Kinectic Jam Sessions


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On 28/2/2011, we had the first “Kinectic Jam Session” at Media Lab Helsinki.

These sessions aim to be very informal and hands-on, based on showing and doing things together.
– Exchange experiences regarding development with Kinect or related technologies
– Share tips on how to get started with Kinect-related development
The target for these jams are either people who have been working with Kinect, or people interested in starting out.

One of the main points of interest is to map out the implementation of Kinect in different development environments (openFrameworks, Processing, Flash, Unity, PureData, Max/MSP, Cinder, QuartzComposer, etc), and reach recommendations regarding different approaches (TuioKinect or OpenNI, for example).

In the first session, on 28/2/2011, there were 2 presentations, by Matti Niinimäki and Ferhat Sen.

1. Matti Niinimäki presentation

Matti ( began by describing how Kinect can be implemented in QuartzComposer, according to his own experience. He presented how QuartzComposer can be downloaded and installed in a Mac. QuartzComposer is part of Apple’s Developers tools, comes with every Macintosh, and can also be downloaded for free from the Mac Dev Center. Matti has also developed projects connecting QuartzComposer with Animata.

He discussed the use of solutions from the website, such as:

  • Kinect tools 0.3
  • v002 (available through search box), useful for using the tilt functionality

And also solution from (it can be found in a “box” widget, in the right sidebar). This one would be ideal for creating 3D point clouds.

Matti pointed out that there are essentially 2 paths for using Kinect:
1. The “” branch, including TuioKinect.
Advantages: setup ease, robust
2. The OpenNI branch, including OSCeleton.
Advantages: easier to use
Disadvantages: requires calibration, crashes/unstable (at least on Mac)

OSCeleton with QuartzComposer:

Example using Animata:

2. Ferhat Sen presentation

Ferhat ( is involved in two projects within Media Lab Helsinki. He presented some examples of his implementations, both using the Freenect/TuioKinect path, and also OpenNI/OSCeleton path. He has implemented Kinect with PureData, Processing and Unity.

It was pointed out that OSC data can only be read from Kinect by one application at a time, so when using multiple applications it has to follow a single pipeline, routed from one application to the next. For example, PureData can read from Kinect, and then control an animation in Animata.

Two of Ferhat’s examples:

In the end, different benchmark videos were watched, via KinectHacks and Microsoft Research, such as:

(continue reading about the second Kinectic Jam Session)

This entry was posted in Courses, Kinect, Kinect Jam Sessions 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Kinectic Jam Sessions

  1. Nuno Correia says:

    In the same day we had our first Kinect jam, Golan Levin posted student outcomes regarding Kinect projects from the Interactive Art & Computational Design / Spring 2011 course at Carnegie Melon University:

    These results are presented and analyzed very nicely at Create Digital Motion:

    Towards the end of the article there is a nice round-up of the technical solutions, including the new ofxOpenNI openFrameworks add-on:
    and the older:

  2. Nuno Correia says:

    By the way, via Golan Levin, here is a nice roundup of Kinect Resources (from

    Kinect Resources:

    • Processing. Daniel Shiffman wrote the Kinect library for Processing; you can get the latest version of it here. He also did a nice writeup and basic tutorial on how to use the Kinect with Processing. Place the Kinect library in the ‘libraries’ folder in your Processing directory.
    • OpenFrameworks. Stick with OF v.0.062 for now. Theo Watson and others (including our TA, Dan Wilcox) created the OpenFrameworks addon, ofxKinect, which you can get here. This is Mac-only for the present time.
    • Cinder. Build Cinder from the GitHub repo; instructions are here. Similar to OF addons, Cinder has CinderBlocks; get the Kinect CinderBlock here. Cinder and Kinect seem to work with Windows as well as Mac.
    • Max/MSP/Jitter. Jean-Marc Pelletier has created jit.freenect.grab, which works in Max5 on Mac OSX 10.5 and later.
    • Flash. Bindings have been made available at the as3kinect project. Note that Flash must connect to Kinect data over a socket.
    • TuioKinect. Martin Kaltenbrunner has created TuioKinect, which produces OSC messages from Kinect capture. This allows use of the Kinect with virtually any other environment that can receive OSC. Tested under OSX 10.6 only.
    • OpenKinect. Wrappers are provided for many additional languages, including Python, C, JavaScript, and LISP.

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