Illuminous



I was immediately drawn to the Microsoft XBOX Kinect sensor. Within days of its release, and the subsequent release of open-source drivers I became one of the first to apply this marvelous sensor to art. Here is an early experimental work.

Remember that scene at the end of the matrix where glowing green symbols traced across an agent’s body? Well, this is just like that, but in realtime. What you’re looking at here is a particle system, where YOU are the source of the particles. Particles (seen on screen as dots) spring into being on the surface of your body. They then traverse the contours of your body until they reach an edge, at which point they’re flung into space and disappear. All this is possible because the Kinect lets me reconstruct the 3d geometry of whatever it sees.

There are other forces at work on the particles in this universe. Upon being flung into space, particles are acted upon by a sort of shifting wind (actually a perlin noise field)

The coolest part of this demo though is that you can really see how the particle system is sensitive to the geometry of the objects within view. In my hand here, I’m holding a bowl . When I turn the inside of the bowl to either face towards or face away from the camera, you can see the tendency of the particles to stream down surfaces. That behavior is noticably different when you’re looking at the convex or the concave side of the bowl.