Re: ballet in cyberspace

Richard Povall (
Wed, 21 May 1997 22:56:25 -0400

>When I met Scott Sutherland in late 1995, we discussed the use of motion
>capture with software like Labanwriter and Lifeforms. To my knowledge,
>nothing like this has been attempted. Lifeforms linking with animation
>packages might help us better compose dances or dance videos, but there
>is little on the capture side other than Sally Jane Norman's experiments
>(again seemingly aimed at arriving at an animation) or musicians using
>a variety of motion capture devices for gestural input (e.g. Axel Mulder,
>George Logemann, Cyberbeat Brothers; systems like Very Nervous System,
>Em trackers and BodySynth).

I've been working with a variety of motion capture systems for some years
now, but by far the best I have worked with is BigEye, made at and
available from STEIM. This is a realtime program that captures a video
image at full framerate (given good enough hardware/RAM) and with a
scripting environment that lets you analyze the incoming image from a
number of different perspectives (colour, difference) and map that
information onto MIDI. It's fabulous. It's also not dissimilar to Very
Nervous System (from all accounts - I haven't actually seen that system

It doesn't let you map to an animation program, though. If that was the
intent of your message above, please ignore this!

Check out


R i c h a r d P o v a l l
Assoc. Prof of Computer Music and New Media
MPO Box 0332 TIMARA/Studio 5
Oberlin, OH 44074-0332 USA Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Voice: +1.216.775.1016 Oberlin College
Fax: +1.216.775.8942 Oberlin, OH 44074 USA
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