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BalletFont: Ligne

So what do you get when you combine ballet dancers, motion detection equipment, and a design group? The answer: a typeface comprised of beautiful calligraphy brush strokes. By attaching small 2D tracking devices to the dancers, the team was able to capture their movements and translate them into a font using a combination of software.

“Three versions of software called ‘Chireo’ (chirography + choreography) were developed using openFrameworks. ‘capture’ did the initial motion and video capture. ‘augment’ let the team clean up the data and export the font and rendered videos. ‘live’ is the real time motion tracking / augmented reality software which was used for the realtime demo. The team used watch batteries, infrared LEDs (ripped out of a prototype touch table), and a PS3Eye cam to create a 2D motion tracking system. These little devices were taped to ballet dancers and had them perform moves which formed letters. The tracked data was exported to SVGs…”

This video demonstrates a few letters being created, with an overlay effect to show what motions were tracked. Interestingly enough, stroke widths were controlled by speed of movement.

Ligne, the BalletFont, is the work of Weiden + Kennedy’s WK12 with Fashionbuddha and Oregon Ballet Theatre.

For full details, please visit the official BalletFont page.

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  • http://thinkingthroughmaking.com monicayael

    Lovely! But what would really be epic would be if they could choreography dances with sentences. That’s something I would definitely buy tickets for.