Making an Interactive Installation with Kinect (Questions)

Hey everyone, I’m part of a small team creating interactive installations for our college, and we have a few questions.

Most of us only have surface knowledge of TouchDesigner, and trying to find information regarding how to do this has proven quite difficult, so we’re moving to the forums for help!

Basically, I have 2 main questions, but let me start with a short description to give you some context:

We want to create an immersive “lounge” area with some interaction. It will be a mystical forest environment, and will have an animation on the walls of growing plants and changing seasons, triggered by someone sitting on one of the seats. On top of this, we want to have interaction on the floor, where roots grow and follow the path that people take, anywhere on the floor. All this will be done with projectors and at least one Kinect V2.

The main thing that has been giving us problems is the roots. We have looked into L-Systems to generate the roots, but making them actually look like roots and programming them to be interactive is our next step. There’s also the matter of tracking the position of multiple people in the area and having roots follow their footsteps.

We have thought of some alternative, simpler visuals if we can’t figure this out, but we decided to ask here first!

We have also found a way to use a Kinect skeleton joint to track the coordinates of a person, but we don’t know how to make them interact with anything other than making a single object follow their position.

  1. How can we create an interactive set of growing and shrinking roots to follow a person’s position on the floor with a Kinect V2, if possible?
  2. Is it possible to trigger a video to play once someone sits down somehere, with a Kinect V2?

TL:DR - These two questions up here are really what we’re looking for answers for, so if anyone can help out, it would be a massive help for our project!

Welcome to the forum @Bio21!

Making realistic roots will be an interesting challenge. An initial place to start here might be thinking first about how you can capture data over time. A trail CHOP or record CHOP are both good candidates for doing this kind of operation. What you mean by tracking foot steps might also be worth thinking through - you could take the average position of the left and right foot, or you might think about how you want to capture both feet. Either could be interesting. To create a root like pattern you might consider combining the path of the individual with some noise patterns - a little GLSL and you could end up with something like this without too much work:

Definitely - the object CHOP can be a great help here. If you look at the last example from this thread (Object CHOP Techniques) you’ll see how to use the Object CHOP to trigger actions based on “collision” or a measure of distance. For this I’d probably use one of the waist values from the Kinect and set up a trigger region that will cause the movie file to play.

Be sure to share your progress - it’d be great to see what you all come up with.