We spoke with Peter Parker Brodhead of Parkerism Video Labs about a recent interactive stage installation the team built entirely in TouchDesigner to showcase the work of fashion designer Mary Benson and musician Kilo Kish at New York Fashion Week. It's a dynamic and playful piece that reacts to people entering the stage to create generative art.
Parkerism tells us:
For Fashion Week New York, we worked with Vice to launch the new Nokia Lumnia 1520. Completely programmed in TouchDesigner, we created an interactive stage for musician Kilo Kish and fashion designerMary Benson to showcase their art for the 200+ attendees.
Two Microsoft Kinects tracked the movement of the participants on stage and used the IR data to create generative, real-time visuals which also reacted with the music. Owner, Peter Parker, and Creative Director, Matt Tarosky, began concepting the interactive art by taking cues from the Nokia interface and blending it with the distinctive patterns of Mary Benson's Fashion.
Lead TouchDesigner Programmer, Eric Mintzer, successfully blended the IR of two Kinects to track the performers in realtime, making adjustments on the fly using a custom TouchOSC iPad interface.
The programming for this installation posed a number of challenges, with the goal to systematically synchronize audio data and Kinect data to trigger both generative content and rendered visuals. Using texture operators, Python, and OpenCV libraries, we developed our own Kinect solution which allows us to track multiple actors across multiple Kinects to accompany the extra wide stage for this event. The biggest challenge however was our short lead time, in which TouchDesigner proved to be the only solution that provided me with the framework necessary to program this event.
Oh yea- and we also squeezed in a custom real-time Instagram wall to match the metro UI and feel of the client's phone we were celebrating the release of!