Luci Laffitte – Project 2 – Beastly Proportions

by luci @ 8:45 am 9 February 2012

[slideshare id=11502902&doc=beastlyproportionspresentation-120209134454-phpapp01]







Animal encyclopedias & reference books always list species height information, but it can be hard to imagine just how big a donkey is, especially when it is described as 3′ 5” from the shoulder. Many people find it hard to understand this information out of context and are much better and understand height in comparison to themselves. So I was inspired to create a life-size interactive size comparison chart to allow people to explore this information in an easy & relatable way.



I used  a kinect sensor with a OSC program called Synapse (also required openNI/openNITE) to get readings on where the users right hand was. (With help from Dan and referencing a project that I found I was able to track the users right hand height with the simple variable- rhy). I used processing to check if there was an animal in my database that is as tall as the users hand height, and draw the animal. I projected this image on top of a 7 foot scale on a large white wall in my studio over.



I was really excited to do this project so I could experiment with the kinect. Once I got all of the required software downloaded (one of the biggest hurdles) I had a lot of fun imagining the potential of this technology.The second big hurdle was getting all of the animals to the correct scale because of different methods of animal measurement (from the shoulder, from the head etc). I learned a lot during this project through researching all of the software being developed for the kinect and was amazed by how many methods I could have used to do this project. Looking forward, I am glad to have this experience with the kinect, so I can created more sophisticated interactions in the future.


I think I could have improved this project in many ways. I would have loved if the animals faded in and out in an elegant manner, or if they could be little video clips or animations of the animals. Also I realized that if someone ‘plays’ with it for too long their arm gets tired.

1 Comment

  1. ————————————————————————-

    This is a really  nice introduction to the question/purpose of the infographic. Well done. 
    Even if you had a really short clip of the animal walking in, sitting down and then walking out 
    could be very entertaining.

    This is great to see how you document the process of making it.

    Great presentation and idea. Maybe next time try lighting it from a different angle so it pick up the hand and not the shadow.

    This presentation was really made well. From typography, to images, to exploration of white space was all great! Really awesome idea as well!

    Couldn’t you just use a regular camera? not even a Kinect? It’s not an exploration of depth, but rather moving in a 2D plane (y axis). agree

    The little girafe is cute. 

    Presentation was really great, I like your idea a lot. Kids would love this.

    Nice process. I like how interactive it is! it’s an excellent way of brining in the audience in understanding the proportions of the all the different animals. cooooooo

    Really nice background presentation — you’re a great presenter. Just enough motivation (explanation about where your idea came from), just enough technical background, really clear why you made this and how. 

    Really wish there were more animals!!!!! 

    Somehow there’s a design problem that’s not solved well, which is what to do when you’re in-between different animals and there’s nothing showing. 
    +1 Maybe just grow the animal to some max height before switching?

    That is a very fun idea.  

    Very good explanation of the process you used. Did you use the average hieght or the minimum or maxium?
    I think it might help to have a text label projected as well. When the giraffe came up, I was confused because it was too small, but they you said it was a bady giraffe and everything made sense.

    Awesome presentation and sketches! Really communicating your idea.

    would have been better without shadow on backdrop
    ^^that’s pretty unavoidable with some very fancy types of projector (IE short-throw between the person and the screen)
    ^^ Or rear projection, but that might mess with the Kinect camera

    I love that you incorporated not just the visual representation to develop intuition about animal sizes, but also the proprioceptive sense. I imagine that helps really drive home a sense for how large these animals are, when you have to contort your own body to get them to display.

    So great! Would be fun to get a ladder! ha! Awesome idea!
    Ha — adding a ladder or stepstool would be a really great addition. 

    Thank you for doing this.  The first time I realized Giant Ant Eaters were actually giant, I was utterly terrified. With software like this, I could be better prepared.  Super cool.  Kids would go nuts for this.

    I like how you documented your process: pictures are great! The project was great and the visualization was playful. I would’ve liked a more whimsical song. 
        ** Agree

    I love that font you use for your presentation slides!

    Thats is an amazin concept and beautifully done!

    This was my favourite song when I was 5. Instant win!
        ** Ha ha :)

    Beautiful! I love that interaction. I can actually see this installation in a science museum where children (and adults!) play around and sense for real how big / small are animals compared to them.

    Such a cool project! I like your presentation style, and it seems like a great project that can be exhibited in museums, especially children’s museum! 

    Comment by patrick — 14 February 2012 @ 9:18 am

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