Pcomp Midterm


Our idea for midterm is to physically control the visual water. Initially, we planed to use a potentiometer to control a servo which is connected with a cup, making it tilt, then water in the p5 sketch changes.

However after talked with Tom, we decided to use a valve which is more natural for people to match it with their daily experience.

The circuit

To connect the valve within the circuit, we used a light sensor. When valve is opening, the gap is bigger, correspondingly, the amount of light that the sensor received, emitting from a LED,  is larger which could sent changing data to p5.

Another part is color change. We originally thought that there should have a tube changing the color the same as the color changing in the p5 with some delay which would give people a stronger sense that the water is changing the color from slider to sketch. But we cannot figure out the delay part so far. Maybe we should try to make interval between 2 LEDs instead of delay.

These 2 LEDs are RGB LEDs, however, in the p5 sketch we used HSB color mode, so to make the RBG LED change color as same as the HSB mode is a problem. So we just changed color from white to blue.

The sketch

The most important part is the p5 sketch. How to make water looks natural, matching with people’s daily experience is a big problem. We tried simple bubbles first, basically they are just bouncing balls individually, after they hit the bottom edge, y speed changes direction and the y acceleration changes related to size of balls, making small bubbles bouncing higher. Plus, the y acceleration is also related to the input, smaller input, smaller acceleration and higher bounce.

Another problem we met is adding sounds in p5 sketch. We planed to make sound change while changing the water, making a better sense to people. We even recorded water sounds in the bathroom at our floor. But when we added sounds into the sketch, it didn’t work like we imagine. And we were running out of our time, so we just cut sounds off. I think we could try it afterwards.



We want a big monitor to demonstrate our sketch, so we would need two big boxes, one is for interface and another is for cover the monitor. Our main material is foam board which was kinda an issue in terms of laser cutting. It smells and the smoke is toxic and the edges are not flat.

This are our Illustrator file for laser cutting.

After laster cut, we installed the valve, used two pieces of wood, making the valve standing stably.

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