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F5 – Twitter Visualizer

For the 2011 F5 Festival, we created an interactive installation that visualized the F5 Twitter feed into abstract shapes and their logo. We also made a sound responsive version that played during the Tanya Morgan performance.The festival has a celebratory, party-like theme, so we chose to create some magic confetti – little squares of colored paper that would dance, float and fly around to form various shapes. Initially they would trace outline of the F5 logo, but we also wanted to involve the audience.Festival-goers tweeted their message and pictures with a certain hashtag so that the software could pick these up and incorporate them into the display. We deconstructed the submitted images into large numbers of colored pieces by looking for edge points and then creating a mesh of polygons using Delaunay or Voronoi subdivision. Each piece would pick up a strong color from the underlying image, so that when settled, our confetti would form a mosaic of the image. Text only tweets were displayed by arranging multi colored pieces to follow the contours of a font.The little bits of paper are simulated as a large particle system, subjected to shifting winds and turbulence, mutating from one shape to the next. Showers of newly created confetti fly in to populate the bigger pictures, as old pieces fade away. With some careful optimization, we got the whole thing running at 50 fps on a low-end Mac laptop.
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