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Category Archives: Towards A New Cinematography
If you know the name of the pilots, or anyone else, please let me know via the comments section.
For commercial uses of these photos, please contact me so I can discuss with the those in the photo. Yes, non-commercial use is free, but please credit Stephen Black, and let me know your link so I can share it....and do feel free to buy Alphabet Spikes, one of my ebooks. Alphabet Spikes has a couple of short stories in it, stories about DRONES!
For many of the photos I have RAW files, which means I can improve the quality somewhat, in case you want prints or something. The link to the first set of photos is here.
Rethink the body for a moment. The skin; the largest organ. The wondrous organs and processes within this sack of flesh, especially the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. With everything working together, we can do things like jump, speak and button our clothes.
Zooming in on the act of buttoning a shirt, we see a number of interactions. The brain controls muscles related to the eyes, arms and hands. Information about texture and positioning is exchanged between brain and fingers. Muscles and tendons make movements, some obvious, some extremely subtle. Fingertips maneuver the object. Voila! The shirt is buttoned. All parts of the buttoning operation are important. However, from the viewpoint of haptics, the three nerves connected to the fingers deserve a closer look.
The median nerve controls the thumb and wrist. It also gives feeling to the skin around the palm, thumb, middle and index fingers. It runs down the inside of the arm, crosses the front of the elbow and passes through the wrist bones and connective tissue of the carpal tunnel. Compressing the median nerve over a long period can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Another nerve, the ulnar nerve, is connected to the muscles that bend the wrist and fingers. It passes behind the elbow. When someone says, “I hit my funny bone”, the correct reply is,”what you are actually saying is that you’ve unexpectedly stimulated your ulnar nerve, resulting in that unusual, wacky tingling sensation”.
Finally, the radial nerve, which straightens the wrist, thumb and fingers. It gives feeling to the skin on the back of the hand, as well as the index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. Considered by many to be the second most important nerve in the body, the radial nerve is also responsible for bending the elbow.
My interest in haptics is not yet linked to any projects, commercial or artistic. This series of haptics-related blog posts is open-ended, but, the following topics seem likely to follow, in this order: nerve endings, sensors, and haptic-related products. I am especially interested in the intersection of haptics and music. I hope to also again speak with Stelarc about his possible haptics-related projects. I was fortunate to document some of his third hand projects, as well as chat with his prosthetic head. FWIW, I have only knowingly photobombed once:
Black and white photo courtesy of Toyo Tsuchiya, from his No Se No documentation project.
Part two of this series is here.
I must thank Objectifs and Michael Naimark. Wow! For the past few years I have been taking notes and making blog posts for a book about cinematography in the age of VR, AR, AI etc. Suddenly, I learn about Virtual Reality for Artists, a workshop organized by Objectifs. The workshop is by Michael Naimark, whom I know nothing about. I do sign up immediately, however, as he was Google's first resident artist.
I walk in early.Michael is writing something on the whiteboard: https://medium.com/@michaelnaimark/vr-cinematography-studies-for-google-8a2681317b3#.ra9zaxwfd
I introduce myself and make it very clear that I am working on a book about VR cinematography and had no idea of his work. "Not here to steal your fire and will credit you always". Michael, from the "artist as bridge school" seems fine with the situation. ((Note: That link above, in which Michael explains a VR test he did, is an absolute must for anyone serious about VR.)
So, without further ado, I present my notes. They are in no particular order, a fact that becomes immediately obvious.
http://thomas-schwenger.de/index.php?ch=kh&sub=sub_tt&pg=npe http://www.vrphotography.com/data/pages/techtutorials/technotes/nodalptalign-tn.html Matterport http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertadams/2016/09/07/virtual-reality-is-about-to-revolutionize-these-three-industries/#3ae6fc4a7228
"So much is undefined"
"First word art, last word art"
Camera based reality + modeling
The Rocky of VR
Daydream........................... point of view
https://www.cnet.com/news/googles-tango-phone-a-preview-of-2017-augmented-reality/ http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/12/11663654/google-project-tango-expansion-vr-indoor-mapping-android Nolan Bushell on the future of storytelling https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/12/atari-co-founder-launches-modal-vr/
The Czech? interactive movie made by changing lens caps on projectors. scenes of same duration,
The realities of arcades.
