Hand Puppetry: "Fine" by Virgilio Villoresi is Literally Handmade Motion; Shifting Perspective

“Fine” is a delightful, poignant short film by Italian filmmaker (and CDM reader) Virgilio Villoresi. It tells, says its creator, the story of the “birth, life and death of a soldier, represented on a hand (mine).” No, there’s nothing especially digital about this – but also nothing stopping you from using this kind of minimalism and resourcefulness as materials in a digital work. It has for me a lot of my favorite technical skills in puppetry – shifts in perspective, shifts in scale, emotional beats, timing… I could say more, but I think it’s possible to say too much about …

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Hand Puppetry: “Fine” by Virgilio Villoresi is Literally Handmade Motion; Shifting Perspective

“Fine” is a delightful, poignant short film by Italian filmmaker (and CDM reader) Virgilio Villoresi. It tells, says its creator, the story of the “birth, life and death of a soldier, represented on a hand (mine).” No, there’s nothing especially digital about this – but also nothing stopping you from using this kind of minimalism and resourcefulness as materials in a digital work. It has for me a lot of my favorite technical skills in puppetry – shifts in perspective, shifts in scale, emotional beats, timing… I could say more, but I think it’s possible to say too much about …

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For Kids, and Grown-up Kids, Digital Puppetry with Kinect (openFrameworks)

The work by Theo Watson and team has been one of those magical technological revelations that makes people say “oh – that’s what that’s for.” Say computer vision or tracking, or show the typical demo of what these can do with interaction, and eyes glaze over. But make them work as puppetry, and somewhere deep inside the mechanisms by which us human beings interact with our world, something lights up. With iteration, that first proof of concept just gets better. Theo writes to share that he and collaborator Emily Gobeille made a second version of the project. In “Puppet Parade,” …

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Digital Puppetry: Tryplex Makes Kinect Skeleton Tracking Easier, for Free, with Quartz Composer

Via the experimentation of the movement+music+visual collective in Ireland, we see another great, free tool built on Apple’s Quartz Composer developer tool. Tryplex is a set of macro patches, all open source, that makes Kinect skeleton tracking easier. There’s even a puppet tool and skeleton recorder. Aesthetically, the video below is all stick-figure stuff (which is the only reason I can imagine why it’s getting any dislikes on YouTube). But it shouldn’t take much imagination to see the potential here. For one example, see the video at top — something that must make Terry Gilliam get hot and bothered (or …

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Half-Minute Theater: Pavel Pogudin, Gypsies, Cutout Characters, Mechanical Ballet

It’d be silly to write a long post about an (extremely) short film, so I’ll just say this. Sometimes, I open my inbox, and I see an email that says nothing other than this: Hello! Just want to show some gypsy motion graphics Thanks! — Best, Pavel I won’t make any further introduction. Gypsy motion graphics. See top. The Vimeo and Behance pages actually says a bit more – enough so that it’ll take you longer, perhaps, than the 20 seconds that it takes to watch the film: Inspired films by Emir Kusturica and music by No Smoking Orchestra. Thanks …

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Free Pyppet for Blender Maturing Fast; Animate 3D Characters, Video, Use Wiimote

Blender, the insanely-powerful free 3D modeling software (and compositing software, and animation software, and game engine) is finally coming of age. And with it, so, too, are some of its plug-ins. Witness the sophistication of Pyppet, a “digital puppetry” plug-in for Blender. It allows you to take 3D models you’ve created and “perform” them in real-time using a variety of inputs, including the lowly mouse, gamepads, microphone audio input, and even the Nintendo Wii remote. In case you’re not a talented 3D character modeler (cough, okay, as I certainly am not), you’ll be especially interested as visualists in the addition …

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Hip Musical Flash Movies and How to Use Your Head as a Mallet

Tokyoplastic’s Flash animations have won them widespread acclaim, including a Sundance Online award for their film drummachine. Their animation is hip, sexy, and centers around fabulous sound design with dramatic musical cues. Don’t miss the drum machine in particular — because nothing can compare with watching someone use their head as a mallet. To find it, you’ll have to do a little site navigation: click ‘enter tokyoplastic’ for the Flash site and then prepare to watch the user interface try to crawl away from you. Just be patient: find drummachine or poke around other bits of the site. So the …

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Hunting the Drum Buddy and Miss Pussycat

We’re going to need a “Where are they now?” edition for bizarre instrument design projects. Case in point: the Drum Buddy. Reader “fer” writes, succinctly, “wassup with this?” The answer, fer, is wassup indeed. This strange light-powered instrument had its fifteen seconds of fame on the Music Thing blog last summer, but its whereabouts now are more mysterious. According to its creators, the Drum Buddy “represents the future of electronic instruments.” If so, we have a future of pulsing, noisy oscillators-gone-awry played by the likes of Miss Pussycat “and her puppets.” For its part, the Drum Buddy itself uses light …

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Finger-Puppet DJing

One thing you probably didn't see last weekend at Miami's WMC: this DJ. (via audioserve) Call it world's cutest scratching. Netherlands-based Lejo specializes in this unique hand + props marionette theater. And the show tours — if you happen to be passing through, say, Segovia or Mechelen. What, you say? You don't think DJs are real musicians? Fine. Check this rockin' accordion duet.

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MIDI Sock Puppet

Too shy to make funny voices while using your sock puppet? Be the life of a party, with a MIDI sock puppet that can make silly 'singing' noises or play a synth. A single flex sensor (we're guessing) can even manipulate pitch in a mode. Brought to you by UK's Matthew Irvine Brown and, of course, via near near future. HP's DJammer has nothing on this. Link (with videos and tech details)

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