About marcela

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‘Dandi’ – pComp Midterm Project

Firstly, my Partner Anne and I considered making a physical object – a box of grass that moved as if being blown by the wind when people walked past. Then, after a brainstorm we both agreed to move the project to the screen.

It was a challenging task in terms of programming. That was the first time I had to use particle system.

I started with drawing a dandelion piece in Adobe Illustrator and saving it as a svg file. Then, I tried to loop it in few circles, just to create dandelion shape.

DANDIThen, after consultation with Moon, we decided to form dandelion pieces in one spiral.Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 1.48.27 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 1.47.41 PM

While I was working on design and programming, Anne figured out a lot about the sensors.

At first, we purchased a PIR motion sensor, but it turned out to be way to sensitive. Then, we discovered the Distance Measuring Sensor which seemed perfect for our task, though we did not need to measure distance, because we were able to adjust the level of sensitivity.

She did a great job by getting sensors to work.

Also, I laser cut and etched the lid for our ‘sensor box’.

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Finally, we connected both out works, and ended up with a beautiful final effect.

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Sound Visualization – Final Project Idea

For my final project, I’d like to make Sound Visualization. The software I’d like to use is Processing. I’m considering creating 3D pattern, based on one single sine wave.

I’d like to keep ‘outer-space style’, I feel really inspired by TRON the Legacy:

I found plenty cool stuff on the internet and made a general mood board of the style I’d like to implement to my project.


To display music I wanna use single element, like a sine wave, and multiply it once music changes:

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Also, I really enjoyed watching this:

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.