ICM FINAL PROJECT DOCUMENTATION

‘The Narcissist Mirror’

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‘The Narcissist Mirror’ is an interactive mirror that talks to you and listens to you. Users will be prompt to answer the question ‘Who is the fairest of them all?’. The mirror will then start drawing a painting of the user if they answer ‘me’ or ‘myself’ using speech recognition. If the user says something else, it will point out how the user doesn’t know how beautiful they are and will keep encouraging the user to answer again and again. The details of the painting will also vary according to how loud the user is. If they speak big and clear, the painting will be really detailed and similar to a photograph. If the user is being shy and speak with tiny voice, the painting will be blurry since it can detect the lack of confidence from the user.

Inspiration

My project changed drastically from the proposal I presented before. I found that all 3 ideas I wanted to do were really ambitious to get done in a span of 3 weeks so I decided to not go through with any of them. However I still wanted to do something related to self-esteem issue but less complicated and more fun.

Since I’m the type who always subconsciously check myself out in a mirror every time I walk past one, I thought that a mirror that will allow you to see your reflection only when it knows you are already confident would be a nice fix for that habit. That’s how I came up with the main interaction for my project.

Design

I thought a lot about what kind of interaction I could make with my super limited skill in coding (lol). I decided to keep everything really simple. Here’s how it would go.

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As I was struggling with the aesthetic aspect, a week before play testing I got a chance to watch a movie called ‘Loving Vincent’ and I was really impressed by how beautiful the whole movie looked. I suddenly wanted to make the mirror reflection into a painting-style moving image.

Difficulties

After the playtest I figured that it was really hard to guess what users will answer and most people wouldn’t actually say it out loud that they think they are the fairest of them all. I decided to make the mirror say a very suggestive phrase like ‘You really don’t know how beautiful you are, do you?’ to hint the users that they should answer ‘me’ and ‘myself’.

The code also didn’t really work as I expected. Because I was using speech recognition to trigger each function of the sketch. When the mirror says something, it also listens to itself and starts the function without listening to the user. I need to look more into each function in P5 speech and pause speech recognition when audio is playing.

I also found the painting created by my mirror to be hideous. This is actually what pains me the most (lol). I tried so many different things with shapes and color but I still found the look of the it to be unacceptable. I will definitely need to keep working on this.

What to improve

I would love to try using Posenet in my sketch. My idea is to make the sketch starts the whole thing only when it detects the eyes of the user. This will be a challenge but I think it’s a good exercise for a winter break! I also desperately want to improve the aesthetic of the sketch since I am not happy with it at all 😦

Code

P5 Speech, P5 Scribble and (hopefully) Posenet

https://editor.p5js.org/msyves/sketches/r1E38zHy4

 

FABRICATION WEEK 6

This week assignment is to mount a motor to something then mount something to a motor. I decided to make a picture frame for the wall art I made last week and add a little fun trick to it. Since the work from last week was supposed to represent a sky with constellation I wanted to make a wishing star that can be controlled by a potentiometer and attach it to the frame.

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I found some wood in the junk shelf so I used wood glue to stick them together. Then I laser cut acrylic into a star shape and a long rectangle. After that I screwed the motor to the wood and screw the acrylic to the motor. This is how it looks like.

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There was definitely something wrong with my code because the servo was not moving as I as I wanted it to move. But overall I think it looks pretty cute (lol).

FABRICATION WEEK 5

Since I didn’t really have much time to experiments with new materials, I decided to work with something I’m more familiar with. I wanted to make constellation wall art for my living room.

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Inspiration

I used a piece of velvet fabric I found in the soft lab for the background and used the LED strip I found in the junk shop. I punched a hole through the fabric with a hole puncher and a hammer. I then tried to use fabric glue to stick the LED and the fabric together but I wouldn’t hold so I decided to just hand-sewed everything together.

I think it looks pretty good in the dark! Still need to make a frame for it if I wanna hang this on my wall.

FABRICATION: WEEK 4

My plan was to create the physical component for my pcomp final project. We needed to make a box that will slide crystal blocks out every time we push a button. This is how the design looks like.

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My teammates and I were first trying to make a container but then realized that the inside parts need a lot of adjustment before we can finalize the design of the box. We then decided to focus on the functionality of each part and tried to make every part as easy to make as we could. Since we already spent a lot of money on the acrylic blocks and motors, we wanted to use materials from the junk shelf for every part of the box except the front panel. We were lucky enough to find some wood and acrylic that would be perfect for our project.

We started building the inside components to see if the mechanical for the crystal blocks worked first. It took way longer than we expected since the laser cutter wouldn’t cut through the mat board we wanted to used so we needed to use the tools in the wood shop instead. what happened after is that most of the parts were not precise so we couldn’t use the front panel that we made before. We also didn’t get the machanism right the first time so we needed to also add bars for the motors and the switches to sit on.

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Unfortunately I couldn’t finish this in time because I made mistakes with measurement and now I’m out of materials for the box. I also need to redesign the front panel since we had to change the positions of the buttons and the positions of the crystal bocks are not perfectly even. Ideally I hope to finish this by next Monday and I’ll update our progress then!

FABRICATION: Week 3

I first planned to make a machine interface and box for my pcomp final project this week but was struggling with how to use Illustrator and how to pink the right materials. I tried testing on a cardboard I found in the junk but it didn’t cut through so and I realized that I didn’t really understand the basic of how to use the laser cutter at all. I then decided to just make something very simple for this assignment and keep the interface and box for next week.

I always love the look of wooden door plates that most Japanese houses have so I decided  to make one my own! I picked my favorite japanese sentence “前しか向かねえ” (which means ‘don’t look back’) and did a design on Illustrator with Casey’s help. I tried it on a cardboard first but the position wasn’t right and there were some parts that didn’t get etched so I needed to redo the design one more time. I then used the wood i prepared and it turned out pretty good! I wanted to painted the letters but I felt like it didn’t go deep enough? I will try to do something more complicated next week but right now I’m really loving the look of this!

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FABRICATION : WEEK 2

For this week assignment, I really wanted to make something that I will be able to use later or give to friends as gifts. I was thinking about making a soup bowl or a Japanese style wood plate but after asking Sid for directions he said that I would have to use a special tools for that so I gave up on that idea. In the end I decided to make a sushi plate since it’d be really simple and easy to make but it’d also become very useful since I cook Japanese food a lot.

https://www.uselessdaily.com/food/30-interesting-facts-about-sushi-list/#.W-XZTiOZPOQ

Luckily I found a perfect material for this at the junk shop. I started off by cutting the wood into 5×7 rectangular plates and then sanded the corners to add some curves to it. My plan was to make the plates look very minimal yet nice.

After I finished sanding the plates, I started making the legs for them. I cut the leftover wood into 4x1x1.5 blocks and then I used wood glue to stick them to the plates.

I’m pretty satisfied with the outcome though they are not 100% identical. I also need to finish them with oil or wax. Will beed to do a research to see which one is the most suitable foe this since I’ll put food on them!