Finger controlled Follow Spot

The goal of this project is to discover how skeleton sensors like Leap Motion can help performing arts technicians to control automated lightings (these experiments could have work also for sound or video).

Today, moving heads are more and more common in stage lighting setups, but it is still hard to follow artists movements on stage with this type of lights.
Currently, the best way to do that remains a traditional follow spot.

But with the help of sensors like Leap Motion, it becomes easier to control technical parameters trough more natural interactions.
That’s why I’ve developed this simple system that allows a lighting technician to control moving head pan and tilt just by pointing and following the subject to enlighten with his finger.

Max is used to process Leap Motion hand skeleton data and to generate DMX frames controlling the moving head.

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Feb 19 2014 | 11:53 am

nice project!

But if i would not know the technical background i would say it’s a bad followspot operator.
Maybe use more ease-in or -out movements . Or a Kalman filter .

Feb 19 2014 | 12:50 pm

Filtering, that was also the first thing popping to my mind.

Feb 20 2014 | 1:18 am

You’re right, there is some improvements that can be made to the system.
Firstly, some filtering could be a good idea, but the problem is not to loose responsiveness. Do you know some object or external in Max6 doing this ?
Secondly, some training of the operator is necessary to better control the system : each people in the example video has used the system less than one hour. It takes a longer time to become a good traditional follow spot operator…
Finally, the position of the moving head is a quite important factor in the final rendering. I think it should be on the front of house bar to match better operator’s movements.

Feb 20 2014 | 3:49 am

I’m wondering if a touchpad or drawing tablet isn’t much better suited for this kinda thing. In those cases the user has a physical support which greatly helps stability and precision.

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