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DScan – Slit-Scanning for the iPhone

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It is safe to say that everyone that has had a play with Processing or openFrameworks has at some point thought about creating a slit scanning app for the iPhone. It is one of those techniques that gets designers thinking about pixels and time together and is even included in Processing as one of the examples. Surprisingly, there has been only a few slit screening apps and most not so well executed. Now, please say hello to DScan by Dofl Y.H. Yun.

Golan writes in his extensive catalogue of the technique (2005):

Slitscan imaging techniques are used to create static images of time-based phenomena. In traditional film photography, slit scan images are created by exposing film as it slides past a slit-shaped aperture. In the digital realm, thin slices are extracted from a sequence of video frames, and concatenated into a new image.

DScan does exactly what you would expect. It has a timer so as you move your camera around new scan slits appear. The app also allows you to use vertical or horizontal scan and adjust the size of the pixels used + speed. If you are familiar with past apps by Dofl you know these are perfectly executed. It is however debatable whether artists should be looking at new ways of thinking about the pixels rather than trying to monetise the familiar ones. Nonetheless I am pleased to see this in the AppStore and using the words of Scott Snibbe: there are too many great art apps in the AppStore poorly executed. Hopefully, if we raise the bar – as does the DScan, thinking both about the interface and content then maybe Apple will once again remember the creative folks who drove this platform to become what it is today and give them once again some presence on the front pages of iTunes – or maybe it no longer matters. #justthinking

Download DScan on the AppStore ($0.99)

See also DGrid and DMesh by Dofl Y.H. Yun