Category Archives: SPOKEN

Stairway to VR

From the AR, VR and Every R in Between event, part of the 2018 Maker Faire at Hong Kong Polytechnic This was a test by Stephen Black using the Kandao QooCam.

I wanted to experiment with the camera on the top of my head; will edit the awkward beginning and end later.

I will write about this in ALPHABET SPIKES.

Hong Kong Polytechnic AR Presentations and Workshops by Stephen Black (June 11 and 13)

MUCH MORE INFO ABOUT THE MATERIALS PRESENTED IS HERE.

EVENTBRITE registration

There are many posts on this website related to my ideas and experiences with AR. This post however, gives some of the most up-to-date examples of AR that I have found.

AS PART OF THESE SPECIAL EVENTS I AM GIVING AWAY AND DISCOUNTING MY EBOOKS!DETAILS HERE! (No I am not shouting, just excited.)

Location: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Jockey Club Innovation Tower

WORKSHOP 1 (June 11 Registration at 2:15. Workshop 2:30-4:30 Room V513, 5F V Building)

Title: AR: Define, Think and Do

To achieve one’s goals, one must use the best words. By defining and clarifying the vocabulary of the AR world, we eliminate some inefficiencies. Three parts:

- Explanation and visual examples of terminology

- Open time for the exchange of participants ideas, questions and experiences

- Group brainstorming and the description of a proposed AR project in which a digital creation would be placed into a physical situation.

Special emphasis is given to the uses of AR in design, gamemaking and art

WORKSHOP 2 (June 13 Registration at 2:15. Workshop 2:30-4:30 Room V513, 5F V Building)

Title: AR: Examples and Mockup Possibilities

This poster is currently being updated, showing less of me and more of the work of HK Poly students.

Presentations and workshops by Stephen Black

Examples of AR in art, design, gamemaking and commerce: U2, Pokémon Go, Magic Leap, 19 Crimes and many more

- How to make, how to host: commercial and free apps

- Individual’s ideas, questions and experiences

- Mock-up creation, either with paper or free software such as HP Reveal

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

PRESENTATION 1 (June 11 5-7 PM Room V1101 11th floor V building)

AR in 2018: an overview

Augmented Reality is starting to be used in every area of our lives, and its uses will continue to increase. This presentation showcases AR projects in art, design, gamemaking, advertising, fashion, education, shopping, marketing, finance and more.

PRESENTATION 2 ((June 13 5-7 PM Room V1101 11th floor V building))

Stephen Black: VR, AR and Me

Artist, writer and producer Stephen Black began working with virtual worlds in 2002. Game-making, VR filmmaking, AR projects and more; the locations being Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, HK and Thailand. An entertaining and informative look at two very dynamic trends, the presentation is for anyone, IT geek or not!

AR reference materials for Hong Polytechnic Presentations and Workshops

MUCH MORE INFO ABOUT THE MATERIALS PRESENTED IS HERE.

Interesting things I found while doing research for my workshops and presentations on June 11 and 13.

Eventbrite registration is here

I will be giving ebooks away during this time, as well as discounting them. Info here.

.

AR and ART! An article by Grace Ko/Jumpstart magazine.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/14/movies/snapchat-3d-bitmoji-animation-augmented-reality.html

U2 Snapchat type Mephisto

Video: The Augmented Reality Market Opportunity - Panel at AWE 2016

https://arilyn.com/cases/ Highly recommended!

http://3dbear.io/

https://www.slideshare.net/WeAreCramer/augmented-reality-for-brand-experiences-during-augmented-reality-in-action-aria-2018-at-the-mit-media-lab

I would like to thank Michael Konin Kato for the following four pieces of AR/VR info:

http://qoncept.co.jp/

https://www.designboom.com/design/teamlab-dmm-digital-office-tokyo-05-16-2017/

https://vrzone-pic.com/en/

https://www.tokyoweekender.com/2018/02/we-cant-wait-to-see-teamlabs-new-digital-museum/

I have benefited from The Ghost Howls for over a year. Inspiring, informative and funny! I want to be The Ghost Howls when I grow up!

Here is an informative podcast:Ken Devellis on How to Create AR Apps.

walkin_demo_LP from Living Popups on Vimeo.

