My name is Dom and I’m the Creative Director at Plug-in Media. I bring you news of our webcam painting app!
As you may have seen (if not, have a look), we spent the first week of development working on getting a green dot to follow your hand in web cam view. It seemed like a simple enough idea and Alan (our lead programmer) cleverly got it to work. Now (having spent a week on it) he now sees wobbly green dots in front of him every time he closes his eyes. Not to worry – he’s used to this sort of thing! Just one of the dangers of working in a company that designs games. Our ultimate aim is to turn the green dot into a brush that you can paint with, so our second week of development has been about coming up with suitable styles.
The app is not designed to be super-precise, but it will be very expressive. We wanted the marks you make whilst moving in front of your web cam reflect this, so the first thing we did was to research artists in the Tate Collection who we felt managed to convey the greatest sense of movement within their paintings.
We came up with quite a long list – here are some of our favourites:
Trying to create these styles on a computer is tricky. What we’ve done is modify a piece of technology called a Particle System. This is normally used in games to create explosions and special effects. Instead of shooting particles out all around the screen as you would in an explosion, we’re shooting slightly different coloured particles straight on to the canvas to create our paint effects.
Have a play with our progress so far. We haven’t added the webcam controls yet, so you control the paint icon with your mouse, but we’ve added some buttons on the left of the screen. Click on the buttons with your mouse or use the arrow keys. If you use them you can change your paint effects with one hand, whilst you are painting with the other. Up and down selects a button, left and right gives you some options.
Have a muck about with it and let us know what you think. Also, come back to the blog soon as next time we’ll be talking about how the app should look and showing you our designs.
Bye for now and ENJOY!!