An Advanced Projector Maps a High-Speed Light Show on These Dancers’ Faces

The term “performance art” can mean just about anything these days. In this case, it means that a pair of dancers have some creepily smooth images projected onto their faces that makes it look like they’re some sort of Harry Potter living painting ( via Engadget).

First, check out the video below, then we’ll explain.

What you just watched is a collaboration between several parties: Nobumichi Asai of Japanese visual studio WOW, production company TOKYO, dance duo AyaBambi, and the University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Wantanbe laboratory. The latter provided perhaps the most important piece of technology involved: a high-speed projector that runs at 1,000 frames per second. That high frame rate is the reason why the animations on the dancers’ faces look so smooth. The reason these projections are mapped to their faces so well, even as they move, is due to 3D mapping technology that measures depth, and 2D tracking that picks up on the girls’ movements in less than ten milliseconds.

You’ve actually probably seen a version of this technology before, pretty famously, in fact. Remember Lady Gaga’s David Bowie tribute at the 2016 Grammys, when Bowie’s various personas were animated on her face? Asai was the person responsible for making that happen, after his “OMOTE” video featuring a less advanced version of the technology started to gain notoriety.

This sounds obvious, but it really is amazing what technology can do nowadays. Have you ever seen a more impressive combination of technology and performance art? We’d love to know if you have, so give us a shout in comments or on Facebook.

Featured image: nobumichi asai/Vimeo

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