Microsoft’s new controller-free gaming environment called Kinect for XBox 360 also doubles as a powerful digital toy for hackers. The open source drivers on the Kinect allow users to hook it up to PCs and push it in different directions like this:
The above was created by manipulating Kinect data in realtime through a C++ coding platform called Cinder. The end result makes live-action footage look like it’s gone through a Michelin Man toon shader.
Here is another person who is using the Kinect to create 3-D space:
Of course, when I look at any of this, I immediately think of the possible filmmaking and animation applications. It’s not what’s being done with it at this moment, but what could potentially be done with it tomorrow. And clearly, I’m not the only one who’s thinking of those possibilities. This video shows how an off-the-shelf motion control system can be used to recreate virtual 3-D cameras:
Just as Flash democratized drawn animation and made traditional animation production accessible to the masses, technologies like gaming motion-control systems are democratizing the high-end SFX and CG industries. The next generation of young animators won’t just be making Flash cartoons in their bedrooms; they’ll also be producing short films with special effects on a par with Avatar and Harry Potter.