LONDON Computer scientists from Bath and Boston have developed electronic artwork that changes to match the mood of the person who is looking at it.
Using images collected through a web cam, special software recognizes eight key facial features that characterize the emotional state of the person viewing the artwork. It then adapts the colors and brush strokes of the digital artwork to suit the changing mood of the viewer.
For example, when the viewer is angry the colors are dark and appear to have been applied to the canvas with more violent brush strokes. If their expression changes to happy, the artwork adapts so that the colors are vibrant and more subtly applied.
The project forms part of on-going research looking to develop a range of advanced artwork tools for use in the computer graphics industry. This has already resulted in software which produces highly-detailed artistic versions of photographs, and allows designers to create animations directly from digital footage.
“The program analyses the image for eight facial expressions, such as the position and shape of the mouth, the openness of the eyes, and the angle of the brows, to work out the emotional state of the viewer,” said Dr John Collomosse from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath.
“It does all of this in real time, meaning that as the viewer’s emotions change the artwork responds accordingly. This results in a digital canvas that smoothly varies its colors and style, and provides a novel interactive artistic experience.”
“The empathic painting is really an experiment into the feasibility of using high level control parameters, such as emotional state, to replace the many low-level tools that users currently have at their disposal to affect the output of artistic rendering.”
The empathic painting project was carried out with Maria Shugrina and Margrit Betke from the University of Boston.
More information is available on the empathic painting project and includes a video demonstration