AWE

Charlie Fink's Metaverse - An AR Enabled Guide to AR & VR

https://www.swedenvirtualreality.com/

Bubiko Orwell Tour

The Bubiko Orwell tour is an international project by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama. The tour has three objectives:

- create the foundation and support network for an AR startup

- create an AR character, Bubiko Foodtour, based on experiences and information learned during their Southeast Asian "food tour"

- provide the foundation for Eating Where Orwell Ate, a new book by Stephen Black based on research, history and observations about Southeast Asia, IT and food.

The foundation and support network are being built online and by personal interactions.

Ipoh, Malaysia 2017

The Dundercats exemplify the online networking possibilities of the BOT. Encouraging the appreciation of symphonic music, especially its historical context, The Dundercats have an international audience of fans. These fans learn about the Bubiko Orwell Tour; the BOT publicizes the Dundercats.
cats with Christmas caps and a kazoo

The Dundercats deck the halls with a kazoo.

The established art and media projects of Stephen Black also contribute to the efficacy of the tour. Example: the recent screening of Black's 360 short film entitled Beach Road, at the Singapore National Museum.

A4 self-promotion document

Meant to be printed out on A4 paper, this image explains Stephen Black's background, AR plans and network.

Bubiko Foodtour, whose personality is a cross between Hello Kitty and Anthony Bourdain, is on track to becoming AR's first superstar. Bubiko's physical appearance will soon be finalized for both 2D and 3D(AR). Bubiko's Instagram account documents her food tourism adventures.

Eating Where Orwell Ate will be Stephen Black's ninth book project. With a writing style similar to the bestselling i a ate tiong bahru, Eating Where Orwell Ate brings to life the small details that define a culture, and documents the major social events and changes of 2017.

Animal84

Cone: Engadget Experience public document

Hello Engadget and Esteemed Judges,

My name is Stephen Black and I am an artist, writer and producer. Cone is a three part project: a VR experience, an AR film experiment and a book. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

OnwARd,

Stephen Black

Engadget Experience Cone by Stephen Black PDF

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Stephen Black's Cone is a 3 part project proposed for the 2017 Engadget Experience

Engadget Experience STEPHEN BLACK CONE (VR +AR +ebook)

Stephen Black’s Cone is a conceptual, experiential, multidisciplinary artwork: VR, AR, gaming, audio and text. Cone is conscious—and ignorant-- of fine art, dance, music, sound, design, animation, performance art, branding, storytelling, and installation. Cone has three parts: a short VR film experience, an AR experiment with Vance and a book documenting the creation and ideas associated with these two projects. Cone aims to help bridge the gap between artists and technologists.

Stephen Black is an artist, producer and writer. He was creative director of the Monja Kids Creative Development Kit, a 3D gamemaking kit which was successfully launched in Singapore.

Beach Road, Black’s 360 short film co-production with Hiverlab, was featured at film festivals in Brisbane, Singapore and Las Vegas. He curated SPOKEN, a virtual gallery(Unity) built by Eugene Soh. His text was a significant part of Michael Lee’s Office Orchitect installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

Virtual gallery curators at the opening of their exhibition

Glasses in hand, the avatars of Stephen Black and Eugene Soh welcome visitors

Floating balloon dog

Eugene Soh's tribute to Jeff Koons' balloon dog floats over the SPOKEN landscape

VR graphics for game engine project

One of several designs by Roy Chan.

Black has worked for Cartoon Network, CNN, Fox and Fuji TV. He is also the author of several books, including i ate tiong bahru , which is a national bestseller in Singapore. He collaborated text and concepts to Office Orchitect, Michael Lee’s installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

CONE 360 short film will combine butoh, performance art with 360-specific visual and audio techniques.

Ohno spirits

CONE AR will feature Vance, an animated character, and challenges the limits of AR filmmaking/storytelling.

Vance

Secret Donut World by David Severn w/ Stephen Black

CONEMA MANIFESTO (koh-ne-ma, three syllables as in cinema) An ebook combining existing interviews and essays by SB, with documentation of CONE and examples of short stories which lend themselves to 360 cinema.To be given away free during Engadget Experience.

