Parallels

The aim

I basically tried to find solution for the everlasting problem of music making. You are either hooked up to an instrument focusing on the music making or you enjoy the music while dancing you heart out.
It is hard if not unreal to do both at the same time.

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And so I was looking for a way how to do both at once. And so I found out a possible way in sort of Pole dance-instrument. The inevitable part of the Pole dance is a dance instrument the pole. The dancer is communicating with the pole as the musician communicates with his/her instrument they become sort of one body. And so I thought this all should and could become one. For that matter I took Pole dance classes (if you never tried it, do it! It is absolute fun). I also have invented a pole which reacts to the dancer presence. Unfortunately I was not be able to build it thanks to the expense of such instrument and so I decided to keep the concept and do it say the cheaper way. I programmed a video Motion tracking which substitutes the former pole instrument functions and tried it all out on my body.
And you know what? It was fun.. it does not sound grate always but there certainly were grate moments when we all become one and were beautiful in all manners.

The app

From the technical point of view.

For those interested for any reason, like you wanna do the same, or something similar. It is all done on Open Source. Well it might not sound like a big deal to you but for me it is something important. Because I know some Python basics I have decided to keep study this language (not that I wanted to study I want the work done) and write the app for this thing. Yo might say why didn’t you use programs already done for that like Pd, Max.. or Eyesweb or what ever. Well I tried. But I don’t like it. It is either buggy, slow, or without solid (or any at all) documentation and even more if you like to do something you know how to, but then you have to do this or that to hack the current software you use..I decided for code, simple clean, might be buggy too, but mine. Something where I can do with some help what ever I want not to bother with heavy apps.

So the code has risen out of nothing as like the universe had done, exactly as I like it. From nothing to nothing… don’t know about the end now.
To keep the story short, I set on Google browsing all the Python, OpenCV, PyGame examples, documentation here and there and here it is…

This is what it can…The app. I mean. (actual version 0.41)

It tracks either red or white spots (blobs) one or many (white is good when you hack a cam and make it see the Infra red light). In current version it lets you select to track 1 blob, or 2 blobs, or 2 but in this third case the blob distance is used instead of the X position so it changes samples..that’s what the X does otherwise. Y is currently used for volume in order to make it more dramatic when I’m on the top ;) It does bunch of other things, like let you select sound bank on the way, calibrate the system, and so on.

The source file: parallels_0.41
Requires: Python, PyQt4, Pygame, OpenCV (programmed on Linux)
Hardware: PC with USB what ever cam
Thanks to Vilem Novak who helped me with the OpenCV immensely.

Photo from performance (Gallery Školská 28, Praha 15 December 2011 ):

Link: http://skolska28.cz/page.php?event=522