Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Emulation is the highest form of flattery...

...Or so it would seem, as some young scamp has created a SNES emulator for their iPhone. By sneakily coding an ap which allows you to use the bottom part of the touchscreen as a SNES remote, with the top part of the phone in 32,768 glorious colours (a la Gameboy advance) allowing us all to Tiger Uppercut our way home on the tube via Streetfighter 2.

Check out the Beta test video, and thanks to Engadget for the heads up.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Become a 3D genius in minutes!

I once tried to teach myself 3D animation, waaaaaaaaay back in University, suffice to say, we didn't get along and i spent the next two and a half years hunched over a light box drawing frame after frame after frame, desperately trying to be the next Matt Groening.

Well now it would seem my months of tracing may finally come in handy. Those crafty antipodeans at ACVT have whipped up some software that allows the user to trace real objects within video footage:

"The user interacts with VideoTrace by tracing the shape of the object to be modelled over one or more frames of the video. By interpreting the sketch drawn by the user in light of 3D information obtained from computer vision techniques, a small number of simple 2D interactions can be used to generate a realistic 3D model."

If it's half as quick as the video demonstrates, then it could really help revolutionise small to medium budget 3D projects. No more painful building in Maya, just film it and rotoscope it, job done!

I'd love to know if anyone has used it, please let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Jonathan Harris's Whale Hunt

Jonathan Harris is an artist who works out of Brooklyn, New York. He combines anthropology and computer science to tell stories and explore human experiences. He recently went to Alaska to document the hunt of Bowhead Whales by Inupiat Eskimos, by taking photographs at specific times throughout the trip:

"I documented the entire experience with a plodding sequence of 3,214 photographs, beginning with the taxi ride to Newark airport, and ending with the butchering of the second whale, seven days later. The photographs were taken at five-minute intervals, even while sleeping (using a chronometer), establishing a constant “photographic heartbeat”. In moments of high adrenaline, this photographic heartbeat would quicken (to a maximum rate of 37 pictures in five minutes while the first whale was being cut up), mimicking the changing pace of my own heartbeat."

The photos themselves are fantastic, however its the system that he has designed for us to view his trip that is most special. You can choose 3 different ways of navigating the story (the mosaic version is really satisfying as a user) and the timeline that has been put in place manages to heighten the experience.

Go to and a good old look, its really well thought out project and i for one have found myself drifting back more than once. Johnathan also has his own site which has details of his previous work.

Something for the weekend sir?

My crazy Italian friend sent me this first thing yesterday and it wasn't until i obeyed his instructions of "You must listen with headphones" that i understood the slightly unnerving chaotic look in his eye that he gets when he's found something cool.

Over at Gustavo Moura, who from what i gather is a designer/blogger has come across an awesome demonstration of sound design. I couldn't download the audio, so i urge you to pop over to here, and check it out. Its set in a barber shop and uses a host of different sounds to help your brain create a 3D space, its really freaky and i'll give five English pounds to anyone who doesn't either turn around when someone clicks their fingers or doesn't feel slightly odd when the bag goes over your head.... you'll know what i mean.

Its been a while....

Welcome back Fishtankers, and firstly, massive apologies for any lack of interesting or indeed dull news, the run up to last year was fairly hectic and my geek-news fest had to be put on the back burner. Anyhoo, hopefully this will be the beginning of more regular updates so lets get started shall we.....