ICM Week 8: Oh, the feedback

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For this week’s assignment I wanted to try and use an example from the Introduction to Programming for the Visual Arts with p5.js course on Kadenze as a point of departure.

I ran into a few challenges before I could get to a point where I could start playing with the sketch.

I don’t entirely understand McCarthy’s logic for manipulating the darkness variable using the following line of code:

let darkness = (255 - webCam.pixels[i + 4]) / 255;

I gather she’s adding 4 to each index of the pixel array in order (presumably) to work only with the pixel’s alpha value but I don’t understand how using the alpha value from a plain web cam capture gets you anything other than 1 (i.e., total opacity).

The feedback from the feedback from the laptop mic and the way it adjusts the size of the ellipses is sort of a happy accident. I understand that by default, createCapture() without arguments defaults to capturing both video and sound, and I’m able to turn the input from the mic on and off (webMic.start, webMic.stop) and therefor whether it effects the sketch, but I was unable to figure out how to stop the mic capture itself.

It seems like one might somehow toggle between createCapture() and createCapture(VIDEO).

Lastly, even though it wouldn’t actually turn off the audio capture (and therefor the feedback), nevertheless wasn’t able to get my toggleMicInput() function to work correctly.

Were it working correctly, at the very least the button text should change.

// A function to start and stop sound input from the mic
function toggleMicInput() {
  if (feedback == false) {
    webMic.stop();
    button.html('Gimmie Some Feedback!');

  } else {
    webMic.start();
    button.html('Stop The Madness!');

  }
  feedback = !feedback;

}

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