Isadora Exercises for theatre directors

  • I will be teaching Isadora to young theatre directors, complete novices vis-a-vis Isadora, and would appreciate sharing fun exercises that would not require complicated hardware:

    I will be getting a kinect, infrared camera and light, but that would be it.
    They will be using Windows and OS X.
    A class will consist of up to 10 people, and I would like each of them to have a separate task.
  • Beta Platinum

    I'll never forget the moment when a par light reacted interactive to the movement of my hand via kinect, but maybe thats not the easiest patch to begin with ;-)

  • @feinsinn: Thanks, that's a good one.


  • OK, so far I have this list of exercises:

    1\. Color [Tracking]( using a PS3 EYE or built in cam.
    2\. Kinect as a video cam (RGB and depth, with depth cut-offs), using Quartz Composer kinect patch
    3\. Kinect as a distance meter and a DMX interactive light (thanks @feinsinn), using Quartz Composer kinect patch, USB to DMX adapter
    4\. Arduino + [HC-SR04]( ultrasonic distance meter + video player controlled by distance to an object. [REF]( -- need to learn to interface arduino with Isadora.
    5\. Theremin (hope to borrow one from the Moscow Theremin Center) to control some video effect (plus perhaps ableton live -- do not know yet how to interface the theremin I might be getting)
    6\. [Syphon Screen Capture]( to input from videos from youtube/skype.
    7\. [Syphon as an interface to a DSLR](
    8\. OSC messaging Isadora from a smartphone (TouchOSC on IOS, android --???)
    9\. Streaming from a smartphone camera into Isadora (EpocCam on IOS, android -???)
    10\. Using pulsecontroller as [a MIDI input]( into Isadora to control some effect.
    11\. Hacking PS3 EYE to accept only infrared light, infrared tracking of actors using IR lit background (two regular lights with IR filters -- what filters should I get ???)
    12\. Using infrared light and infrared camera to create "tunnels through walls" (IR camera picks up the IR light reflected from walls and uses that blob as a mask on the video projected on the wall).
    13\. Using rotary encoder and Arduino, create a dynamic projection mapping of a rotating object.
    The requirement here is to use off the shelf free software and cheap hardware.
    Any comments, suggestions how to improve this set would be appreciated. 
    The least certain items for me are 
    #3: What hardware should I use (DMX adapter, DMX dimmer, perhaps some non-DMX hardware, keeping in mind the requirement of cheap and free).
    #4: Perhaps some cheapo theremin can be made based on arduino -- how about interfacing it with Isadora?
    #9: What's the current best app for that? (free/cheap)

    1. I would not bother with real theremin. Use Arduino with photo or proximity or capacitance sensor instead. These are pretty easy and simple to program either to output serial>USB or MIDI(with USB MIDI dongle) to talk to Isadora.
    For instance ALESIS AirFX uses IR send-receive to get pretty good theremin like effect. The same is possible with Arduino.
    9) EpocCam

  • Thanks @vanakaru and @Bodo.

    Your point about theremin is well taken @vanakaru, but I am talking about it in the theory section, where I also present a show I did with the theremin, which was, besides sound, used as a proximity sensor -- so I want to show theremin itself, and use it the way I did in the show.

  • About the real theremin: it may be rather interesting to use theremins cap sensor(antenna) to control something in the computer. But then you need Arduino(or similar) to digitize the sensor. The same would be to utilize theremins 2 ocillators. So it is all analog thus you need to digitize what ever you try. Like taking sound via mic, analyzing frequency, controlling something in Isadora with that data.

  • Beta Platinum

    I have a moog theremin with CV out. Always wanted to use that output to generate interactive stuff. But you find much more hardware midi to cv, but not the other way round as I would need it. Or better would be: CV to OSC.

    Can I use my Arduino One for the CV from the Moog Theremin? Would really be great when I could get nice numbers into Isadora...

  • @feinsinn

    CV seems to stay between 1-5V. Arduino can cope with 5V from analog input. I think it is doable.
  • Beta Platinum

    @vanakaru as I have no idea about Arduino programming, is there something I can look for: website, links, etc...

  • Take a look at this
  • Beta Platinum

    Great link, thank you!

  • Or if you want a fast cheat plug the theremin into your audio input and use frequency watcher.

  • Beta Platinum

    @Fred so simple and genius!

  • @Fred: Thanks. That's a great suggestion.

  • Beta Platinum

    @eight can you share the theremin frequency watcher patch if you are going to do it? I cant get it working right

  • @feinsinn: I have a word from the Theremin Center in Moscow that they will help me set it up, I don't know what kind of equipment they will offer, but if something useful comes out of it, I will let you know. This will happen closer to the end of December.

  • Beta Platinum

    @eight thank you for keeping us updated

  • About the DMX controller, I have used both these links and they worked fine with my Macbook Pro.
    However I never used Izzy to control DMX (yet)….
    Another fun experiment is with Wiimotes and OSCulator… I used one to control a 3D environment.
    Also, I second the Epoccam route… it's a great app with little to none delay. Also, they have an app called multicam which gives you the ability to use 4 devices.