Flocking + Xbox Kinect Hack

So for something delectably sweet, here's the video of mine and Ray's Xbox kinect hack project. We're pulling out the depth map, isolating the user, and generating a particle system based off of the user's movements. Particles flock to fill in your silhouette when you stay still, and display swarming/flocking behavior around your centroid when you move.

Kinect Flock | Particles + xBox Kinect by Alex Wolfe + Honray Lin from Alex Wolfe on Vimeo.

Ah sorry the angle of my camera is slightly off from the angle of the kinect, but you get the idea : ) This project was ridiculously fun to work on, Ray ended up doing most of the depth map pulling and I developed the particle system in Cinder. Since we are using a depth map instead of plain camera data it is very easy to get extremely accurate user silhouettes, despite whatever is in the background.

Each point generated by the kinect that comprises my body 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 sweet visuals as my silhouette breaks and reforms depending on how fast I'm moving.

The depth data we actually got back unfortunately wasn't nearly as accurate as I had first imagined. I was hoping we could at least pull out some noticeable distinctive features, but most of the time we just get blobby shapes. If I can get my hands on another kinect, I want to tweak it so that the z Axis data is far more exaggerated, even if its just in particle size/color

And finally, here are two concept sketches I did in order to better understand noise and my desired particle behavior. It's actually more reminiscent of what I hoped for Z data and depth to look like. They're quite beautiful in their own right

Kinect Flock | Processing Concept Sketches from Alex Wolfe on Vimeo.

Read even more about the project and others at the interactive art + computational design blog!



And to placate my conscious for the lack of creating anything remotely worth posting about in the last 3 months, some assorted sketches from the last year and a half

Some of my least successful portraits of my exceptional friend Liz Song, but still two of my favorites.

 Concept for another piece of digitally fabricated jewelry. An armored ring and matching gauntlet. These actually were the original concepts for the pauldron project until I was defeated by Maya. (Solid-Works isn't half as effective for creating fluid shapes like these in 3 dimensions)

Random doodles (from when I should have been learning machine level assembly : P)

Concept sketch for the painting that I"m currently working on and a quick jotted down quote from Everything is illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it. I read another one of his novels, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, while I was interning in New York. I usually would sit in the window of the Dean & Deluca across the street and constantly switch between laughing hysterically and bawling my eyes out. This clearly made me the most attractive fashion intern there,  but still it was one of the most amazing stories.

Portfolio Site + Unabashed Negligence

"oh why hello out there!" (she is greeted by not even the cicadas)

Apologies for my long silence and absence. But on the brighter side, I have excellent news.

First off, I finally have my official portfolio site up and running, (my own domain and everything!)

you can go check it out at alexkwolfe.com. I'm still working on getting it completely up to date, but my most significant projects are up there. This means I can actually start using this blog, as what it was originally intended for, a place to post about works in progress, various obsessions, and anything else I find interesting rather than just a portfolio.

So thank you for those of you who still randomly check this page (which I think is entirely comprised of Kiera and my Aunt), and hopefully you will be hearing more from me : )