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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.

Example_03_21_SpaceSuit_00

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.

Example_03_21_SpaceSuit_01

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.

Example_03_21_SpaceSuit_02

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.

Example_03_21_SpaceSuit_03

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.

Example_03_21_SpaceSuit_04

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.

Example_03_21_SpaceSuit_05

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.

Example_04_14_SpaceSuit_06

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.

Example_05_22_SpaceSuit_09

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.

Example_05_22_SpaceSuit_10

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.

Example_05_22_SpaceSuit_11

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.

Example_05_22_SpaceSuit_12

All versions of spacesuit