Making Light Magic – Long-Exposure 3D Light Painting with an iPad

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Fox sent me this amazing “making of” video of some cool long-exposure light painting, made with an iPad!  Check this out:

Making Future Magic: iPad light painting from mcgarrybowen uk on Vimeo.

From the video:

This film explores playful uses for the increasingly ubiquitous ‘glowing rectangles’ that inhabit the world.

We use photographic and animation techniques that were developed to draw moving 3-dimensional typography and objects with an iPad. In dark environments, we play movies on the surface of the iPad that extrude 3-d light forms as they move through the exposure. Multiple exposures with slightly different movies make up the stop-frame animation.

We’ve collected some of the best images from the project and made a book of them you can buy: bit.ly/mfmbook

Read more at the Dentsu London blog:
dentsulondon.com/blog/2010/09/14/light-painting/
and at the BERG blog:
berglondon.com/blog/2010/09/14/magic-ipad-light-painting/

An excerpt from the McGarryBowen blog, the people working with BERG London on the project:

We’ve been making two films with BERG over the summer.  This is the first.

It’s an exciting project for us, as it’s the first time we’ve had a proper chance to explore some of the themes and possibilities behind Making Future Magic, with the benefit of the superbrains and hands of some new creative partners Timo ArnallJack Schulze and the rest of the BERG team.

The brief and discussions we had in the process of making these films were about some of the aims behind the Making Future Magic strategy – all of which are about expanding the value of the commercial communications we make by approaching things with a particular set of priorities:

To make creative work that is contributory and sensible to its culture and environment; to be exploratory and sensitive with regard to materials and media; to wonder what magical visions (as opposed to the familiar dystopias) of the future of media might look like.

Wicked!

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Tanya Vlach Wants to Grow A Bionic Eye

Tanya Vlach is looking for someone to help her invent a “bionic” eye that has a camera inside.  Watch this:

Tanya is looking for donors and engineers to help her create an experimental project featuring her prosthetic eye and a camera.  It sucks that she had to experience such tragedy in order to have this opportunity, but I have to say that I am inspired and excited to see how her project comes out.  If you’re interested in helping Tanya make her project come to life, please help her out over at Kickstarter.

Details from her Kickstarter page:

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of the eye camera, let’s back up a few years. In 2005, I was in a near death car accident. Centimeters away from death, I managed to pull through. Although grateful to be alive, I lost my left eye in the tumble and suffered frontal lobe minor brain injury and severe depression.

I entered the vast world of the Internet and chronicled my experiences on my blog, One-Eyed. I posted about new developments in technology that would help me regain sight. Soon I began envisioning a sci-fi plot twist to my predicament. I pitched my idea to Wired Founder Kevin Kelly. Intrigued, he posted my call out to engineers to help build an implant of a miniature camera inside my prosthetic eye. Immediately the idea went viral and I received hundreds of international engineering proposals, support from my  one-eyed community, and thousands of media inquiries. I became the media haven for transhumanism and the subject of controversy around engineering the body. Since then, I’ve been plotting new strategies to tell my story, both my personal one and the one of my sci-fi alter ego, into a transmedia platform, which will include: a graphic novel, an experimental documentary, a web series, a game, and a live performance. Grow a new eye – is about engineering a new bionic camera eye. 

This is an awesome story.  You need to go check out Tonya’s blog page, Eye, Tanya.  Let me know if you end up supporting the project in any way, leave a comment of support here for Tanya.  I really hope that this technology advances in a direction that helps for everyone.

Singer Sewing Machines? Nope, Lighting Fixtures and Musical Instruments. Awesome.

Please tell me you have seen this:

Sewing Machine Orchestra from Martin Messier on Vimeo.

Have you seen any more of this guy’s work? “This guy” (and I imagine the thumbs up pointing back at himself for some reason) is Martin Messier. Martin’s an artist, obviously, and his work is pretty darned neat. Check it out!

From the Vimeo video site about the video:

Sewing machine orchestra is the first version of a performance created by martin messier. the basic sounds used in this performance consist entirely of the acoustic noises produced by 8 sewing machines, amplified by means of microcontacts and process by a computer.

the microcontroller system also enable to use the sewing machines to affect certain parameters of the acoustic sound. the wheel, for exemple, can be assigned to the output volume, etc. machine’s mechanism can be activated by remote, using microcontrollers and a computer, without the need for any other human intervention.

these old objects has the effect of taking the imagination further, primarily through their evocative power. whether they remind of specific incidents or recall the relationship to such objects, few people remain indifferent when they see them.

this creation was made possible with the support of the canada council for the arts.

audio, light, performance : martin messier
electronic: samuel st-aubin

XBox 360 Kinect + DMX = 100% Awesome

I saw this amazing video on Hack N’ Mod about turning an XBox 360 Kinect into a DMX lighting control device.

Of course I said “SAY WHAAAT?” to myself ever so gently.  Can you imagine this with a full lighting rig?  Right now, it’s just being done with two green LEDs.

Check out the video!

Kinect + Touch Designer DMX Light/Laser Control from Phil Reyneri on Vimeo.

Hack the world!  Thanks, Hack-N-Mod!

iPhone Lighting Software: ZinmanCo’s PocketLD and Synthe FX’s Luminair v2

As far as iPhone software goes, “there’s an app for that,” right?  How about an app for MAKING ME A PIZZA RIGHT NOW AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

<deep breath>

Okay, I feel better.  But seriously, there are tons of apps out there for every single thing you can imagine.  The other day I downloaded an app from the iTunes store that played these crazy soundscapes to help you fall asleep.  Awesome.  As far as lighting goes, there are tons of apps out there for that, too.  But I think it takes more than the skill of coding an app to make an iPhone app – hell, there are programs out there that generate iPhone apps out of a website feed or a podcast stream, and apps that really do nothing at all.  You have to have an understanding of the basis of what you’re doing in order to make a useful iPhone app.

