Vapor Phantoms

On the 1st of November I turned in a residency application to Harvestworks - an organization in Soho whose "mission is to encourage the creation and expand the dissemination of digital media artwork."The residency is tied to a project. Here's the concept of the project in video form: [youtube]m-E0K8h_Yqs[/youtube]

Cool, no?

The idea behind the installation is that your image is volumetrically rendered live, right in front of your eyes. If you're at the exhibit with your friends, they could walk into the rendering chamber and interact with your vapor phantom, and you could possibly even walk through one another.

Because the signals are entirely digital - this project could be set up to work on the other side of the globe. I could step into a capture chamber in New York and create a vapor phantom in Tokyo.

Well, right now this is all in the concept phase, and it's difficult to come up with any ideas that have much traction w/out a real setup. Regardless, some questions that I think only real testing can answer: Would color work? Could you record and capture in the same chamber, or would the volumetric lighting create a nasty feedback loop? How many projector/camera systems do you need? What kind of detail in objects work and what kind don't? Will it look better up close or far away?

I can't answer these questions now, but I can render some more virtual 3d mockups. Closeups, with color, more systems, etc...

Unfortunately, these animations render very slowly. For parts of the video above, my machine rendered at about a half an hour for a second worth of footage. So I guess this just means I'm going to be learning about this idea very... very...... slowly.