Archive for the 'animation' Category

Sundance 2016

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Waves was a complete success at the New Frontier Exhibit of the Sundance Film Festival this year. I got my Sundance member card and participated in a series of discussions, panels and interviews with many interesting creative people that have a lot to say about virtual reality and storytelling. Here are some of them: @brillhart Principal VR filmmaker at Google, @Saschkaunseld Creative Director at Oculus Story Studio, my creative partners on Waves @BrainDickinson & @ReggieWatts, @PatrickTOsborne Director of Disney’s Feast, @ImmersiveJourno godmother of virtual reality, and @djabatt of course.

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Hello Sundance

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Four virtual reality WEVR productions just got selected to be part of the Sundance Film Festival 2016 New Frontiers exhibit. I worked as Creative Director in two of them, Hard World for Small Things and Waves, and I feel quite accomplished to have my name featured in the Sundance Film Festival website surrounded by such a talented group of people.

In particular, Waves is one of two projects where I spent most of my hours this year. It’s pretty cool. It was written and directed by Ben Dickinson, and it features Reggie Watts and Nathalie Emmanuel in a reality bending philosophical-musical comedy, where nothing is what it seems or seems to be what it is. I can’t wait for the day we make it publicly available.

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Wemolab GIF commissions

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

I have been using tumblr and twitter connect with gif artists in the web and commission them with making small animated loops inspired by the Wemolab logo. Here are some of my favorite results. Beautiful.

By zolloc:

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By Dave Whyte:

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By Maxwell Ingham:

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Superfugu: Done

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Ah, we finally finished this monster, an iPad game called Superfugu by WemoLab, the digital studio formerly known as WemoMedia. I can’t really say we finished it, since it seems the very nature of digital games these days is to be in a perpetual state of flux. This makes sense, since the current state of digital media gives producers access to monitor their audiences’ behaviors, permitting for almost immediate reactions to compensate for negative outcomes. This means “I’ll change what you don’t like before you realize you don’t like it”, and it is after all, what cybernetics are about: an uninterrupted correction feedback loop.

I could spend hours comparing my recent experience of making a game with my long term experience of making movies, drawing analogies and postulating conclusions about what makes things work one way or the other, but I will only do this at a personal level next to a bottle of wine with those who are prepared to indulge me. I have never been a big fan of games the way I am a lover of movies or books, but I find the production of them fascinating from the perspective of management science. I’ve learned more lessons on management —and team hierarchy/dynamics— working on a game than ever before, and this includes the time I spent in the crazy social education, innovation and production experiment called the MIT Media Lab.

I first got involved with Superfugu back around September 2012, and I have been working on it full time until today. I am responsible for the User Interface design and implementation (Unity and Ngui, eek), some character designs (especially the urchins, and all the 2D character versions), aspects of the story (and I got to make the intro comic!), the design/implementation of some features like Parent Mode, and supervising the production of important marketing assets like the Superfugu App Icon (by Oscar Award winner Andy Jones and yours truly, based on Anthony Batt‘s idea).

To me this chapter is done, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Download Superfugu in the App Store if you have an iPad (available May 1st). Then you can tell me what you think.

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Boxing versus Judo

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Max and I recently finished this video for the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. The video illustrates Chris Caplice’s talk on Scenario Planning, a brainstorming technique that helps prepare for abrupt changes in the future.

We use Boxing and Judo to compare between different planning techniques. Boxing represents the traditional approach, based on precise predictions of specific events, and Judo represents Scenario Planning, where it is more important to outline a number of potential futures and prepare for them. This way, specific events become less relevant as the effects they might produce. It makes sense, because lots of different events may cause the same effect over a given system. Preparing for this effect is a lot better strategy than the nearly impossible task of trying to predict each one of these events.

Data doodles

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

About a month ago, I made a new backup of the data from tinyDoodle. It is available as a text file consisting of 31.2 megabytes of integer coordinates of 2d points that are put together as a very long sequence of line segments. It’s formatted in JSON in a straightforward way. It doesn’t matter to me how silly this application sounds, there is something I still find incredibly compelling about the ability of computers to capture drawing gestures as sets of numbers that can be performed as drawing gestures that are sets of numbers. I think this drawing-to-number quasi-biyection is priceless.

I was recently talking about how different interaction models determine differences in communication, and how interesting it is for me to look at scenarios where a group of humans is restricted to use non-conventional channels to communicate with each other. Like putting two persons in a room and have them play a game where all they can do is make drawings to each other. Blackboard, paper, whiteboard, it doesn’t matter. Their communication will not be very efficient this way, but they will get very creative at drawing, and maybe come across some ideas that they would have never explored any other way.

More recently, Buzamoto launched a cool iPad app called Pendipity that offers a similar functionality to tinyDoodle, only better. It features a more advanced, yet very simple, drawing interface, and it implements a seamless chatting experience using a Node.js server. In terms of space, the difference between both systems is clear. When someone initiates a shared Pendipity session, the system will look for another available user to create a drawing team of two, and TinyDoodle is an open space where anybody can access the same drawing at any given time. So tinyDoodle is like a public blackboard, and Pendipity is like a shared notebook where every visitor is paired with someone else to draw on a single page of the notebook at a time. In Pendipity, a different session means a different drawing. In tinyDoodle, there will always be the same single drawing, around thirty something mb long at this point. The drawing is so dense, you actually have to watch it in chunks to make sense of it.

The following image is a collaboration Buza and I made on Pendipity. We didn’t find out we were drawing together until later, when we talked about it by chance. The idea of collaborating with somebody close to you without knowing who they are is bizarre, to say the least.

Geometry is back

Monday, July 25th, 2011

This weekend, I have been swimming inside a projection of the 120-cell courtesy of Jenn3D. The tetrahedrons stand for vertices. Jenn3D looks great. I downloaded the source code but I couldn’t understand most of it. At least I got it to compile.