Clouds – Kinect Experimental 3D Cinema

Posted filed under3D, Computer Art, Film, Games, Technology, Video Art, Videos.

What happens if you connect a Kinect, that popular motion sensing input device for the Xbox 360 game console, with a video camera and start playing around with it? Well, the talented boys and girls of Deepspeed Media gave it a try and here are some of the results.


Clouds is a computational documentary featuring hackers and media artists in dialogue about code, culture and the future of visualization. This is a preview of a feature length production to be released later this year.

By Jonathan Minard ( and James George (

Supported by:
The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry
Art && Code festival 2011
RESONATE festival 2012
Eyebeam Art+Technology Center
Made with – Find out more on their site

Check out the Kinect+SLR Filmmaking Workshop at Hangar Barcelona to get a better understanding what’s actually going on here:

A multidimenionsal hello from all the enthusiastic participants at the RGBD Workshop at Hangar Barcelona.
Made with rgbdtoolkit ( +, developed with support from the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University (

Golan Levin’s AMA Video Uses Experimental 3D Cinema

Golan Levin is a creator, performer, innovator, engineer and MIT graduate whose work has been seen around the world, and FITC gave you the opportunity to ask him anything via Reddit. Golan has answered your questions in the video below, which was created by James George (@obviousjim) and Jonathan Minard (@deepspeedmedia), artists-in-residence at Golan’s lab who are researching new forms of experimental 3D cinema.

The work of James George and Jonathan Minard explores the notion of “re-photography”, in which otherwise frozen moments in time may be visualized from new points of view. Despite the sometimes wildly moving camera, the video was in fact shot with a stationary Kinect-like depth sensor coupled to a digital SLR video camera. To compose their shots, the filmmakers developed custom openFrameworks software that aligns and combines color video and depth data into a dynamic sculptural relief.

In a process of “virtual cinematography”, James and Jonathan rephotographed Golan’s 3D likeness — selecting new angles, dollying, and zooming — to compose new perspectives on the data as if playing a video game. Fixed camerawork is thus transformed into a malleable and negotiable post-process, in which shots can be carefully recomposed to highlight and inflect different latent meanings.

This experiment developed out of concepts and collaborations born at Art && Code, a conference on 3D sensing and visualization organized by Golan’s laboratory, the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. Artist-hackers assembled to explore the artistic, technical, tactical and cultural potentials of low-cost depth sensors, such as the Kinect. As an outcome of the conference, James George, a creative coder interested in cinema, and Jonathan Minard, a documentary filmmaker interested in new-media technology, are now collaborating on the development of open-source tools and techniques for augmenting high-resolution video with depth information.

Don’t miss Golan Levin at FITC Amsterdam 2012, he’ll be presenting Machine Code and Visual Culture.