Today I did another session of testing my face swapping in the space with a few variations. This time I was using a different screen in a different location within the foyer. Below is an image of the location of the screen (I used the bottom screen as someone else used the top one to test theirs). The screen was facing the entrance to the media building and the background scene is far less cluttered than when using the first screen location. While testing in this new location I added a snippet of code which allowed me to save the frames as I hold down the spacebar on my laptop. This let me to capture what was on the screen directly rather than videoing it, giving much better quality footage to show.
I have included gifs of each part of the video as I talk about them, and the full video of my testing can be found at the bottom of this post. The gifs have controls so you can slow them down/ pause them to better see the face swapping if need be.
When I was first setting up in the space and had the code open and was running the face swapping to make sure it was running properly, A person passing stopped to ask me a few questions about the work. He said he was a Software Analyst and was interested in the language and technologies used to make it. I explained how it was using an adapted version of the OpenCV library within Processing and he seemed very interested in how it all worked. When looking at the real time face swapping he said that it works ‘surprisingly well’ and that i’ve done ‘a good job’ which was a great thing to hear about a project I’ve been working on for quite a long time.
I did my testing a bit later in the day than I did yesterday and as a result there were far less people passing through the building at a time, so there was a lot of waiting around for people to come through so I could capture the interactions. Another thing to note here is the glare coming from the glass doors of the entrance. With having an area which was disproportionally brighter than the rest of the room it meant the camera had a bit of trouble detecting faces as they first come through the door due to glare and subsequently struggled to focus the image. However once audience members were a bit further into the building the face tracking was able to detect the faces and capture them all as expected.
I noticed as people entered the building they would glance over at the screen, and if the looked for long enough it was able to capture their faces and swap them while they were still walking past. This solved a problem I had yesterday where people would look over but it wasn’t able detect the people passing through the space quite quickly.
[gfycat data_id=” EasyUnhealthyHaddock”]
While the tracking worked significantly better than before, there were still a couple faces detect which weren’t actually there as shown in the gif below. A lot of the people who walked through the space were on their own, so I wasn’t able to face swap them which was quite disappointing. There was also the issue where even with a group of people, it requires at least 2 people to look over at the screen/camera for the face swap to happen so there were a fair few missed opportunities when only one person was interested in the screen.
As with yesterday, it was interesting to see people walking in the opposite direction (toward the exit) stop and turn around to look at the screen. The video I captured shows a group of people walking towards the exit, and the last 2 people in the group stop to have a little play around with the face swapping which was good to watch. I like how the piece is eye-catching and engaging enough for this to happen.
My favourite part of my testing is the two people in the video below. As they were walking through I overheard one of them say “what the f*ck is that?!” while stopping to see what was happening on the screen. He then made his friend come back and they stood around for a while playing with it, moving and making funny faces while watching the screen. I was interesting to see them tilting and turning their heads to test the limits of the face swapping to see if it would still work. It’s also interesting to see how one of them actually hides behind their jacket and says “I don’t like it” when they noticed what was happening on the screen. Seeing these two interact and play with my piece made it all worth it in the end as it was great to see the kind of reaction I was hoping for from the audience as my face swapping messes with their image and representation.
A few other things to note about the testing. A lot of the attention could be due to there being a table with people sitting around it in a place where there usually isn’t one, and this would definitely attract more attention than if it wasn’t there. There was also someone else testing theirs at the same time and can be seen in some of the clips videoing their work on the screen. This could’ve also attracted more attention, especially from people walking out of the building as they could interested in what she was looking at and filming.
If time permitted and there wasn’t other people waiting to test their work on the screens it could definitely be worth leaving the face swapping up for a longer period of time, without the laptop out and all the people standing around which attracts too much attention and adds a bias to the testing. Also due to someone else doing their testing at the same time, people could actually be looking at their work on the screen above rather than mine.
In another post I will do some further analysis of my testing and compare it to my aims and media concepts used in the creation of this project.