Rhizomatiks Research uses Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K and UltraStudio 4K to capture dance spectacle Phosphere


Tokyo based Rhizomatiks Research used Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K and UltraStudio 4K to capture the recent dance spectacle “phosphere,” which was part of the opening event for “Gallery AaMo” held in Tokyo Dome City.


Rhizomatiks Research is a division for Rhizomatiks, a cutting edge Japanese firm which is dedicated to creating large scale commercial and artistic projects using both the arts and technology.

As a part of Rhizomatiks, Rhizomatiks Research is dedicated to exploring new possibilities in the realms of technical and artistic expression. They focus on media art, data art and the research and development-intensive projects, including directing the flag hand over ceremony for 2020 at Rio Olympic closing ceremony.

Rhizomatiks Research has recently collaborated with artists this spring on the dance installation “phosphere,” with renowned dancer and choreographer, MIKIKO and her dance company “ELEVENPLAY” at Gallery AaMO, a gallery for art and entertainment.

“phosphere” is a new genre of AV installation done by creating a new space defined by light from projectors, where dancers and objects go into the space and perform. For this installation, each dancer wears a marker on their wrist so that their movement can be tracked. 24 projectors are installed on a truss and dancers hit a marker and create an artistic atmosphere generated by those lights. Blackmagic URSA Mini 4Ks and UltraStudio 4K were used for digital image analysis for this project.

“We have already purchased URSA Mini 4K and UltraStudio 4K for other projects and thought we could use them for this project. Usually, for this kind of image analysis purpose, industrial cameras are often used. However, even though the camera itself is not so expensive, such cameras require higher specs for computers to use with them. After all, you end up spending a lot of money for other equipment. On the other hand, URSA Mini 4K can be used for regular shooting, and doesn’t require expensive peripherals to use with the camera. Also, the more equipment for image analysis, the more accurate the result is, so it was a great advantage for us that we could use two URSA Mini 4Ks while keeping our budget low,” said Rhizomatiks Research’s Yuya Hanai, who is in charge of system development.

The gray code pattern for image analysis which was projected was shot with two URSA Mini 4Ks, and then the image was captured by UltraStudio 4K. With the captured images, Rhizomatiks Research analyzed the precise positional information. Hanai developed the software for this using UltraStudio 4K’s SDK, which allowed them to create a complicated atmosphere defined by lights.