This instant camera turns everything you shoot into cartoon doodles

Jul 4, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

This instant camera turns everything you shoot into cartoon doodles

Jul 4, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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With cameras getting more and more advanced, we constantly aim to capture more details and higher resolutions. Even instant cameras are getting some new features, such as interchangeable lenses. But a Melbourne-based engineer and visual artist Dan Macnish has turned things the other way around. He has designed an instant camera that lets you shoot and print images – but instead of real-life scenes, you’ll get simple, crude carton doodles.

Dan writes that he wanted to “take the concept of a polaroid one step further” and make the camera not create a faithful photo, but reinterpret it.

Do you remember Google’s Quick, Draw! game? It uses a neural network to try and guess what people are trying to draw in under 20 seconds. This game produced a database of over 50 million identified stick figure drawings, and Dan used them to power his camera. The camera he named Draw This incorporates a neural network for object recognition and Dan mapped the categories available in the Google dataset with the categories recognizable by the image processor. The camera runs on a Raspberry Pi and the doodles are printed with a thermal printer. All this is combined with some electronics and wrapped up in an instant camera we have never seen before.

Unlike Polaroid, this “doodle-camera” doesn’t have a viewfinder. You blindly point the camera at the scene, press the shutter, and wait for your doodle to get printed. As Dan writes, the result is always a surprise:

“You point, and shoot – and out pops a cartoon; the camera’s best interpretation of what it saw. The result is always a surprise. A food selfie of a healthy salad might turn into a enormous hotdog, or a photo with friends might be photobombed by a goat.”

We’ve seen before how to make your own instant camera with a Raspberry Pi and a thermal printer. But Dan’s Draw This camera is definitely one of the most creative instant cameras I’ve seen. If you are into making your own, he has kindly shared a code and instructions for making on GitHub. If I were more tech savvy, I know I’d sure make one.

[via Gizmodo]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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One response to “This instant camera turns everything you shoot into cartoon doodles”

  1. Erwin Meyvaert Avatar
    Erwin Meyvaert

    Hai,
    Is there a description somewhere to build such an instant camera?
    Would you like to share the scheme and the source code with us

    Kind regards