User centered design
IMU first person POV
directed attention 65 %
SNAP vs. Google Glass
Camera that Changed the World
Pan, tilt and roll-camera directions
hyperlapse- take out the wobble
Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley
Facebook VR camera stabilization
size of display is arbitrary
Anything where hands are involved
The feeling of being there
Robert Flaherty Documentary
Occlusion missing data
you don't have to fill the whole 360
vr. cinematography studies #3 you should see the whites of her eyes
ears are easy to fool. eyes are hard to fool
the content's relationship to the medium
a mixing board, to "duplicate" reality
multiple viewers in a shared space
VR..the intimate space, right in front of you Gamers know this
Cineoramas 1900 Paris Exposition
Representing people in VR
Equirectangular sections; the map makers' problem
orthoscopic: everything is is scale
Cannot look around; cannot sway. Navigation
https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=hRtBAQAAQBAJ&pg=PT77&lpg=PT77&dq=cinematic+branching&source=bl&ots=yuz5O7_Q6T&sig=GrJaO7CvY_kh_5D4kMgkF8b8PrQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJnd-v-_DQAhUSSY8KHYvRBfQ4FBDoAQgwMAQ#v=onepage&q=cinematic%20branching&f=false http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/AlexanderFreed/20140909/225281/Branching_Conversation_Systems_and_the_Working_Writer_Part_2_Design_Considerations.php ears easy to fool; eyes difficult Abel Gance 1927 Napoleon Jeff Lynch ???? Matterport
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: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.
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
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.
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...
In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki. Written in 1933, when traditional Japan was contemplating a future full of Western modernism. (50 pages) Towards a New Architecture, by Le Corbusier. Published in 1923, when traditional Western architecture was contemplating a future in which mass production was revolutionizing architecture and society. (320 pages) Cinematography 8.0 by Stephen Black. Created in 2017, when lens-based cinematography was contemplating 360 VR , as well as AR, AI, 4K, 8K CG, lens/computer imaging systems and drones. (280 pages) Reviewers of C8.0 include professional cinematographers, editors and theoreticians/artists such as Stelarc. ......................So... Cinematography 8.0... most certainly will have a theoretical and poetic component;the first section of the book. But the tools of contemporary cinematography change quickly and are extremely dependent upon economics, unlike pen and paper or paint and canvas. SO.. there is a second part of the Cinematography 8.0. This second half, a compendium, may eventually become a book project unto itself. The compendium will be something like a combination of encyclopedia and product guide. The entries will be written because of their relevance to the title of the book OR because they have been commissioned. That is to say, I am looking forward to working with production teams, individuals, software makers, camera companies or anyone with a product, movie, concept or software connected to the theme of C8.0. This section will be done on a first come, first served basis and the pricing will soon be determined. The rates will be displayed as part of the crowdfunding campaign for C.80. Another way of saying this is that I will write, for hire, about anything or anyone related to VR for the second part of the C 8.0 book, the compendium. The crowdfunding campaign is expected to start soon, mid-December 2016. If you would like to get a head start on having a description written about your C8.0-related topic, please get in touch with me through this blog. Thanks. Note that the book cover used for the header of this post is not the final version.
