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As any design process this project took some turns and back again but here is the sum up of how the process was, looking back at it. Further down are more details about each keypoint mentiond on this process diagram.

Start of project

The process for this project had a difficult start since I had to start out with the steps that I found the most difficult, work on algorithims and data to put into grasshopper. I devided this part of the project into 3 part to enable me to only focus on one part at a time and not get ooverwhelmed with everything else. - 1. Movement tracking research - 2. Research on how to capture movement into data - 3. Grasshopper and pattern making

Previous reserach on tracing dance movement

bachelor project research on movement tracking through textiles by Margrét Katrín

Movement tracking research

First research led me in many different costly and uncostly directions. Finding a ready made wearable to use to collect data is very expensive. And my goal is not to make a wearable since my skills are very low in that area and my interest is more in working with the data motion tracker gives me than making the motion tracker. First I thought I could use Strava or other alike app tvo track movement through gps and smart watches to collect heart rate of the dancer but woul need to test out how accurate it can be. Another thing to point out is that the dance movement is so much more then what strava has to offer to track the movement and I want to dig deeper for a more detailed motion tracker. Movement through video is another way of collecting movement data. I found this project Flowing data where they put point on the dancers body part and have that point follow each body part through the movement. It is much like Chrono photography which is an antique photo technique that reveals the secrets of motion in images. The camera shoots 12 frames a second to create one incredible multi-exposure image showing motion in a single photo. I worked with this technique in my bachelor project where I captured dance with lights and long exposure picture to capture the movement. Below you can see some of the movement research I did during my bachelor project.

Motion tracking through video interests me very much both because it is a multifunctionary technique that I can use with different dances and even enables me to collaborate with dancers anywhere in the world! Dancers can video record themselves and I can than use that to trace their movements through video.

Davinci Resolve motion tracking

My local instructor Louise showed me the Davincu Resolve software and how I could use motion tracking to trace the dance movement in video and hopefully get algorithims out of!

Trying to get point tracking data fro DaVinci Resolve by following this tutorial:

After managing to track different movement of the dancer I did not manage to figure out how to export the XY data points traced through the tracking point which was a bit frustrating.

DaVinci Resolve by Margrét

Blender motion tracking

Blender motion export plugin

Blender tests by Margrét

Rhino 7 & Grasshopper / Firefly plugin and webcam

After following the youtube tutorial above successfully I could now start making my own pattern and have the webcam change the way the pattern would change according to movement! by Margrét Katrín Guttormsdóttir

Ideation & sketches

Pattern making

I want my patterns to show the movement of the dance, not only using the data to make new forms but also have the forms express movement in it. My moodboard therefore consist of patterns who show moving shapes in onw way or another. I liked the moving lines more then the closed circle since it expresses more motion of direction and line of tracing. I used this youtube tutorial, showing how to build warped 3D grid in Adobe Illustrator, to make a moving line shapes pattern ideation.

Design by Margrét

1st mentoring session

Moving shapes part 2 by Margrét

Color palette

colour is important for me and since this project is very personal I wanted to express the feeling of stress relief happening while dancing through the colors in the pattern. I Researched chromotherapy and how Color can affect how we feel. I also found this website: Schemecolor palette that makes color pallettes in relation to different moods and environments.

color effects
Red Energy and invigorate a person who might be feeling tired or down. It is stimulating and brings strength
Blue It has great capacity to relax the nervous system. It acts on anger and irritability. It also combats stress. It increases communication, the immune system and decreases the tension of body and mind
Orange Enhances the possibilities, brings optimism andpromotes inspiration. Increase creativity and bene ts self-esteem. Relaxes and harmonizes emotions
Energy and invigorate a person who might be feeling tired or down. It is stimulating and brings strength
Yellow It is a purifying color. It boosts intelligence and favors concentration and success. It increases motivation and predisposition to act. Promote rest and self-con dence
Green Refreshing, relaxing at all levels: mental, muscular and emotional. It is a rebalancing color. It strengthens and harmonizes body and soul. Helps to improve breathing
Violet It promotes deep concentration, slows down a more active heart, soothes mental and emotional stress. Leonardo da Vinci proclaimed that meditation can be increased by meditating under rays of violet color

color palette by Margrét Katrín Guttormsdóttir

Tools and material

I thought about using material that I could find locally or re-used material in my textiles pieces. I was unsure if I would be working in the TC2 digital weaving loom, which I am pretty familiar with from my work and former projects, or on the newest machine at the Lab, Kniterate, a digital knitting machine.



