One Pixel Two

I’ve been paying with visualisations using p5.js for the one pixel camera project.

With the data streaming from processing to the phant setup, we can easily pull various sets of data as json to feed into p5.js sketches. This makes the visualisation easy enough to be fun, because it removes a lot of the faff associated with moving data around. The docs on give a decent overview of the different cuts of the data you can pull directly.

This is a really simple visualisation – it just pulls a recent data set and plots a pixel for each second – seconds on columns, minutes on rows – in whichever order they arrive.

I like how it goes a bit glitchy when the pixel capture fails for a few seconds, or when the data set spans more than a single hour and it overwrites itself.

Next up – getting the pixel stream to come from this little monkey instead of the Mac. RPi + Lego = Huzzah.

One Pixel

So I’m working on a one pixel camera project with the wee lads. A ‘photo’ from a one pixel camera looks odd. It makes images of time, rather than space. Here is a ‘photo’ of an hour I spent working on some arduino stuff just now.


Each pixel represents one second. Each row represents one minute. The 60 x 60 block represents an hour. What can you tell from this photo? Well, you can tell that I probably wasn’t outside from the lack of blues or greens. Something orange turned up late in the hour. Probably a wee lad in an orange fleece. Something red popped up from time to time. Probably my notebook.

The camera for this little test was just the camera on my mac. I used Processing to grab a pixel from the centre of the frame once a second and plot it to a grid.

The next version uses Python, Raspberry Pi, the RPi Camera, a custom Lego Pi case for directing the camera. It’s using phant for data logging so that I can throw the pixels at a server, and then process them into images or animations elsewhere. I’m mainly experimenting with exposure settings to get a balance of pleasing / accurate brightness through a 24 hour cycle.

Testing takes time when you’re taking photos of time.