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Spontaneous portrait studio

Traditionally when someone wants their picture taken, they pose for a shot either in a portrait studio, or perhaps just at their office desk. However, the pictures invariably turn out contrived-looking. NetCam adds a new dimension to portraiture by allowing for a new level of spontaniety. If people want a picture of themselves (or maybe some lab setup or the like) for their home page, they can copy it from my circular buffer before it is overwritten. A sequence of such images can be copied from the NetCam directory to make an mpeg sequence, as a fellow student of VisMod, Jim Davis, has done.

The visual filter (NetCam with the head mounted display) allows the feedback loop to be closed, so that I can see the quality of the images while they are being created. I also have some wearable light sources so that I can control the characteristics of the light while I watch the images through the HMD. Therefore, for example, it is never necessary to have people remove their eyeglasses, because I can dynamically adjust the position of light sources to control the reflection in the glass.

Because of the instant feedback, I can also be more adventurous with the lighting, and still maintain control over it. Other people I've made instant portraits for (manipulating light sources while looking at live video) include Baback Moghaddam, Matt Krom, Ron Newman, and Jennifer Healey.


Wearable Webcam