03 May 2011

Spring Independent Study @ Cornish

This spring, I advised a group of three design students at Cornish College of the Arts exploring the Processing programming environment and its potential uses in installation pieces. We based the early part of the class around the exercises in "Getting Started With Procesing" by Casey Reas and Ben Fry.

Open CV Face Recognition Experiment Open CV Face Recognition Experiment

For their final installation, the students designed a piece involving a Microsoft Kinect, which gave us the opportunity to play with some really cool Processing/Kinect libraries. We experiemented with both Daniel Shiffman's and Paul King's, and ultimately used Paul King's as it seemed to play more nicely with my laptop. Generally, Core2Duo MacBooks don't seem to have sufficient USB bandwidth to use the Kinect for long periods of time. Both libraries generated to numerous "Isochronous Transfer Errors" on my machine, and eventually the Kinect's feeds died. A similarly spec'd C2D Mac Mini desktop had no problem.

Kinect video test

Ultimately, we used the OpenCV Processing library, the Kinect, and Processing to build a system capable of tracking motion and showing a top-down view of a person's position in a room, even when the Kinect viewed the room from the side. My students incorporated this into an installation tying together a Capitol Hill apartment and a room at Cornish.