Traces and Statues

Although we’re supposed to be working purely on the technical/networking side of the project, we don’t seem to be able to resist tinkering with the aesthetics too.  We’re working on the ‘shadows’ – how the users leave traces in the space.  In Istanbul we had a live representation of the user, and particle trails left by the main points of the skeleton tracking. We’re now experimenting with something in between – ‘scultpures’, which are versions of the mesh left behind as the user moves (kind of like shedding a skin).

This is the first version, actually from late yesterday.  I don’t like it much, yet.  We’ve been discussing it today, and these are our notes as to how we want to evolve from here:

General:

‘sculptures’ and ‘trails’ need to seem like one and the same thing rather than two different entities.

Sculptures:

These dominate too much, especially those which are closest to the camera, meaning they completely obliterate the trails. Those which are further away look much better, which would lead me to believe that in the final (telepresence) scenario, the ‘others’ would look OK, but your own sculptures would block out everything else.

Also, the sculptures give no impression of movement – because they are captured at regular intervals, they give the same impression as a moving body photographed with a strobe light – ie with all semblance of movement removed.

Suggested solutions would be to make the sculptures more transparent, and to capture them in a different way – certainly less regularly. They could be sampled as to how much movement is going on at any particular time, or – best suggestion for now – ‘bursts’ of movement could be sampled which will give a better record of movement and make for more abstract shapes.

Trails:

These need a bit more ‘volume’. Replacing the particle image (currently just a dot) with an open circle will improve this, but we need to produce circles frequently enough that they never look like a series of circles (paper chain) but always like a transparent tube – kind of like an electron microscope image of a hair. It would also be good if the diameter of this could vary – perhaps in accordance to amount of movement again, or even randomly, but within constraints – ie with a ‘wobble’ rather than completely random.

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1 comment
  1. hi Jo, remarkable documentation work you have done of this process, quite lively, detailed, and very precious for a researcher like me. more news soon. my text is under construction 😉 well done once again

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