Kinect Video with CrossHatch Shader

Now that I have the Kinect behaving reliably, and the GLSL Shader thing going on fairly reasonably, it’s time to combine the two.

In the video, I am using the Kinect to capture a movie playing on the screen of my monitor. Any live video source will do really, but I might as well use the Kinect as a WebCam for this purpose.

The setup for the Kinect is same as before. Just get the sensor, and for every frame, grab the color image, and display it using a quad to the full window size.

Second, I just bring in the shader, just like before. The shader doesn’t know it’s modifying a live video feed. All it knows is that it’s sampling from a texture object, and doing its thing. Similarly, the Kinect code doesn’t know anything about the shader. It’s just doing its best to supply frames of color images, and leaving it at that.

Pulling it together just means instantiating the shader program, and letting nature run its course. The implications are fairly dramatic though. Through good composition, you can easily peform simple tricks like this. The next step would be to do some interesting processing on the frames as they come from the camera.

This brings up an interesting point in my mind. The Kinect is a highly specialized piece of optical equipment, promoted, and made cheap, because of Microsoft and the XBox. But, is it the best and only way to go? The quality of the 3D imaging is kind of limited by the resolution and technique of the IR projector/camera. Through some powerful software, you can get good stereo correspondence to match up the depth pixels with the color pixels.

But, why not go with just plain old ordinary WebCams and stereo correspondence? Really, it’s just a challenging math problem. Well, using OpenCL, and the power of the GPU, doing stereo correspondence calculations shouldn’t be much of a problem should it? Then, the visualization and 3D model generation could happen with a reasonable stereo camera rig. WebCam drivers are a well trod ground, so cross platform would be instantaneous. Are there limitations to this approach? Probably, but not any that are based on the physical nature of the sensors, but rather they are based on the ability to do some good quality number crunching in realtime, which is what the GPU excels at.

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