Fitz and the Tantrums Video: “Out of my league”, crazy lo-fi 3D with Kinect and RGBDToolkit

Fitz and the Tantrums – Out of My League from Jordan Bahat on Vimeo.

My friend Jordan directed this music video for the band Fitz and the Tantrums (released on 4/22 on VH-1 and on the band’s web page and on vimeo in better quality), and I got to help plan and execute a technically unorthodox portion of the shoot. It’s a little odd for me to be involved on the production end of a project and to not work all the way through post-production (on films, post often lasts for more than a year) –but it was fun to shoot a bunch of stuff, hand it to the producer, and then see the final result weeks later. Now I know a little better how production folk must feel. Kudos to Jordan and producer Taylor for seeing the project through to the end.

A preview of the depth map as it was being recorded to a laptop during the shoot.
A preview of the depth map as it was being recorded to a laptop during the shoot. The different colors represent the depth at each point. Black spots represent holes in the data –areas in which no depth was recorded.

At around 30 seconds in, you’ll start to see the lo-fi 3D imagery I helped capture and visualize –point clouds and wire-mesh renditions of members of the band, rendered from various virtual camera positions.

The data was shot head-on from a fixed camera position ((i.e. the camera was locked into position using a tripod)), using a Canon 5DmkIII DSLR to capture video and a Microsoft Kinect sensor connected to a laptop to capture a video depth map. The DSLR and the Kinect were locked to one another with a 3D-printed mount. Jay Trautman ((I worked with him previously on The Man with the Iron Fists)) (thanks!) operated the laptop while I manned the DSLR.

The depth information for each pixel (or ‘D’) captured on the Kinect was recorded and later paired with the video info for that pixel (RGB) using a piece of free software ((free as in beer and as in “MIT license”)) called RGBDToolkit. It’s fun to play with. If you’ve got a Kinect and a video camera, you might give it a try.

There were some even-more-ambitious 3D data capture techniques at play during the shoot, involving an array of kinects and cameras (thanks Cedric!), which I’ll talk about another time. The non-3D shots were also captured on a Red Epic camera by D.P. Andrew Wheeler and his team.

My cousin Jenny did some great storyboards for the video, if they make it into her portfolio I’ll link to ’em. A ton of other people worked on the video. I’ll link to the full credits soon if I can find them.

One Response to 'Fitz and the Tantrums Video: “Out of my league”, crazy lo-fi 3D with Kinect and RGBDToolkit'

  1. zachnfine Says:

    new blog post: In which I help shoot lo-fi 3D depth footage for a Fitz and the Tantrums music video. http://t.co/akuUbMURhK

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