STEPHEN BLACK: WHO IS HE AND WHAT IS HE DOING IN NYC?

The video below is explained here.

Bubiko + Tranzient test: Mocap, music and VR!

December 23: new article on the AIXR website.

February 12: ARIA @MIT details to follow

SB reading Volumetric Scan by Harleigh Shaw @ Scandy

I am definitely attending the Volumetric Filmmakers NYC Meetup on December 12.

I am also hoping to meet media companies, content producers, musicians, visual artists and anyone involved with AR, VR and volumetric filmmaking.

Interview with TIVA at the Video Show

(This post was originally created for the The Video Show in Washington DC, where the interview was recorded.)

As part of the Video Show fun, this unusual ebook guide to AR was on sale!

Although, in my presentations, I mention companies, no one is paying me to have their product or service mentioned. I am thrilled to say that Novaby is helping me with Bubiko, and that I have spent a little quality time with Tranzient and Scandy (listed below), but other than that, I am just sharing info gathered online and at trade shows/events.

SB at ARIA, MIT 2019
Bubiko Foodtour amongst the pumpkins in one of the London WeWork offices.

Stephen Black is a consultant/creative director/ bestselling writer/director/producer (Fox, Cartoon Network, CNN, Fuji TV) who’s spoken about AR at MIT, Hong Kong PolyU, TechCrunch Shenzhen, PARIS (Paris Augmented Reality Influencers Show) and the Open Augmented Reality Cloud Symposium (Munich). Beach Road, his VR (360 video) movie was featured at VR festivals in Singapore, Las Vegas and Brisbane. 

360 films
Stephen Black, in the Beach Road, the VR(360 video) film he co-produced with Hiverlab

Also an established visual artist, he has exhibited at art spaces worldwide, including the Singapore Biennale (with Michael Lee), Image Forum Experimental Film and Video Festival (Tokyo), and numerous venues in the legendary art scene of the Rivington School/Lower East Side of New York City.

Office Orchitect by Michael Lee, text by Stephen Black

With Sayuri Okayama, Stephen created Bubiko Foodtour, an AR character who will soon be featured in an app. Bubiko has written a guide to AR, as well as collaborated with: the Tranzient VR electronic music-making software, an AR portal experiment with Green Bean Boy/Hummingbirdsday Studio. Upcoming: collaborations with Six Cats Studio, David Severn, Secret Donut World and NUG TOTH (Natchez)

The 3D version of Bubiko, and her rigging, are by Novaby. Bubiko's 3D AR debut was at Tech in the Tenderloin, generously supported by Niantic.

Bubiko at the Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana.

Stephen is available for creating AR/VR/traditional video content  as well as consulting, creative direction and public speaking opportunities. His latest book, Bubiko Foodtour’s Ununusual Guide to Augmented Reality (reviewed here) is available on Amazon.

PRO TIPS/NEWS STORIES

Geopose. As URL is to the internet, geopose is to AR. Interested? This blog post is a must.

Geopose and GPS virtual sculpture (1st location: Paris) now in production by Vincent Trastour (Flamingo Studios/PARIS event) and Stephen Black.

Scandy: A revolutionary way to create 3D scans with iOS. https://www.scandy.co/


Neilson Gamble's experiment with volumetric video, Aframe, hoxel and the Oculus Quest.

Novaby: 3D model makers experienced with AR, gamemaking and more: https://www.novaby.com/ The CEO of Novaby, Julia Beabout is also heading cutting edge AR/social projects: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tww8aGYV99s

A talk about the amazing Blackhawk Jazz club AR project San Francisco. And soon Julia will be sharing info about her Seattle AR project.

Tech in the Tenderloin is another project Julia is involved with. (So was Bubiko!)

Tranzient: Electronic Musicmaking in VR: http://www.blacksteps.tv/bubiko-meets-tranzient-1-0/ 

https://www.aliveintech.com/

Bubiko Foodtour’s Unusual Guide to Augmented Reality, reviewed on AR Post: https://arpost.co/2019/10/22/bubiko-foodtours-unusual-guide-to-augmented-reality-approachable-introduction-ar-technology/

How augmented reality is being used in weather reporting | ZDNet https://www.zdnet.com/video/how-augmented-reality-is-being-used-in-weather-reporting/

Questions? Use the comment section. Thanks! Looking forward to meeting you!

PS Ask me about the AR Coffee Network!




The Greatest AR Tour in History!

Would you like to support THE GREATEST AR TOUR IN HISTORY? Do you want to learn the latest news from AWE, Austin, Japan, Detroit, Turin, Munich, Shenzhen and Japan!?

