Living Walls

Living Walls Overview

Working independently, create a meaningful site-specific projection map within/on to/around the Barnes Building. Using mapping software create a dynamic digital projection of animated elements to create an engaging experience, blurring the perceived boundaries between the virtual and the real world, conveying the sense that surfaces of the building are responsive.

A series of photographic studies of explorations of the built environment should be generated to accompany and inform your project.

Areas of investigation for your consideration include:

  • environment deconstructed and projected
  • motion detection; live and pre-recorded video footage of movement throughout the building, e.g. stairwell movement; foot traffic; studio activity
  • triggers, e.g. video triggers using VPT Video Trigger
  • work with a range of materials, concepts and digital tools to deliver ideas.

Work Mode


Software & Toolsets

Processing –

VPT and related tools –

HAP CODEC component for Quicktime:

Syphon Framework for Mac OSX –

Spout Framework for Windows –

Adobe After Effects or similar animation tools


Reference material

VPT reference –

Processing –

After Effects –

Maya reference – https://www.autodesk.com

Grosz, E. 2001. Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space. MA, USA: MIT Press.

h (not sure what this is)


  • Live video footage
  • Pre-recorded video footage
  • Stills
  • Live input from Processing/Syphon/Spout

General Guidelines

  • Project on a white or light surface, paint it white, or cover it in white material if necessary.
  • Try out a projector at your location before you commit to it.
  • Project away from lighting. Do it in the dark, or at night.
  • Itʼs better to have something small and simple that looks good rather than something overly ambitious
  • Consider projection in a high traffic areas – people will step in front of your projection
  • If you rear project (onto a window), document the projection from front (opposite the projector).
  • Pay attention to shape and features of your projection.
  • Above all else maintain the integrity of your idea.


Visual documentation of the daily processes in stills or video footage that records each stage of the development of the in situ projection including reasoning about site specificity, audience, etc. The annotated stills and/or video should succinctly tell, step-by-step, the story of your processes throughout the project. The visual documentation will be supported by well-considered verbal and/or text-based documentation of the process throughout the two weeks and should present the development in a way that clearly articulates your ideas.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a creative proposal with a digital outcome using a variety of approaches, skills and creative methodologies
  • Demonstrate flexibility and mobility in working practice
  • Deliver a creative and correctly formatted digital solution to a set problem by a specified deadline
  • Demonstrate routine communication, presentation and time management skills.

Assessment Criteria

You will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Create an engaging, meaningful response to the brief.
  • Quality of documentation.
  • Scholarship: Present and articulate research/reference material, ie inspiring works, responses to readings in a way that is organized and clearly displays your thought process, opinion, and interpretation.
  • Use visuals to clarify and support the depth and structure of the content of your presentation.
  • Handle questions and respond to other points of view.
  • Show a willingness to engage with and participate in otherʼs presentations.
  • Select and utilise appropriate sources of reference and media in the realisation of your research and presentation.
  • Documentation of process; transcribe to a blog which critically reflects on personal engagement with project.

Submission Details

  • Learning journal in form of blog/Sketch-book work / evidence of concept exploration
  • 1-2 minute video of documentation of final artwork in situ

Zip the entire outer folder and upload to CANVAS.

Monday 4th December 2017


Think about health and safety when using spaces within the Barnes building:

  • Blinding people with projectors
  • No daisy chaining
  • Wires being trip hazards
  • Gillian has filled out a health and safety form for us all

We will be using VPT and so I’ll need to download that.

Task: Read Claire Bishop’s text for next Monday (11th) and think about whether I agree or disagree with her. Is it relevant? Why do I agree/disagree?


Initial ideas:

  • Waterfall on stairs
  • Silhouettes
  • Ghosts
  • Graphic effected by noise

Sense Scotland

My class, Interaction Design, all came down to Sense Scotland to experience their new Sensatronic Lab. I found this trip very inspirational as I tend to do a lot of work that is interactive with sound. They also had some projections that acted as a form of inspiration for this current project for my year.

Sensatronic Lab

“Sensatronic -Lab is an experimental music, art and techology project run with and for young people. Its main aim is to work with young people from all backgrounds to design new types of digital musical instruments. Using collaborative design processes, open source technology and live music sessions the Sensatronic-Lab is developing weird and wonderful creations that are interactive, accessible and at the cutting edge of music, art and technology.”

I like how they made a range of instruments and interactive projects that considered the user. This meant that there was something for everyone to have a go at. For example, for wheelchair users that couldn’t reach the projection drums on the floor in the Soundplay Dome, they had a block that is able to be placed anywhere and so the user could place it in their lap or on an elevated surface to play.

Also, for those that couldn’t reach the metal strips on the floor, there were some that were suspended from the top of the dome that hung down towards the ground so that anyone could interact with it.

I really liked the idea of a contained space and needing to enter the hub in order to experience the sounds and projections. I felt that this furthered the idea of it being immersive.

Some photos and videos taken by myself, Ankita and Callum.

I really liked this bike instrument and so I took a photo of the board that they used so that I could integrate this idea in a project in the future.

