Bodies in Passage: Photogrammetry and Manipulation

In this project I asked how to take a photogrammetry, an exact (and sometimes temperamental) virtual modeling tool, and have it illustrate not final forms of dancing bodies but movement itself. How to show moving bodies in a still form? This project was the final fulfillment for Virtual Modeling with Scott Swearingen in the Advanced Computing Center of Art and Design in Autumn of 2016. The project was inspired by Rosalie Yu’s research, especially their work entitled Embrace in Progress.

To complete this study I made thirteen models of separate dancers asking them to remain still (for better data capture) and then to move in various ways (to play with how the software would process our disobedience) for the building of their 3D avatar. I then juxtaposed them in a makeshift studio presenting the untouched models and their counterpart manipulations to show the way that movement can be understood, reproduced, and analyzed in a digital three dimensional space.

As a precursor to this work, I first practiced my modeling skills in Maya through two prior projects thing about the body, architecture, shape, and design. The first was a simple model of my own hand, built and extruded from scratch in Maya with basic polygons. The second was a homage to the late Detroit public art installation, the Heidelberg Project, specifically the Party Animal House, which burned down in March of 2014.

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