Dec 14, 2010

New Digital Landscapes [Cinder, Kinect]
With new technology come new landscapes. These may appear in the form of users, social groups, tools and work but in some kind of form they are connected, relating to one another and feeding from one another. Kinect is describing a new form of landscape, driven by arrangement of points derived from our physical environment.
Landscape, first recorded in 1598, was borrowed as a painters’ term from Dutch during the 16th century, when Dutch artists were pioneering the landscape genre. The Dutch word landschap had earlier meant simply “region, tract of land” but had acquired the artistic sense, which it brought over into English, of “a picture depicting scenery on land.” Interestingly, 34 years pass after the first recorded use of landscape in English before the word is used of a view or vista of natural scenery. This delay suggests that people were first introduced to landscapes in paintings and then saw landscapes in real life. (source)
It is no surprise that Kinect is attracting so much attention, not from innovative technology perspective but rather being able to create complex realtime landscapes of our physical environments. The technology of kinect is far from revolutionary, what makes it innovative is that it’s now in the hands of everyone interested in 3d scanning / virtual point landscapes for mere $150 (examples here and here).
Whilst most of the current usage of Kinect in creative development has been in the form of technical demos or replicas of what we have already seen in the past, Robert Hodgin has been exploring new territories, not in the form of what device can do but rather how the digital point data can suggest and describe these new digital landscapes, both procedural and accidental.
More on Robert’s flickr and vimeo.
For more interesting work done with Kinect, see our list on linkli.st, updated almost daily.

No idea what this is. I thought to myself, what would happen if I quadrupled the VBO grid resolution. I got mutant flower in a sea of pink blobs. Hmm.

The Cinder-Kinect block can toggle between supplying the RGB video feed and the IR video feed. The nice thing about the IR feed, aside from it working in pitch black and making everything look super creepy, is that it is perfectly aligned with the depth map. No alignment necessary.

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