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Making Things See: 3D vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and MakerBot (Make: Books) [Paperback]

Greg Borenstein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Read the Q&A with Greg Borenstein (PDF), author of Making Things See.

Book Description

February 6, 2012 1449307078 978-1449307073 1

This detailed, hands-on guide provides the technical and conceptual information you need to build cool applications with Microsoft’s Kinect, the amazing motion-sensing device that enables computers to see. Through half a dozen meaty projects, you’ll learn how to create gestural interfaces for software, use motion capture for easy 3D character animation, 3D scanning for custom fabrication, and many other applications.

Perfect for hobbyists, makers, artists, and gamers, Making Things See shows you how to build every project with inexpensive off-the-shelf components, including the open source Processing programming language and the Arduino microcontroller. You’ll learn basic skills that will enable you to pursue your own creative applications with Kinect.

  • Create Kinect applications on Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux
  • Track people with pose detection and skeletonization, and use blob tracking to detect objects
  • Analyze and manipulate point clouds
  • Make models for design and fabrication, using 3D scanning technology
  • Use MakerBot, RepRap, or Shapeways to print 3D objects
  • Delve into motion tracking for animation and games
  • Build a simple robot arm that can imitate your arm movements
  • Discover how skilled artists have used Kinect to build fascinating projects

Frequently Bought Together

Making Things See: 3D vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and MakerBot (Make: Books) + Beginning Kinect Programming with the Microsoft Kinect SDK (Expert's Voice in Microsoft) + Kinect for Windows
Price for all three: $270.90

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

After a decade as a musician, web programmer, and startup founder, Greg Borenstein recently moved to New York to become an artist and teacher. His work explores the use of special effects as an artistic medium. He is fascinated by how special effects techniques cross the boundary between images and the physical objects that make them: miniatures, motion capture, 3D animation, animatronics, and digital fabrication. He is currently a grad student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Product Details

  • Series: Make: Books
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (February 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449307078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449307073
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This book makes it very easy to experiment with Kinect, Processing is easy to set up, simple to write and allows for rapid iterations. Perfect even when you're not that into programming (yet).

The book has a very gradual increase in complexity, taking you from 2D, to 3D to changing the position of virtual camera and eventually scanning a 3D environment. The book starts to get really cool when you get to the Skeleton tracking part, which allows you to calculate the angles between limbs and use those to control the arm of an Arduino robot.

Another great thing about the examples is how they show you all the basic elements you need to built highly interactive programs, like a virtual drum kit, controlling a robot or 3D model.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interesting in experimenting with Kinect. I easily got through the book in 3 days and with the help of Greg's GitHub [...] you should have no trouble getting the examples to work! A definite recommendation!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in-print survey of Kinect hacking thus far February 28, 2012
By Bryan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Making Things See" contains some of the most comprehensive documentation for the Kinect that I've been able to find. The prologue interviews were a good motivation for why the book exists: to help others start to discover the full potential of this wonderful little device. As a programmer, I found the explanations of the various computer vision algorithms accurate and and helpful for my own understanding of what the Kinect was capable of. All in all a highly recommended read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for hobbyist! April 30, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is 5 star for non-programmers. Mr. Borenstein walks the reader through the process of writing Kinect applications in a simple straightforward way that is extremely easy to follow. The code in the book is written using Processing ( which means even people with almost no background in software development and be up and running very quickly! If you are new to all of this then I recommend you read this book! You'll be amazed at how easy it is to write some really impressive Kinect programs.

The book is a 4 start for professional software developers. Still a great value for the price and it will give you a quick ramp-up into Kinect development. But after reading this you'll want to check out something more technical if you are interesting in writing applications using the Microsoft Kinect SDK or one of the several open source tool sets.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy the kindle edition January 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The kindle edition's pictures don't work at all. Otherwise the book is good and is a four star book at least.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book.. Read for a time saving setup tip November 9, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just got this book and am enjoying it very much. I love that there are resources like this out there for people geek out on.

