Big respect to Chris O`Shea and his work for FACT: Foundation for Art & Creative Technology and Liverpool City Council for BBC Big Screen Liverpool and the Live Sites Network. To see why the kids on the picture above have so much fun, got to this website or watch the video, which refused to get embedded, here.
Chris answered my questions about the project as following: ” The software I wrote myself in c++ using the openFrameworks & openCv libraries. The BBC Big Screen is fitted with a CCTV camera, linked into a computer that runs the software then outputs to the screen. The software picks a person based on their proportions & how alone they are from other people, then tracks the blob over time using optical flow. If the giant hand removes, flicks or shrinks a person, firstly it rubs out the person from the live video using the background reference pixels. Then the tracked person is redrawn over the top in relation to what the hand is doing, i.e. being picked up, or flying out to the left of the screen (not shown in this video). When the hand shrinks a person it redraws them into the video at half scale. When there is too big a crowd it resorts to tickling people, with a random selection.”
Here are two pictures showcasing the magic behind this adorable installation: