Framestore's 3D Karaoke: Singers Work Hard for the Lyrics

Attendees at last month’s Internet Week Europe in London put their vocal chords, knowledge of song lyrics and body mobility to the test with a 3D karaoke installation that required more than questionable vocal chops.

Visual effects and animation studio, Framestore, created the display, used for self-promotional purposes. Dubbed Vox, the installation combined stereoscopic 3D with Kinect gaming technology, creating a visualization of both music and sound.

Thanks to Kinect cameras, karaoke players were able to reveal additional 3D lyrics by moving in front of the cameras. The more a person moved, the more visible letters became, resulting in full lyric formations and more singing.

“The goal was to make linear songs interactive and to get people jumping around in front of a 3D screen with lyrics flying out into their faces,” said Mike Woods, Head of Framestore's Digital Department. “Also, we wanted to explore how we can combine gestural motions with real-time 3D graphics.”

“Design-wise it was interesting, as our goal was to make it work as a 2D installation [for passersby to use] as well as 3D, and it must be engaging whether you are a passive viewer or an active participant,” continued Woods. “The schedule was demanding as it involved real-time 3D graphics, Kinect gestural interaction and stereoscopic 3D, all written from the ground up in low-level C++ in 3 weeks.”

The installation was used at every social function throughout the week and offered 10 karaoke songs, with artists ranging from Tinie Tempah to Dexy’s Midnight Runners. I certainly hope “London Calling” was one of the 10 options.

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