Because I will soon be doing another ebook giveaway AND a Kickstarter campaign, I wanted to test and learn about Facebook Live and see if it could be used to help with promotion. I should mention that, for the past three years, I have been writing and living in Bali, one result being that it was unnecessary to have a smartphone. Suddenly I find myself in Jakarta with an "old" Samsung. It has been the ideal opportunity to work with photography and Facebook Live. What I have learned in the past few days will somehow help the free ebook and Kickstarter campaigns. 1. My first Facebook Live experience...wow! Actually, this took place in Singapore, a couple of weeks ago, when I helped my friends at JDMIS do a test. At present, one segment has reached over 52,000 people and 11,000 people viewed at least part of it. These figures astounded me, though I was fully aware that JDMIS has a large fan base and the live broadcast was promoted by a boosted ad. I think less than 40 dollars were spent in total (there were a few segments). We live in amazing times. My Facebook Live audience has rarely been in the double digits. Understandable as I have done no preparation, my followers are not many and I am not paying to boost anything.
- Facebook Live from a technical aspect. For a serious shoot, the Wifi must be checked beforehand, especially if the camera moves even a few feet. A weak signal will stop the video or result in distortion. Sound and picture quality are acceptable but, like any video shoot, preparation is needed for the best audio and video.
- Facebook Live from a cinematographer's viewpoint. Without some sort of stabilizer, the picture will be bumpy. I need a Smoovie! Facebook Live uses a square format! There are filters, including one for black and white.
- Facebook Live from a social media aspect. The Facebook Live Map is useful, but I don't think I gained any viewers because of it. As mentioned, I do not yet have a large audience base and as a result cannot expect a significant number of viewers, though a Facebook Ad campaign may change that. Unlike the Live video, those ads can be tagged.
Sleep Lonesome Cowboys Outer and Inner Space Flesh He would use his signature and technology to make money.
Background I have exhibited video art worldwide and have worked in network television (CNN, Fuji TV, France 2) as a producer, cameraman, lighting man, director and sound person. The first FB Live test was undertaken to document a presentation inside the JDMIS Jewellery School. The second test was meant to complement a text and photographic project I am working on about the Tiong Bahru Market in Singapore. If there is interest by anyone, including websites, magazines or other bloggers, I would be happy to develop the following into a proper article. For now, just these notes... Overall experience
- Shooting with a phone requires practice and experience. This is live! If your hand shakes due to fatigue, your audience will know it. The lightweight camera may even "throb" a bit because of your pulse. Moving the camera and/or your body will disguise this issue, but camera and body movements need to be choreographed...especially because of...
- The signal! I discovered in the midst of both shoots that the wifi signal was inconsistent. FB Live flashed a warning and in some cases, the recording was paused. Though the viewfinder showed a clean image, on the viewer side the video was pixellated. In the case of documenting the jewellery making demo, this was undesired. In the case of the Tiong Bahru market, the FBLive footage reminded me of a video I'd done with Cat Hope. Great!
- Optics... The lens on the Samsung I used is wide, comparable to a 35mm lens on a fullframe digital SLR. Most, if not all of what I shot was 5 feet away or more. I physically moved the camera when I needed to change the composition.
The improvised rig, courtesy of the fine folks at JDMIS.Challenges -Unusual titling mechanism...Seems like a screenshot for the title display is grabbed immediately once the recording starts. There is an ability to change this after the shoot however. -Areas with a weak signal result in stoppages, pauses or what looks like pixelation. I should have done more tests, though the three equipment tests in the same area did not show a weak signal and no pixelation occurred. -Faces... At one point I was sitting next to a man reading the newspaper. He seemed OK with me shooting and I couldn't resist recording him. I didn't get his name and assumed he was OK with me recording him. Things don't always go this way, though...what if a big, short-tempered person did not want to be recorded? What if that big, short tempered person thought I was shooting him or her--and I wasn't? -Camera battery unpredictable; felt that it would last for an hour and 15-20 minutes, based on tests. Battery was empty after about 30 minutes. -Everything is awesome! Oops.... I mean everything is auto....sound...exposure... - At one point little hearts floated cross the screen...no thanks. Also, a friend's avatar was on my screen while shooting... not needed and, because I was shooting live, there was no way to stop and see how to get it off. I'm excited!