Emgadget Experience documentation

Cover for ebook of Stephen Black's proposed Cone project for the Engadget Experience

Technologies and Products

Google Tango, depth perception visual/shape recognition algorithms, alternatives to image markers or GPS, Matterport, Unity, Vuforia, Android, Samsung, Ossic Sound, technologies that can scan bodies, technologies that link sound files, lipsynch and AI

Total Budget for VR short film experience, AR experience and ebook production, transportation and expenses: $100,000. Item by item breakdown available upon request.

Current topics of research:

http://www.blacksteps.tv/360-videography-what-would-matisse-do/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-potential-of-vr-as-a-collage-medium/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/riffs-on-vives-vr-development-bootcamp-at-digipen-part-1/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/mare-vaporum-open-source-video-source-material/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/virtual-reality-for-artists-workshopmichael-naimarkobjectifs/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/with-bubiko-foodtour-at-the-i-love-penang-festival-in-kl/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/haptics-giving-vr-the-finger-1-of-a-series/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/four-examples-of-a-blog-post-display-on-mobile-instant-article/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/red-dot-sad-stories-art-digitalia-2002-2017/

minimal book covers

red dot SAD (Stories Art, Digitalia 2002-2017) book by Stephen Black

http://www.blacksteps.tv/self-portrait-as-a-game/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/facebook-goes-cameramondo/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/vr-what-would-picasso-do-notes-and-links/

Music/audio/performance: 3how

screenshot of video interview on youtube

Stephen Black discusses his books, including Bali Wave Ghost, Obama Search Words and i ate tiong bahru.Reality TV and VR are also briefly discussed. Video by Aquiles Ascension

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Cone. Engadget Experience. Los Angeles 2017

Cinematography 8.0: VR (best of blog posts 2016) part 3

the previous post:
Cinematography 8.0: VR (best of blog posts, 2016)part 2
Five things I Learned on my first 360 VR shoot: Pioneer/avante-garde/visionary… flop!?
Five things I Learned on my first 360 VR shoot: just because you can…
Five things I learned on my first 360 VR shoot: The Director is Blind
 
Beach Road short film (360 video)
Five things I learned on my first 360 VR shoot: Bobsledding vs. Skateboarding
360 Videography: What would Matisse do?
the first name for Beach Road was Wall Clouding...
Wall Clouding
Wall Clouding preproduction notes
Angelic Visions Notes
cinematography_cover_221116_576_1024_v3
Immersive Environments/VR: Notes on Art and Cinematography
SPOKEN Machinima Notes
SB & 3D (Why I’m excited to be in Eugene Soh’s virtual gallery project)
SPOKEN (virtual art gallery and writing project)
               

Cinematography 8.0: VR (best of blog posts, 2016)part 2

Continued from Part 1....
Responses to the Peter Rubin/Wired article: “Inside Story of How Oculus Cracked the Impossible Design of VR”
Eight thoughts on The Displaced, a VR project by the New York Times
Norm Black VR exhibition notes
Norm Black: Before
A typical conversation (perhaps) about VR, circa 2015
Virtual Reality for Beginners/Simple Chart/Designer Project
Beach Road 360 VR short film PRESS RELEASE
Five things I Learned on my first 360 VR shoot:Ready for my close-up. NOT!
On to part 3!          

Cinematography 8.0: VR (best of blog posts, 2016)part 1

Cinematography 8.0: light and motion in the age of VR, AR, AI, 4K, 8K, AI and drones... the working of the book I am working on. The experiences and information in these posts will shape the book. Comments and questions are always welcome.

http://www.blacksteps.tv/stephen-black-vr-art-books-and-singapore/ (Hey, who's driving this thing?)

http://www.blacksteps.tv/riffs-on-vives-vr-development-bootcamp-at-digipen-part-1/ (If you know nothing about VR content, take a few weeks and really go over this. If you have been making VR content, especially CG-generated, this is a great review of state of the art in 2016.)

