Final Project: Written Portrait

For my final project, I chose to make an interactive piece were the participant can write something into the project, and progressively reveal the image captured through the text.  I knew I wanted to utilize the camera in some way, and I wanted to have my final project incorporate text, so I thought the best way to go about doing this would be to create essentially a blank doc that could be written on to reveal an image. 

My basic inspiration for this project was old style text-based games, were the player would just be looking at a screen covered in letters and simply have to imagine the world they were playing in. In this way, I wanted the expereince to be primarily text-based.

To begin, I used code for making videos we had used on the Text Rain assignment, and then I incorporated posterizing effects that we were asked to make during the last exam.


After implementing this, by using an array and a for() loop, I created a large display that I enabled the writer to push new key letters onto. Using the posterize code, I made the letters change color depending on the greyscale average of the region being written over.


This was my basic outline going into the creation of my final product, and was what led me to my project as you see it today.  I wanted the individual to write about themselves, and as they constructed a more detailed bio of themselves, they would also build up a more detailed portrait of them as people. In this way, my project was designed to truly incorporate the individual into an experience.

Final from John Sprong on Vimeo.

The program proved too graphically demanding to upload to WordPress, so I uploaded it to Autolab and used this video to better illustrate the projects capabilities. To give the writer more control, I included the ability to delete text, and press enter to skip a line. I did this also to compensate for the fact that it takes a little while to actually fill the screen with letters. This is probably what most frustrates me about the project: that it is so hard to fill the screen with text. This is something I would want to tackle if I revisit this work. Also, the project seems to run much smoother on Firefox than on Internet Explorer… All in all, this project was an immense amount of fun, and I loved the freedom it provided me in creating something really representative of my interests!