Austin, London, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Shenzhen, Tokyo...full tour info at the bottom of this post. http://www.blacksteps.tv/blam-bubiko-foodtour-on-the-road/
(Photographer: Marcha Farley)

Stephen Black and Bubiko Foodtour are about to go global: learning, educating and networking at some of the biggest AR events in the world. We just need a little financial fuel...we are movin’ and groovin, but our app isn’t out yet! Startup blues!

Not a good time to help fund the excitement? We definitely understand, but why not follow this blog where you can read, and comment upon, informative articles like this: http://www.blacksteps.tv/towards-an-understanding-of-ar-cinema-possibilities/

Stephen Black and Bubiko at ARIA, MIT

You’ve got a little extra cash, and want to help? Thank you! PM me, tell me what you do or about your product, or what Bubiko and I can do to help you in anyway.

You're looking for an evangelist? Get in touch so our enthusiastic team can immediately start learning about you and planning to get the word out!

No one paid for this; it's just an example of how excited we get. It was prepared for a presentation at Hong Kong PolyU.

Your company wants to sponsor the greatest AR tour in history? Step right this way!

Bloggers, podcasters, media people... have we got unique and informative stories for you! Happy to share our information-packed adventures with your audience. Here's a sample story about Shenzhen.

Sayuri Okayama, co-creator of Bubiko Foodtour at a hackathon at MIT sponsored by Magic Leap.

Oh! Bubiko wrote an unusual and very informative book about AR: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WQTT22Z Buy one of these, learn a lot and help the tour!

Thanks for reading this far and any positive thoughts that you can provide. Stephen Black and Bubiko Foodtour

Get behind it before it gets past you
Now on tour... Bubiko, Eggy, Ollie and Obasan A! R! Let's go!(Lemme know if you want one of these shirts!)

Austin Startup Week: September 22-25 attendee

London: presentations date to be determined

Berlin: Meetup October 15

Amsterdam: dates to be determined

Munich: presentation at Open Augmented Reality Cloud Symposium Oct 16

Munich: attending AWE October 17/18

Turin attending View October 21-24

Paris: presenting at PARIS October 25

Detroit: Date to be determined. An update of the AR+AV presentation at Collider

2020

MIT Attending ARIA, where Stephen Black presented this year

SXSW2020 Attending, Sayuri Okayama and Stephen Black are possibly presenting:  SB Proposal SO Proposal 

Shenzhen, China: March presenting at Trouble Maker      my article about Shenzhen

Singapore: Biennale November 22, 2019, through March 22, 2020

Shenzhen: March 28/29 attending AWE China

Tokyo: April Tama Art University

Ashiya, Japan: April date to be determined

This post has more tour-related info.


Augmented Reality + Autonomous Vehicles: Stephen Black @ Collider

Bubiko's guide to AR is now available on Amazon!

The following are additions that were not discussed at the Detroit meetup.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/edgarsten/2019/08/12/turning-back-seat-boredom-into-a-virtual-theme-park/#712404fc6019

! https://www.thedrive.com/tech/9548/the-biggest-opportunity-everyone-is-missing-in-self-driving-cars

!! https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/100430 (What Augmented Driving Will Feel Like, a SXSW presentation by Theo Calvin.)

I wish I had known about the projects and gentlemen above before my Detroit talk.

Do read the article by Alex Roy.

Please vote for Teo Calvin's SXSW proposal.

.......................

Presentation

Thank you very much to Jacob, Rahul and Altimetrik for making this happen. It was a blast! A description of the event, and an introduction to Collider is here.

SLIDE 2

Hyperreality by Keiichi Matsuda

https://www.rt.com/news/455341-chinese-hackers-tesla-autopilot/

https://mashable.com/article/nissan-ar-virtual-reality-windshield-display/

The Nissan video features outstanding visuals.

SLIDE 3

https://www.openarcloud.org/reports/sotarc-2019

The above link is a MUST for anyone with a serious investment in AR.

Novaby is the company that did/is doing a great job with Bubiko.

(Yes, all of the research you see is self-funded. If you can help with a donation or a job...get in touch, please. I am also a photographer, artist, videomaker and a writer.

SLIDE 4

You can see all of my adventures with Bubiko elsewhere on this blog. We would be grateful for your votes for two proposals for SXSW.

This is my proposal.

This is the proposal of Sayuri Okayama, my partner.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTE!

SLIDE 5

This book is a "living" book. Meaning if you buy it, you will get the updated editions free.

SLIDE 7

BONNETS! (My Powerpoint looks extremely low tech. As much as I like this look, I have to say I had no choice. I was using my Chromebook , and used the baked in slide show creator. Next time, I might actually have the time to do some design work.)

SLIDE 8

Artivive One of my own Artivive demos is here. Another, here.

Leo

Bubiko Foodtour

Rouvy Augmented Reality Released: First Ride & Explainer.

