Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thermal Flashlights + Glowdoodle

The clever folks at Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science have invented a thermal flashlight. It uses a non-contact thermometer to measure the temperature of whatever you point it at, and then it shines a light back on that location, with a color depending on the temperature. So if you shine it at the fridge, it's blue, vs. at the teakettle, it's red. The question is... how can you make an image of a whole scene with just this flashlight? It turns out that one answer is glowdoodle!

PLOTS Thermal Flashlight: living room

That well on the left is blue, meaning it's a little cooler, but the radiator is red hot! See more pics here.

It may be that glowdoodle is slightly better than standard lightpainting techniques for painting a scene with the thermal flashlight. One reason is that a camera sums the brightness of incoming light at each pixel over time, while glowdoodle instead uses the maximum brightness it has seen at each pixel. That means that with glowdoodle the brightness in each location will depend less on how fast you move the flashlight around, so it won't blow out the colors into white, and generally you'll get more consistent results. With glowdoodle you see the results as you go (rather than having to wait until after the exposure), so it's easier to cover a whole area accurately. And with glowdoodle you're not limited to a fixed exposure duration- you can paint indefinitely.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Glowdoodle in Hong Kong

Hamlet Lin of Discovery College in Hong Kong has set up an installation of Glowdoodle for the school's annual Arts Fest. There are seven stations running a version of glowdoodle modified to upload to their own server, where they quickly generated over a thousand light paintings. Cool. Check them out here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

light graffiti cans instructable

My friend Keith made a cool instructable about how to make LED light graffiti cans that you can use with Glowdoodle. Awesome.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Glowdoodle at Zeum

The wonderful folks at Zeum, a children's museum in San Francisco, have put together a really nice installation of Glowdoodle. During my visit to the Exploratorium this summer I had a chance to visit and check it out. In a big, dim circular space, they've got two kiosks with tethered light-brushes, and large projections on the walls. The kids seem to love it! They can generate hundreds of glowdoodles in a day, which get collected here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Glowdoodle at MIT museum

I set up glowdoodle at MIT museum on friday night. It was fun- good turnout, lots of kids. I brought the usual toys, plus some new things: some glowing branches created by my friend Elliot, a full-size star wars light saber, and a Crayola color wonder magic light brush (touch the brush to a well of paint and it lights up in that color). Here are some faves.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Glowdoodle Installation at Creativity and Cognition

I was at the Creativity and Cognition conference last week in Berkeley, CA, where I did an outdoor installation version of Glowdoodle. The Berkeley Art Museum provided a big projector, a big concrete wall, and a table. I provided Glowdoodle and a whole bunch of light-up toys, glowing things, and reflective stuff. We had a good flow of people coming by to try it out and mingle. Here are some of the great images that were created.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Computer Clubhouse workshop

Jay and I were out in California last week, where we did a Glowdoodle workshop at a Computer Clubhouse. This was the first time we've done a workshop with glowdoodle, so we weren't sure how it would turn out. We brought some glowing things like glowstick bracelets, flashlights, LED toys, and some reflective things like silver tinsel, bits of mirror, bells, and other shiny and colorful stuff. We also had black construction paper, so the kids could cut out silhouettes, and make glowdoodle pictures by waving lights behind them.

There was a magical energy in the room, with the lights out and everybody experimenting and playing as they made intricate glowdoodles. One thing we found was that with USB webcams, it's important to point them toward a nice dark background to get a good result, even with the lights out. The idea of making silhouettes from paper and from bodies took off among several groups of kids, as did the idea of using reflective objects like mirrors and tinsel for sparkly effects. Here are a few examples of the kids' creations.