Laser graffiti

Everyone is agreed that Michael Bosanko’s light graffiti is amazing stuff, but one issue might leave traditional graffiti artists a little frustrated: with light, you can’t actually draw on anything.

Or can you?

Well, yes – as the video, photos, article heading and rhetorical style presented here obviously reveal, you can. It’s known as laser graffiti.

Laser graffiti

If you’re eager to paint your name with a laser in letters as big as a building, with no permanent damage to the building or your reputation as a fine upstanding citizen, you will need:

  1. A reasonably high-powered laser
  2. A laptop running Graffiti Research Lab‘s Laser Tag open-source software
  3. A big projector (well, at least big enough to not be intimidated by the building you aim to project on)
  4. A web cam

Using the camera, GRL’s clever software tracks the position of the laser on the building and traces the path on the computer screen; the path is then projected onto the building. Of course, most of this happens at the speed of light.

It may seem like a bit of a trick, but consider this: from the light originating in the laser there is an unbroken path, of light bounced off the building, converted into electrons, then projected back onto the building as light. And (if the software has no bugs) all of this is determined by the laws of physics. It’s just an extremely complicated paintbrush, for a different medium. And amazing.

Full instructions and download for the system available here:

Laser graffiti 2

Thanks to Ezra Kwong for this tip-off.

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