3LD Arts & Technology Center
Manhattan, New York.
"The production company, 3-Legged Dog Media + Theater Group, operates the 3LD Art & Technology Center, the 1000 person capacity art space, performance venue and integrative technology lab." I was called in to work as an interaction designer for the Deepest Man new media theatrical production. The production included the use of more than 30 projectors, the use of EyeLiner hologram technology, and body tracking projections to emote a dramatized immersive experience.
My role as interaction designer was to build the body tracking program that would work in conjunction with projection mapping technology for the Deepest Man. Being a technologists also inherently means that we fearlessly volunteer to work across disciplines and tasks. During my stay I also assisted on video edits for the performance, cabling, emergency store runs, and Isadora programming. While at the 3LD Arts & Technology Center I witnessed and was involved in the production of the Deepest Man from conception to completion.
Body Tracking Patch for "Deepest Man" Production
Problem: A scene in the performance needed video content to be projected only onto the moving bodies of three performers, keeping the walls behind them untouched.
Solution: Using the Processing open source programming language, an off the shelf Microsoft Kinect, and the interactive media presentation tool called Isadora, I was able to map interactive visuals in real time onto the bodies of the three moving performers. Understanding how to connect the pieces such that they were performance ready required research, trial and error, and an open communication with my network of peers.
Problem: Different sets of cables needed to be positioned across the performance space to provide data and electricity to the appropriate machines. Deepest Man specific mood boards needed to be placed across the art space providing the performers with easy access to the imagery that needed to be emoted. Production assistance was needed for video shoots.
Solution: While working on my broader tasks, I had really busy periods, and gaps where I was less busy. During the times that I was less busy, I walked around asking how I could help other teams. In doing so, I found small exciting tasks that were quick, easy to complete and very rewarding.
Problem: The performance had media that was being projected on the walls, an EyeLiner, and across multiple surfaces on the set. One of these surfaces, a room with one wall missing, needed content for two separate scenes. The content needed to be seamlessly projected across the continuous perimeter of the room, which measured around 60+ feet. My task was to stitch together pre-prepared video content for one scene, and to design, illustrate, and stitch content for the second scene.
Solution: Through the use of pencil and paper, Adobe After Effects, Premier Pro, and Isadora I was able to edit the content to fit the space for the first scene. I finished the second scene with the additional help of Adobe Illustrator, and the open source 3D modeling suite, Blender 3D. Using familiar techniques, I was able to complete a unique task by working across multiple content creation tools.