Categorytech & sci-fi

Kinect Real-Time 3D Reconstruction

A Microsoft sponsored talk that was presented at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver.

As Ben Staples says, “This whole clip is amazing, but long… If you only check out a portion watch at 3:42“. It creates geometry and textures in real-time. They also use this geometry information for dynamic collisions (which is what Ben is referring to at 3:42). Also checkout the object tracking on the teapot.

Only question remains is, “When can I get this working at home!?

Clockwork Dolls That Can Paint

For hundreds of years, the Japanese have been making mechanical puppets called Karakuri ningyō. In this short documentary, you can see little clockwork dolls performing back-flips, painting calligraphy and shooting with a bow and arrow.

[via William Gibson’s twitter feed]

6 Minutes of Darkness from PostPanic

PostPanic recently spent 6 months creating this 6 minute title sequence for the 2011 OFFF Festival, hosted in Barcelona. If this dark accelerated cyberpunk future doesn’t disturb you, then maybe you kept your eyes shut for too long or forgot to put your headphones on.

Aaron Koblin’s Data Visualization TED Talk

I recognize Aaron’s flight patterns work, but I love seeing some of his collaborative works. The Johnny Cash project and the The Wilderness Downtown are impressive. My eyes have been opened a little more to the unlimited possibilities. Note: I had trouble getting The Wilderness Downtown working in Firefox, but it worked fine in Google Chrome. It will open multiple windows, so be warned… but there’s nothing to fear. Is the interface really the message?

Another Crazy Weather Pattern Passes

Minecraft Mod Will Twist Your World

I try to avoid posting random video game videos, unless there’s something be learned… but this was too trippy to pass up. It’s amazing what you can do with a procedurally built world. The bigger the monitor you have, the more immersive the experience. If, at first you are not impressed, give it a minute… even if you’re not much of a gamer.

Amateur Weather Forecasters Rejoice

Although some pretty impressive stuff is coming out on CSS3, there still seems to be some Adobe Flash applications to discover, particularly these powerful weather maps.

WeatherSpark
allows for an animated weather radar with 6 hours of history.

Special thanks to Jonathan Voigt for Buzzing this one. Apparently Wunderground (Weather Underground) is another similar app.

If you have an Android device, I recommend playing around with the Rainy Days app.

GMUNK – Interface Artist from TRON

If you navigate past the monkey jerking off on his main page, you can see the massive portfolio that GMUNK has put together, including work from the recent TRON release. Checkout his work through the OUTPUT link.

Little Dog Military Robot

With every iteration, these robot drones are getting creepier and creepier. Yes, this thing is real and not a movie prop. It’s the procedurally driven animation that procedurally drives me to link to it in this blog.

If you haven’t already seen the video for the “Big Dog”, here’s a link to the video.

Integrated with some flocking technology, these little buggers would gain some more points to creepy factor.

Fruity Loops 10 Gets More Procedural

I love seeing innovative leaps in software upgrades. Companies willing to take the gamble of creating grumbling purists in order to freshen the product… makes my heart melt. It seems like you can feel out dependencies better, which should help get the big picture, quicker. I’m guessing this would also be a great help to those that are collaborating on projects. FLStudio 10 has even added a little module where you can render out musically driven 3D effects. Your VJ will love (or hate) you.

This reminds me of what I love so much about LoiLoScope, which I use for editing my home movies.

Zombies Ruin Vacation

Zombies chomping (and being chopped) in reverse, for Zombie Island trailer. Houdini was used for rigging, animation, effects and rendering. A nice score for Toronto based SideFX software!

Read the VFX breakdown here.

Novation Music Controllers

I hear that combined with Ableton, the Novation Launchpad is killer.

Searching around for prices, I noticed that Novation also has a DJ controller coming out called Twitch. This device includes a touch strip, instead of the plastic discs we typically see on these kinds of controllers. This controller uses Serato’s ITCH software via USB and can also connect via MIDI.

