Dubost with Keybright

Q&A: Philippe Dubost Makes it Easy for Anyone to Create Light Installations

Phillippe Dubost is the creator of Keybright, an open source tool that allows anyone to make a fun and beautiful light installation at home—whether you’re a hardcore visual artist or just looking to make something entertaining for your next party. The tool is pretty simple: You create your visualization, then hook it up to a projector. To see how Dubost takes us away from a 16/9 screen and into a total physical/digital experience, watch this: 

We caught up with Dubost to find out more about his source of inspiration and future aspirations.

How would you describe the Keybright project?

Keybright is an open-source tool to create magical DIY light installations with a home or classroom projector.

Keybright turns keyboard into magic letters of light

What was your inspiration for creating this open source tool?

I was really inspired by the work of the AntiVJ collective, especially the series of installations called Mécaniques Discursives by Fred Penelle and Yannick Jacquet. My goal was to mix real physical elements and virtual projected light to create some magic out of white pixels.

I liked the keyboard as an interface because it has become such an everyday tool that we often forget how complex and rich it can be for an artistic installation.

The name (and the fact that it’s a creative tool that comes to life in the dark) is reminiscent of a Lite-Brite. Did you play with one as a kid?

It’s actually a happy coincidence. The name was inspired by an installation called Night Bright by the very talented Design I/O team.

Also, I did play on a Lite-Brite, and if I remember well it was a friend’s one, which made it even more exclusive and magical at the time.

How did Reddit users help you advance the concept?

There were a lot of recommendations, and overall I was really surprised by the general excitement around the project. It was a quick prototype at the beginning and that convinced me to make it open and web-based so anyone could explore and make it better.

Dubost with Keybright

If there were not any technical or time constraints, what would you create?

After a few weeks of discussion with the first users, I realize it is difficult for everyone to pull so much technical equipment and arrange everything to make it work.

Hardware-wise, my goal is to simplify even further and give anyone the chance to adapt the framework for new applications or games. I would also like to build a simple mirror-rigging system for home projectors to ease the process for projecting on horizontal surfaces.

What’s next?

Software-wise, I’m working with some developers in Montreal to develop the concept further. That should come out in the next few months.

Still moving towards an open platform, with a multiplayer approach.

Read more about the Keybright story, or check out some other inspiring Q&As:

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