Processing Project – Problems with testing

I’ve found the past few days to be incredibly testing, multiple errors followed by seemingly illogical issues I had not foreseen have meant I’ve had to put in more time than expected to making my installation presentable.

In the brief we were given it states ‘create a piece of interactive information design for a shared public space‘, we were told during working on the brief that we would then be presenting our work on ‘one of the public screens … in the foyer of Weymouth house’, this would mean creating our canvas to fit the screens which we would then have access to at this final stage of our projects.

When creating my project I made an error I had not foreseen as being an issue, this error was that I created a canvas to fit the size of my computer screen with an appropriate resolution to do so, when trying to present my work on the screen in the foyer of Weymouth house I found instead of being able to simply ‘mirror’ my laptop screen to present I had to use a different resolution, therefore causing my canvas to not fit the screen and therefore looking unfinished and not acceptable for presentation.

Shown here the logos do not fit the screen and the project therefore does not create the visual impact that I would like to create.
Shown here the logos do not fit the screen and the project therefore does not create the visual impact that I would like to create.

To fix this issue I attempted to try and make the logos fill the screen, this involved altering some width and height values in my code – shown below.

Here, I used 'displayWidth' and 'displayHeight' to try and make the canvas fit the resolution of the Weymouth house screen, although this resulted in the canvas then fitting the screen, the logos, as shown in the image above still did not fit due to their own individual, predetermined height and width values which would have had to be changed manually.
Here, I used ‘displayWidth’ and ‘displayHeight’ to try and make the canvas fit the resolution of the Weymouth house screen, although this resulted in the canvas then fitting the screen, the logos, as shown in the image above still did not fit due to their own individual, predetermined height and width values which would have had to be changed manually.

I felt at this point I had two options – one being to go back through each file containing each logo and change the width and height values to make them fit the new, larger canvas, this would mean going through trial and error stages to work out how large to make each logo, as well as then changing the values of their location on the canvas to ensure they didn’t overlap. The second option was to add more logos, something I felt would if anything make the installation more visually appealing and save time by only having to add in logos using the sizes I had already determined as suitable for the installation.

Later, when adding more logos I found that the code I was using to make the logos tinted by the values received from the webcam were intact not functioning as they should, instead of reacting to the ‘grabPixel’ location values I had declared, they did not respond, creating a black space instead of the logo. Puzzled, I investigated this issue further and was thoroughly perplexed due to what I felt was an illogical problem. Even writing this post I am still not completely understanding why the issue arose as the ‘grabPixel’ values I had used in the function were within the webcam range (160, 120) and therefore should have worked correctly.

To rectify this issue I asked my tutor to meet with me to help me decipher where in my code I had made an error. She gave me the advice to break down which parts of the code worked and which parts didn’t, she also suggested making a copy of the source code and then taking away large parts of the code to single out the few parts that did not. I found this incredibly helpful as due to the number of logos I was using in my project it meant my source code was long and often difficult to navigate through, it also allowed me to make larger changes to my code without the worry of losing any code, though this was a practise I was already aware of and had put to use earlier in the project encountering an unforeseen error like this made it clearer to me how important it is to save progress while the project works to be able to fall back on it in case un-fixable errors occur.

I found eventually the problem was to do with the values I had entered for the ‘grabPixel’ function, by lowering the values from the edge of the limit of the highest and lowest points of the webcam I found this then rectified the issue.

To update I found using exact values of the canvas size allowed me to gain some stability in viewing the project both on my laptop when it was not attached to the screen as well as when I had the laptop connected to the screens. In short - this eliminated random errors occurring in this area of the project.
To update I found using exact values of the canvas size allowed me to gain some stability in viewing the project both on my laptop when it was not attached to the screen as well as when I had the laptop connected to the screens. In short – this eliminated random errors occurring in this area of the project.

In the future I will complete the project adding in logos to create a full ‘board’ of logos and present it on the screen in Weymouth house which I plan to test tomorrow.

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