Building M.U.R.S.

I was fortunate to be able to work a few days last fall with Pelayo Méndez. His company was contracted by the Catalan theatre troupe La Fura dels Baus to create interactive visuals for their new “smartshow”, titled M.U.R.S. (murs are walls in Catalan). Pelayo and his team created software for animated visuals, interactive “games” that turned spectators into participants and a networked mobile application that made audience members part of the show.

M.U.R.S. (Barcelona, 2014) from Pelayo Méndez.

Pelayo hired me to help write and tune some OpenCV code, using optical flow to allow Tetris-like blocks to respond to audience interaction (based on video captured by a pair of stage-mounted security cameras).

The best part of the job was spending a day near Manlleu at the troupe’s rehearsal space. I had a chance to test my block-busting code using the real setup of two cameras mixed into a live feed, with the visuals projected onto a big screen. It was a privilege to join Pelayo and Rafael and be a (very small) part of this, to witness the tension and excitement of last-minute rehearsals — it was just a week prior to the premiere in Murcia — with all the crew and actors extremely focused, doing their thing…

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