixel, and two for the separate lamp element.

The next step was to be able to send those lighting values from Isadora. I set up a Serial actor in Isadora and told it to give Arduino the following code –

Now for the real heavy Isadora programming. I have some experience in Isadora, so setting up a series of still live captures was something that I was familiar with. Which isn’t to say that it was simple. I wanted the images to wipe on in a special way, so I used a colored-pencil animation that I had made for a separate project to play as each new drawing wiped on. I used a hue saturation actor to change the wipe to look more red, green, and blue.

For the live performance, I will be handing classmates Cyan, Magenta, and Orange markers (yellow doesn’t show up) and animating their sketches real time. More to come tomorrow!