Sunday, June 04, 2006

London Graduate Fashion Week

About a month ago, Moving Brands, the company I work for won a pitch to design the stand for the London College of Fashion at the Graduate Fashion Week, opening tomorrow morning at Battersea Park Arena.

We wanted to do someting quite unusual for a fashion show, so our proposal for the stand was centered around an 8 meter long, interactive table showcasing the work of nearly 200 of students. Each student is assigned a cube holding their personal details and up to 5 pieces of work each. There's a colour scheme in place to group students by courses attended. The cubes can be rotated individually or in groups by visitors hand movements on the table surface. To improve the illusion of a tactile response of this system, I made the cubes moving as if "floating" on water when they're rotated. Also, there's no limit to the number of simultaneous users.

UPDATE: documentation video is now available.

This was the first real camera tracking project I have worked on, and because of the current nightmare to get QT4Java working consistently and reliably with Processing almost forced me to use Director (with an embedded Flash sprite for the camera feed) instead. Though, not giving up that easily and as mentioned previously, I successfully managed to get something working using JMF. Alas, so far it's largely untested (only with 2 different [and quite old] camera models) and is by no means ready for public consumption. But I really am working on it!

Speaking of cameras: Because the tracked surface is also used as projection screen we had to use infrared cameras. Thanks to the ingeniutity of this fine gentleman we modded some cheap webcams and turned them into IR cams for free. The only problem was to find the right models (a lot of the more recent models have their IR filter painted on the lens, not separate) and so it took quite some convincing the staff at PC World to let us open some potential candidates instore before finding the right ones...

I just returned from setting up the stand all day long whilst hacking on the last few changes. Rigging 8 projectors and cameras to join up seamlessly is no easy feat. I'll be at the stand all day tomorrow and in the mornings until Wednesday, maybe see you there... ;)

Also expect semi-live Flickr coverage via ShoZu...