Visikord One Quick Guide

Rev 3.2.3

Visikord One is the release name for Visikord version 3.0 and higher, which primarily supports Kinect for Xbox One, with support for the old Kinect for Xbox 360 (all features except “holodance”, which only work on Kinect One).

1. Requirements

The new release includes Visikord for Kinect360 (the original Kinect). To run it, you must have Kinect360 drivers installed. If you do not have Kinect360 drivers installed already, please visit visikord.com/visikord360 and download and install the Visikord 360 Trial first -- it contains all the drivers and will coexist with your Visikord One install. Note: If you have trouble installing Kinect360 drivers on your Win10 machine please apply the procedure listed in visikord.com/win8.

Installing Visikord One

Download Visikord One from the link you have received in the email and run it.

If you have already installed Microsoft’s Kinect One drivers on your system, or you don’t have a Kinect One, uncheck the “Kinect drivers” option.

Testing Kinect for Xbox One

If this is your first time running Kinect for Xbox One on your PC, please test that it’s working correctly before you run Visikord:

  1. Make sure Kinect One is plugged into wall power and a USB 3.0 port on your PC
  2. Run Start->Programs->Visikord->Kinect Test (or just type Kinect test in the search bar)
  3. Verify that you see what the Kinect sees:
    Image result for DepthBasics-D2D.exe

If you’re not seeing the depth image, download and run the Kinect Configuration Verifier tool from https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/kinect/hardware-setup

Running Visikord One

1. Make sure the external monitor/TV/projector is attached. If you are using a TV, put it in the Game Mode to eliminate screen lag. (Very important!)

2. Your PC/laptop should be plugged in and the Power Management plan should be set to Maximum Performance.

3. Double click on the Visikord icon. (For the 360 version, Click on “Visikord version - Kinect360” icon).

4. When the program starts you should see the control panel of the main screen and the Kinect image on the second screen:

5. (Optional but recommended) If you have an NVidia/ATI card set the graphics quality to High or Very High; if you have an older laptop with Intel graphics set the quality to low. (The default is Medium. Ideal is Very High and High is good. Ultra High is not recommended as it causes a FPS drop on most desktops). You want to see around 60 FPS for display and 30 FPS for Kinect most of the time.

        If you set the graphics to High or Very high, we recommend turning the “mystery” setting on -- you’ll like the looks of it in high quality!

6. If there is a music playing (it should be!), turn on “Beat Detection”. Select “PC” as the audio source if the music is playing from your computer/laptop, otherwise select “Xbox One Microphone” as the source. Xbox One’s microphone array works well in loud venues too.

Running Holobooth

Holobooth lets guests record dancing “holoselfies” that instantly play on the screen and blend into beat-pulsing visuals for everyone to watch.

It also gives the guests the option to do something else: if they stay on the screen after they are happy with the recording of their holoselfies, Matchdance comes in. Matchdance turns your screen into a virtual dance floor in which people at the venue can dance alone or in pairs, at the same time or different times, and vote for whose dance moves they like best, all the while making visuals for the show.

The virtual dance floor shows saved images of people who danced before with their faces flashing from time to time. The face “holograms” are recorded with Kinect v2’s infrared vision and work in all light conditions.

On Kinect 360, you need to turn on the “Color Camera” at the lower section of the screen for holograms to record faces. This will only work in good light though, unlike with Kinect v2.

  

Afterwards they can choose proceed to vote for a dance hologram recorded by a previous dancer, and they do that by choosing their hologram for a dance. Alternatively two people can dance with each other through the screen, at the same time (if they are both on the screen).

To start Holobooth, simply make sure it’s selected and click on “Visikord 3D”. The dancers are guided through all the steps by on-screen instructions. The essence of the dance however is still freestyle dance.

If you are using the software in public, you may want that you tape two green “X”’s on the floor with gaffer tape at the position that matches the ones detected by the computer but the on-screen instructions should be sufficient.

When you try Matchdance, make sure not to miss the part after the dance where you walk as in virtual reality and watch with your dancer’s eyes the image of yourself!

 

Demo video: https://vimeo.com/164929401

Holoboth in VJ Mode

In VJ mode the focus of “holobooth” blends 3D holograms of dancers with your own prerecorded or live videos on the beat. There are no game-like elements of picking a hologram and dancing in the 3D world, instead the holograms loop until a person enters the scene, if you have allowed that. The dancers if allowed to enter the scene can only see their large 3D image and make visuals. If they stay long enough in the scene their image is automatically recorded for use in your live visuals; if you don’t like the recorded image you click on the “Undo Last Dance” button, or the “-1” repeatedly to undo several most recent additions.

 

The workflow is then as follows:

  1. Turn on the VJ mode and see the faces mixed with your live or prerecorded visuals on the beat.
  2. From time to time allow entrance for the new people to come in, play with their image and the visuals and have their image recorded. Two people can enter the scene and recorded dual holograms.
  3. If you don’t like the recording click on the big “Undo Last Dance” button or the “-1” button in the same section.
  4. The last recorded hologram will be emphasized for a minute or so during the video loop and then will go back to mixing with other holograms.

 

To turn on VJ mode set the “VJ Mode Level” to greater then zero. You can see the levels when you hover over the dropdown list:

For mixing with your own live videos (e.g. in Resolume) you will want levels 4 to 6. They provide black background, Level 5 cuts out dancer silhouettes but keeps the periodic zooming in on the face melted with generated graphics, and Level 6 removes that as well. The zooming in on the face blended with generated graphics can be particularly interesting; experiment with turning on the “Mystery” blend checkbox (see the section on 2D below) for different visual of the blend.

