Artist Resource Center [ARC]

Crawling and sourcing material from across the web may be a task best left to software programmers and database modelers, but the basic idea here is to construct an algorithm that could parse valid images from invalid or undesirable images, (e.g. pornography) and place them in searchable and filterable categories based on metatags, image names, and other data that can be pulled from the images (image recognition software anyone?).

DESIGN/UX/UI
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Just Interface It

Disclaimer: The following screen mocks are simply a skeleton. They do not reflect the full functionality of the app as I’ve envisioned it, nor the potential elements that could be added which I might not have considered at this point.

TL;DR — It’s a thinking work in progress.

The main page of the app will contain different category panels which a user can interact with in order to narrow their search. Or, they can just a keyword search and be presented with a gallery of images which match.

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A Closer Look

As you can see from this detail panel, users are able to select different model types as well as single or multiple categories to configure the resource gallery to their needs.

There is also a “Session Mode” section in which the user can select a mode to emulate a studio setting with timed images for long or short drawing exercises. The basic filters/categories and class session idea initially came from another online resource of which I am very fond of using for my own sketching and drawing sessions, PixelLovely.

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Choosing a Session

Admittedly, the idea of studio class excersices might not be intuitive to anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity and good fortune to attend a figure drawing or still-life drawing class in their lifetime.

Clicking the info button in the Session Mode section will give a brief description on the difference between the two modes. Class is set up for warm-ups which extend into longer, timed drawing sessions. Standard is set for longer, timed drawing sessions.


Class is in Session

We’ve selected our main subject matter and selected the filters in which we are interested. Session mode is set, so the only thing left to do is grab your gear and let’s get drawing.

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Gallery Screens

The user will find a very familiar gallery design pattern here. Users can override the timer at any time using the controls at the bottom. Additionally, they can advance or go back at any point if they don’t like a selected image. The growing orange bar on the top of the image is an unobtrusive way to show them approximately how much time they have left with the current image.

I also envision the controls and the small settings button in the upper left fading out after a short delay to leave the image free of distractions. A simple tap will bring them back.

And since we’re talking about rainbows and unicorns here, images would naturally be pinch zoomable and two-finger rotateable to focus on those details or tweak the angle a bit. Perhaps even a tap drag to zoom in on a particular area. Akin to the zoom tool in most Adobe CC products

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It’s Okay to be a Tweaker

Considering the vastness of the image content on the internet, one must assume there may be images which fit descriptions but were just not shot in the correct light, leaving them a bit under or over exposed. Or perhaps there is just a dark area in which a user would like to pull more detail from. Maybe we can help that out a little bit with a few color-correction tools found under that little settings button we mentioned earlier. And yes, entering the settings menu would pause the timer.

I’m still deciding how much control to give the user. The main function of the app is not for image manipulation and correction; however, more advanced users might find it extremely useful. Potentially, there could be basic and advanced settings. Like I said, it’s a work in progress.


Grow the Community

We’ve selected our main subject matter and selected the filters in which we are interested. Session mode is set, so the only thing left to do is grab your gear and let’s get drawing.

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Profiling

The profile page not only shows a few particulars about the user and allows them the general functionality of like communities, but it also acts as a repository for images the user would like to use at a later time in a class session. Uploading their own images (or found images) not only allows the user to create a library of their favorites, but also adds to the database of images which the rest of the community can access.

It would be great if the algorithm could recognize and properly categorize and label the uploaded images so a user would not have to spend several minutes selecting categories and assigning labels to their uploads.


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