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Industrial Light Painting #ArtTuesday

Jeff Crossman posted this great light painting video on Vimeo.

Industrial Light Painting aims to create high fidelity three-dimensional light paintings of real people. This is done by combining the precision of a computer controlled industrial arm and a RGB LED with a Kinect camera to capture and recreate portraits in depth and color.

Light painting is a photographic technique where light is moved in front of a camera taking a long exposure. The result is a streaking effect that resembles a stroke on a canvas. This is usually accomplished using a free moving handheld light source which creates paintings with lots of arcs and random patterns. While some artists can achieve recognizable shapes and figures in their paintings, they usually lack proper proportions and appear more abstract due to the lack of real-time visual feedback while painting. Unlike traditional painting, the lines the artist makes does not persist in the physical space and is only visible using a camera. Recently, arrays of computer controlled LEDs placed on a rigid rod have allowed for highly precise paintings, but only on a single plane.

As in a manufacturing environment, an industrial robot replaces the fluid, less precise movements of a human with highly accurate and controlled motions of a machine. The automated motions of the industrial robot solves the problem of lack of visual feedback to the artist while painting in light, by allowing him or her to create the painting virtually within the software used to instruct the robot as well as the light attached to it.

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