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.