Meld Orbs, 1998, Acrylic Hemispheres, Proximity Sensors, Audio, MIDI, Dual-Channel Video: Variable Dimensions

Overview

Created for SIGGRAPH's pioneering "Interactive Dance Club", MeldOrbs provides a unique multi-participant experience. Touch/proximity-sensors on the orbs produce visible effects in the projected imagery & audio to advance the narrative. Simultaneous contact from multiple users creates unique effects and branching of the journey; collaboration is rewarded.

The Journey of the Orbs

Collaborative participation is rewarded with unique experiences, such as the possibility of controlling multiple iso-surfaces (shapes that fluidly blend together). The visual experience expresses an abstract narrative, with many branching points, leading across varying landscapes; metaphors for states of unity or dissolution.

3D imagery & interactions in real-time

The 3D graphics were created & managed in real-time with procedural-based Houdini software & SGI computers. Use of Houdini's procedural caching system allowed animated 3d data to be rendered at a high level of visual fidelity in real-time, resulting in an engaging experience. 

Proximity sensors triggered state changes fluidly in the software's node-based networks. 3D objects, motion, & audio were painstakingly tuned for real-time interaction & high frame rate output.