Virtual 3D City on iPad

Pixelated in 3D

If you haven’t already seen Pixels by Patrick Jean, I highly recommend sitting back for a few minutes to see the short that inspired Adam Sandler to invest.

Someone has even build a digital asset that you can download, for free, which allows you to accomplish some of the effects found in this short. It’s called “pixelizeME” and you can find it at the Houdini Exchange.

Here’s an example created by Damien LM.

Procedural Bridge

Just a tad more deep than your typical SimCity type bridge building. A great demonstration of the power of Houdini.

High Dynamic Range Video is Sexy.

How using two cameras, you can create HDR video. It’s looks creepy cool and I’ve love to give it a try, but I don’t see where I can get the software.

Honshu Tsunami Ripples on March 11, 2011

Thx to Jon Voigt.

Alchemy – Digital Inspiration Creator

Thanks to Dan Laczkowski for getting me to seriously check this out. The following link will lead you to a demonstration by Android Jones.

Alchemy – An open drawing project

j4sonh4n

Budget Film Making with Gareth Edwards

A month back I was forwarded an interview with Gareth Edwards, the director of Monsters. In the interview he talks about making a feature film on a small budget. I haven’t yet found out the exact budget, but the $15,000 number has been thrown around.  I’ll spare my opinions on this exact number as there’s already plenty of debate that can be found online. In any case, I certainly believe it could have been pulled off for under $100k, which is still way cheaper than most films of this quality.

Gareth seems to have gained much of his visual FX experience while working for the BBC.  For example, while working on Attila the Hun, he locked the camera and used cycled animations from live footage in order to fill a battlefield with virtual cast of millions. Smart time-saving moves, for sure.

According to this interview, prior to Monsters, Gareth was having trouble making money as a director and he figured it was time to jump in and make a film on his own. He knew the gamble of going off on his own, but he says, “If you always put things off till it’s perfect, you’ll never do anything.”  Jumping in and “pissing” himself was what he knew he needed to do to progress his career. He feels like everything he had done as a director for hire was preparing him for this moment of creative freedom. The 48 Hour Sci-Fi-London Film Challenge was exactly what he needed to prove what he could do.

Gareth Edwards
Uploaded by SFLTV. – Classic TV and last night’s shows, online.

I’ve heard a quote from George Lucas, where he stated that his goal was to use computer graphics in order to put the paintbrush into the director’s hands. Gareth seems to agree with this dream…  and has apparently executed it, with the help of a 35mm adapter for his video camera and a laptop or two.  Gareth designed the creature himself, with thousands of sketches over the course of a year.  The cast consisted of himself, two actors (who were soon married, after shooting the film), two line producers and a sound guy. For the rest of the cast, he would film random citizens in the cities he visited, including his assigned armed bodyguards in Mexico.

First there was Neil Blomkamp’s successful District 9, and now there’s Gareth Edwards. Both are convincing me that I have to start putting some time into learning compositing. Visual effects compositing is the final line where the 2D image is created and the more you can avoid time-consuming 3D, the better.

Are you wishing you hadn’t missed the showing of the film? Don’t stress!! The Vancouver International Film Festival has another showing on Thursday, October 14th at 11am. However, you had better act quick and request that day off work before someone else does. 😉

My opinions on the film?  It’s a nice jaunt through central america while being chased by giant octupi. It reminded of Romancing the Stone, with more focus on the romancing. The effects range from subtle to not-so subtle. I enjoyed the film, as did everyone around me. Don’t worry, I didn’t ruin anything you won’t learn in the first 5 minutes of the film.

Mechanical 4 Letter Words

I suppose sometimes words do not fail us, assuming they are mechanically driven and illuminated.

Four Letter Words from Rob Seward on Vimeo.

Or maybe when it’s sliced up and reprojected on an iPad in front of a long exposure.

Making Future Magic: iPad light painting from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

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