Developed using Cinder + OpenNI + NITE +Xbox Kinect
After seeing what the Kinect was capable of, we were interested in using it to generate a particle system that would respond to user movement and depth placement. By pulling out the depth map, we were able to isolate the user to an extremely high level of accuracy.
The particles flock to the silhouette of the user when he or she is still and exhibits flocking/swarming behavior otherwise, creating mesmerizing shapes that ebb and flow between the recognizable and unknown.
Each point that comprises my body pulled from the kinect depth map has a gravitational pull on one particle in the simulation. The strength of this force is inversely related to how fast I’m moving, so when I stand perfectly still the particle zooms to the point it corresponds to, and when I move its free to wander and behave on its natural flocking tendency. Thus you get these really compelling visuals as my silhouette breaks and reforms depending on how fast I’m moving.
Ray set out getting the kinect to actually work with Windows and pull the depth map/user data out from it using the OpenNI library and NITE drivers. Almost all of the current kinect support is for Macs, so this was no small feat! We attempted our project in Processing and Openframeworks, but finally settled on Cinder for our developing environment.
Here’s a short clip of some process sketches I did in Processing in order to explore the flocking behavior before porting it over with some more hard hitting graphics to Cinder. And countless thanks to Robert Hodgin for his fantastic “Hello Cinder” tutorial
more from Alex: alexwolfe.blogspot.com
more from Ray: