Zerillian Engineering

Irradiated with cheeky programmer fervor!

Interactive Human-Shaped Radial Patterns

Interactive Kaleidoscope-esque Artwork

This was the first thing I built with openFrameworks. OpenFrameworks got me engaged enough to learn C++, and this is what came out of it. I spent a few weeks working up the idea after reading about computer vision libraries and graphical tricks. I never really gave this a name, but I typically call it by its code name, shadow_cv.

It uses a webcam image to generate these patterns. The program captures an image of the background so it can be subtracted from any subsequent frames, which means only movement captured by the camera will become a shape in the display. A threshold is applied to create cutout polygons from these movements which are recolored, replicated, and transformed in randomized radial patterns. There is a smooth oscillating animation that moves these patterns even when the subject is still. When there is no subject in the frame, a new pattern layout is generated. This has the effect of creating a completely new visual when the subject steps out of the frame and in again.

I also included a small playlist feature with music notifications, since I found people were far more inclined to make wild and interesting movements when there was something to dance to. It made a wonderful display at my high school art shows.

The source can be found on Github. Being my first substantial program, it’s got a lot of rookie programmer junk in it. When I’ve got the time, I plan on rewriting it with the new oF version and cleaner code. Not sure if you could even properly compile it against the new 007+ versions. My gut says probably not.


Shadow Self tech demo from Armand Zerilli on Vimeo.