Interactive art with wooden mirrors - The wooden mirror (1/4)

Uploaded by OUlearn on 07.07.2008

OK, so this is a wooden mirror.
It's a large display, it's made out of 835 of these wooden tiles.
Optically, the way you get the image is,
when the tiles tilt downwards, they get to be dark,
and when they tilt upwards, they hit the light, like this one here,
and they get to be bright.
These are all motorised, so they can move up and down,
controlled by the computer.
And on top of the piece, on the ceiling,
are spotlights, aimed down at a steep angle.
That's how we get a good contrast on the display.
There are several motors that are moving the wooden pixels,
and can position them from very down,
probably 30 degrees pointing down,
to about 30 degrees pointing upwards.
In the centre of the piece,
more or less at eyesight of a typical average person,
there's a tiny camera. It's hiding here between four of the wooden chips.
That video camera is capturing the image
of whoever or whatever stands in front.
That video signal is then sent to a computer,
and that image is evaluated in greyscale, in black and white values,
and each black and white value actually corresponds to an angle
of one of these wooden pixels.
A video signal usually contains 500,000 pixels - a lot of pixels,
and my system only uses 835 of those.
That is done by the digitiser on the computer.
The system is quite fast,
so it refreshes itself probably 15 or 20 times a second,
so it feels sort of a smooth animation.