Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the latest electronic artwork is all about the viewer's mood.
British and American computer scientists have developed artwork that changes according to how the viewer feels. Special software picks up facial cues and adapts the colour and brush strokes of the digital image.
"The program analyzes the image of eight facial expressions, such as the position and shape of the mouth, the openness of the eyes, and the angle of the brows, to work out the emotional state of the viewer," said Dr John Collomosse of the University of Bath in southwest England.
"It does all of this in real time, meaning that as the viewer's emotions change the artwork responds accordingly," he added in a statement.
Collomosse developed the empathic artwork with Maria Shugrina and Margrit Betke of the University of Boston in Massachusetts. The painting changes from a dark, sombre image to a brightly-coloured one as the viewer's expression alters from a scowl to a smile.
"This kind of empathic painting only needs a desktop computer and a webcam to work, so once you have the program and have calibrated it for the individual viewer, you are ready to start recreating personalized art based on your mood," Collomosse explained.
He recently presented the electronic artwork at a symposium on non-photorealistic animation and rendering, part of the International Animation Festival in Annecy, France.