The name PiCasso conjures up fine art masterpieces and exquisite artistic expression, however for this project I don't just want to create a work of art, I want to create a tool that allows works of art to be created. There are many forms of art and this project attempts to meld at least two of them with a tool that allows the process of creating graphical art itself to be a form of performance art. Essentially turning the process of creating graphical art into a spectator sport where the process can be captured in an entertaining video.

To do this the artist also becomes an actor, so while the artist/actor is creating a graphical work of art, the artist/actor is also being captured on video, complete with audio monolog.

This may sound ambitious, especially for me, but it boils down to a way for me to make my video blogging more entertaining.

Graphics are such an important aspect of communication in the computer era, and since I do a lot of blogging, both graphics and presentation skills are important to me. There is a notable gap in my graphics capabilities that I would like to address with this project. That gap is an electronic "whiteboard" that can be used during blogging to create graphics while the video camera is rolling. Since the vlog audience demands the presenter be onscreen, it implies the whiteboard needs to be about the same size as the presenter. This allows both the presenter and the graphics to be clearly seen in the video. For example a little tablet is not the right scale to be understood in the same frame as a presenter.
I would like to use an HD TV to present the graphics (to allow full multimedia material to be shown), so I need a sensor system that can turn a TV into a giant touch screen. The method I want to try is to use two cameras at different angles to detect where a finger is on the screen. Each camera can only determine an angle, but that is enough to triangulate where the finger is.

The cameras would be mounted high above the left and right corners of the display, looking down at a single line of pixels across the front of the screen. There would be a black stripe under and just in front of the screen to provide good contrast to anything like a finger that comes into the field of view.

Once the finger position on the screen is triangulated the coordinates would be converted to look like a normal touch screen on a Raspberry Pi where it could control any drawing program, or any other program.

This first blog is quite sparse, not even any nice sketches and block diagrams, because I am swamped with other priorities, but the design challenge kit arrived, so I thought I had better get started.

Here is a couple of pictures of the parts in the kit:


I will start with the Pi Camera in the kit, but may switch to Pi Noir cameras if I can't get decent contrast with regular cameras.

I will likely update this blog with a sketch of the system as soon as I can squeeze some time on it.


Relevant links:

PiCasso Design Challenge


PiCassoTizer - Introduction - blog 1

PiCassoTizer - Electronic Parts - Blog 2

PiCassoTizer - Finger Detection Image Processing - Blog 3

PiCassoTizer - Absolute Mouse Position - HID Simulation - Blog 4

PiCassoTizer - The Snowman Smiles - Blog 5

PiCassoTizer - Pi Expanse - blog 6

PiCassoTizer - The Wand - Blog 7

PiCassoTizer - The DAC - Blog 8

PiCassoTizer - Electronics Functional Test - Blog 9

PiCassoTizer - The Journey - Blog 10

Finisher Prize

PiCade Build and Test