About EngeneDraw

EngeneDraw is an AI assisted drawing platform for children, especially for those who are autistic or have other learning disabilities, to upload images they would like to be guided and learn how to draw them. Our platform will break down the image into simple contours for the user to follow at their own pace. Our platform will give users a starting point and guide them during the process to spark their creativity inside them.

Problem

Studies have shown that art therapy is beneficial to disabled children, specifically those with learning disabilities such as ADHD and autism.

There are many tutorial videos online, but what if the user wants to learn how to draw a specific image?

Our users may be limited to what is provided online such as the more comprehensive tutorials that are behind paid platforms like Skillshare. Children may feel discouraged to pursue these lessons because they may not be the exact image they were imagining. Users may be intimidated by a blank canvas, clouded with uncertainty of what to draw and how to express their creativity. Some families with financial difficulties are not able to utilize existing resources such as therapy sessions and paid classes.

Solution

EngeneDraw will analyze uploaded images, whether it is from the internet or from your phone, and guide the user through every single point and stroke so they are motivated to get through a drawing they desire. The platform is free and public, making it open to low-income families.

Because children with ADHD and autism are sensitive to bright colors and jarring distractions, our simple interface mixed with blues creates a comforting environment for the children to focus on the task at hand. We also addressed the issue that children with ADHD and autism can be frustrated along the way by giving them a chance to bookmark their step. They will be allowed to return to that step later on. This gives them a cognitive break if needed.

The Feature

The main highlighted feature of EngeneDraw is that users can upload any image on the platform for us to translate it into basic crisp lines for the users to follow. They will be allowed to preview the drawing while it loads to spur excitement in them. Allowing the user to upload any image to draw creates an endless opportunity for users to hone their art skills and creativity. For those who are intimidated, do not know where to start, or think they cannot draw can use EngeneDraw as a stepping stone into their creativity. We will provide that first step to ignite our user’s art journey by helping them draw something they really want at their own pace. Pause or repeat a stroke before going to the next. Turn on our voice assistance system to follow every stroke and turn it off whenever.

Learning

Designers’ learning experience:

As designers, we learned more about designing for the disabled. With our past projects, we would focus on designing for the visually impaired, mainly focusing on colour contrast. However, designing for the disabled has brought to our attention that they are sensitive to certain colors. We were also attentive to curating a simple and consistent environment for them with less visual distractions to easily increase their attention span and focus. We placed aside aesthetics and focused more on the accessibility for disabled children.

Coders’ learning experience:

  • It was our first time using OpenCV for art related projects. Not only did we have to work with OpenCV , and numpy which we were unfamiliar with, but we also had to figure out what kinds of image manipulation were possible.
  • Additionally we had to figure out how to apply the techniques to produce an output that could assist someone with drawing, such as simplifying complex images into a smaller range of values and extracting image contours to show the user how an image could be pieced together with simpler steps
  • We learnt a lot about web development. It was a challenge to link all the components together. We also ran into several issues with storing user uploads and integrating python scripts with our website to run our image processing.
  • We have never learned Flask before, so it was a bit challenging to figure it out and set it up in a short period of time, especially since it took a day for us to figure out the image manipulation component.
  • Deploying our web application into Heroku.

The Next Steps for EngeneDraw

In the future, an additional feature to consider is allowing the AI to show different levels of details of the image-transformed-drawing to cater to users’ different skill levels. There can be a beginner, intermediate, and advanced tutorial shown on the loading page for users to choose which to learn from.

More Info

Check out our ReadMe here to learn more about the features of our application

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