http://www.blacksteps.tv/riffs-on-viveasiavrs-vr-development-bootcamp-at-digipen-part-2/ (see above)

http://www.blacksteps.tv/cinematography-8-0-light-and-motion-in-the-age-of-vr-360-4k-8kar-ai-cg-and-drones/ ( A bit about the book)

http://www.blacksteps.tv/he-once-hitchhiked-morning-chat-with-reed-hastings-ceo-netflix-disruption-culture-people-and-leadership/ (Netflix, obviously, are but one of the millions of companies that benefit from the art of cinematography.)

http://www.blacksteps.tv/facebook-livewhat-would-andy-warhol-do/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/notes-on-my-first-two-facebook-live-shoots/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/vr-what-would-picasso-do-notes-and-links/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/what-should-the-new-york-times-sound-like/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/aspects-of-vr-in-bali-wave-ghost-the-novel-by-stephen-black/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/mee-young-photography-project-internal-logic/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-cinematography-booknotes-and-eugene-soh/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-cinematography-booknotes-and-a-reviewer/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/kind-of-the-vr-state-of-the-union-as-of-march-30-2016-part-1-of-2/ (Things change so much and I became so busy that writing the second part didn't happen)

END OF PART 1

PART 2 IS HERE

Stephen Black: VR, Art, Books and Singapore

This blog post chronicles some of the activities I have been involved with since 2002, when I began being based in Singapore. Previous to 2002, I lived in Manhattan,Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong.I have a BFA degree in Photographic Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology, with a minor in Film and Video and have been employed by companies such as Fuji TV, Cartoon Network, Fox, MTV, France 2 and Turner Classic Movies. I have directed, created promos and written scripts in addition to my activities as a photographer, artist and writer.

2002-2007

Creative Director, Producer, Cameraman, Instructor and Writer for WalkerAsia/Compudia/Blacksteps

This story is quite cinematic but to simplify, the CEO who was the guiding force of WalkerAsia and  Compudia passed away unexpectedly, without a succession plan in place. The business plan of WalkerAsia was to be something like Youtube--but at the time we were unaware of Youtube, as it began 3 years later, in 2005.The business plan of Compudia was to create a platform that included email, chat, character licensing and a very very powerful educational/gaming SDK that was both simple enough for inexperienced children and advanced enough for professional game designers. CDK Landing pageI formed Blacksteps to to carry the project forward. However, despite the fact that Compudia had been set up with over $3 million dollars worth of funding and had positive, working relationships with the Singapore Ministry of Education, the Singapore Science Center  and other Singapore agencies, as well as the beginning of public acceptance, issues surrounding the IP made further successes impossible.

I then decided to spend more time with art and began writing books-- a lifelong dream of mine. (My father was a book salesman.) I was certain I would return to VR once mobile technology stabilized and VR headsets were finally accessible to the public.

Details about the books I wrote can be found elsewhere on this blog. The titles include: The Agaricus blazeii Murrill Notebook, Obama Search Words, Furikake, Contact With Shadow, Bali Wave Ghost and i ate tiong bahru which is a national bestseller in Singapore.

The following projects are VR-related

Secret Donut World is a collaboration with David Severn a British artist/resident of Japan. The Secret Donut World characters and the world they live in are designed specifically for VR. We are now reviewing SDW in light of recent stabilized technologies, such as those which made Pokemon Go and Job Simulator possible. We are preparing materials for partnerships, licensing and investors.

lance from Secret Donut World

Flame Magnet is go! Art by David Severn

SPOKEN www.gallery.sg Inside of a virtual gallery(Unity) built by Eugene Soh are a number of works which I curated. There was also a writing component. Participants were from all over the world, some very famous, some not. More details can be found on this blog.

Cinematography 8.0 light and motion in the age of VR, AR, AI, 360, 8K and drones is the title of a book work in progress. Information is available elsewhere on this blog.cinematography_cover_221116_576_1024_v3

3how: the Riverwalk Session As co-founder of 3how, I am fortunate to work with exceptionally talented people of all kinds. The musicianship on this album is outstanding and the recording technique provided valuable experience for future audio projects, VR included.

a circle with veins

3how: a table in front of a wall

Lee Wen: Ping Pong Go Round and Seasons Without Seasons Although SWS is not 360, the idea of 360 space was one of the concerns while shooting and editing

Beach Road Produced with Hiverlab, this short film was featured at the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 2016 Las Vegas VR Fest.

