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Building a Software Puppet (1)

Lately I have spend some time to make a simple software puppet. I found a picture of a spacesuit (raumanzug) design from 1923. It was designed (long before space-travel was possible) by Hermann Julius Oberth (1894 – 1989).

Getting into it (2)

When I started I had the original illustration in a book. I tried to copy the spacesuit into a Processing file by trial and error. As you can see the proportions are not well chosen. So I had to take another way to get a better result.


Background help (3)

I scanned the illustration and loaded it into Photoshop. Resized it to 705 x 705. Loaded that image into the background of the Processing file.


Adjusting shapes (4)

With the old code in red shapes I adjusted all shapes until they fitted as good as possible with the image in the background.


The top thing (5)

The thing on top is the heat discharge. I do not know what the idea was behind this object. Maybe it was a part of a larger object? So I guessed that it was carried on the back of the spacesuit.


Front bow (6)

Also a very mysterious object. Maybe it was a handle of a spaceship? Anyway I decided to leave it like it was. And that finishes the objects involved in the puppet.


Choosing grays (7)

I have no idea what colours were used in the original design. The original illustration is black and white. So I decided to choose for shades of neutral gray.


Making relations (8)

This version does not show any graphic differences with the previous one. But if you look at the code there is a difference. In order to control the puppet you have to make sure that all numbers are related to each other. X and Y are the main variables. This doesn’t make the image graphically different. In fact if the image does not change it is even better.


Deeper relations (9)

I tried to make the relations by numbers in a way that no number would exceed 30. Everything above the amount of 30 (pixels) should be divided, added, subtracted or multiplied in such a way that the end-result is smaller or the same as the number 30. Example_04_14_SpaceSuit_07

It’s a no-go! (10)

I tried to make the interactivity very minor. If you click the mouse the heat discharge goes down into the back of the spacesuit. But when I activated the puppet everything went wrong. I think that the relationship of all elements was too deep. So I got a strange behavior of the elements calculating wrong sized objects.


Step back (11)

I had to give up my idea to use only numbers that are 30 or less. So I reused some code from an older version. After that change everything seemed to work fine. Although I was not happy with the interactivity.


Typography (12)

I also gave up the interactivity thing with the heat discharge object. Instead I thought it might be better to add some explanation about the objects involved. This is a first attempt to check were the information could go.


Interactivity back (13)

I thought it would be a good idea that when clicking the mouse the explanation about the objects comes on screen. It is nice to know that in 1923 Oberth even thought of a telephone connection within the spacesuit.


All versions of spacesuit