Song Painting Initial Printing Tests

Alright, so I know I’m a bit behind on my updates for this past semester.

Here is some copy pasta from my Generative Art specific blog, documenting my test prints/algorithm adjustments for my generative art final.

First, I set up some test prints. I had heard from Catherine that the printer in the print lab tends to print a bit darker.

I set up a photoshop layer with different layers. Each image had a varying brightness level adjusted by the amount indicated to the right.


Here is a scan of the printed result:


I know that the scan has probably lost some of the actual color information, but the prints were noticeably darker than the digital version. I continued to use this as a key for future prints.

My first print: I printed “Sharp Dressed Man” at full resolution, with in retrospect was rather small (18×10 inches at 300 pixels/inch).

Feedback I received was to print at a larger scale, and research various ways to accomplish this in Processing.

So here is some information I found at saving high resolution images from Processing:

PDF Export: “The PDF library makes it possible to write PDF files directly from Processing. These vector graphics files can be scaled to any size and output at very high resolutions.”

PGraphics (#16 on 25 Life Saving Tips for Processing by Amnon): “…create[s] a high resolution copy of the regular draw() loop.”

I ended up sticking with the PDF Export, that way I could scale the image to whatever resolution I needed for printing. But the PGraphics “hack” does seem like a good alternative once I settle on the exact resolution I want for my prints.

I ended up making my print as big as the Print Lab in our department allowed me (which was approximately around 43×24 in).

The print did result in some valid feedback from my review in class.

Unfortunately, I currently do not have a great camera, so I cannot take a decent picture of the actual print.

But here is a snippet of my print that shows a good indication of the problem.


Although the individual lines are actually quite crisp, due to the quantity and transparency of the strokes, the resulting printed image looks blurry when viewed at a closer distance.

Phil gave very good advice that a print should work at three distances: across the room, a few feet away, and up close. He said that I accomplished the first two, now just have to find a way to reward the viewer when they view my piece at a super close distance.

So I got some feedback to try overlaying a smaller line over the stroke to perhaps regain a sense of depth in the print, and add more visual interest at a closer viewing point.

Here are some tests:

I printed one line (strokeWidth = 4) and a second line (strokeWidth = 1) both at an alpha level equal to half of my original, this way the middle line would result in the full original alpha value.



I printed one line (strokeWidth = 4) and a second line (strokeWidth = 1) both at an alpha level equal to my original, this way the middle line would result in twice the full original alpha value.



Yay! This actually made a huge difference! The sound waves were much better defined. I decided to print this version of my line strokes in a full print to get more feedback.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s