Thanks to Catchar, I discovered the FaceReplaced app. I installed and in less than 5 minutes had a very interesting little video. The following gives you an idea of what FaceReplaced can do but, yes...I hope you are viewing this on a mobile phone, as it seems to be upside down. This is a normal little hiccup for an app in beta. THIS BUG HAS BEEN FIXED.
FaceReplaced works exceptionally well, with no installation friction, and almost no learning curve.
I am now thinking of a way to get Bubiko in FaceReplaced, so that she can read sections from her book about AR. The challenge is that Face Replaced works best with real 3D objects, and at the moment, I only have Bubiko in 2D (paper) or as a digital adventurer in 2D videos and photos.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Tony, Antony Vitillo, is the AR/VR consultant who runs Skarred Ghost, one of the top blogs for VR and AR. I met Tony online in 2016, and we have shared our problems and joys since then. I was invited to speak in Munich and Paris, and hoped that somehow I could finally meet Tony in person, in Europe.
However, Tony was going to be in China until he returned to Italy, to give a presentation at VIEW, in Torino, Italy. I had never heard of VIEW. When I saw it, I immediately wanted to go. But my trip was on a budget far below “low budget”. Perhaps I could volunteer, like I would do at AWE, in Munich. Tony said he would ask the organizers, and that was how we left it.
I arrived in Turin on the morning of Sunday, October 21. I’d taken an overnight bus from Munich; the city felt both friendly and alien. Two officers in a polizia car asked me if I knew where I was going.
Though the officers described the bus and train options very well, I didn’t pay too much attention. Bubiko and I were going to walk.
And, walk we did.
The address turned out to be the administrative office for VIEW, not the venue. I was relieved when someone answered the intercom; and happy when Ricardo, a handsome young man walked out. He attentively listened to my volunteering idea and seemed genuinely interested in my Bubiko demo. Like the polizie, Ricardo gave me directions on how to the venue, a place called OGR, which seemed to be near where the bus from Munich had dropped me off. I thanked Ricardo, slung my bag over my shoulder, and began rolling my little suitcase down the road.
A blonde young woman called out to me! She was the driver for OGR, and she was going to the venue. As she drove me to OGR, we talked. She lived outside of Turin, and told me how beautiful the golds and reds of Autumn were beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.
We arrived at OGR, once a train station, now an art center.
I didn’t know what would happen inside, but I pretended that I did.
I arrived in New Orleans on the morning of October 1, 2019. The very air-conditioned overnight bus ride from Austin resulted in a bit of a raspy throat, but overall, I was excited. At 9AM, I was to meet with Charles Carriere, the President and CEO of Scandy, a company working with cutting edge 3D ideas, like scanning and volumetric video.
Charles was friendly and informative. Our conversation was stimulating. At one point he pulled out his iPhone, waved it around me, and then pushed a button. Voila: my first portrait in 3D styleee!
My takeaway: AR will be defined by 3D objects. Yes, I knew this before, but now I have internalized that fact. Scandy's work is hugely important.