As mentioned in our previous post about AhText, we recently collaborated with Jim Murphy, Dimitri Diakopoulos, and Ajay Kapur on an installation for David Rosenboom and Martine Bellens, calledAh! Opera-No-Opera (Hyperlinks baby!). Ah! premiered at RedCat Theatre in Los Angeles, September 16th – 18th, 2009, and our team was in charge of creating a multi-touch installation that would allow attendees to interactively navigate the 13 interconnecting stories and texts of the opera. The final application came very close to realizing the initial ideas we presented in the previous post. Over the course of working on the application we learned a great deal, moving from Processing to Eclipse / Java 1.5 (see this post), and coming up with interesting solutions which would enable multiple users to effectively navigate the stories through a multi layered menu system.
Working on this application was especially enlightening in that we came across many difficulties rendering text with the JAVA2D rendering engine in Processing. To address this, we used off-screen rendering in the P2D engine whenever we were required to render large amounts of text to the screen. Additionally, we still needed to use Java2D as it handles anti-aliased shapes much more elegantly than the P2D engine.
This project also allowed us to explore more complex state based design patterns, and afforded us the opportunity to create a simple and highly reusable mouse and TUIO enabled event library. We also implemented subject / listener patterns making it possible to dynamically add and remove touchable “zones”, buttons…etc at runtime.
A Downloadable version will be available soon!