Design & Fabrication

Grasshopper It is one thing visualising patterns and forms in illustrator and remaking it in Rhino7 using the Firefly plugin. All the process of how I built the pattern is available in the grasshopper file here1. First I bult lines both horizontal and vertical making a grid. Thes lines then changed shapes when the pixles in the webcam changed.

Rhino-grasshopper_patternprocess by Margrét

I then fabricated this pattern into a weaving pattern for the TC2 digital weaving loom. The outcome was a very uncertain pattern that was hard to read and did not keep the nice flow in the lines as I had in Grasshopper.

First Tc2 prototype by Margrét

The pattern did not turn as I wanted through the weaving but I still liked the moving lines through the pattern. Next steps we to minimalize the pattern, use fewer and thicker lines with less noodely waves as I like to call them.

Patternprocess by Margrét

We recently got our Kniterate to the TextileLab. We got Halla Ármannsdóttir an digital knittin expert to help set up the machine and make some tests. Doing so opened up the possibility to use the machine as a tool and technique to materialize the dance patterns. We worked with Icelandic wool from Ístex and I aexperimented with using 2 and 3 colord jaquard knitting files.

kniterate prototypes by Margrét

The pattern came well out, but it is always hard to see the big picture when working with small scale prototypes by saving material. The material is thick, soft, strechy and strong. Ragga, my colleague at the Icelandic Textile Center donated some playfully colord cones of yarn to the TextileLab. The material is from an old textile manufacturing factury called Gefjun, and was placed in Akureyri, north Iceland. The factury made knitted and woven textiles from Icelandic Wool but shut down because they could not compete with the low prices from abroad. I had fun using the old yarn by adding it to the wool yarn. It created depth and brightness to the grey and white wool. But there came a point where the feeling of movement and dance dissapeard from the final outcome of the knitted textiles. And seeing as movement, flow and dance is the base for the project I had to rethink the direction I was going.

Change of pattern and technique! I took my second turn of change at this point. How can I make my pattern more expressive? Rethinking the pattern, minimalizing it. I started looking into recording in Grasshopper, if the pattern could show the time and change of the movement so that vievers could almost read it like text from top to bottom.

final pattern-grasshopper by Margrét

With this pattern I felt like I had finally made an expressive pattern that keeps the recording and time of a single movement or hole dance depending how long you choose to read it!

Dance-pattern by Margrét

The translation to the kniterate was not as succsesful as the translucent pattern became heave and chuncky in the thick wool.

kniterate final pattern by Margrét

Finally I decided to take the pattern back to the original idea and space where I can use and advance my knowledge and skills, weaving. First tests came out great and showed that I could really work with the pattern trough the digital weaving loom.

Tc2finalprototype by Margrét

Mentoring notes

mentor notes my take
Make the connection between dance and stress relief more clear use media to build the connection - the feeling
what is the difference between working with Blender and Rhino 7? and which do I prefer? Rhino 7 is more convenient being able to have the pattern connect straigth to the video - flaw: I need to own a PC computer
Work on pattern have the pattern keep better the feeling of movment, use the recording element in grasshopper
can the dance translate straight trough to the machine? very interesting topic using Adacad coding to do so, not my filed but in collaboration could be a fun way to continue the project
live stream, how does that work with the project If I were to mix performance into the porject doing a live stream of the pattern changing when audience dance in front of the webcam camera

Half-fabrication files

Last update: 2023-04-25