DANDI – pComp midterm (Draft post)

For midterm project, I was paired with Anne Goodfriend.

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We called our project ‘Dandi’. The idea was to show Dandelion blown by wind, created by person, that passes 2 motion sensors.

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Laser etched dandelions on a box

The order of on which sensor was triggered first, indicated the directions, the dandelion pieces were blown.

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I have no idea why this video loads upside down….

Video Capture

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This week I’ve been playing with video capture and sound.

Finally, I started with creating the grid. Initially, I planned to fill my screen with squares, but finally I ended up with ellipses. The idea was to calculate the average of R, G and B values from the pixels inside each circle and fill that circle with the new ‘average’ color.

Once I finally figured out how to make it, I came up with the idea of expanding the grid according to the mouse position. The circles grow when mouse goes to the left part of the screen.

Video Capture from Marcela Nowak on Vimeo.

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The hardest part was to map the video size to the bigger Canvas.

I had to map not only the video, but also ellipsis sizes and their positions.

You can check it out HERE





This week’s assignment, was to create a sketch using data. At first, I wanted to use xml file, but it seemed to be still a little bit buggy. I didn’t manage to get rid of error even after posting the problem to our ICM group, and emailing Dan Shiffman.

So, I tried with json. After struggling with that case it finally worked out.

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My idea was to create a simplified solar system visualization. Sadly, the sun turns out to be too big in comparison to the planets, so eventually I just marked it as a small spot in the center of our solar system… To create my animation, I used real planets’ data, such as: their distance from the sun, velocity, diameter and speed. I couldn’t find any good database, so I ended up creating it myself.

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By dividing it and adjusting to my canvas I was able to fit most of the planets on the screen. At the end I also used scale(); function.

Once you click on the planets’ buttons, placed in the top left corner, you’ll get information about planets.

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Link to sketch: PLANETS


This week I wanted to experiment with light sensor and piezo. I really don’t like to sleep, so I decided to make myself a toy, which could motivate me to go to sleep earlier.

I laser cut the front of the building, so that we could see the light in the apartments.

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Then, I drilled a hole on the top, to place a light sensor inside.


Finally, I wrote a lullaby, connected piezo and LED lights and installed everything inside.

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I wanted to experiment with shapes a little bit ,so I decided to form my fireworks out of tiny triangles. That was the first time I’ve used  ‘sqrt’ and ‘rotate’.

The trick was to explode fireworks at certain points of the screen. To make it happen I combined ‘gravity’ and ySpeed.

I created different types of fireworks, which comes up randomly, after we click.

I’d really like to be able to explode them at different heights, but when I set up my gravity as ‘random’ the fireworks loose their shape.  I’m still working on that so I might update the file.

You can play with fireworks HERE


This Friday, our whole 1st year had an event called Synthesis. The focus for that workshop was a design challenge. We were supposed to create an experience in the browser using p5 that responds to a single interaction — the press of a button.

My partner Xiqiao Zhou and I reworked my ICM game, replacing arrows with a button.

Here’s the video of the result:


It was so much fun combining Arduino and p5. I saw many great ideas that were very inspiring.

Rocking horse!

I’m a horseback rider, so what I miss the most while being in NYC are horses. After taking a walk to the Central Park (just to share an apple with one) , I felt inspired to make my next pComp project.

My own goal for this week was to play around with servo and potentiometer. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I bought a Continous Rotation Servo instead of a standard one, so I’ve been struggling how to use it so that it won’t rotate 360°.

Anyway, as a kid, I always dreamed of having a rocking horse, but I never had one, so now I decided to change that !

Laser cutting it seemed to be pretty smart idea, so I drew one in Illustrator and uploaded to the machine.

Voila! Here they are!

So, the general idea of my project was to move a rocking horse using servo, controlled by potentiometer. Because of the fact that I purchased the wrong servo, I decided to use the potentiometer to turn the LED on and off.

It did’t went exactly the way I wanted, but I achieved my goal anyway. Now, I understand how a servo and a potentiometer work like! Let the game begin!



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And here’s how my project looked like:



Making a stand

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And finally, the video:

PS. Thank you Emmanuel for holding my Servo! 😀