Interactive Painting

Our history with urban screens made us interested with the new screens built in the corner of Sokos Helsinki. We contacted HOK-Elanto with a vision of co-operation and interest of creating something interactive for the screens. Right from the start we found out that both parties shared a similar vision of the possible content.
We ended up with a concept where bypassers can paint a digital painting by moving their hands in front of the screen. The piece gradually evolves with every new painter leaving a mark on it.

We based this piece on our Action Flocking software and developed it further. We created new visuals that imitate a bit of real paint. We also changed the visual tracking technology from IP camera to Kinect. With Kinect we could track people from close distance because the painting process would happen right in front of the screen. Also with Kinect’s depth map there would be no complications with lack of light. As a matter of fact, we discovered that the piece would work best at night when there’s minimum amount of sunlight.

The target audience for this piece were young urban citizens who are already familiar with spray and other painting and are also with movement based gaming. This interactive painting offers them – and all age groups – a new and fun way to create and play. And, simultaneously to be a part of a bigger collaboration where everyone can leave a mark on the screen.

During the weekend this piece was on the display, many curious people stopped by and painted it. Some started to dance immediately and some tried to paint letters and smileys. It was very fun to watch how people reacted and how happy they were after playing!

This was the first time this kind of project was done on this scale in Finland. Here is some screen capture material from the painting. If you were there, see if you can recognise yourself!