The goal is to prepare for the possibilities of AR cinema.
This post documents a simple test. The Bubiko model used for the Tech in the Tenderloin event was used. Two locations: a garage and an open piece of land. The objective: to gain an understanding of what a “stage” can be in AR. AR is a new medium; to use the established techniques of theatre, television and movie is to fail to grasp the uniqueness of AR. Performance art and dance provide clues.
Notes: Spark used
Occlusion not a concern at this time
Ambient light a constant
Size and scaling of Bubiko purposely varied
Bubiko was created by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama
iPad used; no manual controls nor color correction
Stephen Black: This post is a breakdown of my experiences with AR/VR/Spatial Computing. It starts with 2002, though I received a BFA in Photographic Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology well before that.
Before 2002, I lived in Tokyo, Manhattan, Paris and Hong Kong, and worked in network TV, fine arts, photography and music. A fuller biography can be found here. But AR is the topic of this post...
2002-2007. In Singapore I worked as a creative director for a 3D game making company that was also doing something like Youtube,-- but three years before Youtube. Although I was not a developer, I learned a great deal about spatial computing, and taught 3D gamemaking in Singapore, including classes at the Singapore Science Center. It was during this time, that David Severn and I developed the Secret Donut World characters.
2007- 2014 Singapore/Bali: wrote novels, including a bestseller, was involved with 3how and researched VR and AR.
2014 SPOKEN, with Eugene Soh; a curation of a wide range of artists.
2014 The Oculus signaled the emergence of VR, and I began notes for a book about VR cinematography.
2015 In Singapore, a chance meeting with Ender Jiang, the founder of Hiverlab, resulted in the opportunity to make my first 360 film. Ender provided me with technical support and creative freedom and I am extremely grateful for that opportunity. The resulting film, Beach Road, featured a soundtrack by Bani Haykal and Chen Yi Qi, and was selected as a demo VR film in the Hybrid Arcade session of the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival in November 2015, and was nominated as the Best Experimental VR Film in the VR Fest Las Vegas 2016. It was also fetured in a VR film festival at the Singapore national Museum. Beach Road was receiving a healthy number of views and comments before a technical change in Google Play took it off. At the time of this writing, Beach Road is on Veer and has received almost 5000 views.
2016 The year began with discussing a VR startup idea with VCs in Singapore. Though the discussions went well, the lack of a prototype slowed things down. Shortly after, the release of ARCore and ARKit resulted in a halt to VR the possibilities of AR were assessed.
By April, AR had become the focus and the decision was made to become the "Pixar of AR": original characters, stories and software. With Sayuri Okayama, Bubiko Foodtour was originated.
2018 A presentation about AR was given at Sasin School of Business in Bangkok, later followed by two presentations and two workshops at Hong Kong PolyU, all at 80% capacity or higher.
2018Lotus Mountain, a 360 film was shot and post production began including VR art contributions from Scobot and a soundtrack by Rei Shimizu. The film is at least 80% done and finishing funds are now being searched for. Lotus Mountain was supported by Kando, and 8K Obsidians were used for most of the shooting. Noted Chinese VR filmmaker Leo Wei co-directed and produced.
Bubiko at the Rise festival in HK
Hong Kong Comicon
2018 Cross-promotional and development partnership with Six Cats Studios (HK), focusing on their original IPs, Ollie and Charlie.
2018 Presentations in Shenzhen, including Le Wagon and Tech Crunch Shenzhen.
I googled "humor in gamemaking". Not a lot of posts, and most were not new. It seems no one shares my dream of 25 million Fortnite players laughing so hard they shoot milk through their noses. Or spaghetti.
There are games that are obviously flat-out comedies, like the Borderlands series. Other titles, like Left 4 Dead, feature constant quipping by characters, and by movie standards could easily be described as comedic. But looking at games you'll notice that, by their very nature, they are comedic. Even ultra-serious dramas can become comedic by virtue of allowing you, the player, to do things that go against their style...
This proposal was also posted on Kaleidoscope on February 25, 2019.
10BK + "Bubiko Power"+ Funding= Increased Number of Casual VR Users + $
A VR gamer, trying to justify buying a new headset to his non-gaming partner:
“Hey nongaming partner, you should watch this. It’s like a cartoon, about a little chef and gluten-free desserts from Singapore. Really good, and it’s only a minute long.”
The 10BK movies will make money, create buzz for VR, succeed in 2D markets, and attract food and travel sponsors who will fund the next Bubiko Foodtour VR Project.
Bubiko Foodtour is the star of an embryonic empire. Less than a year old, she has two book projects, appeared at universities like MIT and HK PolyU, co-starred in a game demo with Green Bean Boy and will soon be in an AR game developed by UARexplorer.
Based on great storytelling and creative direction, each 10BK VR experience is different, but all are educational and fun explorations of food culture.
Directed and written by Stephen Black.
Creative direction/research Sayuri Okayama.
Postproduction Consultant: Stuart Rankin (Six Cat Studios, former chief editor for Cartoon Network, CNN)
Audio Consultant: Marc Ursell (5x nominated, 3X winner Grammy awards)
Bubiko Foodtour is a character created by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama. Bubiko is a little chef from Thailand who loves mango sticky rice. She is very knowledgeable about food, especially the foods of Southeast Asia. Her favorite phrase is "Aroi mak mak".
2002: After years of working in art, photography and network TV (Cartoon Network, Fuji TV, Fox, CNN+) became creative director at 3D gamemaking company, WalkerAsia
Walker/Asia was also doing something like Youtube, three years before Youtube.
CEO's unexpected demise results in non-action, despite great interest by Singapore Ministry of Education, Singapore Science Center, publishers in Hong Kong and universities in Japan.
SB, son of a book salesman, decides to write books and wait for VR/AR/spatial computing to become mainstream. Inspirations: his father, a book salesman and the release of the Kindle, Amazon's pioneering ebook reader.
2016, Oculus released. SB re-enters the world of spatial computing, begins discussing his VR ideas with receptive VCs.
Visa complications result in what will become the Bubiko Orwell Tour of Southeast Asia. SB pivots from VR to AR.
AR cinema becomes the focus, starring the following characters: the Dundercats (collaboration with Six Cat Studio), Secret Donut World (collaboration with David Severn) and Bubiko Foodtour.
AR presentations/workshops at Hong Kong PolyU, a presentation at Le Wagon and pitches to VCs at TechCrunch.
An invitation to participate in ARIA at MIT becomes the inspiration for the ARphabet Tour. Debuting at ARIA will be an ARKIT/Unity collaboration with Dominique Wu/Hummingbirdsday Studios, a game featuring Green Bean Boy and co-starring Bubiko Foodtour.
The ARphabet Tour will also be a platform for Stephen Black to do readings and writing workshops.
The ARphabet Tour also aims to educate people about mango sticky rice, Bubiko's favorite food.
Separate from this, briefly mention the unicorn concept which has a high degree of success regardless of the global economy or 5G take-up.