This post collects a series of projects related to the visualisation of movement. Where visual shapes and forms are made by the result of the collection of the movement data. The characteristics of that forms shows us the dynamics of the movement through time.
The information of the subject body (position/velocity of hands, head, feet, …) is recorder along the time and mapped into visual metaphors (lines, colours, dots, ….).
This way the movement is materialized into a digital sculpture. The time is frozen and expanded into a smooth trail of motion events.
This idea of capturing the movement as shapes throw time is not new.
There is an instantly connection between these projects and the work of Etienne-Jules Marey. His amazing studies capturing sequential moments of time from movement resulted in incredible beautiful graphic compositions. Apart from the obvious contribution for motion picture arts, his work also gave a new perspective of space and time and allowed a detailed study of the body and motion of several animal species.
Another clear reference is “Nude Descending a Staircase, No2" by Marcel Duchamp, where a body is painted several times along different moments of time portraying a sequence of moments from a subject descending a staircase.The collection of all that different moments of the movement results in a final dynamic shape that transmits the characteristics of that determinate movement.
"Locomotion",Etienne Jules Marey,1870 "Nude Descending a Staircase, No2”, Marcel Duchamp,1912
Despite the visual and conceptual similarities, the following works share a big difference when compared to theirs predecessors.
Unlike the painting canvas or the film, the digital medium is not static. The content and the form are separated. The content (the movement data) is numbers saved in a text file, from which one can generated an infinite number of different forms with different interpretations, parameters, metaphors and dimensions. Current 3d printing technologies would even allow the possibility of printing this digital shapes in physical sculptures.
“Moving sculpture from the recorded motion data of a real person.
[…] the body movements create a reference to the otherwise invisible space, much like the dots bounce on the ground to give it a physical dimension. Thus, the sound-dance constellation in the video does not only simulate a purely virtual space. The complex dynamics of the body movements is also strongly self-referential.
[…] a new reality space emerges whose simulated aesthetics goes far beyond numerical codes”.
“Data-Sculpture made from the a dancer’s movement created in processing, rhino.python and printed on a 3D printer.
Most data sets are static, rarely representing their subject as it is in the immediate present. They are reflections of the past, of how things were at a given moment in time. This project is an experiment that attempts to record data which leaves no trace.
The result is an abstracted yet detectable form based on human-generated data in real time. The form is meant to be hung in the room where the original dance took place. Whereas previously the dance would have disappeared, become intangible, these fleeting moments are now captured.”
By Emily Webster and Mathew Epler
“This video shows a brief fragment of Merce Cunningham dancing (with his hands) in a motion capture system. The video was produced by the OpenEnded Group (artists Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser) for their LOOPS project (a digital portrait of Merce Cunningham, 2001-2008) and is used with permission.”
“Here, the digitally captured coordinates of Cunningham’s fingers and knuckle joints are used to structure a smooth field of simulated energy. The result is a twitchy, fleshy blob, animated by Cunningham’s own movements, which dances in the liminal territory between pure abstract form and medical information visualization. “
By Brian Knep, Golan Levin, Casey Reas and Sosolimited
using Motion Capture data form the LOOPS project (2001-2008), a digital portrait of Merce Cunningham by artists Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser
“Forms is an ongoing collaboration between visuals artists Memo Akten and Quayola, a series of studies on human motion, and its reverberations through space and time. It is inspired by the works of Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton, Étienne-Jules Marey as well as similarly inspired modernist cubist works such as Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase No.2″. Rather than focusing on observable trajectories, it explores techniques of extrapolation to sculpt abstract forms, visualizing unseen relationships – power, balance, grace and conflict – between the body and its surroundings.
The project investigates athletes; pushing their bodies to their extreme capabilities, their movements shaped by an evolutionary process targeting a winning performance. Traditionally a form of entertainment in todays society with an overpowering competitive edge, the disciplines are deconstructed and interrogated from an exclusively mechanical and aesthetic point of view; concentrating on the invisible forces generated by and influencing the movement.”
Quayola and Memo Akten – Artists
Nexus Interactive Arts - Production Company
Beccy McCray – Producer
Jo Bierton – Production Manager
Matthias Kispert - Sound design
Maxime Causeret – Houdini Developer
Raffael F J Ziegler (AKA Moco) – 3D Animator
Katie Parnell – 3D Tracker
Eoin Coughlan – 3D Tracker
Mark Davies – 3D Tracking Supervisor
More information :: http://thecreatorsproject.com/en-uk/blog/quayola-and-memo-akten-translate-athletic-movement-into-abstract-animations