Project Research- Softwares


I will need a Software to process the data collected by the microcontroller or the web cam, and consequently to control the animation.

I look into this few softwares to check if there were suitable for my needs.



Isadora is a graphic programming environment that provides interactive control over digital media, with special emphasis on the real-time manipulation of digital video. In my project this could quite easily trigger and control a video (animation).

However this one would be more adequate for a sound installation with graphic manipulation.


Quartz Composer

This free visual tool makes some sophisticated video and 3D possible without coding…. Waow…It is free and comes with the Mac OS disc in the tool developer section.

This is The Tool for VJing and to create some reactive/interactive animation with a web cam.  As I am not to keen on using a web cam, I am afraid I would not have a go on it this year…Snifffff




Free and easy to use.

I could easily create a sketch together with tracking motion triggering and controlling an animation. I really recommend this tool for project with Web cam, unfortunately it is PC only……..



Project Research- Microcontroller

Now that I know what I want to do, I need to to concentrate on what do I need to create this interactive artefact.

If I decide to use a sensor of any kind I will need to plug it to a device, which will control and collect data from it. That is called a Microcontroller.



Which one should I go for?


One of my teachers is a big fan of the phidget interface. I do know if I ask him an advice, the answer is going to be Phidget. However I went on the UK website and check if this will be suitable.


The Phidgets are the user-friendliest system available for controlling and sensing the environment from computer. The Phidget Interface Kit is very versatile, it seems .

Analog inputs can be used to measure continuous quantities, such as temperature, humidity, position, pressure, etc. There are many sensors in the Phidgets product line that require no assembly, you just buy and plug, and you will more likely find some codes in the .com website. This little device seems very easy to handle, a lot easier than Arduino. Most of the sensors comes with cables design to be plugged to the interface in a very steady way, this is a big advantage against the Arduino.

Now there is no Ultrasound sensors or foot switch in the Phidget product line, so I will still have to choose independent one.

The other backside is a of tutorials, or example connecting this kind of independent sensors to the Phidget interface. It is very sad indeed, because that device seems more reliable than the Arduino. 

Definitely a item to keep in mind for some future project



I believe this microcontroller is one of the cheapest in the market. You can plug nearly everything. However I did found it fiddly, and not always reliable. The major attraction I think is the community, what ever your project is about you will find somewhere some code for the Arduino.

Arduino is an open platform that can communicate with a large number of other software packages to manipulate data in different ways according to the needs. Some examples of software are MAX MSP, Pure Data, Isadora, VVVV, Eyesweb, Processing, Flash , …

Because of this huge community online, I believe I am going to stick and try again to work with it…hopefully for the best.


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