Part of a System
I/O Brush is a new drawing tool to explore colors, textures, and movements found in everyday materials by "picking up" and drawing with them. I/O Brush looks like a regular physical paintbrush but has a small video camera with lights and touch sensors embedded inside. Outside of the drawing canvas, the brush can pick up color, texture, and movement of a brushed surface. On the canvas, artists can draw with the special "ink" they just picked up from their immediate environment. There are many paint/drawing programs on the market today that are designed especially for kids. These let kids do neat things, but kids usually end up playing only with the "preprogrammed" digital palette the software provides. The idea of I/O Brush is to let the kids build their own ink. They can take any colors, textures, and movements they want to experiment with from their own environment and paint with their personal and unique ink. Kids are not only exploring through construction of their personal art project, but they are also exploring through construction of their own tools (i.e., the palette/ink) to build their art project with.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Brush[/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
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Most drawing tools/pens we use today allow only a one-way flow of ink, and we are oblivious to how the content of the tool came to exist inside. What if we could not only have control over the outflow of the ink, but also have influence on what goes inside? [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Indeed, old fountain pens served as both tools to pick up and release the ink, and paintbrushes still preserve that function. We bring back this tradition of a drawing tool as both an input and output device, but instead of picking up the liquid ink, I/O Brush lifts up and captures photons.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In our current prototype, the brush houses a small CCD video camera in its tip with a ring of white LEDs around it. Force sensors are also embedded inside of the brush, measuring the pressure that is getting applied to the bristles. When the brush touches a surface, the lights around the camera briefly turn on to provide supplemental light for the camera. During that time, the system grabs the frames from the camera and stores them in the program.[/FONT]
On the canvas, the brush lets the artist draw with that special ink s/he has just picked up. We currently use a large touch screen with a back projection screen.
Our current development includes the technology that allows artistic creations not only to be appreciated from a fixed point in time, but as an active portrait with the memory of its process of creation. This way, the stories about the evolving creation are part of the creation that could be shared, and hopefully appreciated by its viewers. The brush strokes artists make on the canvas will be linked to the movies that documents where the artist’s had picked up that certain materials so that the portrait can take both artist and audience back through the journey and reveal the stories behind the special palette of colors.
the video of it in action