ReadMe is a project intended to be an interactive installation / display piece used to share a message, an idea or information within a public space.
produced by: Joshua Windsor
ReadMe is a project intended to be an interactive installation / display piece used to share a message, an idea or information within a public space. I chose to share some A quote based on Stoic philosophy, but I feel this project could easily be used for information or advertisement. It makes use of the Kinect as the primary source of interaction and is meant to be viewed as a public projected piece controlled by the viewer.
Concept and background research
The closer the viewer gets to the pieces the harder the message becomes to read. The movement of the viewer causes the text to get faster, become more erratic or create more instances of itself, distorting it further.
The project is a counter-intuitive README installation. Inspired by a recent interest in stoicism, I wanted to highlight the difficulties we sometimes face when attempting to evaluate ourselves. Effective introspection requires one to pause for a moment and become calm. It's not always easy to take ownership of our shortcomings so through this work I challenge the viewer to take a step back, observe one's self and think about the changes they feel they could make to help them reach their goals faster. If the viewer was to simply walk by the text becomes chaotic, which is meant to reflect life when you don’t stop to appreciate it.
Inspiration came from seeing other interactive public projections, they all seemed well-received and fun to engage with. I feel interactive projection can be a playful way to engage the viewer of the artwork.
The interactive text was programmed in OpenFrameworks with the ofKinect addon. The threshold of the Kinect isn’t too wide to exclude the space around the camera but in a more open space could work better. The brightness is tracked from the Kinect and it’s the brightness value that influences the position of the text I've chosen to display.
I have a strong interest in graphic design and I'm currently working four days a week as a graphic design intern alongside my part-time studies. Interactive and animated typography have become be a popular trend in design, and I was initially inspired by this kind of work. Despite most of the work in this style being created with Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D, I still felt I would like to attempt to take previous typographic experiments further while adding interaction and feel I have been successful in that.
I would like to experiment next with shaders and see if I would be able to manipulate the text visually and implement those changes into this kind of project. I think It would be incredible for the text to appear still and upon movement by the viewer, create the effect of text moving as though it was underwater.
I feel quite positive about the results of the project however I regret not having the opportunity to set it up in a physical space and project the text at a large scale, I think it would look cool. Working alongside university has been a challenge, openFrameworks isn’t an easy skill to master but I feel more confident now than ever and by the end of the second year I hope be confident using shaders and more complex code.
There is a lot of room for improvement in the sophistication of the interaction, I enjoy how it works but some way to smooth the movement of the words would be better. Perhaps this could be achieved with a slight delay opposed to the text constantly reading the values live and causing it to jump around a little. I would have liked to create an element of flocking and also a variable probability to display different quotes but struggled to get this functional before the deadline.
JunkiYoshi is the only reference I really used which helped with getting the initial text moving within the 3d space. His work is fantastic and you should definitely check it out. I was unsure whether to leave in the moving letters and only display the quotation being displayed but aesthetically it looks good. Studying his code has helped me learn a great deal. On top of this I've added the interaction to this code with the Kinect, the letters have a lifespan and will fade in and out, additionally their movement is also influenced.