Week 1 Self Portrait


I, for one, am not much of an artist. I hate having to draw specific lines and shape because I am always bad at details. That is why for this assignment, I decided to get creative with what a “face” is. As the assignment directions describe, I decided to stay far away from a realistic face and focus more on practicing what I can do with p5js. The motive for this portrait is this picture:

a self portrait through a shattered glass. Unfortunately, I don’t have the artistic skills, nor coding skills to replicate this painting on p5js, so I decided to use simple shapes and arcs to recreate my own self portrait.

Making Process

I didn’t have a full picture of what I was going to make from the beginning so it was very much coming up with new ideas as I working. Initially, I split the canvas with rectangles using a for loop and then I thought I could use this different sections as a gradation of colors so I set the color fill variable with the iterator in order to achieve that. Since the canvas was split in 12 different rectangles, I created an array of size 12 and use the iterator to find the color value stored in the array to make gradually changing color scheme. Then I built the face structure using the arc element also using the for loop I set for creating the split in the canvas. One issue with this method however, is that each arc from the four sections (x < 250 & y < 250, x  > 250 & y < 250, x < 250 & y > 250, x > 250 & y > 250) are all identical. While it does look haphazard because of this, I decided to leave it like this because a) for this assignment I focused more on getting used to p5js so I wanted to keep the for loop iteration in my drawing, b) this had an unintended modern art sensation which I thought was cool. So since I got this modern art looking progress going on, I decided to stick with that theme and incorporate simple shapes to represent my facial features: circles for eyes, triangle for nose, and an arc for my mouth. When I was done with the facial features, I realized that the result looked a little too simple. So to spice things up, I decided to make the facial features move which leads to the next section of my documentation.


Turns out, making shapes move in certain behavior on the canvas was much more difficult than I expected. My initial assumption on how to make this work was to make a variable for the x and y position parameters and increase or decrease them. However, when I quickly learned that the shapes didn’t move as I suspected, I had go through a lot of trial and error to try to fix the bugs and get what I wanted. After time, I managed to fix the nose and mouth motion using a speed variable that would be added to the x and y position parameters. If the shape position would reach the left/right or top/bottom end, the speed variable would be multiplied by -1 so the shape motion would go opposite direction and loop so that it would move consistently. The real challenge, however, was the eye motion going in circles. For this one, I couldn’t figure out how to have a shape move in circles, so I did some research. Thankfully, I found a source code online that managed to make this happen


so I referred to this code and learned the sin() function and cos() function with an increasing angle variable according to radian to make a shape move in circle.

let x1 = 225 + 25 * sin(angle);
let y1 = 200 + 25 * cos(angle);
let x2 = 325 + 40 * cos(angle);
let y2 = 150 + 40 * sin(angle);

circle(x1,y1, 50);  
circle(x2,y2, 50);

angle += 0.0314;


Wrapping Up

After the challenging parts, I decided to add some sprinkles on the product like changing up the stroke colors and the weight or make a warming up in color gimmick using the angle variable I set for the circle motion. For colors, I knew I wanted to use red, green, and blue because they are the RGB (I know its cheesy but still I thought it was cool). For the color in the background being blue was pure coincidence after playing with the gradation effect so I was left with red and green which each became the color for the nose and the mouth. For the eye color being yellow, I just thought it was a nice color match.


Looking back on working on this assignment, I was able to use some of the the basic coding knowledge that I knew beforehand such as conditions, iteration, arrays, etc.. but I also learned a lot about p5js coding environment and its unique functions like how the draw() function behaves or the shape elements. Through this assignment I was reminded a lot about processing which I learned in my freshman year in Intro to CS. As for future possible improvements, I know for sure my code is a hot mess with no comments, very haphazardly organized, and not the most efficient so I hope to be able to code a little more cleanly and in a better way next time, and also learn & utilize more of what p5js can offer.

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