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Light Cube


(click on a picture for a larger version)

A common paradigm in the new media genre are pieces that reflect some aspect of the viewer's visual appearance - virtual "mirrors" that take in live video input (usually via webcam) and then feed back that visual data in intriguing ways. My interest in using this technology is not to simply present a two dimensional "mirror," but to combine that effect with 3D graphics, creating an onscreen virtual space that is sculptural and architectural, as well as, graphical. I call the approach "3D Video Sculpture."

"Light Cube" is an interactive work using a webcam and specialized software to generate an interactive 3D Video Sculpture on a computer screen.

"Light Cube" arose from my early experiments as I built the technical foundation for what I was doing. Being able to actually sculpt beams of light is something that isn't quite practical yet off the screen but is something I would like to do someday. Until then I am content with creating it on screen. I take the video image from the camera and map those colors onto tens of thousands of 3D cubes. Because of the layers and layers of cubes replicating image bright colors become very bright and abstract the image, coupling with the natural camera noise to become streams of flexing white light.

(click on a picture for a larger version)

The Light Cube in which the participants are projected is fully rotatable in the virtual 3D Space and at different angles the lights inside become less of a direct representation of the camera input and more of an abstract living sculpture (or if there are multiple participants, a living sculpture garden!).

The software was created in Windows C++ using Visual C++ .NET, using Quicktime for live video capture and OpenGL for graphics.

A big thanks to Daniel Shiffman and nehe.gamedev.net.

Click here to view the work in motion!. (6.48 MB Quicktime Movie)

e-mail me at edtang at antiexperience.com

All Materials Copyright © 2004 Edward Tang. All materials on this site including interactive programs, images, videos, and text are the property of Edward Tang and is protected by copyright and are not to be reproduced without permission. All Rights Reserved.