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Sketches of Social Influence

This page is the documentation of my projection mapping assignment for Term 1 Creative Coding of the Goldsmiths Computational Arts programme, 2020.

produced by: Rose Yao


My inspiration for this work revolved heavily around the chaos and complexity of bonds between people. The first and main visual inspiration I had for this project was a sketch done on the openprocessing website called “Particles test” by user “nathan”; in which he has floating white circles move around the screen at random and connect with one another when they get too close — a simple, small project. While seemingly plain at a first glance, its’ simplicity manifested an idea of how representative it is of people for me — that the depth of a person can only be understood through stronger interactions.


My intent on conveying this idea begins with the projects’ first fbo source — a singular dot being followed by chaotically moving yet colorful circles that change over time. This was to represent the beginning; the chaos and burdens of ones’ thoughts, and the colorful representation of ones’ personalities. I referenced our labs’ “Noisy Sun” and perlin noise exercises to better represent the randomness of objects for this portion of the project.

Next, I wanted to show that the color of ones’ self is influential and infectious. Whether it’s noticeable or not, each connection a person make, generates a ripple in another’s life. I purposefully made the circles within the bounds of the source to mirror how we are all bound to the same world and confines of life; the influences we receive and give are inescapable. I referenced the movingBallsProjection and the documentations on openFrameworks for the ofPath() function. After that, I wanted to have the randomness of color and visibility to show the flickers of ones’ life.

For the third scene, I projected the bonds strengthening overtime which are represented by the lines becoming planes and curves — as well as the variability of the sizes and opacity of the shapes. The variability of sizes and opacity are meant to convey the negative and positives of ones’ influence; the circles that are becoming smaller and non-existent are to be “absorbed” by the larger ones. For this scene, I had referenced and expanded upon the previous one. I tinkered with other prospects of the ofPath() function.

The final scene is meant to demonstrate a persons’ confidence and comfortability with oneself given the history of bonds that were made prior. There are no lines or quick changes in color because the volatility that once existed is gone. The bonds that had been created by this stage are strong and slow to change(represented by color), with no lines or curves to represent the difficulty of change; eventually fading to black and white shifts to reflect stubbornness. I referenced the lab “Pulsating Rings” and expanded upon it by combining it with perlin noise and the moving balls projection. To summarize technically, I used if statements to keep track of time, nested for loops to create balls, ofMap to scale circles differently, ofTranslate to follow a point, sin and cosine to create rings around a point, and perlin noise for animating randomness. 

Self evaluation

While I had learned a lot from the labs and homework assignments, this project was fantastic as a culmination of combining creativity with technical skill. I am happy the way my final project turned out as I had managed to achieve my visualization — but were I to do it again, I am certain it would be better and done differently. The most important skill I learned, was how to visualize a creative image and engineer it in a way that can be understood by code and managing to write it. The most critical skill that I’ve learned was to reverse engineer an image/project in the algorithm’s week. Moving forward, I am confident in being able to creatively program bigger projects thanks to this experience.


Theo, Lab Assignments ( Noisy sun, Bouncing Balls, Perlin noise (idea from nathan's "Particles test") (idea from Daniel Moss' "Frozen Beams")