Tuesday 5th December 2017

VPT Tutorial


Syphon to project Processing sketches

Output window is what will be projected

The preferred video is Photo JPEG 75% (page 27)

Windows users should use Spout instead of Hap

After Effects -> Quicktime Options -> Video Codec -> ‘Photo – JPEG’ or ‘Spout’

The monitor button in the top right of VideoProjectionTool should show whatever you have selected

It’s recommended that you don’t put any more than eight layers on one preset

Add a layer by pressing the plus + button in the top left of VideoProjectionTool

Remove a layer by pressing the minus – button in the top left of VideoProjectionTool

All new layers go to the top

The vertical bar at the top left of VideoProjectionTool shows the order of the layers

VPT works well with sound

Edits that you can apply to layers in the ‘active’ tab:

  • Colour
  • Scale and position
  • Masking
  • Edge blend
  • Flip and tile
  • Blur

Edits that you can apply in the ‘ifo’ tab:

  • Click number in green box to activate
  • Waveform (sine wave)
  • Normal or inverted output
  • Wave frequency
  • Wave phase

‘Router’ tab:

  • CTRL nr
  • Destination (layer/video)
  • Layer number
  • Parameter (fade)
  • Range (min – max)

To quit press CTRL Q

Can save as presets

Video Trigger

VPT Video Trigger

It would work but I’ve covered up my camera

You can set numerous zones that will detect motion and activate

Sound Trigger

VPT Sound Trigger

In this example I’m effecting the first layer on the left by changing the x-zoom with my microphone on my laptop.

Wednesday 6th December 2017

Initial Thoughts & Research

As a starting point I took some photographs of some places of interest within the Barnes building:

I had to think about places that I could put the projector and plug points that I could plug the projector in to. I was also thinking about the quality of surface and how the texture could influence the outcome of my project, hence why I was personally focusing on flat, smooth surfaces.

Since it is a site specific project I decided to do some research on the history of the building as I heard that it was originally a children’s hospital.

Most years, at Christmas, children attending the Dispensary were entertained to a special tea, entertainment and a visit from Santa, organised by the Ladies’ Committee.

Historic Hospital Admission Records Project, The Dispensary, West Graham Street (2010) <> [Last accessed 7th December 2017]

I thought that it would be a nice idea to create a projection based on that piece of information, especially as it is almost Christmas time now, but I wasn’t sure how I could communicate that idea and what I could project. I could try and recreate the moment from the past and have it activate as people walked past but it’s only a two week project and I would require more time to carry that out.

Another idea that I had was to create silhouettes of ghosts of children and have them appear when people pass by them, but I was afraid of tackling this subject in case it was viewed as insensitive.

One of the first ideas that I though of was a waterfall that flowed down a flight of stairs. I know it’s a simple idea but it’s only a two week project and this is the idea that I’m most confident in carrying out. I also thought that it related to the theme of man VS nature, a theme I have previously explored in projects at college and briefly in Hello World, our first project of the year. I was trying to decide whether to have the projection on the tops of the stairs so that people from the top looking down could see the projection, or whether I should have the projection on the front face of the stairs so that people approaching the flight of stairs will be able to see it. I then thought that I could place the project at an angle above the staircase so that it was pointing towards the corners of the steps in an attempt to project onto both surfaces of the stairs. Will this distort the projection? I won’t know until I test it.

Waterfall Projections

I also did some research on waterfall projection mapping. I wasn’t sure of what type of waterfall to use. Do I film a real waterfall? Do I digitally create one?

PMC, Digital Waterfalls with Projection Mapping, < > [Last accessed 7th December 2017]

I like how this waterfall flows around the Audi which adds to the realism. This gives the projection a 3D quality and I would like to try and replicate this by projecting onto an object with depth as opposed to a singular, flat surface like a flat wall.

PMC, Waterfalls, <> [Last accessed 7th December 2017]

I like how this projection allows people to interact with it by walking over the top of it. This is something I’d like to do my in project if I can find out how they did it.

I like how they’ve matched the visuals with audio in this projection as they’ve matched a waterfall with the sound of flowing water. I feel this adds to the realism of the projection and I want to try this with my project.

As for the interactive quality I was thinking that maybe I could tie in my ‘Make Some Noise‘ project. For that project I used a distance sensor with Processing and created an immersive experience. As you get closer to the distance sensor you move away from disturbed sounds and towards more tranquil sounds.

Other possible inputs:

  • Temperature sensor
  • Heartbeat sensor
  • Microphone
  • Potentiometer
  • Buttons
  • Mouse

These sensors aren’t really appropriate for the project that I’m doing. The interaction needs to be almost instantaneous and automatic.

Friday 8th December 2017

First Week Presentation


  • What
  • Why
  • Where
  • How

Staircase outside leading to Reid

Projecting the waterfall onto water

Processing sketches of particle emissions

Walking in to the projection might ruin realism

Gillian suggested that I take a preexisting Processing sketch of a waterfall and to edit it to make it my own and to reflect my concept:

Saturday 9th December 2017


Today I looked at some of the preexisting Processing sketches that I could find from the link above that could influence my project.

