This Instant Camera Takes Pictures and Prints Them as Cartoons

How accurately do you expect your camera to be in representing the real world? If your answer is “not very,” then Draw This is an instant camera designed for you. It snaps pictures and prints them as cartoon drawings.

The camera was created by Dan Macnish, an engineer and visual artist based in Melbourne, Australia.

“There is something eternally amusing about a physical, unique image, that is uniquely different to digital,” Macnish writes. “Playing with neural networks for object recognition one day, I wondered if I could take the concept of a Polaroid one step further, and ask the camera to re-interpret the image, printing out a cartoon instead of a faithful photograph.”

After the camera snaps a photo with its digital camera, it uses a neural network and Google data for object recognition. Once the objects in a photo are determined, the camera uses “The Quick, Draw! Dataset” from Google (50 million user-submitted sketches in 345 categories from a game).

Sketches from The Quick, Draw! Dataset

The Raspberry Pi-based camera then prints out its cartoon-ified version of the photo using a thermal printer.

“One of the fun things about this re-imagined polaroid is that you never get to see the original image,” Macnish says. “You point, and shoot – and out pops a cartoon; the camera’s best interpretation of what it saw.

“The result is always a surprise. A food selfie of a healthy salad might turn into an enormous hot dog, or a photo with friends might be photobombed by a goat.”

If you’d like to create your own version of the Draw This camera, Macnish has shared his code and instructions through GitHub.

(via Dan Macnish via Gizmodo)

Image credits: Photographs by Dan Macnish and used with permission