Magic Projection Live @ TEDxTokyo 2010 from Marco Tempest on Vimeo.

Applying infrared tracking to a projection surface, Magic Projection makes digital visuals more immersive by freeing the content from fixed real-world imagery. We saw the project at the end of last year, but technologist and magician Marco Tempest tells us he’s just completed the first live performance debut of the system.

The project is built in OpenFrameworks, with the assistance of that project’s founder Zach Lieberman.

Here is the first ever live performance with my Magic Projection system (at TEDxTokyo 2010). Have fun watching and let me know what you think.

Special Thanks to: Zachary Lieberman for his programing wizardry, Animation Cell for bringing Stickman to life, Jojo Mayer for the soundtrack, Makiko Oku for helping me with my Japanese, Empire Entertainment Japan for all their support and to Patrick Newell and the gang at TEDxTokyo for having me as a guest. A super special shout out to all people creating amazing free tools available to artists everywhere: OpenFrameworks, [open computer vision framework] OpenCV, [free Mac video driver implementation] MacCam.

More information about my magic can be found at

Marco adds:

Here is pic of me setting up. I did another performance yesterday with Theo Watson at Flying Tokyo (I think they have a Ustream stream of the whole thing somewhere):

Readers in Tokyo can come to MAKE MEET TOKYO and check it out live:

I am performing on May 23 at 5 pm and will give some explanations on how the software and hardware works.

If someone makes it in Japan, do send us a report back!

  • TweakingKnobs

    Awesome , but the animation is no interactive is it?

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  • @tweakingKnobs: Some animation is interactive some is not.

    the first stroke is completely free drawn, then disburses into particles that home on a pre-set bitmap target (TEDxTokyo)
    all other drawing sequences are interactive using invisible stencil masks with large brush tips, audio from drawing is triggered interactively as well.
    the system allows for simultaneous use background movies and stencils
    the bubble animation system in the fish scene where bubbles animate from the pen tip is particle sprites with "physics" as well
    and … Yes… I do not eat the cookie (not every time)

    Thanks for watching ! 🙂

  • >performing on May 23 at 5 pm and will give some explanations on how the software and hardware works.

    Looking forward to the followup post on CDM!

  • awesome 🙂
    I especially love how a piece of code, an algorithm, in the right hands becomes  such a natural storytelling tool. hope to have the oppurtunity to meet marco sometime/somewhere and have a chat.

  • dudito

    upppsss!!! you proyect a video, not really interactive, maybe some pieces of video with little interactivity…. in my country we sais "TOOOONGGOOOOOO"

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