If elections were sports

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:

Fast Ride on LifeVR

September 21st, 2016

Time-Life just launched their LifeVR app featuring a 360 video piece I directed called Fast Ride. A few months ago I spent a day with my colleagues from Wevr in a race track in Laguna Seca where the Mazda racing team took out all their vintage cars for a spin like they do every year. J. H. Harper wrote an in-depth piece about the event for The Verge that explains everything about this amazing cars.

The following picture shows pilot Jeremy Barnes tagging along for a fast ride with himself just after he finished his real-life lap. It was a lot more intense for him to be the passenger in VR than to be the pilot in real life 😀

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Stereoscopic Bliss with Cinema 4D

August 20th, 2016

Experimenting with motion capture, particle systems and equirectangular stereoscopic physical rendering in Cinema 4D.

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Link to full resolution render here.


More experiments with motion capture can be found here.

New Cover Art for Rest in Haste

August 10th, 2016

I’ve been working on some new cover art for the Psychedelic Rock band Rest in Haste. I am not done yet, but some interesting things are coming out. I will be posting full resolution updates in my Rest in Haste Flickr album.

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Openframeworks + Kinect still working

July 28th, 2016

Last night I was looking at depthkit and 8i while researching options for video-based 3D capture, and I felt inspired to rescue my old kinect from the bottom of a drawer. I got a fresh copy of openframeworks and ten minutes later I had a running build of the openframeworks kinect example in my computer. It was literally like time-traveling to 2011. I remember capturing a point cloud of Amy pregnant back before Maya was born. A couple of months later the kinect found oblivion in the bottom of a drawer and I stopped using openframeworks until now.

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Ten years blogging

July 14th, 2016

I still remember exactly ten years from today, when @johnmaeda recommended me to start a blog shortly after I joined the Media Lab under his tutelage. I think he meant that I used it as a tool for self-promotion, but my blogging enterprise promptly evolved into a sort of introspective public journal with an audience of approximately one, myself always included ???? —and now ten years have passed, ten years since my first WordPress installation and ten years since I wrote this words. I still believe that Information is not Knowledge is not Wisdom is not Love but my priorities, motivations and interests have shifted greatly from that era. This is natural since much has changed around and within me. Even blogs, that felt so new back then —every cool kid had one— feel like archeological artifacts when compared to contemporary digital media. I have grown very fond of this journal, and I will continue writing on it and keeping my little server running for as long as I can. The privilege of having this window into my personal history is priceless.

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Reddit AMA for VR Thriller Gone

June 9th, 2016

A couple of days ago, I participated on a Reddit AMA about the VR series GONE with my friends from @Skybound and @PettyJTyrant. It was a great opportunity to revisit the creative and technical challenges we faced during this crazy adventure, as well all our accomplishments. So far I have produced or directed over a dozen cinematic VR projects, all of them valuable on their own right, but GONE surpasses all others in breadth and depth. No other time have I been able to explore, test and develop so many cinematic VR storytelling techniques. From camera moves to visual effects and interactive features, GONE remains at the bleeding edge of cinematic VR today. No other piece of 360 video content out there can compare to it, even though we finished production about a year ago and the first episode aired shortly after. We pulled off some crazy shit on this project. In the future people will wonder how could we achieve what we did during times where there were ZERO off-the-shelf production and postproduction tools for this kind of filmmaking. From DIY makeshift camera systems to painfully laborious postproduction techniques and previously non-existent user experience design, we figured out a way to make it all happen. I only wish it was promoted as well as it deserves.