DC Rainmaker does his usually outstanding job of reviewing a bicycle-related product.Jump into the video at about the 4 minute mark to see some exemplary AR techniques. Click here to see more examples and ideas related to AR+ Bicycles.

Cannondale, for the win! A great example of functional AR in an everyday situation, as opposed to a factory or medical facility.

SLIDE 9

From a presentation I did on AR and bike safety. All of those concepts need to be unified and rethought for the age of AR.

SLIDE 10

Mapillary

LADOT

Superworld

SLIDE 11

The Open Augmented Reality Cloud people are making efforts to establish a geopost standard. If you are serious about AR, follow their efforts, or better join them and let your voice be heard!

What you see is a test I did with Bubiko. While I was in a car, I positioned her in the road ahead. We then drove forward. It is not clear, and I will redo this test.

But what happened is that Bubiko was in front, then she appeared in the car, and then we saw her in the road behind us. She did not move with/in relationship to the car.

This was using Facebook Spark AR. Technical support: the amazing Dana.

Stunt driver: Norm Black.

No AR characters were harmed in the production of this rest.

SLIDE 12

OPEN AUGMENTED REALITY CLOUD

SLIDE 13

The AR Podcast is a must for anyone serious about AR. This is a link to the extremely informative and important interview with four of the people involved with OARC.

SLIDE 14

Thank you Sergei!

https://www.slideshare.net/sergiikozyrev?utm_campaign=profiletracking&utm_medium=sssite&utm_source=ssslideview

SLIDE 15

One style of point cloud rendering.

SLIDE 16

Another way to render a point cloud. There are many ways to create point clouds and they must be interoperable.

https://www.clarissewiki.com/3.6/creating_a_point_cloud.html

SLIDE 17

An example of an organization that has information that would be useful for AR in Detroit. Geographic Information Services… How much of what is under the road do they have records of? This info would be necessary for many AR services,

How do they make pointclouds-or do they even do this yet?

SLIDE 18

One of Magic Leap's views on how the total AR world might look like.

The layers presented include IoT (the Internet of Things, as well as AI. Photo courtesy of Tony at the Skarred Ghost, another person I suggest serious AR/VR people support and follow.

SLIDE 19

Another presentation from Magic Leap on how the total AR Cloud might look. They use the term "Magicverse".

SLIDE 20

A representation by the OARC on what the layers of the cloud would be. My suggested terms would be REAL1 (R1), REAL2 (R2) and REAL3 (R3). R1=the physical world. R2; the layer with few changes; buildings, landmarks, geography. R3 being the part of the AR cloud that changes the most, and has the most segmentation.

This system also lends itself to further classification. R2C22 , for example, could refer to a specific block in Chicago for example, and R2C22E could be the collective "channel" for all organizations utilizing traffic emergency communications for that area.

SLIDE 21

Microsoft Azure Spatial anchor systems. 'Anchor systems' refers to geoposing. There can be an endless number of clouds. Interoperability... Machines reading the world for humans... A browser...AI assisted browsers.

SLIDE 22

This is from the State of the Open AR Cloud 2019 report by the Open Augmented Reality Cloud group. Already some governing bodies are being formed.

The report is free. Get it here.

SLIDE 24

Ed Garten's article on AV safety, for Forbes magazine.

SLIDE 25

The League of American Bicyclists has an active interest in AR and AV.

https://www.bikeleague.org/content/automated-vehicle-overview-box

SLIDE 27

And the amazing BabbleRabbit! https://twitter.com/BabbleRabbit/status/1115271007315615750

SLIDE 28

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/314522858_Supporting_Trust_in_Autonomous_Driving

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333645946_The_Impact_of_Autonomous_Vehicles'_Active_Feedback_on_Trust

SLIDE 30

An AV by May.

SLIDE 33

Shenzhen's celebration used the entire city as a canvas. Something like this could be done in Detroit with AR, for much less cost, and with greater detail. AVs could travel on programmed routes... a new form of musical is born!

My report on the maker culture of Shenzhen is here.

SLIDE 34

The Fox Theatre is one of Detroit's cultural assets that could be utilized. This slide shows some of the layers of creation and co-operation that need to be considered.

SLIDE 35

An example of an urban AR project, this one by Snapchat. This article also raises questions about AR in public spaces.

SLIDE 36

Diego! DIA! https://www.dia.org/art/rivera-court

SLIDE 37

http://amirbaradaran.com/2019/works-pages/fml.html

Go to the "0.52" mark to see the actual AR clip. It is very brief.

