The Revolution of the Hacked Kinect, Part 3: Gaming Gets Artsy

Video games and art have somewhat of a sticky relationship. Many video games have large teams of talented artists doing amazingly creative work, and yet the art community is only just beginning to utilize video games as art (sometimes). Perhaps if video games were shown not just as a medium of expression, but as a means of creating great art as well, the art community would be forced to consider it differently. The third part in the Hacked Kinect series will focus on the artistic possibilities now available.

Studio artists including animators, filmmakers, and computer programmers have been hard at work harnessing Kinect's 3D modeling abilities and gesture recognition. They have advanced the fields of 3D animation and motion capture in ways that could change the way movies and video games are made.

(1) Matt Bell uses Kinect to interact with 3D models of himself. (2) German scientists M. Breidt, H. H. Bülthoff, and C. Curio at the department for Human Perception, Action and Cognition of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany have used Kinect to create accurate 3D facial models. (3) Canadian YouTube schuranator demonstrates the Kinect being used to control a 3D model. This could be VERY useful for animation and video game art. (4) Da Vinci, the same software used for Kinect surgical inciscions in Part 1, also works great for drawing with Kinect. (5) Bringing the 90's and the 10's together, Kyle McDonald of One red paperclip fame shows us how to make autostereograms (magic eye puzzles) with Kinect. (6) Oliver Kreylos at UC Davis hangs out with an enemy from Doom 3 at his desk.

Just because the Kinect is a video game peripheral doesn't mean you have to be at home to use it. Some of the earliest and best Kinect hacks have involved musical and theatrical performance. The Kinect gives actors, musicians, dancers, magicians, and other stage performers the ability to manipulate stage lights, visualizations, music, and other multimedia aspects of their performance, using gestures from the stage that the Kinect picks up and translates into the appropriate action.

(1) French magician and engineering student MagicMoull uses Kinect to throw a card from the analog world to the digital. (2) Australian YouTuber petermmoz used Python with the Kinect to create virtual pianos. Insert Tom Hanks joke here. (3) ITVMaudlin uses Kinect to make a spotlight follow him around a stage. , (4) American educational App developer Tinker Heavy Industries hacked the Kinect to provide all the fun on Poi with none of the fire hazard. (5) A custom Python library and a DMX controller allowed these Santa Barbara hackers to use Kinect to control a string of Christmas lights. Ravers will eat this up. (6) Installation artists Design I/O created one of the earliest and most famous Kinect hacks, the ultimate shadow puppet.

Previous: The Revolution of the Hacked Kinect, Part 2: Even MBAs Gotta Have One
Next: The Revolution of the Hacked Kinect, Part 4: The Future Is YOU

1 Comment

very cool trick well done

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