Digital Circus: a computer-vision based interactive Virtual Studio
Flavia Sparacino, Glorianna Davenport, Alex Pentland

IMAGINA, Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Jan. 18-20, 1999.


We have built a low-cost virtual studio which does not need a blue screen to operate. Hence, such a setup can be used at home and allows to distribute the production outside of the physical TV studio. Our studio is based on Pfinder: a real-time computer-vision body tracking and gesture recognition system. We use Pfinder also to enable interaction among the composited participants, and the objects and creatures in the virtual setting. To demonstrate our system, we have built a digital circus in which multiple individual participants can connect from remote locations, see all their images composited in the virtual circus, and interact with the objects on the virtual set. Other possible applications range from full body real-time teleconferencing to remote collaborative work, networked performance, entertainment, and education.

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