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Mathilde De Vos - 8/11/2013

A virtual dancer for a multi-transmission concert at ICT 2013

A young lady dances surrounded by cameras. <a href="">© Inria / Photo N. Hairon</a> - <a href="">CC BY NC SA 2.0</a>

On 7 November, during the course of the ICT 2013 Conference, Inria Grenoble presented a novel artistic performance. This consisted of a concert divided between four different European cities and performed in Vilnius.

A series of green canvases are laid out in the GrImage Room at Inria in Grenoble. In the centre, ten cameras film the silhouette of a dancer as she moves and construct her 3-dimensional virtual image in real time. At the rhythm of the cameras' operating speed, i.e. over 20 takes per second, a digital clone is in motion, a faithful reproduction of its model.

This experiment was created as a result of the VisionAir project. The idea is to produce an artistic performance combining musicians and a dancer "distributed" between France, Spain, Poland and Lithuania.

Europe' map showing the path being taken by the data Transmission system for multi-localized video, audio and 3D flows


Two musicians play a piece of music in Poznan , and a third plays with them in Barcelona . They are filmed in 2D.

The data (i.e. the sound and images) arrive simultaneously in Grenoble , where a dancer improvises to their music. Her 3D digital clone is immediately displayed in conjunction with the video images of the musicians.

These data are then retransmitted to Barcelona, where the sound and image are matched together, before being sent on to Vilnius .

The virtual scene is projected onto a screen, accompanied by music played by a harpist. All in all, there is only one second of time-lag between Grenoble and Vilnius.

The virtual scene on computer screen: the dancer in the foreground, the musicians in the background. The virtual scene (designed by Laurence Boissieux) as seen from the 3D mixing screen - <a href="">Inria / Photo N. Hairon</a> - <a href="">CC BY NC SA 2.0</a>


Several days of rehearsal took place to prepare for two performances of this original form of concert, both of which proceeded without a hitch. The Inria teams linked to the GrImage platform are now actively seeking potential new artistic collaboration initiatives. These will allow for further experiments within the framework of the VisionAir project.

Keywords: VisionAir project ICT 2013 Grimage Arts and science