The video on this site by Artivive showcases some possibilities in regards to AR + flat art. https://artivive.com/walkietalkie/

SLIDE 38

Apple's AR Art program. https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/07/apple-offers-new-augmented-reality-art-sessions/

SLIDE 39

Back to bROADWAY… and we have "discovered" that the Fox Theater is geofenced. Geofencing is a blocking of AR access. Military bases, sensitive areas...the interior of homes. The Fox Theatre is copyrighted, I believe. In this fictional example, Fox may have geofenced their theater to prevent unauthorized AR usage.

SLIDE 40

MOTOWN!

SLIDE 42

Bose AR

So there ya go! Any questions ask below.

I am available for consultation and all kinds of AR producing, as well as photography, video, art and writing projects. Thank you for any ideas and/or opportunities.

And again, please consider voting for our two SXSW presentations:

XR: bike safety, music and Bubiko Foodtour

and

Augmented Reality and Food

THANKS!

onwARd,

Stephen Black

ARbike

A compilation of posts-and an ebook- related to Augmented Reality, Bicycling and Bicycle Safety.

Stephen Black will be making a presentation at the Great Ohio Bike Adventure in June. About Stephen Black

ARPHABET TOUR

Hello from Austin! For professional and personal reasons, the ARphabet Tour has been postponed. Once the Bubiko Foodtour app is out, we will focus on how to get the ARphabet Tour in motion.

Hi! There will soon be an Indiegogo campaign for the ARphabet Tour.A

The ARphabet Tour is a 100 day tour of the U.S. and Canada by Stephen Black. The ARphabet Tour has three components: AR, Readings and Writing Workshops (based on SB's books) and the Mango Sticky Rice Experience.

The ARphabet Tour starts with a presentation at ARIA @MIT.

Update: Kabaq will be provide the tour with AR Mango Sticky Rice!

What is the ARphabet Tour About?

Support/ Join the ARphabet Tour......................sign up on Indiegogo.

Why is this happening so fast? 

The Augmented Reality aspect is explained here.

The Readings and Workshops aspect is explained here.

The Mango Sticky Rice Experience is explained here.

Eight reasons to SPONSOR the ARphabet Tour

The ARphabet Tour in your town: how to schedule it.

AR Characters: Bubiko Foodtour

AR Characters: Secret Donut WorldA

ARCharacters: The Dundercats

AR Characters: The Doughbots

AR Characters: Green Bean Boy

Friends of the ARphabet Tour

An Open Letter to Magic Leap and ATT

LATEST UPDATE hello... I do not know why this post is suddenly seeing some action. Nowadays, I direct very little energy in the direction of Magic Leap.

This is what I am up to now, as of January 18, 2020.

onwARd!

sb

Hi.


This is outdated. For my startup plans, write to me directly at bubikofoodtour at mark gmail.com. Please look for more recent posts. This, for example, is an overview of the first three months of AR activities in 2019. Thank you. SB

.................................

January 21, 2019 Update. Magic Leap/ATT... now that the MIT Virtual RealityHackathon is over, am getting ready to restart this Indiegogo campaign for a tour of AR evangelism... https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-arphabet-tour#/

12/30/18 NEWS ABOUT THE ARPHABET TOUR

Hello Magic Leap and ATT ,

I hope this finds you well.

As tomorrow is the deadline for Magic Leap's Independent Creator Program, I would like to bring my work, research and time investments to your attention.

I believe my project has the potential to be a unicorn.

still a work in progress, but you get the idea... though the mango sticky rice section is missing...

ARPHABET TOUR

100 day tour starting with ARIA/MIT January 14

Two different topics: AR presentations, as well as Readings and Workshops

AR collaboration with Dominique Wu, founder www.hummingbirdsday.com/

AR/book project with Sayuri Okayama, researcher/co-creator of Bubiko Foodtour

Secret Donut World - Characters co-created with David Severn http://david-severn.com/

The Doughbots- - Characters co-created with David Severn

The Dundercats-Collaboration with Six Cat Studios  http://www.thedundercats.com/

Schedule now being determined, planned stops include: Boston MA (ARIA /MIT), NYC, Washington D.C., Rochester NY, Toledo OH, Detroit, Ann Arbor MI, Chicago, Natchez MS, Denver CO, Boulder CO, New Orleans, Austin (SXSW), Los Angeles, San Francisco(GDC)

Sponsorship opportunities now available

Supporters: Trouble Maker https://troublemaker.site/

                   T40GROUP http://www.t40group.com/

                   Book Merah www.blacksteps.tv/book-merah-giveaways-discounts-hong-kong-book-fair/

BUBIKO FOODTOUR SHENZHEN BOOK

The first food guide to Shenzhen, by Bubiko Foodtour, AR character and amateur chef.

Forward by Stephen Black, author of the best seller, i ate tiong bahru

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18142065-i-ate-tiong-bahru

STEPHEN BLACK

Graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, director/writer/producer for Cartoon Network, Fox, Fuji TV and CNN, Stephen Black was involved with a $3.2M gaming startup, from 2002-7. He then became a writer/artist  while waiting for mobile spatial computing(AR/VR) to mature.