The main reason for the review was to save some people time if they purchase the book a year after its publication date like me. Getting up and running can be a frustrating task going by the book, when I probably would have been better off just downloading everything without a care in the world.

In the setup section it has a clear warning not to install the Microsoft SDK, otherwise your OpenNI stuff will not work. So I didn't install it. strangely it was working from the OpenNI stuff, but everytime I ran the examples in Processing, just said over and over can't find the device. So I finally gave in and installed the SDK because it sort of said to do so on the SimpleOpenNI site. Everything worked like a charm. There was no mention of this error in the book, and little if any online mention of it.

So..word of caution, even if there was a compatibility issue with the SDK when this book was first written, the open source community has clearly resolved that. INSTALL AWAY!

After that headache, I was up and running the examples in no time. Looking forward to reading the rest of the book frustration free:)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book February 28, 2013
By Nomad
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Of the 3 kinect programming books I got (mainly cuz each one has its own SDK/language of choice), this one got me up & running the fastest. However, the instructions are dated for installing on windows, they are meant for the original X-box kinect sensor not the one dedicated to windows. Please see Ramsri Goutham's excellent tutorial:
In case the link is taken out of the review you can g**gl* kinect sensor for openni. Basically, there is a different method to install the correct drivers for the Kinect for Windows product. All the instructions for the OpenNI software in the book likely predate the Kinect for Windows product and fail to mention that the most common problem now has nothing to do with x86 vs. x64 but that the original Kinect hacks were for the Xbox kinect, NOT THE KINECT FOR WINDOWS DEVICE!!!! You MUST use the avin2 package and replace the “default” kinect sensor mod, and you MUST force the computer to NOT use the automatic windows update drivers, and you MUST force the computer to install the primesense drivers by navigating from driver update to “choose from a list” and selecting “all devices” and scrolling to PrimeSense and overriding the driver not signed warnings!!! Whew!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book...dated start-up. January 3, 2014
By janJ24
This is a great book for Kinect hacking beginners. The only issue I've had so far is the Windows install. Make sure to download the Microsoft SDK for Processing to work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and VERY well organized August 29, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Caveat: I'm just 150 pages in so far and loving it. It's great to see a technical book that takes the time and energy to really build from simplicity to complexity in a manner that makes a topic like this approachable. After 50 pages, you'll have a solid understanding of Kinect, depth cameras, and some basic Processing programming. This author does an excellent job at creating this foundation so that subsequent projects and chapters are easily grasped. A+.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars everything OK, I like the book, maybe will buy other on the same topic
everything OK, I like the book, maybe will buy other on the same topic in the future. the collection is ok
Published 2 months ago by Luis Llerena A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I have skimmed through the book a few times and have added the book to my list of books to read.
Published 6 months ago by Mark1968
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
If you like to develop a project using a Microsoft Kinect, you should buy it. It's helping me to understand what I can to do with a Kinect and Arduino. This is fantastic.
Published 16 months ago by Quenaz Da C. Eller
1.0 out of 5 stars Not For Me
I chose this book because I thought it would be a good mix of the abstract engineering aspects of 3-D visual processing and some hands on programming. Read more
Published 19 months ago by John A. Bailo
5.0 out of 5 stars Just go ahead and get it.
Save yourself some time and buy this book. It's very well written and includes enough information to get you going, and even making some *really* cool stuff, without overwhelming... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Linell Bonnette
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for non-technical people, so-so if you have more technical...
The book is very good, well-written and covers a broad spectrum of subjects on depth cameras, the kinect and touch-free interaction. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paulo Muggler
5.0 out of 5 stars very good and practical introduction to accessible technology
Making Things See is a hands-on practical book for non-specialists, with clear explanations on what you need to start exploring computer vision, how to setup things, and most... Read more
Published 22 months ago by O. Yang
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for getting started
I am not a programmer by profession, and I appreciated having someone walk through the details. That said, I was pleased with the depth of the information. Read more
Published on June 7, 2012 by David Eaton
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