OKGo ‘wtf’ effect (2009)

Inspired by the brilliant use of an age old concept in the recent OKGo ‘WTF’ video (which in turn was inspired by this photo by Thomas Eakins), I created this little open-source demo in processing. It works in real-time with a webcam. Check it out and download the source here.

I tried to keep the source super minimal and as easy to read as possible. For better results, you can try running an erode on the subtracted image, do a contour analysis and smooth the edges slightly. It also helps to run it in front of an empty wall with stable lighting, and ideally a webcam which has manual exposure / shutterspeed / gain etc.

To run the source code you will need:
– processing, which can be downloaded from www.processing.org
– the ControlP5 library (to handle the UI) which can be downloaded from www.sojamo.de/libraries/controlP5/

P.S. Everytime I see this effect I keep thinking of the idclip cheat in doom!

Update: Check out the King of Pop’s version from over 3 decades ago here

Update: Anton aka Vade has made a Quartz Composer version which can be downloaded from bit.ly/5v43tM

Update: goto10 also has a sweet Quartz Composer version which can be downloaded fromwww.hybridvisuals.nl/downloads/m8-trace-quartz-composer-effect/

Update: OKGo just released an ‘official’ processing app to do the same (not related to mine, but developed by Jonathan Bobrow). Check that out at www.okgo.net/wtf_holidays.asp

Related keywords

computer vision, processing, thomas eakins