Students from a Ball State computer science class showed off their artwork in the Atrium Nov. 4. The students used coding to manipulate an image's individual pixels using the programming language Python instead of Photoshop or other photo editing software. Michelle Kaufman // DN
Students showcase images manipulated with code
When most people think of art, they don't normally link it to computers, but a student display in the Atrium on Nov. 4 challenged that.
Twenty-seven students in Ball State's Computer Science (CS) 1 class took to the Atrium to show off the artwork they created using coding.
Instead of using Photoshop or other photo editing software, the students used coding to manipulate an image's individual pixels using the programming language Python.
"It's lot of fun, both for me and the students ... you don't necessarily think about CS being creative. I think it is, but a lot of people don't associate creativity with programming or taking a programming course," computer science professor David Largent said. "Here's a project, here's some boundaries you have to operate within, but you can create anything that fits within these boundaries. It lets those people who do like to be creative be creative and some others discover that they can be."
The class, taught by Largent and Karl Mesarosh, teaches students how to manipulate images, audio and text with code. The art show presented the third project the students have worked on. Each section of the class voted on the images, and the top 15 percent of votes in each class were showcased.
"The first two projects as I've designed them are more specific — do exactly this, so everybody's projects looks kind of the same ... I kinda designed this project to fit the art show idea. Here's some things you have to prove to me you know how to do, but how you show me that is entirely up to you," Largent said. "It lends itself to different images, different pictures ... of any of the projects or any of the grading I have to do during the semester, this is one of the fun times in the semester for me."
Ian Pemberton, a sophomore creative writing major and computer science minor, took a photo of Shafer Tower to create "A Colorful Campus Day," which shows several different blocks of color around the image.
“This project as a whole, I would say, was just interesting to do and it was fun. It really enforces how far you’ve come when you’re able to just understand the programming and actually use it. It’s very satisfying,” Pemberton said. “Before this class, I hadn’t had any experience with programming or with computer science at all. Even as I’ve progressed with this class, I feel much more competent."
In the future, Pemberton wants to go into game design. He said computer science is a fun, practical skill.
“It’s like a puzzle. I mean, you have something you want to get done and you know how you think about it … you have to say it in the exact, specific way and it gets a little frustrating when you hit a wall … you figure out how to figure out what goes wrong and what is wrong with your code and then you fix it. You feel so satisfied when you see the final product cause you’ve worked so hard on it.”
Lakin Lane, a freshman computer science major, manipulated an image to make it appear as if the viewer is looking through a window.
“This is my first semester of coding. I thought it was really rewarding. This is actually my favorite class, so I look forward to going to it every day. [Largent] makes it really fun,” Lane said. “It’s pretty cool to see my art and other people’s art. I like looking around at others just to see the ideas that they had and what they can do with what we were given … instead of liking the ones that just look cool, you kinda like the ones that are more complex with the code.”