Experiments in wearable electronic art.

The Joy of Accidental Art


Yesterday I added a feature to Animaker called “strip visualization.” Strip visualization is a compact representation that shows all the frames of an animation in a single image, where each LED’s color is represented by one pixel (with LED #1 on the left and LED #250 on the right), and each frame represented by one row of pixels. So if there are 384 frames in the animation, the strip image will be 250×384.

Strip visualization

The surprising part was just how interesting the strip visualizations turned out to be. For my animations that are sourced from famous abstract paintings, the strip images are effectively a machine-generated reinterpretation of the source artwork.

There several factors that affect what exactly appears in the strip animation: The source imagery, the animation or animation path over the source, the exactly placement of the LEDs (which governs which points of the animation frame are sampled), and the order of the LEDs in the suit.

The latter factor, LED order, causes the “V” shapes that are seen in the strip images. Because the LEDs are in a single long strand, they take a serpentine path through the suit.

Here’s a sampling of interesting strip visualizations sourced from a number of my animations, some based on abstract greats, and other simpler ones based on my own work. For each pair, the image on the left is a single representative frame from the my source Flash animation, and the image on the right is the strip visualization. (There are more on Flickr.) I hope you enjoy this accidental art as much as I do.

Author: regenesis

Seattle New Media artist.

2 thoughts on “The Joy of Accidental Art

  1. Very cool – I’d love to see what each of these looks like on the suit too.

  2. I keep hacking features into Animaker. One I might add is export of the point visualization (the one that looks like the front and back of the suit side-by-side) as an animated GIF. It’s pretty easy to hack those kinds of things in – last night I hacked up the code to generate the side-by-side images that are seen in this post.

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