Category Archives: collaborations

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.)

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.

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.

VIEW 2019 part 2

It was unexpected, suddenly having a brief discussion about cancer treatments with Professor Daniel Zajfman, the President of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Unplanned as well; Professor Zajfman was being interviewed right in front of me. What I happened to overhear was a phrase that went something like this: “Historically, cancer was perceived as one disease. Eventually, we understood that there are many kinds of cancer. Now, we realize that cancer, just like every living being, seems to be unique.”

“Wow,” I thought. I felt that I should share the two cancer treatments that I am very familiar with: the two mushroom-based treatments like agaricus blazei Murrill, and turkey tail ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXHDoROh2hA 8:50 mark), as well as the deuterium-based cancer research  of Dr. Gabor Somlyai.

At first, the presence of Professor Zajfman at VIEW was surprising. The VIEW website is a striking collection of the latest animated movies, CG creations and award-winning Hollywood technical talents. Why would a physicist whose career focuses  on atomic and molecular physics be making a presentation..He seeks to understand the astrophysical conditions found in star-forming regions, as well as working to solve the riddle of star formation. VIEW also focus on exploring the increasingly fluid boundary between real and digital worlds. Professor Zajfman listened attentively, gave me his card, and that was that. Unfortunately, I had no chance to attend his talk which was entitled What is Why and Why is it Important?

A woman warrior riding upon a flying dragon the size of a 747.

A rat who cooks in a three star restaurant in Paris. 

A mouse whose best friends are a dog and a duck.

The tortured soul of a giant robot.

A captured clownfish.

Spiderman.

Animation is the art form in which ideas like these become the foundations of global economic powerhouses.

Besides toys, the animation industry sells food products, books, health products, clothing, banking services and more. At VIEW 2019, I was very fortunate to listen to, and interact with, some of the most successful men and women in contemporary animation.

It is difficult to say who impressed me the most, but Thomas Schelesny would be in the top of the list. His presentation about the dragons created for Game of Thrones was extremely impressive.

However, after his talk he spoke to a few people, including students. He discussed the idea of being an artist. Egos were discussed. Mr. Schelesny did not mention his Emmy. What he did speak about was the professionalism needed to keep things moving. The dragons of GoT were an extremely expensive undertaking that required seamless interaction between a number of companies all over the world. These companies, for the most part, rarely work with other companies. The production schedule was dangerously short.

Mr. Schelesny exemplified the traits that are usually found in the best soldiers fighting the worst wars. He was a leader who stayed focused and thought of all members on his team.

Those watching Game of Thrones saw a beautifully choreographed and realistic battle of flying dragons. Those aware of what was happening behind the scenes , with Thomas and the Image Engine Design, saw a very different battle; one equally thrilling but real.

Bubiko learns from the master.

Bubiko meets Tranzient 1.0

I met Jim Simons, the force behind Tranzient, at the November 2019 edition of the London Augmenting Reality Meetup. He did a live demo of the Tranzient VR/music making app. The app not only performed beautifully, Jim composed some great little beats; on the spot of course.

The Tranzient app allows musicians to collaborate in VR, in real time. Tranzient is impressive on many levels. I wondered if Jim would be consider adding Bubiko to his "band".

Jim was open to the idea!

What you see above is less than an hour's work. Now that we know Bubiko is functional within Tranzient, we can literally play around.

Tranzient is highly recommended https://www.aliveintech.com/ . I just met Jim, but he is genuinely enthusiastic about making music in VR. If you are a musician and working in VR, you should definitely move on Tranzient. Jim is a bit mysterious about his musical past, but I am sure he was involved with some great projects. He sure makes Bubiko look good!

This version on Bubiko was made by Novaby, art directed by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama.

Bubiko Scrapbook September 2019

Bubiko is a little chef from Thailand who loves AR. Her unusual guide to Augmented Reality is now on Amazon.

This post is an introduction to Bubiko's world.

July, 2017 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Bubiko, the first paper version, based on a doll from Thailand. Bubiko is very knowledgeable about the food of Southeast Asia. Here she studies thunder tea rice.

