Charlotte Strethill-Smith

Digital Media Design Student

Using Camera zones to detect movement in Max7 — April 23, 2016

Using Camera zones to detect movement in Max7

Previously the patch I was working with used live video feed to detect movement, when detected it would output a video to MadMapper. I used an example from a forum post on motion detection. I then used the add on Syphon and it’s example patcher to output the video to MadMapper. Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 15.24.09.png

After creating this, I needed to separate three zones on the live camera feed to detect movement individually. I used a Camera and Zones example, which filters the video feed with threshold making it black and white and easier to detect movement. This was then divided into three camera zones or hotspots. The result is the ability to detect and isolate interaction which each of the three models.

This Weeks Progress — April 22, 2016

This Weeks Progress

Interactive Function

I asked my lecturers for help with the interactive function of my project. I had originally found a MaxMSP patch, video triggers video by Zach Poff . This patch detects motion via live video feed, which triggers and outputs a video. This patch also allowed users to draw specific areas to detect movement on the live video feed instead of the entire area. My lecturers pointed out that as it had been made with a previous version of Max, it no longer functioned correctly and it would be easier to make it from scratch.

They advised the easiest way to create the patch would be to first use an example of motion detection. Use this example to output a video to Madmapper via Syphon. Then to put the animations I want to project into one video at different points. Then to track movement in specific coordinates; which will move the timehead of the video to various points depending on which model has been interacted with. So far I have used the motion tracking example and outputted the triggered video to MadMapper via Syphon.


I have also continued testing the design aspect of my project. I isolated the buildings from the aerial view image and mapped them to the model buildings I made. I then put the rest of the image underneath. This was intended to have precisely mapped images. However, you can still see the buildings underneath.


I still wanted to see if contrasting styles of realistic and infographic projections worked together. I created simple vector images on Illustrator and animated them with After Effects. After projecting the images onto the model, I am not entirely happy with the outcome. Personally, I think the styles clash and the real map image overlaps the models in some areas. To develop the design I will research into further ways of achieving the desired look. I also intend to draw one of the models entirely in vector graphics to see what the overall effect is.

Group Meeting — April 14, 2016

Group Meeting

In this group meeting we showed each other progress we had made so far on the project. It has been useful to discuss our projects and gain feedback in order to develop our ideas and progress. In this meeting I showed the models of Southampton I had finished and received very positive feedback. I explained that I had emailed Southampton City Council and various art galleries in Southampton, for any information regarding feedback already received from the community on projects they would like to see and sent the dates for my end of year exhibition. I also showed the progress I had made in researching different visual styles for the project.

The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive and bought up useful points such as:

  • Using Google earth model data to project onto the building models. The group liked the look of the real map data and suggested I look into other ways of using it.
  • Showing that the model is interact by having a sign
  • different styles can create a good contrast
  • Email the galleries again before the exhibition to invite them
  • Ask the Council for any further support such as images
  • Ask the AUB Architecture students for any advice
  • Using lights next to the train station model for a better lit walkway into the city centre got positive feedback

From this feedback I have taken that in order to progress further I need to further research the design aspect and keep a running community dialogue.

Stylesheets — April 7, 2016


After projecting the real aerial view from Google maps onto the building models, I realised it would be difficult to warp the building images around the model. This method distorted the image and I also felt that overlaying illustrations on the top would create too much contrast between the lifelike map and the animated illustrations. For this reason I researched into illustrative styles. I found an infographic style which I felt suited the project as an informative digital design. I also looked into more abstract styles which overlaid plant and building textures to create cityscapes.

After researching different illustrative styles, I wanted to see how these styles looked after being implemented in my own illustrations and if the output changed when projected onto the model. Firstly I took the different shapes of one building and changed the colours as if there was a light source coming from the right. I felt this added more depth and showed the detail of the model. However, I put the road from the map view in and found it didn’t look as clean-cut as the building when drawn to lifelike specifications.

This was taken further through adding a border around the shapes and more detail similar to infographic buildings researched. I also experimented with overlaying textures in various opacity. However, It looks like I didn’t output the images in a high enough resolution so when projected the images look pixelated and blurry. Despite this, I think the thicker border defined the shape of the building and I even liked the added detail of extra lines. The road made of straight lines in varying thicknesses is more keeping with the style and still portrays the area well. The overlaid textures are an interesting idea as well and I hope to further this concept on a future project, though I feel may be too abstract for this particular project.

Overall I like the infographic style and can see it carrying over to other areas of the model such as the train station, water and plants. I also feel simple animation (for instance a passing train or moving water) will entice the audience to view my installation rather than the static image.


Completed Model Making — April 4, 2016

Completed Model Making


Finally completed all of the model buildings for three different areas of Southampton. I chose the central train station, the northern bridge and next to the Paris Smith building. The models have all been cut from Styrofoam with a hot knife and sanded to create a smoother surface, as the material has a tendency to shred and disintegrate if cut with a scalpel. I glued the pieces to polystyrene tiles using a solvent free glue, as the material dissolves otherwise. I projected the aerial views onto the boards so I could position the buildings correctly. I also found having fewer model buildings than on the map gave a 3D impact and didn’t overcrowd the model.

Furthering this, I will need to test if it is more effective to project a real earth image onto the board and warp the building images around the model. Or if it would look better to draw the map onto the boards using photoshop or a vector graphic program. This second option would be more time consuming, however would offer the additional application of animation on an otherwise static image.