The performance, dubbed Dancing Atoms, is the result of a collaboration between ballet dancer Roberto Bolle and a team lead by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – says The New Scientist.
Bolle’s body was digitally replicated with a 3D laser scanner, producing a computer model that the team could manipulate at will. He then danced in a black suit with 42 reflective markers attached at key points, such as the joints, while 12 motion-capture cameras recorded his every move in 3D space. The team combined Bolle’s body scan and motion-capture data to create a digital avatar that can be displayed in a number of ways, from just a few particles to the full-resolution image of his body.
“The markers define the motion of the body, then the surface is put on the body from the 3D scan,” explains Pat Healey, a professor of human interaction at Queen Mary University of London, who was in charge of motion capture for the project. “Motion-capture technologies make it possible, for the first time, to analyse human movements in full 3D at very high resolutions.
“This unprecedented level of detail can help us understand what affects people’s perceptions of grace and beauty.”