That time is now.

www.blacksteps.tv                                     bubikofoodtour  at gmail dot com

www.gallery.sg

The ARphabet Tour will make presentations in large and not-so-large cities;  a great way to develop a market for Magic Leap on the grassroots level.

The ARphabet Tour was prompted by my last minute addition to the ARIA event at MIT next month.

Also, FWIW, I have many years of experience in Singapore, and surely we could arrange  some things there, as well as other cities in Asia.


Thank you very much, Magic Leap,  for your time and consideration. OnwARd,
Stephen Black

Presentations and workshops by Stephen Black

AR: a unicorn possibility is real, large, and very near

This post is interesting, valid...and outdated. Contact me at arphabettour at gee mail if you'd like to hear about my latest plans and activities. This post is also informative.

..................................................................

... I will be at ARIA at MIT.

Hello to those who attended my 2018 AR workshops and presentations! And, hello to those who are interested in my AR startup plans! Thanks for stopping by!

The state-of the art AR blog posts of last summer are now ancient history! The following eight blog posts are a glimpse into the latest AR developments and opportunities. 

6D

Whare/Samsung

Magic Leap

Niantic

WakingApp/Vuzixhttps://www.wakingapp.com/blog

Amazon Sumerian

Microsoft Azure + Unity

AR Smartglasses by Facebook +

Now is the time to produce AR content for industry, art and entertainment- and games.


I have been involved with games/spatial computing since 2002, and am now ready to launch an AR startup that involves games, filmmaking and video/content production. If you, or someone you know, is interested in investing, I hope we can talk.

I can share the successful pitch I used at TechCrunch  Shenzhen a week ago. As positive as the response was, it never hurts to share a vision, especially if that vision includes a unicorn. onwARd,
Stephen Black

PS The flyer below is a bit out of date; the startup idea mentioned below includes games.


Presentations and workshops by Stephen Black

This blog has many posts about AR and startup plans, all of which are outdated, but do provide insights. 

AR, VR and Every R in Between (July 7, 2018)

HAPPENING NOW: STEPHEN BLACK'S EBOOKS: FREE AND DISCOUNTED Taking place during the Maker Faire Hong Kong, was AR, VR and Every R in Between, organized by Dr. Ludovic Krundel, of the Digital Entertainment Lab, School of Design at HK PolyU. Here is a link to bios of some of the people who made the day so interesting. Plus, there was Kandao and SnapPop. Photos by Stephen Black and Bubiko Foodtour. 360VR video of the event is here! 360VR video of this is here. Day 2 is here.

Hello!

Hello and welcome. My name is Stephen Black and I work with media, words and art. Media: VR, computer-generated environments,video and photography. Words: articles and books, including Bali Wave Ghost,  I Ate Tiong Bahru (a national bestseller in Singapore), Tiong Bahru Mouth, Obama Search Words and a few others. This post gives you some idea of my current projects. Thank you for stopping by. Stephen Black physical laborers
black and white image of man dropping vase

Ai Wewei, Yesim Agaoglu, Stephen Black, Eugene Soh collaboration in gallery.sg

Jeff Koons Balloon Dog in SPOKEN

Nhung: Floating

low tech in hi tech

Works created with ink

two men smiling

If one person can be said to symbolize the Tiong Bahru Market, it might be this guy in the hat...

SB & 3D (Why I’m excited to be in Eugene Soh’s virtual gallery project)

THIS post was written before SPOKEN started. SPOKEN is a project I am doing with Eugene Soh, an experiment in which art, text, virtual reality and social media intersect. Learn about SPOKEN here.

To enter gallery.sg and experience SPOKEN, click here.

Here is the extremely short version: from 2002 until 2008 I was involved with a visionary virtual reality project that combined educational practices with gamemaking and multimedia. However, the spiritual captain of the project was part Disney, part Microsoft and part Sex Pistols. An unexpected death, treachery, incompetence, inexperience, bureaucratic boondoggles and more made my life "interesting"... I have pages of notes about the events and the spirit of the times. We were doing things like Youtube and Second Life before they started. The project was so close... and yet so far away. (Actually, now that mobile technology has settled down, I hope that the lessons and products of that experience can be revitalized. But that's yet another story.)

In 2006, as a way of showcasing our technology,  I entered a gamemaking hackathon. A theme was given on a Thursday morning and the next day at five the results were judged.The theme was something about healthy eating, I think. Working with my programmer in Hong Kong, we made a game in which the viewer learned about the calorie count of certain foods. The player competed with an AI character.  It was fun to do. However, what I remember most was a team that made an incredible flash game. I don't remember if they won or not, but I do remember two guys on that team very well. George Parel and Eugene Soh were full of energy, knowledge and bursting with creative ideas. They still are.

