Category Archives: Artists

VIEW 2019 part 1

I wanted to meet Skarred Ghost.

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. 

“Corso Marconi...”

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.

An hour after leaving the bus, this tranquil scene of the River Po.
Man Ray, Man Ray. Will have to dig up my Man Ray story. No, I never met him, but did meet Julia, his wife, twice.

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.

Bamboo! Eco Hostel!
Just down the street from the VIEW administrative office.
Mustafa, whose nice little restaurant is very near to Bamboo Eco Hostel.
Bubiko with a group of very , very talented professional animators!

 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.

(to be continued)

Turino, 5AM...

Bubiko in Lawnspace screen test

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

Bubiko: what is a stage?

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
This is Bubiko Foodtour, still with the balloons and banner she used for her debut in San Francisco, at Tech in the Tenderloin’s 2019 TNT Tech Fest,  Bubiko is a work in progress, this is not her final version.
Bubiko is a 3D model made by Novaby, based on ideas by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama.
These images are a screen test of sorts, a way of documenting the possibilities and challenges of AR cinematography.
AR cinematography is one of my AR goals, especially making content for autonomous vehicles.
In these images. Bubiko was positioned near the white log. Only the camera (an iPad) moved. The software used was Spark. It was stable, except when used at long distances, in which case Bubiko appeared some distance away from the post.
The camera automatically controlled exposure. The light was even, the time being late afternoon/early twilight.
Occlusion was not important in this test, but I would love to use a software like 6D for testing.
Again, Bubiko did not move, but her size was changed in camera. AR cinema reminds me of machinima. There is another test of Bubiko HERE.
The format of the screen size is both an opportunity and a challenge.
Bubiko Foodtour models for some AR camera tests.
Interesting that the same model can have the size of a mouse, or a giant, or anything in between. Size in AR was the topic of this blog post. Thanks again to Fabian Winkler.
Bubiko is actually closer to the stump than this image suggests.
Sparks had some difficulty as I moved away from Bubiko's position. For this experiment it was simply an interesting development. If this were actually part of an movie shoot, I would reposition her, or do testing. It should be noted that wifi was not needed to create these images.

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 Festival Parade (part 1)

Photographs by Stephen Black of the 2019 Old West End Parade.

A collaboration between the sculptor Jack Wilson and Stephen Black can be found here. The project is an augmented reality artwork.

419ness is a collection of blog posts of photographs of Toledo.

abstract mobile artwork
Lake Erie Water Safety
large white house on a green lawn

Part 2 is here!
Stephen Black does a lot of things. His books are here.

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

419ness

A collection of blog posts about Toledo, Ohio

The Maumee River

About Stephen Black

Stephen Black's books

Music Documentation in Singapore

The image used to illustrate this post is from Lee Wen's band, Anyhow Blue's Project.

I was fortunate to interact with these people who make music, and I hope to continue to do so. I am now finally starting to work on Driving to Singapore, a movie project. If you are a Singaporean musician, get in touch if you have something that might work as a soundtrack.

This post is rushed; I will add more comments later today. All of these posts are full of stories, and the musicians involved all have other projects I want to highlight.(I am challenging myself to do one post a day for a week.)

Amith and I were in 3how; this is is first band's album. I did the creative direction for this one and their second. Both highly recommended.

This is a fraction of my involvement. Typewriter, and a great blues jam in the back of the Substation. A job: Tanya Chua. Lee Wen's video. Wilson Goh singing at dawn at Suntech and at the International Electronic Arts Event. ... more projects I should document online, like this.

Huaqiangbei electronics market: street photography

Celebration of flowers, the color red and childhood.
A yellow robot
a package going to Peru
Futuristic Shenzhen
image of two men loading boxes
white round objects, black sweater
food scene in Huaqianbei
street life in China
working at night
individuals
red reflections, two men in motion
looking
a vibrant night in China
the design of love

A story about Huaqianbei is here.

Photographic documentation of an international drone competition in Shenzhen.

The Day I Heard the Moths

Moths In the Attic: the interview in the Toledo City Paper was the start. The demos on the MITA website clinched it. This band is something! They were scheduled to play in Grand Rapids, making me even more excited because Grand Rapids is near Singapore. But MITA was scheduled for Grand Rapids, Ohio not Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Singapore idea is another story for another day, so I will just stop rambling and share the photographs from the day I heard the Moths.

a rectangular shape of light on a dark wooden floor, the chair of a leg like a plant


Toledo Ohio, Sylvania Avenue. A field, a barrier and the evening sky.
a woman getting into a car, face not seen, a red swing the background., she holds a key in her hand.
a TV screen showing a pitcher and a batter, the baseball betwen them
Moths playing

West Toledo at twilight. Houses on Overland Parkway.
American seeds Wildflower blend sunny area seed package
Colorful balloons tied to a tree near a street
Moths in the Attic. Kevin Jorrey, Zack Fletcher, Mike Williams
Red tulip in the shade of a large tree on a sunny day.
cherry blossoms and hair
A clock  that is a Mickey Mouse watch, a lamp , abed
Two daisies and their shadow
Moths in the Attic at the Art and Performing arts Center of West Toledo
......
large tree in front of a house at twilight
listen


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Post about Music at SXSW 2019

Stephen Black video interview about the 3how music/theatre/project

SXSW Overview by Bubiko Foodtour

Wild, informative and fun, SXSW 2019 was ten days of chaos of the best possible kind. Bubiko was there!

Austin Chronicle, Bubiko Foodtour
Big yellow sign, little Bubiko

Gaming and VR blog post

Overall Impressions Photo Essay

Bubiko's Adventures at SXSW!

Music

radiocassette player art
Art by Slep

Stephen Black at SXSW

Food at SXSW coming soon!

Bubiko's Instagram has a few posts about SXSW and Austin, like this one.

Bubiko's adventures at MIT and beyond

Who is Stephen Black?

man with VR headset and AR on his tee shirt

3how Riverwalk Session

NOVABY!