Real-time digital puppetry

digital_puppet_show

If it sometimes seems that there is only a finite amount of things you can do with your kids, have you ever considered making movies? We don’t mean taking home videos – we’re talking about making actual movies where your kids can orchestrate the action and be the indirect stars of the show.

Maker [Friedrich Kirchner] has been working on an application called MovieSandbox, which is an open-source realtime animation tool. A couple of years in the making, the project is cross-platform compatible on both Windows and Apple computers (with Linux in the works), making it accessible to just about everyone.

His most recent example of the software’s power is a simple digital puppet show, which is sure to please young and old alike. Using sock puppets fitted with special flex sensors, he is able to control his on-screen cartoon characters by simply moving his puppets’ “mouths”. An Arduino is used to pass the sensor data to his software, while also allowing him to dynamically switch camera angles with a series of buttons.

Obviously something like this requires a bit of configuration in advance, but given a bit of time we imagine it would be pretty easy to set up a digital puppet stage that will keep your kids happily occupied for hours on end.

Continue reading to see a quick video of his sock puppet theater in action.

[via Make]

Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Just think of Bob and Judy, happy as can be, inventing situations, and putting them on TV o/`

  2. doronbc says:

    they should buy a kinect:

  3. noah vawter says:

    This is really great! I’d love to try out making some of my own funny shows like Sifl and Ollie with it.

  4. friedrich says:

    Hey, thanks for posting! The people with the Kinect puppet live right around the corner from me and are good friends.
    Kinect support is part of the software too! I just haven’t gotten around to document it yet.
    I am currently running a kickstarter for this project here (http://kck.st/fLxdrX) and you can get an arduino kit as a reward (that will work with that example shown above).

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