Graffiti Analysis

Here’s a fascinating project that started with a great idea and piled on a remarkable amount of innovation. Graffiti Analysis is a project that captures gestures used to create graffiti art and codifies them through a data-type called Graffiti Markup Language (GML). After the break you can watch a video showing the data capture method used in version 2.0 of the project. A marker taped to a light source is used to draw a graffiti tag on a piece of paper. The paper rests on a plexiglass drawing surface with a webcam tracking the underside in order to capture each motion.

The newest iteration, version 3.0, has some unbelievable features. The addition of audio input means that the markup can be projected and animated based on sound, with the example of graffiti interacting with a fireworks show. The 3D tools are quite amazing too, allowing not only for stereoscopic video playback, but for printing out graffiti markup using a 3D printer. The collection of new features is so vast, and produces such amazing results it’s hard to put into words. So we’ve also embedded the demo of the freshly released version after the break.

Graffiti Analysis 3.0


Graffiti Analysis 2.0


[Thanks BoBeR182]

30 thoughts on “Graffiti Analysis

  1. If these guys were just a bunch of attic hobbyists making this stuff up to amuse themselves then i’d have said ‘awesome!’ but this bloated ‘fenominal’ ‘enhanced’ ‘so many applications’ nonsense really put me off. 3D printing is cool. But printing what exactly? a 3D knotted turd? It’s not worth that exaggerated presentation and honestly, imho, it should not be on hackaday just because of the commercial mumbo. It’s a winamp DSP effect at best

  2. No longer will our skylines be littered with miniscule rectangle boxes filled with yellow light. Soon towering skyscrapers will be plastered with interactive graffiti (although probablly advertisements) to electrify our cites with amazing visual stimulation.

  3. @tj

    you do realize the video was edited, right? THIS WASN’T ACTUALLY PRESENTED AT THE APPLE KEYNOTE.


    i don’t think there is any commercial mumbo jumbo associated with it, since i dont think this is something they are trying to sell or market.

    it just looks like a project that they took to the nth degree of adding features.

  4. @Michaël Take a chill pill.(Btw, demonstrating your ignorance always looks even worse in a first post.)

    @tj Hello troll!

    As far as the parody is concerned, did HAD readers lose their humour or what?
    Anyway, it is an open source project about archiving/presenting motion produced in graffiti art.
    I personally find it fascinating to say the least!

  5. Ok, it took me until the end of the video to figure out that the macworld (or, whatever conference that was) shots were just cut together to make it look like they were presenting about Graffiti Analysis. Still, “unbelievable” is a bit hyperbolic for a feature description, eh? Want unbelievable: how about you tell me that the only hardware I need to pull this off is an arduino and an led. That would be unbelievable.

  6. It’s all missing one key item: this “graffiti” is unreadable, ugly vandalism. It’s not worth analyzing except as providing potential evidence linking a specific vandal to a specific instance of vandalism.

    It’s not art, and not worth preserving. It’s the canine equivalent of peeing on a tree, except dog pee is washed away after the next rain.

  7. Glad I wasn’t the only one sensing el Jobso was being channeled. Now if only they’d had a “one more thing” at the end that turned out to be an open-source diy tablet, then I’d have been impressed.

  8. @octel-

    here’s an experiment for you:

    Step 1: Go to the mall, and have one of the artists out by the food court do a portrait of you. Then, produce a can of spraypaint, and in front of that artist, obliterate his artwork. Record the results.

    Step 2: Find a rail car, dumpster, or neighborhood wall in a crappy part of town. Find the artist who left his mark there. Then, produce a can of spray paint, and in front of that artist, obliterate his artwork. Have your next-of-kin record the results and write a nice obituary for you.

    @jaded is right. present day graffiti amounts to nothing more than territorial pissings. That’s the whole point of it.

  9. Interesting concept. Looks like it analyses the brush strokes as well.. Could be useful for forensic work…

    I’m not a fan of such graffiti. Simply tagging is a waste and as jaded said, much like pissing on a tree. All it does it make things look ugly. Doing full pieces however, in places that aren’t private property is by all counts art however.

    Using software and projectors to produce some stunning visual effects is art. Just as any other form of modern art is still art. Something nice to look at.

    I’d like to try this out, with different types of photography involved as well perhaps.

    Using non-‘graffiti’ styled writing/drawing could be interesting as well… :)

  10. I don’t think it’s necessary to post on every article ‘this is not a hack’, I can decide myself thank you, and if one person said it that should be enough.

    And this might seem a snobbish mac thing but it’s GNU and they have windows and linux version (including source) of their software for download and it actually is a hack since you put a camera behind a paper and then turn down the brightness of it to only capture the lightpoint and you can draw.
    And they even have a howto on how to build an enclosure.

    So don’t be put off by the keynote similarity, it’s not apple-clamped-down nonsense.

  11. @Michaël Golden star ! :Pp

    @jaded Sad and unimaginative; jaded by life? You do understand that buying paint to draw something for all people to see, while not expecting any economic benefit from this endeavour, does not have a canine equivalent.

  12. I’m a bit surprised that they had to invent that GML format since I would have thought it existed already.
    It is very similar in scope to the CNC G-code language I could not but help notice, and perhaps they should have simply xml’ed’ that.
    Also, the acronym is already in use for several things including ‘Generalized Markup Language’ and ‘Geography Markup Language’ and it’s not too handy to have several markup language called GML IMHO, and those formats are also all very similar in what they dscribe to confuse matters even more.
    Oh and then there are ‘Graph Modeling Language’ and ‘Generative Modeling Language’, I have no idea where it all stops.

  13. What most of the posters here fail to realize that “Graffiti” has evolved beyond tagbombing and hitting trains.

    We have top notch artists here producing work LEGALLY. The art museum, coordinating with a local building owner commissioned a 4-story 54ft wide mural. The mural is a hit with the local community here.

    I really like the depth effect that’s added based on the speed of the artists stroke. Nice work.

  14. It seems the Macworld video is distracting from the main point of the first video: Free and Open Source project Graffiti Analysis is now at version 3.0. I’m not sure why it was so unclear, since HAD prefaced the videos by saying pretty much exactly that.

    The huge amount of applause threw me for a bit at first. I wondered why so many people suddenly were applauding a product that already existed.

  15. This is brilliant. The applications for this might me limited but that is beside the point.

    You might want to check out Banksy’s work. I’d hardly call that an equivalent to pissing on a tree.

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