I've been lucky to work with George and Eugene on a few projects since then. In 2008 I finally had to put the educational gamemaking project on hold while I waited for a programmer and the mobile device situation to stabilize.I put more time into writing and art projects. George and Eugene (that dude from Singapore) however, have kept on doing remarkably creative things with IT, art, design and more.

Virtual reality may seem to be an artificial place, but the gallery Eugene has created fills me with memories and hope. I am honored and very thankful for I Ate Tiong Bahru to be on display in gallery.sg

IATB in virtual gallery Cheers, Eugene! Cheers, George!

Ebooks: Born to Click (1 of 3)

Preface This informal essay is my way of marking the end of a certain era in ebook history. It's part snapshot, part reference materials, part journal.At the end of this post are notes about me, my experiences and my books. Thanks to Doug Rolph for his insights on economics, Eric Hellman for his input and my dad for having taken care of our family by selling books. το πνεύμα του Ιανού After I finish writing eight books, I will begin marketing. Until then, I'll probably study the ebook world less and hopefully do more writing, arting and engaging with Life. When it does comes time for me to contribute to the marketing conversation, I hope I have something to say. For now, I present the following notes, quotes and thoughts as a means of punctuating a phase in the development of ebooks as I have seen and experienced it. This is an exciting time. The ebook delivery platforms are finally stable, self-publishing has proven to have great value and a number of services have recently appeared that shorten the distances between readers and authors. It seems to me that indie ebooks and ebook marketing are about to enter a new era. This blog post makes little mention of traditional publishing. This is simply because, as much as I would like to enjoy the benefits of being a Big 5/6 author, that fruit is not now within my reach. I am however, considering joining the Author's Guild. Although I've done almost no marketing, I have studied the environments in which ebooks are created, presented, bought and sold. Some observations: 1. Except for uploading, nothing about ebooks is easy. Writing is the anti-social social media, full of long, long hours of pressure-filled solitude. Assembling an error-free book is never simple. The social part, finding an audience, is an immense challenge. I respect all of the authors mentioned in this post for they have successfully met these challenges and more.
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Stephen King
Based on my experiences, the work breakdown of an 88,000 word novel looks something like this: 1000 words a day (88 days) or, more likely, 500 words a day (176 days). Call it 200 days to prepare something for a proofreader. Two months for corrections, art, and ebook conversion. So, a book takes about 300 working days to finalize. About... And then there are the thousands of actions needed to connect with readers... The title of Guy Kawasaki's excellent book says it all: APE, meaning Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur This document, by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, is a data-based analysis of the ebook market. Highly recommended, it covers topics important for newbies and veterans. It touches upon issues like word count, pricing, marketing and more. For instance, his research shows that the average bestseller on Smashwords is 100,000 words, and the average romance is 112,195 words. (There are more links to resources at the end of this post.) Very few traditionally published authors became bestsellers; the same is true for ebook publishing. My goal is not to become a bestseller, but to connect with the largest possible community of people who enjoy the art of reading. 2. A great writer or a great marketer... ....or, the frustration of being caught between not doing enough writing and not doing enough marketing. A writer writes, a salesman sells. Self-publishing does not equal self-marketing. Spending money wisely on promotion money means income and time to write. (See the links below) Twitter, Goodreads, FB, LinkedIn and blogging? All have their advantages and disadvantages... 3. There are no independent, hugely successful ebook-only self-publishers. Note: Two days after this post went up, I became aware of this great piece by Dana Beth Weinberg on Digital Book World. Thank you Jacqueline Church! Amazon is huge, Apple is huge, Kobo and Smashwords are very big. Unless you are selling from your own website or the back of your car, you're not truly independent. OK, A bit of an attention grabber there...but the author's need for a partnership with Amazon and ebook distributors is a dependence that cannot be overlooked. These "automatic partners" will always protect their interests first. They call the shots. Amazon is a business, not an author. Amanda Hocking is a hugely successful author. At one point, the average daily sales figure of her self-published ebooks was 9000. Again: average DAILY book sales: nine thousand! Her success was based on hard work, technological first mover advantage and an indirect tie-in with Hollywood. Consider: -the successful and pioneering integration of ebook readers into tablets and mobile as well as the launch of the Kindle (2007) and the iPad(2010) -the large demographic of young women who bought readers and tablets - the fact that, having written many books, Hocking could quickly provide a new and large market with a variety of new titles - writing books about the paranormal when Hollywood is pushing the same cannot hurt. Twilight, the hugely successful series of movies about teen vampires began in 2008. Hocking's first book, My Blood Approves, began selling in 2010. E.L. James' book phenomenon began in the fan fiction chat rooms for Twilight. The characters in Fifty Shades of Grey were originally the characters from Twilight. Could Master of the Universe, as her series was originally called, have achieved its success without an existing network of thousands of Twilight fans? These two women made their mark upon society in two different ways. As shared, collective book-based experiences: WOW! However, the writing is..."not terrible" or worse
I remember SF/F authors complaining (back in 2011) that their readers hadn’t switched to e-books yet, casting jealous eyes at the outsized romance audience. But as readers did move across, we saw people like David Dalglish and BV Larson breaking out, and the rest of “genre” fiction soon followed. http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/amazon-makes-life-easier-for-authors-of-historical-literary-fiction/
There are "indie success stories" about authors who "rode into town" on the backs of traditional publishing. Funded by Big 6 money these "indies" were advertised and publicized, sent on book tours and given things like business cards. Possibly, audiobooks were made. Hundreds, if not thousands, of their books were given away, many to reviewers. As the 'first mover'possibilities of the ebook market became clear and realistic, these authors, knighted by the Big 6 and armed with credibility and connections, rode onto a battlefield with little opposition... Undoubtedly hard work was involved, but to label them as indies brings to mind the quip about George Bush: "...was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." There certainly are "ebook only" indies connecting with many readers and enjoying sales. I just don't know of any. (FOUND SOMEONE: LINDSAY BUROKER Please tell me about others! them! Somewhat related to this, are there any "ebook only" awards? Here, authors talk about their sales experiences. 4. The ebook world evolves to reward the reader; the prepared author benefits from this. Fan fiction. Goodreads. Ebook readers on mobile phones. The mashup between big data and metadata. Entrepreneurs with vision who see ways to connect authors and readers in a new ways. It is an exciting time. Ebooks: Born to Click, Part 2 of 3 visit www.blacksteps.tv for parts 2 and 3 of this post, as well as information on art, books and ebooks  

iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. the Harlem Globetrotters

The day after it came out of its box, my iPhone was put to the test: courtside, at the Huntington Center, to shoot the Harlem Globetrotters.

To push it to the limit, the camera was on auto. All image processing was done with the built in apps.

I am pleased with the results, considering they were not made from RAW files. This shoot was a week ago, and I have been shooting with the iPhone every day, including video.

My review: the iPhone 11 Pro Max used on automatic/no apps is very impressive, but, for professionals, apps are needed to be fully in control at the time of exposure, as well as have RAW files and the ability to bring out the best of the camera's potential.

I really would like to write in depth about this shoot, but am swamped. If you have any questions, I will be happy to reply. Just leave a comment below.

Click here if you would like to see my "automatic" results with food, and here if you would like to see some portraiture and art. Glassblowing!

Globie, looking up!
Zeus!
Big Easy is not happy. Neither is the ref.
Hi-Lite goes boom!

I am looking forward to shooting another sports event, with the apps. With indoor sports, the lighting is constant and the area is limited. The variables are positioning, timing and the magic on the court.

Carrot Cake!

Bubiko @ the Toledo Art Museum

Bubiko ended one decade and began another at the Toledo Museum of Art!

Happy to be here!
Sometimes, art is like dancing.
These are mysterious people!
A glass dress, a new decade.
New friends
New friends, old glass.
4/5 of The Antivillains
musicians on a simple white stage
5/5 of the Antivillains
About 9 hours of light
Self preservation
Bravery
2020+++

Adam @ Gathered Glass Studio

On the last day of the decade, I wandered around Toledo and discovered the hottest (and coolest) place in the city: Gathered Glassblowing Studio. I am very thankful that Adam was so open minded, and allowed me to shoot him in action.

I will rewrite this post very soon, and include the name of the other glass master, whose name I didn't get... I will also add more details about the process, the studio and Adam.

For now, here are the photos. I am looking forward to shooting the finished piece. (The first and second image are out of sequence, the others show the process in chronological order.)

Natchez 1

Bubiko visits Paddington

At Paddington Station, in the store filled with all that is Paddington.
The famous statue. "Please look after this Bear. Thank you."
The world famous bear meets the world famous chef. Lobby of the Paddington Hilton, London.
Bubiko, in awe.

“Best espresso in America”

One of the certificates hanging in Papi y Papi, a retail store in Natchez, Mississippi. Besides coffee, Papi y Papi sells chocolate and cigars.
Papi y Papi sources only the best beans, and supervises the roasting.
Dub Rogers. The Slayer Steam.
https://www.facebook.com/Papi-y-Papi-101308421294809/

"Best coffee in America," said a visitor from Melbourne, Australia. If you know Melbourne, you know that this is a very high compliment. The man had been travelling in the U.S. for about a month.

