Computational & Expanded ███ography
Primary Author: Golan Levin, Carnegie Mellon University
Curricular Materials for CMU Course 60-461/60-761/16-461
This is an interdisciplinary course in experimental media practices that arise from using devices to "capture" the world. We will survey state-of-the-art techniques and emerging ideas, in the industry and in academia, to capture, model, and render objects, people, places and events. The course evaluation will be project-based, in which students will capture a wide variety of things, and develop projects around the data they collect. We will cover capture techniques including motion capture, video-based capture, panoramic and multispectral imaging, depth sensors, 3D scanners, hand and eye-gaze trackers; classic and contemporary representations of face and body pose and motion; and recent progress in animation, synthesis, classification, and rehabilitation on new forms of displays.
This course is concerned with the creation of systems to enable new ways of seeing.
This is an interdisciplinary course in experimental media practices that arise from using devices to "capture" the world. In particular, we are concerned with how we can understand and build representations of the world using devices that sense beyond the limits of human perception. In this course, we seek:
- To explore the affordances of exotic, forgotten, and nascent image capture technologies in revealing unseen or alternative realities.
- To explore the use of computation and other technological media in expanding our expressive vocabulary for representations of people, objects, environments, and events.
- To question the practical and epistemological assumptions that underpin the project of capturing representations of reality with devices.
At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:
- Recognize and identify the use of expanded capture techniques (such as photogrammetry, motion capture, multispectral imaging, binaural audio, stroboscopy, etc.) in popular and experimental media.
- Demonstrate understanding of the scientific principles and/or engineering foundations underlying such techniques, in revealing phenomena beyond the limits of ordinary human perception.
- Demonstrate understanding of the poetic and elucidative potentials of such techniques, and their application to the production of expressive and provocative new culture.
- Command the practical use of one or more such techniques.
This is a partial and mostly unordered list of some of the technologies and techniques we will discuss this semester.
Capturing Nouns (People, Places, and Things):
- Portraits I: Series
- Portraits II: Candid Machinery
- Portraits III: The Indirect Portrait
- Multispectral Imaging
- Capturing and Representing Objects: Still Life & More
- Pixel rearrangement
Capturing Phenomena in Time:
- Overcranking (Slow-Motion)
- Undercranking and Time Lapse
- Long Exposure and Light Painting
- Bullet Time (Array Videography)
- Pixillation and Stop-Frame
- Backwards (Retrograde) Time
- Looping (Canon) Time
- Moving Cameras and Stroboscopy
- Experimental Audio Capture
- Gesture Capture in 2D and 3D
- Synthesis from Image Databases
- Panoramic, 360-degree, and environmental capture
- Stereography & Binocular Imaging
- Perspective Capture and Representation
- Landscape: Capturing Places
Editions, Credits & Acknowledgements
- Spring 2020: Golan Levin & Nica Ross (co-taught)
- July 2018 one-week workshop: Golan Levin
- Spring 2017: Golan Levin & Claire Hentschker (TA)
- July 2016 one-week workshop: Golan Levin
- Fall 2015: Golan Levin
This syllabus contains many contributions from James George and Alexander Porter (of Scatter/Specular), Pablo Garcia, Jeffrey Hinkelman, Kyle McDonald, Matt Gray, Yaser Sheikh, Suzie Silver, Claire Hentschker, Nica Ross, and others.
- How to take screengrab documentation
- Some software tools used in this course
- Some equipment used in this course
Other Documents and Resources
Remaining: a large landfill of as-yet unsorted links and resources.