July 2019 Pierogi Festival, Detroit. Bubiko. 3D version made by Novaby. In the summer of 2019, Bubiko debuted in two formats: Facebook Spark and Facebook Camera. Facebook Camera support by Dana Hagan.

doll with colorful drink
2017: At the Penang Food Festival in Kuala Lumpur. Bandung is the name of a popular drink. Aroi mak mak is Bubiko's favorite phrase. It means "very delicious"" in the Thai language.


https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs4hK_hH8cV/

Bubiko has an Instagram account. She also made one book:

Available on Amazon




Bubiko Foodtour
A guide to the food of Shenzhen, a work in progress.
Shenzhen is the Silicon Valley of China. A story about Shenzhen , written and photographed by Stephen Black for makermag.

ARKit games made with Unity
Presentation at Le Wagon, Shenzhen December 26, 2018 Pictured is an AR game collaborative test with Green Bean Boy, a character by Dominique Wu/Hummingbirdsday Studios.

November, 2018 Shenzhen. Stephen Black, pitching his unicorn idea to VCs at TechCrunch Shenzhen. (The unicorn idea is a separate idea from Bubiko/the Pixar of AR)

Sayuri Okayama, at the 2019 Reality Virtually Hackathon at the MIT Media Lab, sponsored by Magic Leap. 

S O with an early paper mockup of Bubiko. Ipoh Malaysia

A demonstration by Google in Kuala Lumpur.
computer users having fun
Chiang Rai, Thailand May 2018. Stephen Black and Suphakorn Traisrisin testing the HP Reveal AR software with Bubiko Foodtour.
Austin Chronicle, Bubiko Foodtour
A collection of Bubiko's 2019 SXSW blog posts are here.
Stephen Black's Bubiko-themed proposal for SXSW 2020 is here.
Sayuri Okayama's (Food + AR) proposal for SXSW 2020 is here.

Get behind it before it gets past you
Now on tour....Bubiko, Eggy, Ollie and Obasan A! R! Let's go!
Green Bean Boy and other AR characters
The plan: a tour of the US and Canada: readings, food tastings and AR, AR, AR.

SB at MIT. Next presentation by SB: OARC (Open Augmented Reality, Cloud) Munich, October 16, 2019.

Augmented Reality in Asia
Malay Mail article explaining Bubiko and her research about Southeast Asian food.
Bubiko is looking forward to the future, meeting other chefs and discovering new foods.

Bubiko's app is on its way! If you would like to be among the first to play with it, leave a message in the comment section. See you on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram!
BYE!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs4hK_hH8cV

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

Tech in the Tenderloin 2019. Salvation Army Kroc Center, San Francisco

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

We were honored that Bubiko Foodtour could make her public debut at Tech in the Tenderloin’s 2019 TNT Tech Fest, a very special event in a very special venue in a very special city.

Bubiko went outside for a minute! She was hungry. She found corn dogs. Aroi mak mak!

Niantic, the company that made Pokemon Go and Wizards Unite (the Harry Potter game) was the Community Champion Sponsor!

Tech in the Tenderloin is much more than a one day event.

Exhibitors:

Black Girls Code Imagine. Build. Create.

Techtonica Fintech training for women and NB adults with low incomes

Code Tenderloin

Novaby is a global digital art production company.

TERC Because math and science build futures

Unconscious Bias Project 100% empowerment, 0% guilt trip. Reducing unconscious bias in STEM with fact, tact, art and activism

Tinkertech

Roybi Robot Innovative learning for children. The world's first AI-powered educational robot that makes learning fun for ages 3-7.

Inspire Me Box (website coming soon)

TinkerTech teaches early design and engineering skills through hands-on activities to students ages 4-12 including those from low income communities.

Teentend builds better communities.

NapTime Studio game development

Cookie Run is an online mobile endless running game in the Cookie Run series created by Devsisters. 

DaVinci Club AR makes kids move and explore the real world.

Electronic Frontier Foundation The leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation.

