Point Cloud Portraits
Point Cloud Portraits (2011-) by STUDIO Fellows James George and Jonathan Minard, is a computational documentary featuring 25 international new-media artists in conversation about code and culture, the shaping of technology and the future of cinema.
Interviews with the artists are collected in a new format, called “RGB+Depth”, in which traditional high-definition color video is paired with 3-dimensional point-cloud information from a Kinect depth sensor. The result is a volumetric moving-image in a 3D space where virtual cameras can view the subject from any vantage point. After being recorded as point clouds, each of the artists has been given free reign to program expressive modifications of their own data, resulting in a collection of imaginative and interpretive self-portraits that straddle a continuum between realism and abstraction. Pointcloud Portraits is a work-in-progress; in the final presentation of the movie, real-time generated sequences of the artists’ talking heads will play in a non-repeating loop, linking questions and answers in an infinite conversation.
The new medium of “depth video” takes inspiration from the ideas of science-fiction visionary, Bruce Sterling. In one lecture, Sterling presaged the camera of the future as a passive device for capturing all the photons in a space, turning the act of photography – selection of angle, exposure and composition – into a purely computational problem. The subsequent release of the Microsoft Kinect has, for the first time, made implementations of this notion attainable.
Press about the Point Cloud Portraits
1. Gizmodo – This Is What Happens When You Cross a Kinect With a DSLR – 5/2/12 or as PDF
2. The Verge – DSLR and Kinect combine to produce dream-like visuals – 5/2/12 or as PDF
3. Tested News – RGB Toolkit Skins DSLR Photos to Kinect Depth Maps – 5/2/12 or as PDF
4. CNET – Point cloud portraits bring ghostly 3D images to movies – 5/2/12 or as PDF
5. Tec Mundo – Programa Combina Camera Digital e Linect Paracriar Filmes Video – 5/2/12 or as PDF
6. Creative JS – Depth Cam – 2/28/2012 or as PDF
7. The Creators Project – Golan Levin Ups The Ante For Reddits IAmA – 2/1/12 or as PDF
8. Creative Applications Network – Kinect and RGB+Depth Filmmaking – 1/2/12 or as PDF