"Watercolor Walls," the latest project by San Francisco-based art collective Anticlockwise, combines light, cameras, and audience participation to turn your silhouette into a flowing pattern of projected colors. At the Academy of Sciences' weekly NightLife event last night, Ilana Siegelman dances to create silhouette trails of herself on the screen. She said it was "easy to play with," once she figured out that she could change the colors by using a projected palette.
Watercolor Walls uses some basic tech tools and audience participation to give new life to the stodgy old silhouette. The system includes a projection screen, infrared lights, an infrared camera, and a computer running some unique software.
When your silhouette comes in contact with one of the colors on the palette, it changes color, and brings that new color down into the rest of the screen. That new color then interacts with the differently colored silhouettes of others, which gives participants a unique ability to control both the on-screen colors and flow of the silhouettes.
The computer runs a piece of software that performs "blob detection," a type of visual object tracking. Implemented with the open-source software toolkit openFrameworks, and connected to the camera, projector, and infrared filters, it creates the light show around your body.