Dance in the Dark - Anna Lin, Jenny Wang and Ellen Huang

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Dance in the Dark


DitD will be a combination of interactivity, motion, and old school impressionism. There will be a combination of using a light source to draw on a digital canvas, then having that played back over and over again in a sort of impressionistic rendition of what a dance would look like if it were painted. Dance as an art form depends very much on motion, patterns and repetition, and so we will be incorporating that into a medium which has, up until now, been stationary.


The project depends very much on each person and their presentation, or at least the way they wish to move with the tools in their hands. The tools will be two flashlights, the ends lit artificially bright so that, in the dark of the classroom, they will be the two points the camera catches. As the person with the flashlight moves, the movement of the lights will draw a line of patterned lights or lines on the blank canvas, then replay the pattern of the movement over and over (recording about 5 seconds or so at a time, or until the light goes off.) Every time the light switches off and back on, the color of the recorded line changes.. This leaves the choice of the mental effect brought on by color to the “dancer”; if he/she flickers the light a lot, the colors will be a lot more seizure-inducing than someone who just keeps the light on for a long time.


a webcam

two flashlights

a projection screen for the final presentation

preferably someone who can dance

Process and Presentation

Process and Presentation: We've distinguished one target, and they will respond to the strongest light in the room. One flashlight covered with yogurt can as filters are held by the "dancer". The camera, pointing towards the dancer with the screen turned away from them, allows the dancer to us the flashlight to draw. As the person with the flashlight moves, the movement of the lights will draw different colors of circles and different size shapes circles depending on how long the flashlight is located in the same location.

We had a few difficulties with this project that we didn't have time to sort out. The circles getting bigger with faster movement and smaller with slow movement was supposed to be more continuous in motion, allowing for a multi-colored penstroke effect. However, due to some bugs with the refresh rate of the video and problems with the buffer that we only found out about until too late, the effect was more random than we were aiming for. It is aesthetically pleasing in its own way, but not exactly according to plan.

Below also has the link to the video of the presentation process please enjoy =)




Source Code

Dance in the Dark.pde