• Hello. I am looking for ideas and inspiration. I'm an English lit/creative writing teacher and not an artist or programmer at all. But I have been really excited to share Isadora with my middle and high school students. These are kids ages 12-18. I have two classrooms that are going to use this technology over three class periods. We are experimenting what it is like to immerse ourselves in a text. Why do some books/passages draw us in while we read others with a more distant eye? So for this particular unit, we are trying to find visual ways to reflect what it is like to read & truly love a book. I am asking them to each choose a passage or quote from a beloved book –it can be either a childhood favorite or something that they read more recently. It is not that they will try to match the content of their passage as much as try to match the experience of being engrossed in a story. Can they somehow physically/visually create the sensation of reading and becoming immersed in a meaningful passage?

     I made some demo videos for the class in order to give the students an overview of ways to use a kinect to interact with text. While I created the patches in the clips, I don't  actually know much about Isadora so it was a lot of trial and error and I know that it doesn't look very professional compared to the work that most of you do. So I am a bit embarrassed but here are two example clips in this dropbox folder. The text is from a childhood favorite of mine. Perhaps some of you will recognize it ;)


     The students' homework over the weekend is to think about what kind of Isadora effects they would like to use and to collect their passages, images/videos and sound clips for our work next week. I suspect that very few of the students will actually want to dance. Most will choose to be more like my beta student who had fun playing with the kinect and making the images & text move as she moves. So each kid will be free to move how he or she pleases and I'd like each kid's patch to be personalized since they are all working with different books.

      OK, sorry for the long explanation. The bottom line is that I am looking for additional EASY ideas for izzy actors that might work particularly well with the Text Draw actor and the Kinect.  The more interactive the better.  I want them to feel as if they are really interacting with their passage. And I am also looking for ideas for how to streamline the process so that each student is able to customize her work to match her passage at least a little.  There are 18 students in each class and we only have 3 class meetings for this unit (about 3.5 hours total).  For the sake of expediency, I am trying to set up as much as possible beforehand. I have several tech savvy students who might want to learn how to actually create the patches, but given none of them have ever used Isadora before, I am not sure how realistic it is to expect that I'll have time to teach them how to make their own.  Besides, we only have one computer and one Kinect. So it will be more likely that I will try to create custom patches on the fly to match their imagination within my somewhat limited skill set and the time that I have available to work on this project outside of class.

     My long term hope is that my school administration will be inspired enough by my work that they will buy some copies of Isadora for the school and then I can actually learn more and teach it myself. But right now, we are just using my personal computer that I'll lug to work each day next week.

     Many thanks in advance if you have some thoughts (or even read my long explanation)!



  • @kirsten

    Whoops. It looks like my link didn't work. Here it is again: https://tinyurl.com/y9t9rrbj

  • Hi Kirsten, You seem to have produced a load of different ways to interact with the text. nice work. there's plenty for the students to choose from. if you would like to add a few more, might i recommend playing with the Effects Mixer to try different blend modes between the text and the figure.

    Also, 3D Particles could be really nice: try feeding the image from the kinect into the Video Gen input and bits of text into the Texture Map input. (increase your particle count to 1000 or something, and drop your z translate down to -100) - things can get really nice if you add some Wave Generators to the gravity input (but keep the Min and Max scaled down quite low, something like -8 to 8)

  • @dbini

    Thank you. I'll give the effects mixer and 3d particles a try!


  • Tech Staff

    @kirsten said:


    Thank you. I'll give the effects mixer and 3d particles a try!

    I find it can be extremely interesting to daisy-chain Effects Mixer actorss together (making some adjustments here and there so as to create more differences between the video feeds).

    Sorry for the lack of labelling (I was in a rush).

    Play around with this Isadora patch, or have your students do so.

    Best wishes,