Painting Robots _ Finals

SCI-Arc Fall 2013
Applied Studies Seminar
Instructor: Devyn Weiser
TA: Jeff Halstead
Robot House Manager: Jake Newsum
Team: Lung Chi Chang, Nanyen Chen, Lin Wenxin, Lily Nourmansouri, Austin Samson

This project aims to provide a better understanding of the robots inability to produce exact replicas of a portrait painting by understanding its tendency to create unforeseen effects due to certain environmental and technical factors such as the properties of the tools, mediums, or manual interaction from humans.
In the earlier experiments, we discovered that the markers were capable of producing streaks of very fine linework when they are used in a specific manner.

During later experiments we spent time trying to understand all the different parameters that can affect the type of streak, the density of the streaks, and the thickness of the lines.

During final production we refined and mastered those parameters so that we could begin to control the discrepancies of the linework in a much more localized and decisive fashion.

The parameters we were taking control over included the tension of the canvas as it was being hung, the dryness and thickness of the marker, the path of the marker, the amount of pressure given to the marker against the canvas, and the type of stroke. The result was a series of paintings that used a hand-like wrist movement (much like a painter stoking a brush) along the contours of a face that were created by using a 3D model of a face within a digital interface.

Each series of paintings changes slightly in density and lineweight as we pressed the canvas harder against the marker and allowed the marker to dry out over the course of its path.


Design Documents

A look at some new representational techniques for a DD package ending in a 10ft by 10ft mega drawing.

Danny Karas
Nanyen Chen
Lung Chi Chang
Jeff Halstead


The New Painterly





Painting: The project revolves around the idea of using the Chiaroscuro effect as a way to create and manipulate three-dimensional space within a two dimensional drawing or image. This is done by using conventional drawing techniques, such as hatching, in new ways to represent shade and shadow. The layering of these hatching techniques may either enhance shadow, produce fake shadow (where shade is literally painted on) or flatten areas of the image in order to produce moments of ambiguity within each drawing.

Projection: Projection in orthographic view is one of the techniques used to created the imagery. The projection of shade and shadow onto 3 Dimensional objects like a sphere or square give new insight to how we understand depth within a 2 Dimensional image. Animated projection was also used by projecting animated shadow movements onto a sectional relief model to produce and object whose depth is continuously changing and being altered.

Geometry: The geometry was created on an outside first, inside second process. The outside geometry is meant to be a convex, multi-sided object that has been smoothed to remove any hard edges, much like a weathered rock. This produces a sort of Michael Meyers (Halloween mask) type effect. A single hard edge and sculpted cut out of the object gives it a point to be oriented against. Instances of shadow were then interpreted and painted on the outside to produce levels of ambiguity within the object, moments where you are unsure if geometry extends into darkness or brightness or if it stops short. The inside of the object is separated from the outside, rather than just an offset, these squares intersected by spheres allow us to understand the difference between a hard edge and a soft “edge” and how the projection of imagery can enhance or fake those moments.

Hatching: Hatching was the primary technique used to interpret shade and shadow and is what helps tie the entire project together by giving a single direction to the hatching that is continuous throughout the project. Different densities of hatch help darken, lighten, flatten, or add contrast to each image and the single type of hatch in the same direction do not over clutter the composition. Diagonal structured components were used to enforce the direction of the imagery.

The project is meant to explore new ways of understanding how designers create and read projects through orthographic images and the projection of imagery onto 3 dimensional objects. This project is about the drawing and how it can translate into other mediums.

Painting Robots

This set of experiments uses Multiple Staubli Robotic Arms working in unison to paint images with different mediums such as markers or air brushes. The paths generated come from analyzing portraiture’s and using a set of constraints that enable the user to control how much of the figure is still shown in the end result.

Created by: Lung Chi Chang, Lin Wenxin, Nanyen Chen, Lily Nourmansouri, and Austin Samson

Instructor: Devyn Weiser

Robot Lab Tech: Jake Newsum

Animated Projections

This project explores the use of animated hatching as a way to show shadow movement over an object. Through the use of a program called TouchDesigner, we were able to project an animation of shadow movement represented by hatching onto an object. The exploration of projecting onto geometry is a way to test different levels of ambiguity within real space and on physical objects, rather than just in imagery or video.

Tableau Vivant

This project deals with the relationship between coloration, surface treatment, materials, and geometric relief. There is an interaction among different techniques of representation: 3D Data acquisition, detailing and poly-painting, and work flow modeling. Issues of digital visualization and rendering were brought up while creating an imaginary landscape that departs from analogue modes of design.