Pepko – Interactive Animation

Pepko was an interactive animation project designed by Matt White at the Wanganui School of Design.
An ambitious interactive animation project that used Ponoko, Reactivision (previously mentioned on the Ponoko Blog), Processing and Arduino.

Pepko is a tool to allow people to create animation quickly and in a social setting- (more like South Park stylistically then say, the Lion King.)
pepko cartoon
In Matt’s words.
I heard about Ponoko from a friend who was on the beta and thought how I could use it to create custom ‘paddles’ and discs. I didn’t do any test runs or anything I just uploaded my files and selected my materials – which all luckily sandwiched together like I was hoping. Inside the paddles there are three discs with the reactivision patterns on them – all the patterns hold a unique id which is sent, along with the X,Y position and rotation of the marker in realtime to Processing where the cartoon characters and props can be drawn. The three discs correspond to the face, arms and legs – by rotating the discs inside the paddles you can cycle through all the different arm/leg positions and facial expressions.

The props have different functions.
-there is a space rocket which rotates around when you rotate the marker.
– the UFO with flashing lights which lowers its landing gear when you lower the marker.
– a moon which you can scale up and down.
– there are other random props you can place on the screen
In total there were about eight different individual discs for props, three cartoon characters and five different backgrounds to play with.

This a great example of open source software allowing grass roots designers to realize their ideas.

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