New Kinect Gets Closer to Your Body [Videos, Links]

It’s a new world for media artists, one in which we look to the latest game console news because it impacts our art-making tools. And so it is that, along with a new Xbox, Microsoft has a new Kinect. The new Kinect uses standard infrared tracking (ideal for in-the-dark footage and accurate tracking), but also returns RGB imagery. It’s 1080p, 30-60 fps (it seems tracking is at 30 fps and video at 60, but I’m reading conflicting reports). Hands-on reports say latency is reduced. If the finished product is consistent with rumors, that could be owing to more in-hardware tracking …

READ MORE →

Responsive Kinect Dancing Goes Hip-Hop [Video, Tips]

Body mapping and dance/visual fusions are still explored only in fits and starts, compared to the extent of live music and visual performance in other media. So, it’s encouraging to see this latest experiment from dancer Christian Mio Loclair. Working with Microsoft’s Kinect, the slowly-undulating tendrils of visuals behind him create visual counterpoint for headstands and hip-hop dance techniques. Far from running up against latency, here there’s a sense of visuals that answer the moves with a slow sigh, creating a kind of living architectural space behind him. The tools: ofxOpenNI and ofxCV work with OpenFrameworks to analyze imagery from …

READ MORE →

Color and Light: Gestures Manipulate Music, RGB Lights [Ableton + Kinect]

Motion, light & sound / Kinect & Madlight from things happen on Vimeo. In a teaser video just released by Spain’s Things Happen, a silhouetted performer uses arm position to sweep through RGB colors and trigger sound cues. It’s the latest effort to integrate the immersive media environment with a performer’s body, part spectacle, part interface. The ingredients, apart from Microsoft’s ubiquitous Kinect depth camera: Motion capture + image = light + sound Software: MadMapper [using MadMapper’s Madlight feature to trigger lighting] Quartz composer Ableton live Music: Sun Glitters x Isan – Snowfall The nice thing about the inter-linked, comment-enabled …

READ MORE →

DUO is a DIY 3D Sensor – Like Leap, But Open Source, From Gesture and Vision Veterans

Gestural input is already beginning to make Kinect look crude, offering new three-dimensional sensing approaches that combine low latency with precise gestures. That offers tremendous potential for new interfaces, and could in particular finally help solve the problem of how to intuitively work with three-dimensional interface concepts that don’t lend themselves to traditional touch and physical input. Leap Motion is already speeding toward its mid-May launch, complete with an app store ecosystem for developers wanting to push out new ideas to users. But Leap is a closed box. Apart from any philosophical objection, that means you can’t take it apart …

READ MORE →

Pianist and Piano, Disconnected, in Composition for Kinect and Grand

The piano is a conventional grand, but with digital interface and camera, the composer is separated from it by air, playing without touching. It’s a Theremin interface for a keyboard instrument. Piano post-modern? Gestural post-digital? Whatever it is, in a work composer Benjamin Martinson composed for player piano, computer, and Kinect camera, the piano work holds up as musical content – compositional gesture, not just gimmicky digital hand-waving. Martinson himself looks oddly isolated and awkward, a man making rough mime gestures in unseen water, molasses, and wind. I can’t tell whether this is more about our expectations of human movement, …

READ MORE →

Stop Motion Animation, Without the Effort: Magical New Algorithm Lets You Just Use Your Hands

Stop-motion animation, made stunningly simple … through science! Our video-based interface enables easy creation of stop motion animations with direct manipulation by hands, which are semiautomatically removed through a novel two-phase keyframe-based capturing and processing workflow. Our tool is complementary to, and can be used together with traditional stop motion production (e.g., for the rotation of individual faces here). Translation: you can hold stuff with your hands, move it around normally, and then make it look as if you spent countless hours doing actual stop motion animation. Insane. The team in Hong Kong who worked this magic: Xiaoguang Han and …

READ MORE →

Gestrument, Shaping Music with Kinect, Touch, and Acoustic Ensembles [Videos]

Swiping through clouds of timbre and melody, using Gestrument is an experience of a different musical animal. Jesper Nordin and Kymatica / Jonatan Liljedahl created the iPad version, available now for ten bucks. But it’s worth looking at that side by side with Gestrument for Kinect, as the same metaphors can translate across input methods. Both employ a kind of meta-composition – instrument as conductor of musical structures, more than an object for exclusively solo expression. What’s especially nice is hearing these digital, synthesized environments meld with acoustic instruments. The solution may not convince everyone yet, but there’s clearly potential …

READ MORE →

Awesome Universe of Creative Coding, Explained in Five Minutes [Video]

“What’s creative coding?” At last, we have a five-minute video that, in rapid-cut wonder, explains the answer to lay people – and can be a serious dose of inspirational adrenaline to people doing it. (If designers and artists had locker rooms, watching this before tackling that next Processing tutorial might be in order.) Cover the big three of open-source, free-software toolkits for artists – Processing, OpenFrameworks, and Cinder – and showing everything you can do with them (from big-screen video walls to generative fashion), the video has nearly all the bases covered. In fact, the only thing missing is you: …

READ MORE →

Augmented Dance, in New Daito Manabe Music Video for Nosaj Thing

Dancers become canvases for animated geometries, spawning abstract flurries of shapes and particles above them, in the computer vision-driven choreography in Nosaj Thing’s new video “Eclipse/Blue.” The dance seems perfectly calibrated to Nosaj Thing’s dreamy, polished production and the delicate vocals of Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead). This is not Kinect – it just isn’t fast enough. Daito Manabe uses the Point Grey cameras, which operate at higher speeds. To me, oddly, some of the most beautiful moments come toward the end as the dancers become darkened silhouettes. To their credit, Daito Manabe and creators directly acknowledge the work that inspired …

READ MORE →

Full-Body Music, Live: AV Kinect Performance, Complete with Beer Bottle [Video]

ETHNO TEKH | live at Enig’matik Vibrations [Melb,Aus] 2012 from Ethno Tekh on Vimeo. You’ve seen impressive tech demos and promo videos with Kinect, perhaps. But here’s a real, live performance with a crowd. (Best moment: an audience member walking in front of the camera. Breaking the flow like that oddly makes the show feel more real.) Ethno Tekh is a dubsteppy AV performance with a flow of beats and images. Now, we’ve heard all the criticisms of Kinect as musical controller – its fairly high latency and broad gestures mean it can’t quite compete with acoustic instruments or more …

READ MORE →