Graffiti isn’t for everyone. Sure, walls are a great canvas for expansive art, but what’s someone to do with empty walks, spray paint, and no ideas? Sure, they could just bring stencils, but what if instead, a robot could plot out the design, and anyone could fill in the art, as mechanically directed? A new project turns anyone into a copycat artist. Or, in this case, a copy-tiger artist:
The work was jointly done by ETH Zurich, Disney Research Zurich, Dartmouth College, and Columbia University. The results were published in the journal Computer & Graphics, and it provides a method to turn photographs into murals, through a robot spray can and a human wielding it.
This is hardly the first machine-assisted art we’ve seen this year. Last month, we watched as an MIT drone used a dry erase marker to copy the tracings of a human artist on paper. In that case, the art was built in the variation, the drone’s sloppy flight and wobbly imitation of a human’s artistic vision.
Here, the robot gives the directions, and it is the human they use as a tool to explore the canvas, heatmaps of color intensity guiding fleshy arms to place more paint here and less paint there. Is the human painting by numbers, or 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101110 01110101 01101101 01100010 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100000 01110000 01100001 01101001 01101110 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01100010 01111001 00100000 01101000 01110101 01101101 01100001?
Watch it in action below: