Team meeting and site visit

Today, Nathan and I met up to do some heavy coding work. We also decided to head to NewActon to test out Keystone with the two projector set up. The location we had recognised a while ago proved to be a good place so we’ll go with that for the exhibition. Nathan was able to source some milk crates and we were able to create a stand for the projector to sit on. Unfortunately, my laptop had only one port so we could only hook up one projector at a time. But from that distance, both projectors could hit a box each and sit side by side comfortably. With that settled we tried out the Keystone test Processing sketch that Nathan had been working on earlier in the day. The results were looking good.

[Photos to come]

While Nathan was working on Keystone and the possibility for sending tweet replies through Processing via the Twitter library Twitter4j, I was using the same library to work on a concept for the creature’s “skin”.

The idea was to use tweets to vertical scroll along the side and top of the box to create the “skin” pattern. I had to do a bit of research on how to do this at various places here and here to grasp the idea on how this might actually work and eventually I was able to get multiple Strings scrolling next to each other.

Pattern Concept

The next step was to integrate Twitter. I was lucky enough to have some past experience with the Twitter4j library so didn’t have to learn everything from new. However, I was only use to using the query function of the library which didn’t quite match my needs. After a bit of poking around and research here I was able to wrap my brain around streaming Twitter through Processing.


  • Why use vertical text and not just rotate horizontal text? My decision to use vertical text instead of rotated horizontal text was because I wanted more freedom to manipulate the text. Using vertical text I was able to draw each letter individually rather than the whole String of text and in doing so I could change variables per letter such as size, colour, location, speed etc based on the actions of the creature.
  • Why stream Twitter rather than query? I thought streaming would be easier in the long run as the sketch would constantly be able to scan for certain keywords or users rather than storing a whole bunch, holding it for a period and then grabbing another bunch. I also liked the idea of depicting real time passing. Therefore, as the text scrolled vertically it would also move horizontals as time passed, with new tweets being displayed all the time.

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