Archive for December, 2011

The Rise of the Corporate Class

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Absolutely riveting, bleak and insightful interview with Chris Hedges author of “Death of the Liberal Class”.

“We’re living in this twilight world of electronic hallucinations and fantasy and illusion, which is characteristic of dying civilizations.”

“What the internet does… is it propels you to retreat into intellectual ghettos”

Via Diana Janiki

Valentino Virtual Museum

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Valentino goes all Second Life. Interesting that it’s a desktop app. You can download it here

If anyone knows what game engine this was done in, please post a comment, ta.

Robbie Cooper

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

One of the many ideas I had that got culled when I did Alter Ego, was to go around the world shooting pictures of people called Robbie Cooper. A picture of them, text from them about who they are etc. Good idea but I couldn’t be arsed. The idea of going around the world, again, after that was a non-starter, plus it seemed a bit narcissistic. I do like the idea of a book or project by Robbie Cooper, called Robbie Cooper, but it would probably take a bomb to go off under my chair to make it happen.

Anyway, I talked about this idea a bit and then forgot about it, and then a friend sent me this link. Never considered the possibility that there’d be Robbie Cooper’s out there who are girls and who have Alter Ego’s- in this case “The Brown Bunny”. The mind boggles. This changes nothing, obviously, I’m not getting up out of my comfy chair, but it’s worth a blog post;

The envelope

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Conan O’brien’s marketing people send out a release, the news autocues around America get fed by text that’s copied and pasted from the release and hey presto…

CryEngine shaders

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

This is a scan of Lee that’s had the skin shader for CryEngine 3 game engine applied to it. There’s quite a big leap from having a good 3D capture of an object or place and making it interact with light/the environment in a game engine- and it boils down to shaders and multitexturing. Of all the free SDK’s out there CryEngine seems to have the most powerful shaders. Skin is the hardest surface to do but this shader has stuff like specular, rim light, melanin, subsurface scattering variables built in that can be adjusted in the SDK.

Here’s the same scan with only diffuse colour visible;

A variable for specular dialled in;

And specular plus rim light;

Obviously the point of doing this in shaders is so that as you move in relation to the object, the highlights etc move accordingly. Unfortunately there’s no turntable view of this scan with the shading applied- but to get an idea of just how powerful the shading is in CryEngine, take a look at this- from a yet to be released project by an indy developer;

ScanLAB

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

One of the dangers of “from life” 3D capture is that it can look incredibly naff. A bit like that look that photoshop can give to still images, the post-processing and workflow can completely defeat the point of having captured a real person, object or place. When I first saw ScanLAB‘s work it struck a big chord, because they work with the process rather than against it. Whilst at the same time pushing things and experimenting in ways that would have most 3D “experts” saying “you don’t want to do it like that”;

Artefacts, mistakes, imperfections, limitations are all things that can be used to create a look. The grain on black and white film was a limitation of the chemistry, but came to be loved as a mode of expression. There’s no reason why this process can’t throw up equally powerful unintended but controllable techniques. Obviously it’s one thing to say that and another to carry it all the way through to a game engine, but the potential in doing so is pretty awesome…

Lee Perry Smith

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

This is Lee Perry Smith, who’s doing amazing in things in 3D capture. Using Agisoft Photoscan, a piece of three thousand dollar, off-the-shelf software, he’s creating full 360 degree captures as well as 4D motion;

This guy is truly a pioneer, I think, and a little bit of a revolutionary. Not doing new things exactly, but finding new ways to do them and doing it on his own. If the tools to do this are becoming accessible to individuals, albeit extraordinarily highly motivated and talented ones, then it changes the landscape. The potential is very exciting- a new medium that’s the offspring of photography, cgi and video games.