360 video still

Stephen Black sits in a parking lot. Image is in 360. Beach Road is a coproduction between Stephen Black and hiverlab

Norm Black was the name of a photo exhibition and the public debut of Beach Road. 3how performed. 2015

ay4ya-woman-with-vr-goggles

The Sudden VR Fest at Ay4ya art space at Isetan, Wisma Atria, Singapore.2016

Informal and full of surprises, the Sudden VR Fest was organized by Stephen Black and included the participation of Hiverlab, Lionel Chok/ImmersivelyPicture Perfect Productions,  Jo Joshua/Viziofly and Aram Pan. Related post:  http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-2016-sudden-vr-festival-360-videos-on-youtube/

jo-joshua-at-the-sudden-vr-festival

w-lionel-chok-at-isetan

jo-joshua-pointing-at-jane-the-sudden-vr-festival

Riffs on Vive/AsiaVR’s VR Development Bootcamp at DigiPen (part 2)

Part  1 of this post is here, and includes the list of presenters as well as links to their companies, topics, etc.

If you are working with VR, I would also like to let you know about a book I have been working on: you can be part of it!

Thanks again to Vive and AsiaVR for putting together such an inspiring event!

OK, again, these notes are in no particular, and in some cases I am just sharing fragmented thoughts and or links.

The Nvidia Funhouse was introduced by  Delia Hou, nVidia , in her presentation entitled NVIDIA  VR Works: Accelerating and Enhancing VR Experiences. I was captivated and took few notes. This article from GEforce, however, summarizes what Funhouse is and talks about the back end.

A brief description of Funhouse, from Youtube:

NVIDIA VR Funhouse highlights what NVIDIA Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs can do for VR. Built using Epic's UE4, VR Funhouse brings a new level of immersion to VR by enhancing what you see, hear and touch through a combination of great graphics, fully interactive audio and simulated physics.(the red coloring is my doing; I want to emphasize this...) As for the following clip, I reluctantly have to say that, as one who has produced hundreds of promos, this one falls short...)

Now...this video has got the FUNHOUSE HEAT! https://youtu.be/fUL610qR6WM

Finally, from The Verge:

Nvidia's VR Funhouse is a tech demo to test your PC's limits

Another presenter was Martin Eklund, from Space Plunge. Part of his presentation was about GPU-coding for animation and certain effects, but the highlight for me was Art Plunge, which is now in a Kickstarter  campaign.

Douglas Lee, from Fantahorn Studio (HTC Vive)shared his experiences in VR Game Development

Related articles: VR and game development is not a grocery store by Joe Radak on Medium) An Engadget article on a Breakdown on the costs of Character Development, by Jessica Conditt

Weiging, from HTC Vive, gave a presentation on the New Era of VR

Another presentation: Asset Creation Process for Front Defense. By Ethan Tsao, Fantahorn Studio

Vive X, the Accelerator Program.

Discovered this...(ultimate empathy machine?NOT! But would thrilled to be proven wrong.)

Joe McGinn, from DigiPen Institute of Technology, shared insights into  Presence in VR. "Presence" is what it is all about. Immersion. The technical side must become so good that it is invisible. One glitch, one dropped frame and the illusion vanishes. Joe's talk highlighted ways to put the "real" into virtual reality.

A TechCrunch article on Presence

I would like to deeply thank all of the presenters and the organizers. Starting from 2002 I was deeply involved with VR, gamememaking and educational uses of VR. In 2007, because of unforeseen circumstances with the company that I was employed with, as well as new opportunities, I shifted my focus to art and writing. The Kindle (a device built by a megacompany; a device dedicated to only ebooks!) was launched in 2007 and with it, my book writing began. I've since written five books, including a Singaporean bestseller. My plan was to wait until mobile had stabilized and VR  was almost ready for mass adoption..and here we are! This bootcamp brought me up to speed. Some things haven't changed:  although computational power has increased,  graphics are still a challenge. I was thrilled to discover, with an open mind, the state of physics engines and haptics. Now we have HMDs and hand controllers! WOW!.......It's 2017... I have characters, artworks and ideas for VR experiences and am more than ready to help define VR cinema...

Let's go!

SB

vr-haptic-demo