Made by Kevyn McPhail

Generating drawing prompts through parametric tools.

Created: March 4th, 2015


For this assignment, we each had to generate a pattern that would act as a drawing prompt for an expert user to follow. After some exploration I decided on generating a series of spirographs using abstract shapes that are placed into the script. 


I set a timer to draw the spirographs sequentially then I allow the user to do their thing. 


My goals for this project was to allow someone to be able to create these spirographs with out the traditional tools. In addition to that, I wanted the artist to begin to emphasize the intense curvature of the spirographs through the use of a chisel tip pen. However, we quickly noticed that it was incredibly hard to vary line weights with out prior calligraphy training. We opted to keeping the pen in a single orientation then following the line.

Some takeaways from the project were: 1.) The drawing prompt was very controlled and did not allow the user to have a lot of say. 2.) Since the user was following a line, it did not produce very fluid strokes. 3.) The drawing process did not inform the user of the final form putting more pressure on them to strictly follow the trace.

Moving forward, I would step back a little from creating the very controlled rigid drawing prompt to allow the user to get more expressive and abstract. In addition, I would like to touch more on the mystery of not knowing the final form of the object until the drawing is complete. Similar to a reciprocal frame.

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16-455 Human-Machine Virtuosity

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Human dexterous skill embodies a wealth of physical understanding which complements computer-based design and machine fabrication. This project-oriented course explores the duality between hand and...more


Generating drawing prompts through parametric tools.