In October 2012, Large Blue, an agency in Covent Garden, London, commissioned me to collaborate on a Kinect driven interactive for their client, Alstom. The finished piece was exhibited at their annual company dinner at the Science Museum. It was a very fun but challenging project, and we hope to get further funding from Alstom to develop it into a fully fledged piece of educational software.
In February I was approached by the nice chaps at BBC R&D in Manchester
to work on their custom light painting system.
The system takes an SDI feed from a live camera and applies GLSL shaders to
the video in real time. I produced an application to run on the BBC’s bespoke
broadcast systems, and developed a long exposure GLSL fragment shader for
The system was first used to produce moving long exposure shots for the
fantastic NVA : Speed of Light Salford event. I think it’s fair to say that
the event was a big success and everyone was generally quite happy.
The whole process was documented on Blue Peter – check it out!
In September 2012, I developed a Kinect based touchless interactive display for EE, the UK’s first 4G/LTE network. The display features user outline tracking and various particle systems which display fonts, icons and user interaction feedback. I was a lead developer on the build, along with the awesome Michael Lawrence and Jonathon Curtis. Publicis Chemistry agency creatives were David Prideaux (ECD), Paul Westmooreland (AD) and Neame Ingram (CW).
The passer-by user’s skeleton and outline is tracked by a kinect sensor, mapped to particle repulsors and then used to influence the movement of a sprung particle grid. There is also some gesture recognition going on, which we developed from scratch. We used the cinder Kinect windows SDK in conjunction with openCV, and made heavy use of Cinder’s Timeline classes, and built a few custom animation classes to make our particles easier to manage and control.
Our main challenges were :
– Aggressive timescales (approx 10 weeks from concept to deployment)
– Complex branding guidelines determining the behaviour of the particles, as set out by Wolff Olins.
– The project was to be simultaneously deployed in 20 different locations, all of which needed custom installations
– Gesture recognition was a central part of the brief
I’d like to mention my gratitude to Stephen Schieberl for publishing his work on the Kinect SDK cinderblock, which this project relied upon heavily. Thanks dude! You rule!
Also thanks to Andrew Bell for his tireless work on Cinder and his very helpful responses to my various questions.
The project was commissioned by EE, and produced by London based agency Publicis Chemistry.