Flame, is an interactive form of media art that allows users to experience motion tracking using processing and basic coding. We focused on the ease of interacting with built in cameras on a mac or external webcam so that anyone can pull out a light source and the coding source will track the brightest pixel. Once the coding picks up the brightest source location, we programmed a GIF/MP4 of a flame to sizzle centered on top of the lighting location. To add to the user experience and enjoyment, we created custom samples of noise to trigger on and off when the user turns on or off the light respectively. In this case, we made a start loop, or an “ignition” WAV file flame sample looping with a sizzle when the light is shown, in this case becoming the new brightest location (or hands open in the demo video). When the light is turned off (or hands closed, like a fist) the coding plays a “smother” sound, as if someone is putting a burning fire out with water. It took quite a while to tweak the processing code so that we had a set limit on brightness tracking so the fire wouldn’t randomly appear on bright shirts or skin. We wanted only the fire to show up only when a new bright central point was shown, as seen in the final video. Finally, we wanted this theme of this project to be tranquil and relaxing so we designed a custom soundtrack to play whenever there is no flame, as that represents the calmest moments. When the fire is ignited, the music stops and you can hear the sizzling of the fire take over the atmosphere. For future thoughts, we can change the gif to any file so that it’s not just a flame, but maybe another interesting element which will enhance the visual interaction the user. We hope everyone will enjoy our interactive project titled “Flame” and that we can continue to tweak it for a more effortless form of camera and motion tracking interaction.
by Chase Granat, Andrew Hill and Mike Williams