Digital Spin Art

a Photoshop script that starts a servo and rotates your canvas as you draw.
Using Arduino and Node.js.


When I was little I had a spin art machine. You put your paper on a rotating base, and as it rotated (very fast), you would drizzle or drop paint.

You would really only be able to see the designs once you turned the spinner off, and they would look like this
Damien Hirst made a bunch that looked like they probably sold for a lot of money


This guy created the effect in real life, with a giant canvas and a lot of paint and precision:

what happened?

I have attempted to recreate this effect digitally, by mapping the speed of a servo motor to the rotation of a Photoshop canvas. The final product exists as a Photoshop plug-in, using Photoshop’s Node.js-based javascript translator Generator.

For more info on Generator and using node with Arduino, see this post.

to use:

Set up Generator using this tutorial.

Download my code.

Add the ‘nodebot’ folder to the plugins folder.

Navigate to the generator-core and activate plug-ins with this command:

node app.js -v -f ../plugins

Go to Photoshop and check File>Generate . Do you see ‘rotate canvas’ in a strange font? Click!
The canvas should rotate. Also, if you have a servo hooked up to an arduino on pin 10, it will start!


process overview:

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