Artist's Real-time Toolkit (ART)
How it works
The web app is located here: https://art.kartik-b.com (Does not work on iPhone with Safari)
On load, you will see a white rectangle. Click or tap to draw.
Notice that you are associated with an ID. If someone else has the app open as well, you can enter their ID in the field to share a canvas.
If you have a phone, you can tap the top left button. This will put you into "pointer mode". Sharing a canvas will allow you to point your phone, holding down tap to draw lines.
Our inspiration for A.R.T. stems from a hack we saw at previous Hack @ UCI, in which we saw a team use a phone as a real-time controller for a game played on a PC. While brainstorming our ideas, we considered how we could use this idea and build upon it to simplify a process often done on computers, but with much tedium, digital art.
Thus, the idea for Artist's Real-time Toolkit was born. We often considered how many digital artists invest big bucks in high end drawing tablets when they're first starting out, when they really shouldn't have to. Our goal was to build a proof of concept application that showcases that any smart-phone can be used as a step between a drawing tablet and using a mouse (something no aspiring digital artist should be subjected to).
Challenges we ran into
For this project we decided to handle all of our operations out of a single back-end server. That meant a lot of small things related to setting up and configuring a server including, but not limited to: figuring out SSH authentication, connecting a domain name to our server and configuring its accompanying SSL, Interestingly, this setup took the most time: a whopping 5 hours on Saturday. Additionally, the original plan for pointer input fell apart after 3 hours of fruitless work. We determined that using an accelerometer to determine position introduced just too much error.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're really proud of the resilience that was shown. It's natural to get tilted when something doesn't go right. But we stuck to our goals; When there was no documentation to something, we painstakingly figured it out ourselves. For example, after failing to implement pointer input with an accelerometer, we tried the gyroscope.The finished product works very well!
What we learned
We learned about device sensors that are accessible from web browsers like Chrome. More importantly, we learned new and exciting ways to combine knowledge from previous experiences.
What's next for A.R.T.
A.R.T is a proof of concept, so the next step would be to improve the drawing tools available, speed of connection, etc.