Hi everybody,

For the augmenting prototyping project in the advanced prototyping minor we are going to engage ourselves with using eye tracking software to track “the eye of the beholder in fine arts”. By doing this we will try to gain knowledge about what people look at when examining gloss in paintings. The knowledge gained from our research set up will hopefully be integrated in the further research of Willemijn Elkhuizen, a PhD student who tries to improve the lifelikeness of 3D printings of paintings by focussing on the glossy effects experienced on said paintings. 

My name is Celine Jansen and I am a student in maritime engineering. Together with Ronja Strikker and Jerome Hompes, both industrial design students, we will try to use knowledge from our own work- and study fields to bring this project to a successful conclusion and gain knowledge about completely different work fields by doing so.

To enable sucessful and easily, user friendly, performable eye tracking experiments, we will build a test set up. Using this set up and the Tobii eye tracking software it needs to be possible to properly look into the way people look at and experience gloss in artworks. By doing so we hope to help improve the gloss characteristics and lifelikeness of 3D printed artworks.

Teampicture - Left to right: Celine, Jerome, Ronja

Teampicture – Left to right: Celine, Jerome, Ronja

Looking back: reflecting on the project

In this blogpost, we are looking back and reflecting upon the entire project. What did we like and what did we  dislike, and why? What tasks went great and where was room for improvement? This reflection is divided into the following sections:

  1. Teamwork
  2. Communication with supervisors
  3. The framework
  4. Lighting
  5. Pilot
  6. Iterations

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The end is near (Science Fair and Final Deliverable)


For the science fair (31-10-2017, Halloween) we decided we wanted to do something special besides just presenting the results we achieved by doing our eyetracking experiments on gloss in fine arts.

This something special will include tracking the eyes of some of the visitor of the science fair.

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The finishing touches (week 5, part 2)

Buckle up readers, because this will be a long one.
Week 5 was all about the finishing touches: improving the eye-tracking setup and preparing the science fair. This blogpost is all about improving the setup.

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Pilot: the results (week 5, part 1)

This week was all about the finishing touches and tying all loose ends together. We started our week by analyzing the pilot we conducted last Friday (20-10-2017). We used three main methods to analyse the acquired information:

  1. We used SPSS to find relations between different variables;
  2. We compared the individual Tobii gazeplots with the drawings the participants made of what they thought they were focussing on;
  3. We compared the Tobii gazeplots with each other.

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When things went wrong (and how we fixed it, Week 4)

The first and most important goal for us this week is to get a fluently moving spotlight. This moving light source is indispensable for the pilot we want to perform at the end of this week.

On monday (16-10-2017) we experimented with different heights for the spotlight to move on. After we determined the ideal height for our experiments we build a frame on which the spotlight rails could be placed. The angle with which the spotlight will be pointed to the painting can be changed as desired when this turns out to be necessary later on in the process.

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Halfway There (Summary Week 1, 2, 3)

Week 4 has come to a start and with that our five-week project has been going on quite some time. In the prior three weeks, we have done many things in order to achieve our actual goal: helping out in making 3d printed copies of paintings more realistic using eye-tracking software.

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Frame-Work (Week 3)

Last friday (06-10-2017) we started building frames for a proper test setup to enable easier and less time-consuming calibration of the Tobii eye tracking device for different test subjects with, for example, varying heights.

The first object we build for this purpose was a frame to hold the scanning object, the painting. This frame is supposed to look like a large easel. A foam board, passe-partout like construction around the actual painting functions as a proper projection surface to project the calibration grid on. The thickness of the foam ensures that the painting stays at the same level as the projected calibration grid which makes the tracking process even more precise.

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Change of plans (Week 2)

We started of the second week with our first coach meeting with Willemijn Elkhuizen. We quickly found out that our understanding of the assignment did not line up with what Willemijn had planned for us. Instead of doing research on the difference in perception of a painting between experts and regular people, we have to build a working research setup, as Willemijn did not have one yet.
The current eye-tracking system only works with a monitor. However, a painting is a physical object. Our job for this project, is to make the available eye-tracking software work with a physical object, like a painting. An additional challenge was added, because the perception of the painting has to be adjustable, because the gloss really stands out when the light direction changes. Continue reading

Getting started (Week 1)

Week 1 (26-09 till 01-10)

In your life, when out sightseeing in for example a museum, you probably found yourself in the position of wanting to take some of the most appealing painting to your home. Once you arrived home you might have even tried to use your own inkjet- or even laser printer to fulfill this wish by printing a copy just for yourself. The printed version of the artwork resulting from this home-experiment will most likely be nothing like the painting you admired in the museum, the texture of the material, the varying thicknesses of the different layers of paint, the brightnesses and tones of the colour and the overall gloss of the artwork will probably deliver a less admirable atmosphere at home then the artwork managed to deliver at the museum. Despite the maybe disappointing result of painting-printing-experiments you tried at home it might be possible to actually properly home-print your favourite artwork in the future.

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