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Motion-Tracking Cartoon Creator Inserts Fans Into Comics [Video]

Personalized manga comic tech immerses users into the Japanese art form.

Serena Chu
Serena Chu on September 25, 2013.

To those manga devotees out there, how would you like to be the star of your own comic? Developed by Akihiko Shirai and his team at Kanagawaya Institute of Technology, Japan, the Manga Generator uses Kinect sensors to position you directly into a comic panel in real time, with added backgrounds, props, speech bubbles and sound effects. The Shirai Lab wanted to introduce a way for readers to become a part of the comic stories.

Player’s movements are tracked by the sensors while the real-time “shader” software captures each movement in order to convey it into the comic panel. The software is specific enough to capture every pose and posture, while blending in facial features, elbows, hips, and other body parts to better express the kind of emotion you are exhibiting. For example, the act of jumping up may reflect success, so the software would automatically add a “yahoo” speech bubble along side the picture.

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Hoping the Manga Generator will later be incorporated into interactive e-books, stories, and digital signage, the Shirai Lab believes the technology will influence the future of digitized entertainment.

See how you can step inside a Japanese manga comic:

Manga Generator 

Thinking...