What's the strangest/most interesting thing you've done with Isadora?

  • Tech Staff

    Hello all,

    One of my favourite things about Isadora is its flexibility, and as such, I love hearing interesting stories about the things people have done with it.

    For me: Teaching a workshop to college students last year, I triggered the first projection in my introductory Patch by biting a banana, in order to demonstrate that one can interface just about anything, (including a banana), with Isadora. The banana and myself were both wired to a Makey Makey, and biting it, I completed the circuit, triggering a key-press on the computer, which Isdora picked up via a Keyboard Watcher actor, which then started the projection.

    Anyone else care to share?

    Best wishes,


  • Tech Staff


    A friend of mine was working for the Red Cross somewhere in Central Afrika and during the night he had to check every full hour if the people on the radio sent a control message to everyone. So instead of setting the alarm clock to every hour, I built him a patch where Isadora triggered another software to record the sound with the internal microphone of the Mac and it recorded the sound from 5 minutes to the full hour to 10 minutes after. In the morning he just had to go through the recordings.

    Best Michel

  • Tech Staff

    I always tell the story of a lady who sent us a video of her fish making music. She used Eyes to motion track the goldfish in X and Y. This was converted to MIDI and sent to garage band. 

    You could even download the album from Google Music!

    The video has been deleted from YouTube but the very old forum thread is still in the archive somewhere. 

  • once I had to send subtitles to a very strange shaped screen and the actors company had only a powerpoint. the projector was with a near to zero keystone or broken keystone, I don't remember precisely, so instead became crazy I've used their laptop with powerpoint then through a webcam I've captured the laptop's  screen in real time and resized with isadora. Rough but it worked smooth!!!

  • Tech Staff

    These are all really neat! I can't wait to see people add more!


    Ingenious application of the software! I wonder how many interesting and varied applications Isadora has been used for that we don't know about yet. Hopefully we'll find out more in this thread. 


    I think I found it: https://community.troikatronix... Wish I could see that youtube video of the musical fish though. Damn...


    See? I told you we're theatre wizards (not bards!) ;) Way to come up with a simple-yet-elegant solution and make the best of a bad situation my friend!

    @everyone else

    Keep the stories coming!

    Best wishes,


  • Tech Staff

    Cool. Please collect and keep them for the next Werkstatt, we make a show and tell out of this.

  • Tech Staff

    I think my most unusual/unexpected usage of Isadora has been for costume design (twice now).

    The first time I used Izzy map to help me reshape a thunderbird outline so that it would fit fabric being used for a shawl. 
    The shape was masked off with tape so that it could be painted.

    Second (just last month), I sent artnet from Isadora to a wireless arduino receiver to aid in visualizing different colors and patterns for the integrated 160 rgb leds.
    Once the color and design was worked out the final effects were programmed direct to the board.

  • Hi,

    I have recently been approached by a publicist working for Fox media who offered poseable figurines from the Wes Anderson animated film ‘Isle of Dogs’. The gig was to develop a stop motion rig for local student filmmakers to create  short micro movies using the Wes Anderson figurines. I looked at the software used by Anderson’s team ‘Dragonframe’ and noticed that a lot of what the program was doing could be quickly patched in Isadora. So I put Isadora to the task and currently have 2 x stop motion rigs operating with student animators busy making their micro films for local cinema screening in association with the April 2018 release of the Feature film.

    I don’t think my project is particularly unusual or strange. But, I do think that Isadora is a very approachable visual programming environment, that is totally underestimated by the industry. It provides exemplary rapid concept development, proof of concept and prototyping capacity. 

    - I am just dreaming now! It would be even more remarkable if there was an option to package Isadora patches with their own runtime engine so they could be distributed as stand alone app's.

    Best wishes


  • Tech Staff

    @xenia @Skulpture 

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think these concise blurbs and examples could make for fabulous promotional material (with consent of course). Mini Artist-Spotlights on our social media perhaps?


    Wow! It's so cool that our projection mapping tools have applications in both the fashion and lighting design industries. Now I need to visit Canada so I can see all of your fabulous tech and fashion design in person.


    Working on something associated with a Wes Anderson film already sounds like a dream to me! Congratulations! A very imaginative use of Isadora from you (as always), and I agree with you that Isadora is very approachable visual programming environment that is totally underestimated by the industry, especially considering, as you mentioned, it's rapid concept development, proof of concept, and capacity for prototyping. At the 2017 Isadora Werkstatt Berling, @Skulpture told a great story about how his students would completely blow clients away by whipping up a proof-of-concept for them in just a few minutes.

    Another one of mine: My first Isadora project was an interactive projection performance-game for a dance composition course I was taking. In my rehearsals, I didn't have my cast rehearse, but instead introduced them to how to interact with various elements I would be using in the product, (Kinect, motion tracking, etc). All of the instructions as to what to do and who was to do what were provided by the Patch in the form of projected text and interactively-selectable options., The selections as to what direction the performance would take were projected on the wall in the form of labelled buttons. Two security cameras, pointed towards the same wall, allowed me to have the performers use themselves as "cursors" to select projected options with targeted motion tracking triggered by their digital image entering the area of any given "button". Having had them rehearsing/experimenting with how interact with the elements I would be using, I intentionally created the piece such that first time my cast saw what the Patch actually did was while they were performing the piece for the final showing. Were they playing the game, or was the game playing them?  Who knows?

    This thread is so interesting; I can't wait to see what else people have done!

    Best wishes,



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