Video Art 'Unnamed Soundsculpture' Created with the Xbox Kinect
As Ryan proffered during its first week of release Microsoft’s Xbox 360 peripheral, the Kinect, was destined to have an effect on how some story tellers would choose to tell and deliver there stories in the future and given its status as the ‘fastest-selling device on record‘ there’s an obvious audience for any compatible content you could push out to the device. However, perhaps of even more interest is the use of the Kinect as a creative tool as in Daniel Franke & Cedric Kiefer’s Unnamed Soundsculpture:
The first step for the duo was to use three Kinects to capture the spacial and auditory data they’d work with later:
The basic idea of the project is built upon the consideration of creating a moving sculpture from the recorded motion data of a real person. For our work we asked a dancer to visualize a musical piece (Kreukeltape by Machinenfabriek) as closely as possible by movements of her body. She was recorded by three depth cameras (Kinect), in which the intersection of the images was later put together to a three-dimensional volume (3d point cloud), so we were able to use the collected data throughout the further process.
This data was exported as Krakatoa particle files which were then imported into 3ds max where after some additional rendering the 3d scene was completed, all of which you can more or less see in this making of video:
In case you’re wondering, the virtual camera movement we see in Unnamed Soundsculpture isn’t simply an arbitrary desire to show off the sandmanesque rendered dancer from a variety of angles. It too tapped into the Kinect data pool, specifically the sound, to drive its motion and work with the 22,000 point digital body to recreate a tangible dance performance.
With Microsoft performing a rather swift u-turn on their initial resistance to the Kinect being hacked, and in fact nowadays actively encouraging the community to push the hardware beyond its preconceived limits we’re bound to see filmmakers using it in increasingly creative ways.
Have you seen other good examples of Kinect filmmaking? Is the Kinect a camera narrative filmmakers could use?