First Thoughts on Tactile Drawing

Sunday, November 6, 2005


Painting with light.

For my final ICM project I think I’ve decided to do a kind of tactile digital drawing program. Meaning, something to allow someone to “paint” (or move color around creatively) on a computer screen (or on a projection of a computer screen) without using the keyboard and the mouse. For example, you drag your hand over the image and it smears the colors on the screen along with your hand. Or you use a stylus to pick out colors and draw lines by actually drawing on the image itself.

One of the key elements would be the ability of the drawn image to evolve on its own as it’s put down. Wriggle. Wobble. Decay. Fade. Etc. A very simple example of a drawing that remains alive after its draw can be found in this simple project I did for ICM a few weeks ago. (See also.)

I don’t know how to do any of this, of course. But it seems like a good challenge.

People enjoy playing with toys and I think there’s a vast open space in the field of creating new tools for creation using digital and interactive media. I’ve seen a few compelling art toys like this, but not many.

It also seems like a good way to learn about richer sources of sensory input for machines than the keyboard, mouse, and maybe the occasional iSight camera.

So. I’ve e-mailed Jeff Han, a researcher at NYU who is responsible for the tech behind the Cycling 74 / JazzMutants Lemur control surface (on C74’s site / on his site). (I think this is what I heard and the Lemur and the object on his page look very, very similar — though I can’t find a direct connection between Jeff and the Lemur on the web right now.) He also has a page about a simple LED touch sensor that looks very cool. Hopefully he’ll get back in contact with me and we’ll get to talk.

I don’t have any solid good ideas at this point, so everything’s kind of on the table. Think physical painting and drawing tools that create images that “live” and fluxuate. That’s the plan.

Don’t you want to touch and play with the two Jeff Han projects? Of course you do — that’s why they’re cool!

NYC, bitches

Posted Mon, December 12, 2005, 4:48pm EST by chris-tian

check friend-ster! quickly! magic message. oh, and I love key elements of draw images. daydreams.

touch screen tech

Posted Sun, December 25, 2005, 4:18am EST by David B

Also check out Controller One made by Open Labs (in austin) for a possible hardware interface. It is a touch screen designed to interface with audio software but could very well be capable of being made to work with something a graphics software. It may even already work with Adobe stuff, wether it was supposed to or not.