NORAA (Machinic Doodles)

A human/machine collaborative drawing on Creative Applications:

  • Explain the project in a sentence or two (what it is, how it operates, etc.);

NORAA (Machinic Doodles) is a plotter that first duplicates the user’s doodle and then based on its understanding of what it is, finish the drawing.

  • Explain what inspires you about the project (i.e. what you find interesting or admirable);

I find the doodles, which are from Google’s QuickDraw dataset, very interesting and expressive. They also reveal how ordinary people think about and draw common objects. They’re very refreshing to look at, especially after spending too much time with fine art. However I always wondered if they’ll look even better if they’re physically drawn instead of being stored digitally.

I think this project brings out these qualities very well with pen and paper drawings.

I’m also drawn to the machinery, which is elegant visually, and well documented in their video.

  • Critique the project: describe how it might have been more effective; discuss some of the intriguing possibilities that it suggests, or opportunities that it missed; explain what you think the creator(s) got right, and how they got it right.

I think the interaction can be more complicated. I think the current idea of how it collaborates with the users is too easy to come up with, and is basically just like a SketchRNN demo. I wonder if other kinds of fun experiences that can be achieved, given that they already have excellent software and hardware. Especially since the installation is shown in September 2018, at which point I think SketchRNN and QuickDraw have already been there for a while.

  • Research the project’s chain of influences. Dig up the ‘deep background’, and compare the project with related work or prior art, if appropriate. What sources inspired the creator this project? What was “their” Looking Outwards?

I think they’re mainly inspired by SketchRNN, which is a sequential model trained on line drawings that also have temporal information.

I think creative collaboration with machines has been explored a lot recently. Google’s Magenta creates music collaboratively with users, and there’s also all those pix2pix stuff that turns your doodles into complex-looking art.

  • Embedding a YouTube or Vimeo video is great, but you should also

  • Prepare and upload an animated GIF to this WordPress.