I also took my Processing sketch and Arduino sketch from ‘Make Some Noise’. The Processing file was originally just audio but I edited it with a test video and tried to incorporate it in with the audio.


Task from Gillian

I read the PDF ‘Digital Divide, Claire Bishop on Contemporary Art and New Media’ that Gillian said that we should read. The link to the PDF is further up the page at my ‘Launch’ entry on Monday 4th. Notes and thoughts:

“While many artists use digital technology, how many really confront the question of what it means to think, see, and filter affect through the digital? How many thematize this, or reflect deeply on how we experience, and are altered by, the digitization of our existence?”

“… the flirtations between Frances Stark and various Italian cyberlovers in her video My Best Thing, 2011”

Watch here:

“Thomas Hirschhorn’s video of a finger idly scrolling through gruesome images of blown-apart bodies on a touch screen, occasionally pausing to enlarge, zoom in, move on (Touching Reality, 2012)”

Watch below at own discretion: Thomas Hirschhorn, Touching Reality, 2012, video, colour, silent, 4 minutes 45 seconds. installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

“… the frenetic, garbled scripts of Ryan Trecartin’s videos (such as K-Corea INC.K [Section A], 2009)”

Watch below:  Ryan Trecartin, K-Corea INC.K (Section A), 2009, HD video, colour, 33 minutes 5 seconds.

Tuesday 12th December 2017

Coding the Projection

I underestimated how easy this would be, which I keep doing with coding. I ended up coding two versions. I coded a waterfall with Processing, and I also coded a video of a waterfall on Processing. I was unable to make the coded waterfall fade to a white background which I thought would work best when projecting onto a surface so there wouldn’t be a blank box left. I later realised that this wasn’t as much of an issue as I thought it would be, and a darker background was absolutely fine. As for the video of the waterfall, I couldn’t get it to easily fade in and out. I’ve previously had trouble with values coming in from the distance sensor and couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I’d previously written a sketch where I’d split values coming in from the distance sensor into chunks by using IF statements so I’d incorporated this with the transparency command but it wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped. This led me to go with the digital waterfall.

I’d originally wanted to code the projection so that as users approached the staircase the waterfall appeared, but in the midway discussion it was mentioned that users would then get in the way of the projection and therefore ruin the reality of it. It was suggested that maybe I flip the idea so that the waterfall actually disappears when users approach it, so they’re able to see it as they’re walking up towards it but then it disappears before they interfere with it. I can then add a delay, or set a distance that the user needs to reach before the waterfall continues again.

Thursday 14th December 2017


Took a while to get the projector working with VPT but finally got there … I know I’m projecting onto another monitor but you get the idea.

I had two locations in mind and unfortunately I couldn’t work at any of them. The ones I photographed further up had an exhibition happening at the bottom of them and another set that I’d come across had another class working at the bottom of them. This led me to last minute find somewhere else with all my equipment and ended up being a main set of stairs elsewhere in the building. The stairs were green but luckily this didn’t have an impact on my projection.

For recording the process and final outcome of my projection I used a combination of my Nikon camera and my iPhone 5S. Here are the specs of the Nikon camera:

Nikon Coolpix L330 Compact Digital Camera (20.2 MP, 26x Optical Zoom)


The processing went alright apart a problem that we encountered was  trying to make the extension plug reach our section. Another problem we encountered was the white bar at the top of the window box – I didn’t know there was a way to get rid of it. Also, whilst packing up afterwards I realised that I never put the projector itself in focus. Fortunately this turned out quite nice because I aimed the focused projection at a wall and for me it seemed too sharp for water, the unfocused version was softened.

Shout-out to Callum for helping me setup and test my projection.

Here is a clip I recorded of me projecting onto Callum’s hands. The whole point of the project was to fade out the projection so that the users wouldn’t walk in the way and therefore disturb the realism, but although I’m projecting directly onto Callum I thought it created quite a cool effect. Could also be how I realise my Design Domain project.

Editing Video

I wasn’t sure whether to show the process, the final outcome, or both so I showed a bit of everything. I showed some ‘source videos’ as it were, a sentence or two about what my project explored, the code, the Processing sketch (that overlayed the code), some experiments, the set-up, and the final prototype being put to use. I feel that this is an adequate summary of my project. (Link for the video embedded tomorrow once uploaded to Vimeo)

Friday 15th December 2017


Notes of what I want to say:

  • Digitally recreating natural objects in man-made structures
  • I was drawn to water
  • I thought a staircase would be a nice place to project as I feel it’s the closest shape/form to a waterfall
  • Everyone uses stairs
  • Tried to use a video of a water but I didn’t achieve the effect I wanted
  • Placing it in the context of the Barnes building

We then went around the table and each presented our video.

People’s comments on my video:

  • Map more accurately
  • Waiting for Blue Planet to start
  • It went well with the music
  • Like the timelapses
  • Took us on a journey

Things to think about for the future/next time:

  • Map any projection correctly as it can look sloppy and take away from the realism
  • Take off the white bar at the top of the window so that it doesn’t project
  • If given enough time, look more carefully for a location with an adequate power outlet or
  • Test out other locations


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Next: Screen Language



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