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November 14, 2009

Face Detection-based 3d Game

Filed under: flash,Games,Webcam — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Brandel Zachernuk @ 9:18 am

I’m especially proud of this one. I was stuck in the office until later than expected last night, so I spent my time finding more Flash resources to read up on.  I have now clicked through all of Mr Doob’s stuff,  all of the impressive Clockmaker Labs gallery, 1cm, nodename, a fair chunk of Quasimondo as well as a new one for me, The Algorithmist.

A lot of these guys have flickr accounts that show off some of their more entertaining screenshots as well, so I browsed through them too – it’s equal parts amusing and disturbing that the straight-up photography that we do*  ends up so strikingly similar – the sun at a certain angle, a piece of bark which must have looked spectacular at the time but looking somewhat nondescript on screen. I think there are some recurring images and patterns that we just like.

Anyway, I digress.  On Quasimondo I found a fantastic and reasonably lightweight face detection library.  I’ve been hankering after one of these for years.  I tried it, and it works reasonably well – better than I would expect in flash, certainly. This must be the lib that oaxoa used in his Rorshach mask – Mr. Doob too.  They both applied a large opaque decal on top of the face region, which looks great.  I wanted to try something different though, so I started to think about what you could use this face data for.    It might be possible to get some Johnny Lee stuff happening – I’ll need to play around with it a little more to decide if it can hold up to that – but what I ended up with is a 3d variant of Worm or Chopper or whatever you want to call it.  Here’s how to play:


Navigate through the space and collect as many of the tokens as you can – They were going to be carrots, and I started going down that road before realizing it was something of a Maxi-min, so they’re stuck as orangey-red triangular pyramids.  Here goes!

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It’s not the smoothest of interfaces, but I’m sure it can be improved upon, even if I have to drop Flash for something more robust.  I recently noticed that the NeHe openGL resources are still being maintained, which is extremely tempting – especially since working in FlashDevelop has made me much more comfortable  with Visual Studio and “Real Programming”, although Ian has tempted me greatly with the promise of a genuine visual programming environment in Quartz Composer. We’ll have to see once I get some real downtime.

What do you think?  What would you do with this new face-detecting superpower?  I’d love to know!

* I consider myself part of this fraternity of flash dabblers, or would at least like to join them in due course.  I must learn their secret handshake!

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