Scenery Through a Train Window

This piece is my venture into the more digital side of art by learning the mechanisms and language of processing while weaving together a narrative that takes you on a journey through multiple different landscapes. When creating this piece I felt a certain level of comfort and familiarity not only because of its setting but also because of my drawing ability. This made it easier to focus on coding, which is a relatively new skill for me and work through it to create a piece I am proud of. 

I really wanted to explore coding in processing through a scenic side scroller. As a result I learned a lot about motion code and image code, using functions like PImage to import my own digital art into this world I was creating. It was very important to me to incorporate my digital art into my conference work and see how I can use my new coding skills in correlation with my art. The result was a scenic adventure seen through a train window, created from my newfound experience with coding and the language of Processing.

I started with a beginning model of my sidescroller that included a very simplified version of the train window, and the seats. It also included a simple scene in which a green hill and small city scrolled by all coded with shape functions in processing. As I kept working on it I knew I wanted to make it more detailed and I decided the best way to add that detail was through my digital art because it adds images I created. I started with detailing the train adding texture like rust and bolts, a window frame, and new seats. Then I started drawing elements of each scene like a ferries wheel and rollercoaster, some trees for the hill, and a pumpkin patch. One of the biggest parts of my process was figuring out how to transition from one scene to another. I accomplished these transitions by fading a dark square in and out to create a tunnel effect that would end in a new scene. For my second transition sequence I didn’t want to transition with a second tunnel so instead I created a scene in which the window fogs up to cover the switch from the carnival to the pumpkin patch.

The look of this piece was greatly inspired by the outdoor train I used to take to my highschool. The color scheme is fairly similar to the train I took on my commute, providing a sense of familiarity while allowing me to embrace the oddities in the world I created and remove it more from the reality that was outside my train window every morning. It represents a departure from an earlier part of my life but the beginning of a new journey that will continuously be shaped by my past experiences. 

Author: Courtney Rei