Video Time Painting Experiment

I started playing around with doing some experiments with video and time delay. When showing the previously mentioned JPEG video experiment to my coworker Roushey, he mentioned how just the effect of the time delay was interesting. I was thinking about neat things to do with, and the first idea I had was to offset each frame as one row or column of pixels. So in a 640 x 480 video, the left-most column of pixels would be from the current frame, and the last rightmost column would be from 639 frames ago. The experiment is live here, and there’s a video of it on YouTube.

I had remember seeing a video (I think it was at FITC ’07) of some really cool video Processing experiments by James Seo (see Asynchrony Smudge City). He had made an experiment where you could paint a time remap on video. This experiment has always stuck with me, as I always thought it was really well done. So after doing the previous experiment, I thought I would like to try what he had done too, except I choose to do it in Flash (which, I imagine, would make it perform worse than Processing).

It ended up being a fun little project. First, I just paint into a hidden canvas and capture that bitmap data. Then, depending on the number of frames recorded, I break out multiple version of the painting each with a different threshold. I then use this image as an alpha mask via the Layer blend mode to mask out the frame. Lastly, I draw each one to the resulting bitmap, which is displayed. Additionally, since the threshold method is 0 and 1 there are hard edges around each threshold, so I also apply a blur filter (16 x 16, quality 1) to help them blend a little more. This ends up being very taxing, and causes for a lot of slow down. In the demo, you can right-click and toggle this on and off to see the difference for yourself. I also did a version with PixelBender which I need to tweak a little bit, but the performance doesn’t seem to be that great (although I might be able to optimize it still).

Play with it here: Webcam Time Painting. There are also some video recordings below.

2 thoughts on “Video Time Painting Experiment”

  1. Cool stuff man… Good to see you have time to play around with those things… Also good to see that my German principles are still glued to the wall in the background. In a way I’m still part of the office that way … ;)

    Keep posting, always enjoying it. Nice work.


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