Physical Computing

I started this project for PComp due to my strong interest in manipulating faces. My aim with the project was to change facial features, expressions, or change the entire face from one person’s to another’s using different sensors. Since halloween is right around the corner, I decided to turn a beautiful woman into a witch using a proximity sensor.

This is the first sketch I made to use for the rest of the frames. It is my first shot at animation with any medium, but I have always been an artist at heart it came quite naturally:

Next, I built a little station to trace, and alter my frames in sketch form, and for that I used a lamp and a transparent platform to illuminate the sketches from below.

Necessity is the mother of invention right?


Here’s a GIF of the animation:


I used an ultrasonic sensor (HC-SR04) for this project, because it’s range was 3 cm to 4 m, which is perfect for a person walking towards the sensor and keeps the screen in visibility range.

The sensor works by using one pin as an output to emit a sound wave, and the other as an input to receive it back after it has bounced off the object in front of it. So my code, which was to use the sensor through the arduino and return a value for distance, had to include the simple distance/speed formula using the speed of sound.


Once my sensor started working efficiently to give the distance in centimeters, I noticed that the sensor was not working efficiently after about 1 meter, and it worked best when used which a smooth object, instead of a person.

The code for serial communication and the animation is below:

FACES from Amena Hayat on Vimeo.



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