Black shape of light

“Black shape of light” is a little side project I worked on this summer together with our friend Dorota Stanczyk.

I’ve been thinking for a while to take generative animations out from the computer screen and have them interact with the physical world. What we came up with is to project some simple animations on a model to see how the light interacts with the human body.

The result is a very slightly NSFW music video that you can watch below. It was all shot in one day and Dorota made a great job of editing and putting this all together with a music track.

For the shoot, I built animations in WebGL and Canvas and they were fully interactive. I could control their shape and animation while they were being projected on our model. This kind of live interaction between the the physical world and the interactive/generated content turns out to be very interesting and I think there’s much more to explore.

A technical note: being a bit inexperienced in this field, the one thing I did not realize is that a simple 800×600 projector is not very well suited for the job. Unfortunately this was all we had. We got some ugly pixelation and “rainbow” effects – especially on close-ups.

Since then I read – and re-read – the Creative Applications guide to projectors so I have a bit better understanding on the different parameters. I’m planning to do another experiment like this at some point. This time I will try a DLP HD projector and some more fancy animations.

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