Some waviness drawn at Cafe Abir. It’s kinda ugly. Almost left my bag at the coffee shop tonight.

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Starting the Revamp of mikecreighton.com

Mike Creighton Logotype

I’m not shooting for anything big. I just want a one-page portfolio site for myself. Something very, very simple. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages. So, while I flounder with the Flow project, I’m re-branding myself and my main web site.

This treatment of my name isn’t too over-the-top (hopefully) and is absolutely inspired by the lovely hand-made type treatments of Si Scott. I’ll be correcting and modifying a lot of those curves once I get it into Illustrator.

UPDATE (01-03-2009 6:07PM):

Mike Creighton Logotype in Vector

I went ahead and simplified. Like I said, I didn’t want it to be too over-the-top. Something clean with some character.

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Wiimote Calibrator Demo

I really didn’t think this was going to get finished today, but I managed to create the calibrator for tracking my glove using the Wiimote. Here’s a video demoing how it works:

It’s written in Processing, uses the WiiuseJ open source Java library (which I highly recommend, at least on the Windows side), and leverages the “Warper” class from Johnny Chung Lee’s Interactive Whiteboard project for mapping the x,y position of my hand on my desk to the correct x,y position in my Processing sketch.

I ended up moving the contraption that holds the Wiimote up as high as I could, since the FOV was definitely cramped (and still is). I think I need to open up the hole in the cardboard holder a bit so the FOV gets extended even more.

I ran into an issue with the tracking becoming very unreliable if the IR LED wasn’t pointed directly at the Wiimote up above. To compensate, I created a little cone out of aluminum foil and wrapped it around the LED. It has a wedge that’s open and faces the general direction of the Wiimote. This definitely did the trick as the light from the LED reflects off the foil and creates a much bigger target for the Wiimote to see.

Now I can start moving onto the other physical components of this piece.

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Wiimote Holder and Glove Completed

IR LED Glove

I spent today doing two things. 1) Making the thing that suspends the Wiimote above my desk. 2) Making the modifications to a glove so that it’ll hold the LED assembly I made yesterday. Above, you can see the finished glove, which uses velcro to hold the battery pack in place and a scrap of t-shirt to hold the actual LED in place.

And below, you’ll see a WIP shot of the cardboard enclosure that wraps the Wiimote:

Wiimote Holder in Progress

Here’s what the finished structure looks like:

Wiimote Holder

This is just cardboard, duct tape, and a couple screws to hold it against the wall. Right now, my biggest concern revolves around the FOV of the Wiimote. I need to do some tests tonight or tomorrow to make sure it can see my whole drafting table when it’s tilted at an angle.

And since I’m going to be taking more pictures than should be shown here, I’ve created a Flickr set documenting the process of this project.

And finally, a little walk-thru of the stuff in meat-space:

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Flow Project Kickoff with Wiimote and IR LED

So, I’ve officially begun my sabbatical and with that comes the beginning of a new project I’m entitling “Flow.” In the next post, I’ll try to detail more of the planning, but for this one, let’s talk about what I made today.

Final IR LED assembly

Above, you’ll see the infrared (IR) LED contraption I’m making, which will eventually be mounted to a glove that I’ll be wearing while actually working on the project. The goal with this portion is to track the movements of my hand (the process of mark-making) — capturing the data for use in derivative pieces.

After seeing Johnny Chung Lee’s Wiimote Whiteboard project, I was driven to use the following components to accomplish my goal:

  • Nintendo Wiimote for IR LED tracking
  • AZiO BTD603-132 USB 2.0 BlueTooth Adapter, which uses the Toshiba Bluetooth stack — aparently the best for making the most of the Wiimote
  • Battery-powered IR LED mounted on my hand to represent the gestural motion
  • A Java-based library for capturing the IR LED point data (currently leaning toward WiiuseJ)

The final IR LED assembly (pre-glove-mounted) looks like this:

LED being assembled.

Now, I’ve never done anything with electronics, so this is my first encounter with a soldering iron, solder, resistors, ohms, amps, and volts. But, with some help from Instructables (check out LEDs for Beginners) and a current resisting calculator, things came together within an hour.

And here I am doing a goofy demo of what came of the afternoon:

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Noise Column Wallpaper Generator 1.0

Screenshot of the Noise Column Wallpaper Generator User Interface+ Launch the Noise Column Wallpaper Generator

I spent the last couple days making a desktop wallpaper-generating web app out of the previous experiment. Click the image above to check it out.

I tried to add a majority of the common 4:3 and widescreen desktop screen sizes. Make sure you’ve got Flash Player 10. The app will generate a slightly-compressed JPG for you.

Now that I’ve created this, I’m going to apply for a Kuler developer API key so that I can add a “randomize” button for the color palette that pulls in a color scheme from Kuler.

UPDATE (11-29-2008): Added a size for the iPhone.

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Noise Column

Noise Column Screenshot+ Play with Noise Column.

There’s an ActionScript contest going on (believe it or not). It’s called The 25-Line ActionScript Contest, and I decided to enter it. I’m posting the output here, but not the source. I’ll put that up once the contest is over.

Anyway, for now, just click on the image above and play. It’s microphone-reactive, so go ahead and blow into your mic. If you don’t have one, it’ll still do stuff. Caveat: you must have Flash Player 10 installed.

UPDATE (12-29-2008):

Now that the contest is over, I’m posting the source code for your dissection. You should be able to open up Adobe Flash CS4, create a new ActionScript 3.0 project, and paste it into the Actions window on the first frame of the timeline. Enjoy!

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Color Scheming

TODAY, CREATE November Color Scheme

Today I wanted to accomplish more than I actually did. I managed to fix a couple bugs in this blog, upgrade to the latest version of WordPress, and change the color scheme. That last one being the only noticeable change.

I’ll probably change it again tomorrow and give the design a bit more breathing room. This is really hard to read.

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