SF Environment Getting Food out of the Waste Stream and Into Hungry Households—Where It Belongs.

Recology A World Without Waste

Book Merah

Mission Bit courses are project-based semester-long coding courses, taught by college computer science majors and supported by volunteers who are professional software engineers.

ThrowMotion Bringing the excitement of world sports... home.

NewPathVR VR and AI solutions for psychological and emotional wellness.

Larkin Street Youth Services Since 1984, Larkin Street Youth Services has given more than 75,000 young people a safe place to rebuild their lives.

The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.

Academy of Art University

California Community Colleges

Singularity University

With Sayuri Okayama, I would like to thank Novaby for doing such a great job in creating the 3D version of Bubiko. The version on display is a work in progress, and already the reception has been very positive.Thank you Novaby!

Stephen Black’s AR/VR/spatial computing experiences

SB with Bubiko Foodtour

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.

Vance

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.

SPOKEN, a virtual gallery

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.

360 films
Stephen Black, in the film he co-produced with Hiverlab

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.

Sayuri Okayama with a prototype of Bubiko

2017 Ipoh: demonstrations of AR, including what is probably the world’s first photo exhibition in AR. The photos also appeared in an ebook by Bubiko Foodtour.

Augmented Reality in Asia
article about Stephen Black/Sayuri Okayama/Bubiko Foodtour in Ipoh

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.

Augmented Reality Stephen Black in Thailand
poster for Stephen Black's presentation about AR at Sasin School of Business
Presentations and workshops by Stephen Black
Stephen Black holding a Qoocam 360VR camera, as part of his presentation at the 2018 Maker Faire at HK PolyU.

2018 Lotus 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.

Chinese city landmarks
Shenzhen Civic Center at night, primary location for Lotus Mountain.
from Lotus Mountain

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.

AR in musical education
The Dundercats, by Six Cat Studios.

2018 Presentations in Shenzhen, including Le Wagon and Tech Crunch Shenzhen.

Hummingbirdsday
Screen capture from an AR game by Dominique Wu.

2018 In a partnership with Hummingbirdsday Studios, Bubiko appears in an AR game demo with Green Bean Boy.

2019 Presentation at ARIA, MIT, resulting in, among others, working relationship with Novaby and UARexperience

2019 Toledo, Ohio. Presentations, including coffee shops, libraries and a collaboration with sculptor Jack Wilson for the Old West End Festival.

2019 SXSW during the 10 day event attended seminars and developed personal connections with AR and VR practitioners.

W
With WWE championship belt

2019 AR presentation as part of GOBA-the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. Premier of the AR and Bicycle Safety ebook.

bicycle safety
Bubiko Foodtour looks up while thinking about what to order

2019 As part of  Novaby’s presentation in the Tech in the Tenderloin Festival, the 3D version Bubiko will be making her public debut. The Black Hawk Jazz Club AR project by Novaby will also be presented-not to be missed!

We are now looking for funding for the Bubiko app... Stay tuned!

Old West End

Hello to all.

The following image, when viewed with the free Artivive app, reveals "another dimension", a collaboration with the sculptor Jack Wilson.

The title: Falling Leaves in Spring.

Are you a resident of the Old West End?

Question: would you support a book about the Old West Side?

As you know, the Old West Side is a historical community full of distinctive architecture. Well... I have written a bestselling book about another historical community full of distinctive architecture.

That book is entitled i ate tiong bahru. It is one of my eight books. You can learn more about those books, and i ate tiong bahru, here. I should also mention Bus Stopping, a book of photographs.

Those books were written and self-published, mainly while I was living in Bali. To write about the Old West End would require time, and that means money. Do you think there could enough support for crowdfunding or other forms of support?

Also, any ideas on unusual exhibition spaces? I have a series of prints combine photography with text, and would like to present them to the public.

Thank you for your time and suggestions.

This is a collection of posts about Toledo: 419ness.

Happy to talk to anyone about video, photography, writing and AR.

onwARd,

Stephen Black

about me

A Victorian house in Toledo's Old West End