Kinect Puppetry is an interactive design to preserve and promote the traditional Chinese shadow puppetry. It enables users to participate in this art form and add creativity to make new stories.

TIME: 5 Weeks (Oct,2012 - Nov, 2012)

TEAM: Yedan Qian, Ke Ma

CONTRIBUTIO: Concept, Graphic Design, Kinect+Animata

SKILLS: Illustration, Kinect+Animata, Storytelling

Research & Design Process


Basic Research: Shadow Puppetry

Shadow Puppetry is a traditional Chinese art with 2000-year’s history and was once the most popular entertainment everywhere from royal palace to farmers’ open stage.

It’s on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage because of its special production techniques and the skills of controlling several puppets and creating sound simontaineously.

Problem: Loss of Audience

When new media and entertainments emerged, this traditional art lost its audience. Also, the museum exhibition such as displaying puppets in showcases or playing videos can’t attract more audience.

Therefore, the challenge here is to design a more interesting way to win people’s interest back.

Character & Mask

Shadow Puppet looks similar to paper-cut but has freely movable joints.

Mask: The personalities of characters can be told by their face, which is similar to Beijing Opera.

Technology: Kinect+Animata+OSC

Through kinect, we can get the skeleton information which is then transformed into OSC stream by OSCeleton. Then we map the 3D skeleton information into 2D and match it with the components and joint we create in Animata.