Advanced Media Control Through Drawing: Using a graphics tablet to control complex audio and video data in a live context

Stephen Gibson, Justin Love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This paper demonstrates the results of the authors’ Wacom tablet MIDI user interface. This application enables users’ drawing actions on a graphics tablet to control audio and video parameters in real-time. The programming affords five degrees (x, y, pressure, x tilt, y tilt) of concurrent control for use in any audio or video software capable of receiving and processing MIDI data. Drawing gesture can therefore form the basis of dynamic control simultaneously in the auditory and visual realms. This creates a play of connections between parameters in both mediums, and illustrates a direct correspondence between drawing action and media transformation that is immediately apparent to viewers. The paper considers the connection between drawing technique and media control both generally and specifically, postulating that dynamic drawing in a live context creates a performance mode not dissimilar to performing on a musical instrument or conducting with a baton. The use of a dynamic and physical real-time media interface re-inserts body actions into live media performance in a compelling manner. Performers can learn to “draw/play” the graphics tablet as a musical and visual “instrument”, creating a new and uniquely idiomatic form of electronic drawing. The paper also discusses how to practically program the application and presents examples of its use as a media manipulation tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalTRACEY: Drawing and Technology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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