Microsoft’s Kinect camera promised quite a bit when it was first introduced to Xbox 360 gamers around the world, but it didn’t really deliver. There were a few so-so games, but even when it became mandatory as part of the Xbox One, it failed to capture users’ imaginations. Where it does work beautifully though, is when you take its data and turn it into a music video.
“Wired throughout the body, trapped in a dancing mind,” is the description for the new video as.phyx.i.a, from Maria Takeduchi and Frederico Phillips. The video features an ambient soundtrack, with a dancer interpreting the sounds onscreen. However, what you see isn’t the flesh-and-blood form of the dancer, but point data recorded on a Kinect camera — and the effect is stunning.
The join-the-dot nature of the data the Kinect records creates a very strange figure, almost as if a real person were trapped in twine and forced into these strange positions by the mystical string.
Lighting choices, depth of field, and other techniques used by the filmmakers really emphasize what you’re seeing, giving it look that is simultaneously realistic and unreal.
Of course this was not all done in one take. In reality it involved “extensive steps,” according to the creators (via WinBeta). All of the point data had to be combined from various angles and run-throughs of the dance, and the resultant model was used as the “base for the creative development of the piece.”
“A series of iterative studies on styles followed and several techniques and dynamic simulations were then applied using a number 3D tools for various results,” the creators said.
It’s notable that arguably the best-looking media to come out of the Kinect camera arises after Microsoft has begun to wind down its use. The new Xbox One S does not even have a specialized port for it.