636 Franklin Street
Natchez, Mississippi 39120
https://www.visitnatchez.org/
http://mississippiwerewolf.com/Night_of_the_Loup_Garou_Movie_Website/The_Legend.html
https://blog.napster.com/2016/03/30/fat-possum-25-years-keeps-it-real-for-25-years/

There are two posts on this blog about the detail and care that goes into making espresso at Papi y Papi. Here is the first.

VIEW 2019 part 4

The Hugo Guerra of Hugo's Desk. Hugo is an extremely good compositor and teacher.

From my TV and gamemaking days, I have some familiarity with compositing. Although it is almost certain that I will never become a compositor, I sat in on Hugo's seminar. I think I retained about .001% of the technical information that Hugo shared, but observing his workflow and troubleshooting tips was inspiring.

The Addams Family: Reintroducing a Classic: the presenters, co-director Conrad Vernon and Producer Alexa Schwartz, spoke about the challenges in creating a new version of The Addams Family. Although the story is contemporary, the two looked at the original drawings of Charles Addams. His drawings, featured in The New Yorker magazine, were the basis of the original TV show.

Conrad and Alexa presented like the professionals that they are. They completed each other's sentences. They kept the topics moving. Perhaps they rehearsed and planned for a long time, or maybe they just improvised so informatively because they knew their subject so well. They showed clips and explained the stories behind them. If there is an Addams Family Hall of Fame, Conrad and Alexa should be in it.

Animated movies have their own unique characteristics, but they also act as "containers" for other art forms, music being the most obvious example, drawing being another. However, successful animated characters are the result of combining drawing, sculpture, programming and... dreaming. Animated characters are often realistic, but they can ignore the laws of physics. Dreams and animation need no logic.

Having said that, the more a VFX operator/CG artist/animator studies reality, the better. Noticing the almost imperceptible muscles movements of the human body results in all kinds of possibilities, especially when one must make a character react to something unexpected. The following clip was shown by Theodore Tye, as part of his excellent presentation entitled Beyond Eye Darts: A Closer Look at Acting for Animation:

This masterclass, through the analysis of clips from animated and live- action films as well as acting theory, takes a fun, in-depth look at the study and execution of both comedy and dramatic acting for animation.

Following is one of the clips shown to exemplify a reaction worth studying.

VIEW took place in OGR Turino, an arts center in what was once a train station.
Glen McIntosh is a paleo-artist, and the supervising artist for Jurassic World.Glen's first film was Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. It was a pleasure to watch him work and share his stories.
Turin is a delight!
Bubiko photobombing animation bigwigs.
Hal Hickel, a legend at Industrial Light and Magic.Winner of both an Academy Award and BAFTA. He has worked on Star Wars, Jurassic Park, AI, Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story and The California Raisins!
Closing party. The London Siggraph people put copies of interesting black and white images on the tables, making Offtopic a bit like their Drink and Draw nights in London.

I have just settled down after travelling for over two months. I am still processing all that I learned and experienced at VIEW and an other post is on its way.

VIEW 2019 part 3

I used to study moire patterns and halftone printing. So, this image, and others like it, was a treat. This image was taken during a talk by Danny Dimian!

Danny Dimian is a visual effects supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, most recently supervising the Academy Award-winning SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE for Sony Pictures Animation.

His presentation was proof that daring art can happen in large institutions. Yes, it can be said that Sony wanted a new stylized look for the Spiderverse movie(s). However, many, many times this desire for a new look results in simply hiring a trendy director/VFX person who then spends the money on the flavor of the month gear/software. The result can look dated very quickly.

Danny's team went retro; they researched old comic books and found the techniques (and flaws) that make them so distinctive. Halftone dots and misaligned printing being two examples. They also collected the words, exclamation points and marks that add impact.

They then used these as the basis for experimentation and also brought in painters to create stylistic possibilities. In short, there was a lot trial and error involved with bringing the look of old printing into the age of 8K.

So, this happened. Looking for a place to quietly check my email; Danny was looking for a place to quietly save the Spiderverse. Or something like that.
Jill Culton shared the inspirations and challenges of Abominable.
The discussion about Women in Animation: Jill Culton, Maureen Fan, Janelle Croshaw Ralla, Angie Wojak, Wieke Schrakamp, Carolyn Giardina and Alex Schwartz. The Facebook Spark app allows Bubiko to be on stage as well, but the photo quality is not great.

The Women in Animation panel was serious, yet insightful and lighthearted. Hopefully the unwanted challenges described will become nonexistent for the next generation of women, and the opportunities will increase.

Paul Debevec What he does for Google Daydream and the University of Southern California is very interesting, but also very difficult to explain. New Yorker magazine profiled him, and explained things nicely.
A photo from Paul Debevec's presentation.

This is the third post of a series.