Embodiment & Architecture II: Costume & Lighting

It's been a while since I've had a chance to look at this project. Web design contracts seem to have taken over my life in recent weeks. However I've managed to put a couple of web projects to bed—for the time being—thereby freeing up some time for me to work on my art projects again.

The next stage in this project has thrown up two new problems for us: 

1. We need to excercise more fine grained control over the lighting. Up till now I was using a 300W lamp with 3 Congo Blue gels and 1 Primary red. This combination allowed only the infrared light to be emitted. However we were still getting alot of noise which was causing the graphics to jump unpredictably around the stage.

2. We need to find a fabric which reflects white light (emitted by the projector) but absorbs the infrared light, thereby facilitating the computer vision by punching the subject out of the background.


The solution to both these problems actually comes as a an interdependent package.

We believe the solution would be to use a triangular setup of three lights. This will hopefully give a more even distribution of light over the whole stage. Secondly it will allow a triangulation of the cast shadow; the cast shadow will be directly under the performer, and not skewed off to one side as in the case of using a singular light-source. This is important for one reason: Our tests have shown that the fabric which the performer wears makes little or no difference to their visibility under infra-red light (see fabric sample test photo below),

as compared with fabrics under normal white light.

Fabrics under white light

However, one physical element that is clearly visible is the performer's cast shadow, on the floor of the stage. This allows us to accurately "cut out" the image of the performer on the real time video.

Our next hurdle is to get our hands on three stage lights and a space big enough to use them.