Studio Contrechoc

design & textile & technology entries

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Camouflage research

This is an experiment in camouflage, using different LED screens or displays.

We started with an 8×8 LED block, green. The problem was hiding the block (6×6 cm) either in the softness of the textile, or in the visual design of the knitted cloth used for the bonnet.(In a former blogpost we have made this in an keep smiling bonnet.) For hiding the block gray, white black yarn is used.

camouflage camouflage

Then we did some knitting with a knitting machine (well Gera did this in 7 minutes!) This knitting was used to hide a 16×16 LED Block (you can buy this at )

camouflage camouflage

The LED’s on this block are a soft red, a color which fits in with the grey. On this LED block pictures are shifted making a story about a shuttle an airplane and a dancing person.

Color Display

camouflage camouflage

Continuing this idea of camouflaging there was some (hand-)knitting done (by Anneke!) with a rather coarse material, resulting in a strange pink, white and black structure. We used the color-display (320×240 pixels) on a shield (also to imitated the texture and the visual appearance of the knitting.

We had to take an image of the knitting, used Processing to get a pixelated-image-decoding and after that loading it on the display (there was some problems with the colors…we expected RGB but color was an integer like 0xfff0, R 0-31, G 0-63, B 0-31, the conversion form RGB in Processing to ITEAD coding was not straightforward and took some time).


You can see some results using this display. We made several attempts to camouflage different textiles. The best was the camouflaging of our microwave background shirt. This is a textile with a big photo on it (see another blog post). This is false color coding of the universe and apparently the universe is liking this display, the other textiles  do not perform very well in camouflaging.

The color temperature of the display, the digital camera, the light when taking the final picture (the digital camera sees other things then we do…certainly with LED’s!) all influence the final judgement: does it do a good job camouflaging or not.

As you can see most of the time there is a big difference, but these are the pictures and reality (seeing it with your own eyes) is different again.

With OLED screens, all these problems will be solved in a second (or not 🙂

The 16×16 LED block is connected to a Atmega32 (very big thing!)
The 320 x 240 colorscreen is on a ITEAD shield for the arduino
The 8×8 LED block is connected to its own atmega328 (stand alone chip, no arduino)