Archive for the 'VR' Category

Real Knowledges, Virtual Designs Panel at AIGA Converge

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

I just presided as chair on a panel discussion around emerging design practices in VR called Real Knowledges, Virtual Designs: A Roundtable On Conducting Practice-Based Research In Virtual Reality at the AIGA Converge Conference in the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. The group featured an eclectic collection of VR practitioners including me, Samantha Gorman from Tender Claws, Kate Parsons from FLOAT, Tonia Beglari from Browntourage, and Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz from RUST Ltd. It was nice to hang out at USC with Adam again, who put this all together and was the best Teacher Assistant ever a few years back, when I taught IML-400 there.

VR Story Panel at the Ivy Film Festival

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Last Summer I spent some time mentoring —and taking advantage of— Adam Hersko-Ronatas, my intern from Brown University at Wevr. As a gifted filmmaker interested in VR, he worked in almost all the productions we were running at the time, positively influencing every single one of them. And he was even able to find the time to produce his own VR film called Parched, that has been selected for a couple of festivals already, like the Ivy Film Festival at Brown University and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle.

Adam’s accomplishments are well deserved, and I’m grateful that he invited me to spend last weekend at Brown University talking about VR as a medium for storytelling. I met a lot of great people, and I had a few interesting conversations with music composer Germaine Franco, Senior Editor Graham Roberts from the New York Times and Adam Blumenthal, VR artist in residence at Brown University. I spent most of my time at The Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, and amazing building with lots of interesting art and media stuff in it. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic about the MIT Media Lab while I was there 😀

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:

Wevr Station Prototype Alpha

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

I just built this thing with the help of David Ross. An infinitely vast cluster of worlds is waiting inside.

Transport v2

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Wevr just released a major update to the Transport VR platform that includes a subscription system and an overhaul of a portion of the user interface. @djabatt and I collaborated with the design team at Wevr to create a first user experience inspired by our favorite color palette and the fabulous downtown bridges at the LA river, as well as this cool Transport Teaser edited by Zach Hansen. Go check it out if you have a VR headset.

Depthkit 101

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

I just got a new toy to make living VR ghosts using digital samples of real people in motion. Depthkit works with a Kinect sensor and a Canon DSLR camera. My current workflow uses the Depthkit Capture and Visualize software, Adobe AfterEffects, and Unity for room-scale game engine playback on a HTC Vive system. It’s a pain in the ass but really fun.

If elections were sports

Friday, October 21st, 2016

We partnered with Youtube to produce a VR piece with The Gregory Brothers about the 2017 USA election race. The Gregory Brothers are awesome and they invented Auto-tune the News. It was quite a challenge to port their distinctive style to 360 video and I don’t thing we would have been able to do it if we didn’t have a Google Jump Odyssey system with us. It gave us the freedom to concentrate on staging and performance and it allowed us to come up with some pretty crazy stereoscopic 360 visual effects.

The basic idea was to turn a presidential debate into a rap battle, and the rest I’ll leave to your imagination. I’ll just say that there is some serious Terminator style electrical madness combined with the most insane Break Dance I’ve ever seen performed by somebody over fifty years old. I literally had to stop the shoot at some point because it was getting dangerous. I’ll let you fill in the blanks on what that means. You can feel the tension when you watch it. Can’t wait to work on more stuff like this.

[Update] Here is the final piece that got released on election day: