Skip to content

Theatre, Dance & Motion Tracking: Art?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

The way a human tracks motion is both extraordinary and inconspicuous. In both theatre and dance, a lighting graphics engineer designs visuals and lighting to match a performer’s movement. Their motions might delight the audience but are very complex for computers to detect and interpret. Despite continuous breakthroughs, there are still many issues to overcome when tracking the human body across a stage.

Michaela Spiteri (supervised by Alexandra Bonnici) developed a system that allows dancers to control light effects through the dancer’s own movement. Mapping the movement of humans has several problems. Dancers tend to be highly flexible and perform very refined movements. The complex movements sometimes obscure certain body parts, which rapidly appear again, confusing the computer. Skel-on-pc-screen

The computer tracked motion through a number of steps. First, it created a mathematical model of the background image. This technique allows the background and dancer to be separated in live video, leaving the dancer’s silhouette.

Secondly, the dancer’s silhouette was then thinned to a skeleton in order to obtain five points: head, hands and feet. A Kalman filter was applied, allowing the computer to continue to track motion even if a point was hidden. The Kalman filter predicts location by assessing past information and predicting where it would be in the future.

The study could stimulate new ways for artists to express their concepts. Additionally, the computer algorithm used can be applied in augmented reality, medicine and surveillance.

This research was performed as part of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at the Faculty of Engineering.

More to explorer

Maltese Innovation Promises New Era in Accessing Space

A team of researchers and engineers from the University of Malta’s Astrionics Research Group (ASTREA) are developing their own satellite and ground station for Malta to take its place in the night sky above.

Cutting EDGE Research: the Genomes of Maltese Plants

Conservation is a 21st century hot topic. It is a top priority worldwide to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. But how can we even begin to conserve our natural environment if we don’t understand it? Ines Ventura investigates.

Impressions on Branding

Our impression of a brand shapes our experience of the product or service involved. Five students from the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Digital Arts looked into this, involving their own interests in the medium.

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.