Monthly Archives: December 2011

For our Intro to Physical Computing project, Gavin Hackeling and I are working together on an application that will allow for a camera on a mobile device¬†to track an image (as a¬†fiduciary) on a screen or paper or etching (or any surface) and let the user touch the device’s touch screen to manipulate the image otherwise. In the three demonstrations we have developed to show the application’s possibilities, we have one image that will drag across the screen via the user’s touch on their touch-screen device, one image that lets the user draw red lines on it in the same manner, and in the third demonstration, we fabricated a box with an etching on its top, that when the user touches their screen at particular coordinates, in a particular sequence, the box will open from within and close itself after a few second delay.

Here is some documentation of the fabrication of that box, in its first stages, and a photo from the ITP Winter Show 2011 taken by one of the people who liked it, who is also an ITP alum.

this is an instagram that one of our showgoers took for us and posted on twitter. At ITP Winter Show 2011.

this is something put together to show people where the points and sequence of touches need to be in order for the box to open. the idea is that the user alone knows what the gesture is so that the box will open.

Jee Won Kim and I developed a storyboard for this, our first-ever stop-motion animation. It took us ~13 hours to shoot, and maybe double that to edit it. We learned that saving to a usb external hard drive while using Final Cut Pro X was a really bad idea — it probably took up half our time, just waiting for the constant saving to go through.

I had been inspired by the animation we saw in class called Western Spaghetti. I wanted to use everyday items as the characters. I got my inspiration from my toiletry medicine cabinet. I shared this with Jee Won and we agreed it would be a good idea to do a toiletry fantasy. She was inspired by Busby Berkeley choreography pieces, and I also wanted to use that inspiration in the animation. Everything about the storyline happened pretty organically. We bought colorful toiletries from various discount stores and lots of shaving foam. Then we got all the equipment from the ER and went to Jee Won’s apartment to film. Filming went smoothly. The first and last shots of this animation are video, not stop-motion, since we wanted the stop-motion parts to be the fantasy sequence for the toiletries.

Using Dragon Stop Motion was pretty intuitive and I’m glad that we worked in partners for this — I don’t know how we could have done something like this without another person to help capture or arrange the characters. Editing in FCPX took a little getting used to. Why is importing and exporting (x2) so darn non-intuitive and complicated? Anyway, we added a bunch of sounds we found on For the music, I wanted to use the score from Fantasia’s mop scene to accompany our Q-tips coming down the foam sequence. For the Busby Berkeley sequence, we were inspired by the light pattern that we made through the a paper cone we taped to a flashlight that looked like a crescent moon, so we chose Debussey’s Clair de Lune. The best hunch I had was that the Home Alone score would have a similar eerie feel that we were looking for. We found the score and it was perfect for the beginning of our stop-motion sequence with the shaving foam.

I am very proud of this first-time effort. I think we did pretty well, especially since we only had a couple of weeks.

Here is the movie, we named it Foam Alone. Enjoy and let me know what you think.