Archive for the 'jobs' Category

Death Planet Rescue at MoPOP

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

Death Planet Rescue, my first immersive science fiction film for the Holodome, just opened to the public at MoPOP in Seattle.

I got to direct an incredible cast including the legendary Michael Ironside, who I remember from the long gone era when I was under eighteen and television was 640×480. I shouldn’t brag but for Death Planet Rescue we managed to push a total of 9600×4800 pixels per frame. That’s an immense picture resolution, but barely enough for the Holodome, who swallows it all and spits it back all around you, making you feel like you stepped into the picture.

I want to thank everyone involved in this production for their creativity and their dedication. We pulled off a crazy one 😀

Mangchi Live at Viva! Pomona

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Wevr just made available on Transport a couple of pieces I directed last year featuring the band Mangchi performing live at Viva! Pomona. This is pretty cool. We used the Google/Gopro Jump Odyssey camera system that completely removes the painful step of stitching together stereoscopic spherical footage. Basically you film your stuff with your 16 camera rig, upload the footage to the Google cloud Jump service, and get back perfectly beautiful stereoscopic equirectangular footage ready to be enhanced with a traditional postproduction workflow. No more countless hours stitching together every camera.

In addition to this, David and Mangchi let us put our cameras anywhere we wanted —something uncommon when capturing a live performance, since the best location for a VR 360 camera is always right where somebody wants to be. Thanks to this we managed to capture the heart at the madness that only Mangchi can deliver and inspire on their audience. From their backstage naked body-painting rituals to privileged spots on the stage and the middle of the mosh pit, we get you as close as you can get to experiencing the raw power of this eclectic band at its fullest, loudest, and most colorful.

Here is a 360 Preview in youTube:

Run the Jewels Crown is out

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

A few months ago I produced a VR music video with my friends at Wevr for the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. I’m proud to announce that The New York Times just dropped it in their nytvr mobile app.

Here is an insightful article written by @djabatt on the importance of matching hip-hop with virtual reality.

360° Premiere: Run The Jewels's "Crown"

Run The Jewels keeps pushing boundaries with their 360° video for "Crown," premiering on The New York Times's virtual-reality app.Check out the full video from Killer Mike GTO and EL-P: http://nyti.ms/1QOIbed

Posted by The New York Times on Thursday, March 10, 2016

crown-nyt

Learning AngularJS

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

We just got a contract job at WemoLab to develop a mobile web app for a sports betting startup called Joust, and after a week or so of deliberations we decided to build the whole thing using an AngularJSNodeJSMongoDB combo, pure javascript from end to end.

I have to say AngularJS hasn’t been exactly easy, but there have been several times where I have been surprised finding extremely simple ways to set up certain things, especially when binding event triggered method chains across completely separate scopes. It’s kind of great, even though all those directives are driving me crazy and the learning curve has been steep as hell.

Programming languages are used to create functional worlds. In these worlds, new languages are created to create new worlds within the older ones. They are like stories within stories within stories, except in the case of software all these stories have a life of their own. It is natural to fantasize about a esperanto of programming, or a universal language that could be used to program anything. Today, this language is a dream, but at least in the web, javascript is as close as it gets to being the language of god, and AngularJS, together with NodeJS and a document/json based database solution like MongoDB, are a good reason why.

theBlu.com

Friday, May 31st, 2013

I can’t remember the last time I officially hand crafted a website. To be precise, this is not even a website, it’s just a webpage; I plan to update the rest of the website over the next few weeks, but for now, I feel this is a great first step.

Obviously, my first design goal here is to get visitors to download theBlu, but also to learn about it, to want it, and most importantly, to believe in it as a viable platform to communicate knowledge about biological systems. I think about this branch of digital media as the the simulation of life. And there is also the geographical aspect: mapping the environment where this life occurs. If they manage to simulate life well, computer networks will be the Petri Dish of the future.

And it is also interesting to think about the Darwins of the future, combined perhaps with the Pasteurs of the future and others (of the future too, LoL). Because scale is a controllable variable, in the digital realm, looking into the microscopic drama that unfolds inside a Petri Dish can become a similar experience to sailing across the world’s oceans from Galapagos to Galapagos or whatever. Furthermore, the digital explorer is not limited to just observing and collecting samples, but he or she can control time or even manipulate or create life in a way that in the future will probably be possible in the physical world too, but the big difference is that in the physical world we learn to control nature, when in the digital world (or playground) we figure out how to create something like nature.

I don’t want to be all over the place but who cares: so CSS and HTML and Javascript. To me, this combination is as relevant to us as Gutenberg’s printing press. Am I right?

And on that note, looking back in history to the precursors of other media –Étienne Jules Marey and his relation to animation, for example– do you think stuff like theBlu will be faced by the same lens a few hundred years from now? Does it even make sense to think like this today?

theblu

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.

fugucito

new-superfugu-2

Khan Academy Bots

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

A few months ago, before I got all busy with theBlu, I made a set of robot avatars for the Khan Academy. They are part of the academy’s incentive program. Like in many games, users accumulate points by finishing tasks provided by the system, and these points can then be used to collect badges or upgrade the user’s avatar. The only difference is that in this case the user’s merit is to have learned something, as opposed to having reached a given goal established by the rules of a game.

I think the Khan Academy is a great resource not just for learning. It is also wonderful for refreshing knowledge one once already had. I’ve used it like that a couple of times, and a few other times just to learn about stuff –their explanation of SOPA/PIPA is pretty good– but I haven’t found an opportunity to collect enough points to deserve one of my own avatars in my profile. Maybe one day, I don’t really care. I just hope their incentive program is very successful and a lot of people learn a lot and choose my robots so that the Khan Academy feels inspired to commission me with more drawings, because I love this kind of work.

PS: My illustration set in flickr features full res images of all the robots and some other creatures that didn’t make it into the final selection.