Introduction to Interactive Visuals

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Event description
The workshop will teach how to use input devices such as webcams to analyse user movement and produce a reactive visual output.

About this Event

The workshop will teach how to use a webcam to analyse user movement and produce a reactive visual output. The workshop presents knowledge gained over years of experience developing artistic and commercial projects and it’s structured in several thematic blocks. The code will be written in C++ using OpenFrameworks. Each block begins with the theory before moving into the practice.

About the artist:

This hand-on workshop will be lead by Nestor Rubio, a software artist, technical director of Kimatica Studio and a lead programmer for EspadaySantacruz Studio. This is his first introductory workshop to the techniques behind some of Kimatica's installations and performances. Kimatica's media art pieces have been commissioned by institutions such as Tate Museum, British Council and Battersea Arts Centre.

Workshop programme:


  1. Analysis of selected works featuring interactive visuals.
  2. Introduction of the app that we’re going to build.

Particle systems

  1. Theory: Particle system concepts.
  2. Coding: 2D particle system featuring emitters and force fields.
  3. Theory: Rendering with OpenGL.
  4. Coding: Render the particles fast with VBOs and shaders.

Computer vision

  1. Theory: OpenCv library concepts (background subtraction, contour finding, optical flow).
  2. Coding: Extract user silhouette from background.
  3. Coding: Find contours and track user silhouette.
  4. Coding: Calculate optical flow.

Interactive particles

  1. Coding: Use the extracted optical flow to interact with the particles.
  2. Play with the parameters

Workshop requirements:

  • A basic/intermediate programming knowledge (variables, functions, classes). Ideally you'll have some experience with creative frameworks (Processing, OpenFrameworks or similar).
  • Access to a computer and a webcam.
  • A Windows or OSX operative system.
  • Optional: A clear white background (will make easier to extract silhouette).

This workshop is funded by SPACE, South East Creatives, SECADDS and the European Union.

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