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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Asphyxia: An Innovative and Gorgeous Audio-Visual Experience

As.phyx.ia is an innovative short film combining motion-capture technology and contemporary dance to create a breathtaking audio-visual experience.
The project is lead by Maria Takeuchi in charge of Frederico Phillips and performed by Shiho Tanaka.


The project was created by using two Xbox One Kinect motion sensors. They captured the movement of the dancer - Shiho Tanaka, which made the backbone of the entire film. Frederico Phillips, who was in charge of the graphics from start to finish used that data in a very intriguing way.

He forwarded it to a special 3D package that focuses on procedural generation. That means a series of commands are layered one after the other in a chain. Each of the commands can be interacted with throughout the entire time. Each command builds on top of the other before it and allows for consistent effects to be created and applied to the entire scene.

This allowed him to transform the digital image of the dancer into this beautiful sculpture of interconnected points, which is the focus of the film as well.

Further, he built a near-realistic scene with a very dim and omnious atmosphere to further enhance the effect and have an environment to place the character in.

The audio you hear is also custom composited by Maria Takeuchi. She created after the film was fully made and rendered, so she can adapt each tone and rhythm to the picture. This way the audio and visual perceptions correlate and establish a mesmerizing experience for the viewer.

Watch their "making of" video to learn more about their process.

I'm delighted to see more innovative and creative projects using the available and cheap technology out there. Just noting that motion capture equipment is pretty expensive on it's own, not counting the software you need to work with the data. Figuring out that two Xbox One Kinects would be enough to drive the project is a small victory on it's own.

Furthermore, I love how they decided to use procedural 3D generation to create a beautiful figure. Procedurals in the 3D world are highly regarded because they are fast, light, highly adaptable and highly scalable assets. However, they are very hard to work with and set up, so not too many of the artists out there can do it.

The trio gets all my cudos for this project.

Finally, you can go and check out more details about the project and their contacts at: