mike pelletier

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Coordinated Movement

mike pelletier   Coordinated Movement

source: juxtapoz

In this trippy animation, simplified nude humans swim and bounce around the screen, only to be remixed by apparent glitches in reality. Watch it. Mike Pelletier animated the piece with music by Robot Repair. Pelletier is originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada and now lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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source: wiredcouk

We’ve all done it — shouted before thinking, cried inappropriately or shot an angry glare at a stranger on the tube, not abiding by sardine-can etiquette. It’s this drift, the ease with which we can slip from one emotion to another without thought or warning, that is partly behind artist Mike Pelletier’s uncannily lifelike and disconcertingly emotive piece Parametric Expression.

Having worked with 3D human characterisations before, he’s also all too familiar with the “uncanny valley” aspect of said engineered characters — but instead of shying away from it as many working in AI spend their professional careers striving to do, he dove straight in and embraced the weird and wonderful side of human expression and human interpretation of expression. As you can see in the embedded animation though, Pelletier also enjoys drawing his viewers in with a dose of realism, giving a false sense of security before the horror begins — mirroring the uncanny valley effect to the extreme.

“I was exploring what happens when we try to measure and quantify expression and emotion,” Pelletier told Wired.co.uk. “By pushing the expressions to their most absurd extremes, I was trying to embrace how easy it is to get things wrong and to try and find beauty within the mistakes.” And when Pelletier pushes things to the extreme, he’s not exaggerating. Make one of these faces on the tube, and no one will dare stick their sweaty armpit in your face again.

The realism is courtesy of open-source program Makehuman, which Pelletier describes as a “parametric character generation tool” that helps users build expressive 3D figures. Using a slider system, things like age, race, weight, height and muscle tone can be tweaked. It’s like a much more sophisticated build-your-own-SIM system that lets you tweak everything down to nose size or dimples.

“The distortion comes from mixing the expressions far past their normal limits, until they become something completely different and beautiful”
Mike Pelletier
“It’s a super useful tool but also a profoundly weird way of looking at the human figure,” says Pelletier. “It feels really odd to reduce a person’s unique features into a series of sliders. I used [Makehuman’s library of facial expressions] to blend multiple expressions at once. The character model I customised was intended to be fairly generic and androgynous, overly digital, but just realistic enough that might feel some connection to it. Playing around with the software was definitely a big part of the inspiration of the piece, specifically the discomfort and weirdness I felt when working with the software.”

According to Pelletier, the piece only took a couple weeks to create, after several months of toying with the system. The idea was to get the expressions as realistic as possible, and then throw all notions of reality out the window to surprise the viewer and make them question what they’re seeing. It does this, by being incredibly subtle at first. The figure goes from calm non-expression, to a smile (which we think is still a creepy precursor of what’s to come…). Then, as another figure crops up, the pair being to mirror each other with a delay. “I chose to have the expressions move precisely from one face to the other mostly because it would be impossible for it to occur in real life.” It’s the first indicator that something’s really not quite right.

“The expressions of the characters [then] shift from fairly standard expressions into stranger mixes of multiple expressions at once,” explains Pelletier. “The distortion comes from mixing the expressions far past their normal limits, until they become something completely different and beautiful.” Red and white geometric shapes extend without warning from their heads, after a warm-up session of creepy gurning and teeth-baring by the pair.

The figure is designed to be androgynous, but when the camera pans down for a full length shot and the character ambles towards the camera, viewers are further thrown off by a feminine form baring its teeth and frowning, in what could very well be a scene from The Walking Dead.

“The final scene was created by applying motion-capture data to the character which added an extra dimension of taking accurate real-world measurement of the human body and applying it to the realistic but completely frozen face. I couldn’t avoid the uncanny valley with this piece, so I had to dive into it.”

“It’s not always possible to really know what a person really thinks or feels even if so much emotion is ‘written on their face’”
Mike Pelletier
Having worked with 3D characters for some time — including a series called Kinect Portraits, which used the Microsoft hardware like a 3D scanner to generate multi-faceted portraits — Pelletier sees not just the uncanny valley-likeness in his pieces, but beauty in that inherent confusion, as we the viewer try to piece together something engineered, to make it whole and familiar again.

“It’s quite easy to get things wrong when representing people, especially in 3D animation and robotics, as has been documented by all the studies exploring the uncanny valley effect. With 3D animation there’s generally a certain expectation of polish, finish and attention to detail, which I’ve pretty much ignored. As for the emotional aspect, it’s not always possible to really know what a person really thinks or feels even if so much emotion is ‘written on their face’.”
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source: fitcca

Mike Pelletier is an interactive artist & technical director, who has extensive experience working with artists, designers and directors in creative environments. He has participated in and hosted a number of creative technology workshops and his work has been featured in festivals and exhibitions around the world.

Through this he has developed a unique understanding of both the creative and technical sides of creative production and how they overlap. Some of his experience includes creating interactive installations for brands such as Nike, Viktor & Rolf, and Diesel.

Mike is originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. Currently he is working at Random Studio,in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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source: juxtapoz

Mike Pelletier is an Amsterdam-based interative artist who explores ‘quantified emotion’ using a techology to monitor ‘the relative state of human beings, most closely associated with facial recognition software. Watch the video and GIFs after the jump to see eerie computer generated bodies with devilish grins, twisted, and exploading angrily…’
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source: blckdmnds

O artista holandês Mike Pelletier é um especialista interativo e artista digital. Experimentando novas maneiras de usar o Kinect, da Microsoft, ele usa a ferramenta como um scanner 3D, utilizando os recursos da câmera para criar incríveis portraits multi-dimensionais.

Ao mover a câmera Kinect em torno do objeto o software atualiza constantemente os dados para criar um modelo 3D. Depois de alguns minutos de rastreamento, pode-se obter um modelo bastante detalhado de uma pessoa. “Meu objetivo era criar uma escultura que não poderia existir sem as tecnologias digitais” afirma o artista. As imagens são impressas em papel metálico e montadas atrás do acrílico Perspex. Um acrílico de alta qualidade para fornecer proteção UV superior.
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source: radarconsultoria

Mike Pelletier tem feito experiências com formas alternativas de criar retratos multi-dimensionais usando o Kinect, que a Microsoft lançou alguns anos atrás. Uma das possibilidades mais interessantes é o uso do Kinect como um scanner 3D. Ao mover a câmera Kinect em torno do assunto o software atualiza constantemente os dados para criar um modelo 3D detalhado. Depois de alguns minutos de rastreamento, pode-se obter um modelo bastante detalhado de uma pessoa, por exemplo. “Meu objetivo era criar uma escultura que não poderia ter existido sem as tecnologias digitais” afirmou o artista.