Here’s another neat project out of the Studio for Creative Inquiry, the GMLStenciler. Designed to translate graffiti images that are encoded in the graffiti markup language (GML) into stencil patterns, it should be the perfect tool for mass-producing your favorite tags.

Stencils can be great when you need to, say, spray paint many copies of a message, but can be tough to design because every part of the design has to be connected. Otherwise, those parts would just fall off when you picked up the stencil! To remedy this, the software looks for disconnected bits in the graffiti image, such as the circle in the center of the letter ‘o’, and automatically adds a connecting bridge. GMLStenciler achieves this by rendering the graffiti as a bitmap, performing contour detection to look for and bridge holes in the image, then converting it back to a vector image which can be cut on a laser or vinyl cutter.

The project was developed by Charlie, who is a 15 year old (!) intern at the studio this summer. Great job, Charlie!