For mixing with prerecorded videos provided in User Media, any level above 0 will do, though levels 3 and up look best.

Independently you control the brightness of the image via “Darken” and “Solarize” checkboxes -- Solarize emphasizes mid range colors, muting the bright ones. Below is example of an original image and then darkened and solarized. The latter makes the face stand out more while still using muted colors.

 

For Mixing with live videos, install Spout v2.005+ (http://spout.zeal.co/download/SpoutSetup_V2.005.zip) and check off “Send Graphics to Spout” from the Main tab of the control panel.

The dancers stay long enough to be recorded get a reward by having a star drop from the sky on them, if they touch and hold it they will be transported to a “virtual reality” like world where they can interact with their own hologram and that of others. The backgrounds at Vj Mode Level 4 and up will still be black, to serve as a canvas for your own visuals.

Holoboth Settings

“Allow Matching” determines whether dancers can vote for each other’s holograms (i.e. match dance), or just record their own for playback.

“Color Picking” -- if you want to make the turnover faster, uncheck this box and when a person steps in, they will be given a random name and color and they’ll automatically move to picking a dance partner

To allow more freestyle dancing, check on “Pre-dance freestyle”. One or two people can make effects and change camera view:

 

“Hologram Marble Heads” by default shows holograms halfway between infrared and pure depth, pure depth looking like a marble sculpture. When they record their image, if they touch the right trigger their image will go full infrared, and if they touch the right, it will go full marble. If you turn this option off then by default the image will be full infrared, unless they touch triggers. As a rule full infrared looks better on younger faces, and marble looks interesting on everyone, so you can pick the setting based on your audience.

“Bartinder” is an alternative title suggesting that a match results in a drink. Holobooth is a general title and Bartinder is more appropriate for places where alcoholic drinks are served (and purchased). To enable this title, unselect the “Simplicity” checkbox and simply turn on the “Bartinder” checkbox.

Instead of the “Matchdance” sign you can show a custom image or logo inside the virtual world. Place your image in Visikord User Config file (available from the Visikord program group), section [game3d], item titleImage=c:\mydirectory\my-logo-to-replace-MATCHDANCE.png

Or you can change Matchdance title to Dance in Space from the Settings->Games Settings-> Title menu option

 

Control the brightness of the holographic “curtain” between the floor that shows the venue in infrared by moving the “Infrared Preview Brightness” slider.

From time to time you can block the entrance for new players by unchecking “Allow Entrance”, allowing the software to show off the “winners” without the new players entering and starting the game.

If space in your venue is very limited, you can disable two player game, making it a single-person-at-a-time only, and shorten the required distanceof the person from the Kinect from 2.15m to as low as 1.5m.

The are many background “skyboxes” and more are coming (and you can add your own). If a skybox is too bright click on “Next Sky”.

You can also control the max number of virtual dancers on the floor, i.e. the max number of dancers in the “matching database”. You can add virtual ones or remove them, and click undo last dance if someone doesn’t respect the rules. You can also hold the left Ctrl and click on the virtual dancer to boot them off of the dance floor.

Running Holodance

Similar to Visikord 2D Freestyle, the purpose of Holodance is to provide dancers with a virtual dance floor where they can make cool effects, but in addition they interact with each other by doing a “point and click” to each other with virtual triggers.

The advantage is that anyone who enters the Kinect field of view immediately shows in the scene (up to 6 people) -- there is no “step on X to start” step.

 

One dancer has the triggers with which they can change the scenery and make effects, and they can also move a star (or a heart) to another dancer. Placing the star above another dancer’s head gives that dancer the ability to create laser effects with their hand. By holding the middle button the control is transferred to the dancer who has the heart. If you use it on the DJ you can have him or her in the picture and have them hold the middle trigger to give the start to themselves, in which case their face will show large on the screen.

Demo video (one person): https://vimeo.com/175774368

To run Holodance, simply select the “Holodance” radio button.

Note that Holodance and dancers’ Infrared image is only supported on Kinect One.

You can disable “Allow Entrance” checkbox in Matchdance to prevent the holodancers appearing on dance floor too -- in that case they will only be shown in the holographic “curtain”, until you allow them to become embodied.

Turning on Logo on the virtual dance floor while Holodance demo is spinning and travelling between worlds is a great way to add to the ambience of your venue. To replace the “Your Logo Here” sign with your logo please see the original Visikord documentation below.

To enable random order of worlds (skies), click on “Random” box under “Next Sky” button.

VJing features

Turning on media from Settings->VJ Controls allows you to play pictures and videos on the virtual dance floor and in the background:

 

To connect Visikord to another video software such as Resolume please refer to http://www.visikord.com/vjing-spout.

For details on adding custom pictures, videos, logos, please refer to the Visikord 2D Users’ Guide listed at the end of this page.

2D Freestyle

The old Visikord features are still available, and they look better. Most of the features you need are in the main panel:

Experiment with turning on and off the “Mystery” blend, changing dancers between cutouts at 3D figures, changing their appearance and size or turning on auto graphics. (Bars can also create very interesting effects when hit). You will also find that people of all ages like catching stars to the beat.

Note that Mystery looks better on “High” and “Very High” GPU quality settings. On lower settings you may want to turn it off.

Visikord 2D User’s Guide

The detailed Visikord 2D User’s Guide describing all the features under the “Settings” tab is included with the software installation (in c:\Program Files (x86)\Visikord version\VisikordUsersGuide.pdf) and is also avaialble online at http://visikord.com/docs/usersguide.