5Prototyping Image-Interfaces

This chapter presents my own productions and experiments created within the context of image-interface and data visualization. It covers a range of prototypes, screen shots and sample codes for scripting software applications, integrating data and media visualization, and extending the generated images beyond the screen to “data physicalization” via 3D printing. The accent is put on personal perspectives and ongoing procedures that have been assembled to produce image-interface prototypes.

5.1. Scripting software applications

One of the common practices to extend the standard functionalities of software applications is to create small programs that will process step-by-step operations that we would do repetitively by hand. In operating systems like macOS, the programming language that helps automatize routines is AppleScript, together with the graphical interface Automator. In other cases, software applications provide access to programmatic components via an API. We mentioned in section 2.3.1 that popular commercial packages like Adobe Photoshop can be scripted with JavaScript (among other languages such as Visual Basic, AppleScript and ExtendedScript).

Table 5.1 shows a basic script example written in JavaScript to be run with Photoshop. The idea is to generate 15 rectangles in different layers, each having different sizes, random colors and rotation angles. Figure 5.1 shows the resulting image.

Table 5.1. newLayers.js. JavaScript code to be ...

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