Tag Archives: two performers

9. Improvisation Workshop – Two Performers

As mentioned in the last blog entry, improvisation is a theme yet to be addressed. This workshop sought to evaluate whether two performers transformed at the same time might encourage improvisation.

The exercise was carried out in a performance space off site, which acted as a means of determining the portability of the system and also enabled a black backdrop to be tested as an alternative to the previous white projection surfaces.

The video below illustrates the two performers playfully improvising verbally whilst in opposite gender, alternative less idealised body types against a black back drop and physical dance-like improvisation.

Early observations suggest that enabling two transformed performers to appear on stage at the same time does not immediately result in improvisation. Perhaps this is unsurprising, placing two performers unfamiliar with improvisation on a stage without a script for them to work with or a scenario designed to encourage improvisation is likely to produced the same results.

Conversation about why there was a lack of immediate improvisation gave rise to a number of suggestions including the idea that the addition of a third element for the performers to work with would give the performers something to work with and  encourage improvisation. The third element could take on a number of forms, the entry of a virtual character or perhaps a virtual object that the performers could pass to each other. We all felt that a game like scenario, the throwing of a virtual (or real) ball for instance would immediately encourage play and improvisation.

There are a variety of techniques and games designed to encourage improvisation, many of these can be found on the website Impro Encyclopedia. These techniques could be used as a basis for creating improvisational interactive scenarios using the iMorphia platform and adapted to exploit the power of virtual scenography and the interactive gaming potential inherent in the Unity Games Engine.

In order to explore the potential of interactive improvisational scenarios and game like performances it is envisaged that the next stage of the research will investigate the addition of interactive objects able to respond to the virtual projected iMorphia characters.

4. Kinect and Unity – Semi-realistic characters

The previous post dealt with the generation and acquisition of more realistic human characters suitable for importing into the Unity games engine and controllable by performers via the Kinect plugin. This post features four video demonstrations of the results.

1. Live character projection mapping
Unity asset, demonstrating a character attempting to follow the poses and walking movements of the performer, with variable degrees of success.

 

2. Live MakeHuman character projection mapping
The character is exported from MakeHuman as a Collada (.dae) asset suitable for importing into Unity. The character exhibits a greater degree of realism and may at times be perceived as being somewhat uncanny. The behaviour of the character is limited due to its inability to move horizontally with the performer.

 

3. Live DAZ character projection mapping
The imported semi-realistic human character is a free asset included with the DAZ software, the eyes are incorrectly rendered but this accidentally produces a somewhat eerie effect. The character can be seen to follow the movements of the performer with reasonable coherence, glitches appear when the performer moves too close to the back wall and the Kinect then becomes incapable of tracking the performer correctly.

 

4. Live two character projection mapping
This video is perhaps one of the more interesting in that watching two characters appears to be more interesting and engaging than watching one. We tend to read into the video as if the characters are interacting with each other and having a dialogue. One might imagine they are a couple arguing over something, when in fact the two performers were simply testing the interaction of the system, moving back and forth and independently moving their arms without attempting to convey any meaningful interaction or dialogue.