Two such iPhone app developers are Ryan Hisey from Synthe FX (makers of Luminair) and Mike Zinman of Zinman Software (makers of PocketLD and many others).  Both are pushing updates this week to their popular iPhone suites.  What these two guys do forges the way.  End of story.

First, Zinman Software’s PocketLD – a program that International Cinematographer’s Guild Magazine called one of the top five apps for filmmakers and cinematographers:

PocketLD V2.0 Now Available on the iTunes App Store

LONG BEACH, CA – ZINMAN SOFTWARE, makers of the popular lighting related iPhone apps, announces the release of PocketLD v2.0. PocketLD allows lighting professionals in theatre, film and TV to calculate the FC/LUX and Beam/Field Diameters for over 2000 fixtures and lamps.

V2.0 adds the functionality for users to edit the existing library, create their own fixtures and organize these fixtures into an improved Favorites List. New fixtures included in the library include Dedolight, K5600 and Kobold.

Developer Michael Zinman says “This is our most ambitious update for PocketLD since it was released two years ago. I’m so happy with these changes and I’m confident our world-wide user base will find the new functions a great add.”

Recently, PocketLD was featured in ICG Magazine (International Cinematographers Guild) as one of the top five apps for filmmakers and cinematographers.

For more information, visit www.zinmansoftware.com

Direct download of PocketLD v2.0 on the App Store is available by following the link below.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocketld/id292911261?mt=8

About Zinman Software.

Zinman Software is a technology leader in applications for the event production industry. Among their products are a number of iPhone apps including Genielux, ML Finder, Pocket LD, Gel Calc, iSwitch DMX and TCP/IP Remote. For more information visit www.zinmansoftware.com.

Ryan Hisey and Synthe FX’s Luminair v2 – a lighting control suite that turns your iPhone into an amazing lighting tool for programmers, designers, lighting directors, and lighting technicians in all trades.  I mean, 36+ hours on batteries?!  Fuhgeddabadit.  Luminair v2 is being developed to do some amazing things in CAST Software’s wysiwyg, Release 25. More on that later, but be sure that it will rock!

Synthe FX release Luminair v2.0 for iPhone & iPod touch
Cincinnati, OH, February 25, 2010 – Synthe FX have released Luminair 2.0, a major upgrade to the wireless multi-touch DMX control app for iPhone and iPod touch. Luminair is revolutionary wireless lighting control software, which uses the Art-Net protocol to control
compatible lighting equipment and media servers via the iPhone and iPod touch’s internal Wi-Fi hardware.

Among the new features in v2.0 is “Stacks”, which is a cue-list playback system designed to make it very easy to put together shows for a wide variety of uses. Cues can be programmed directly within Luminair, and also recorded as snapshots from an external console or any other DMX control source. Standard playback life using the device’s internal battery can run up to
3.5 hours, and can be extended to over 36 hours using a 3rd-party external battery pack. Playback will run indefinitely when the device is plugged into a power source.

Another major new feature in Luminair 2.0 is the ability to assign images as visual references to cues, using the iPhone’s built-in camera, photo library, or transferred via Luminair’s internal web server. Users can browse and trigger Quick-Touch cues using a CoverFlow view, which renders the assigned images in breathtaking OpenGL 3D. Also dependent on the new image
reference support in version 2.0, is the ability to export “Fixture POV” images and data directly over Wi-Fi from Cast Software’s next release of WYSIWYG R25.

Other notable new features in 2.0 include full group support, cut/copy/paste capabilities, accelerometer support for XY controls, plus extensive additions and refinements to the existing feature-set. Company founder and lead product developer Ryan Hisey says “The ability to program and playback shows directly from an iPhone or iPod, for periods lasting greater than 36 hours on batteries is really amazing. We’re really excited to see how our customers push the boundaries of automated lighting control.”

“In this release, we also took advantage of a lot of the great features that are built-in to the iPhone and iPod touch, such as the accelerometer, camera, and photo library. The images in CoverFlow look absolutely amazing, and users can easily add their own custom images and icons via multiple convenient methods. Additionally, we are very excited to be working with
Cast Software, who is a highly respected industry leader, on such a groundbreaking new feature for lighting pros.”

Availability
Luminair 2.0 is available for download now, exclusively from Apple’s iTunes App Store. For all existing customers, version 2.0 is a free upgrade. Full product details, videos, and screenshots can be seen at http://synthe-fx.com/luminair

Keep up the excellent developing, dudes.

Siemens Superstar – A Wind Turbine-Sized LED Display

Super company Siemens (they’re the parent company of OSRAM) installed a ton of high-power LED modules onto a wind turbine located next to the A9 Autobahn highway at Christmas time.  In conjunction with multimedia artist Michael Pendry, Siemens installed 9,000 OSRAM LEDs onto the blades of the wind turbine.  You could see the installation (it was 70 meters wide, or almost 230 feet) from almost 20 miles away.  All of the display was powered by the wind turbine, which is extra awesome.

The installation was up for the Global Climate Conference in Munich, and stayed up until January 6, 2010.  You have to see the video and images I posted below.  At the very bottom, I posted the press release.  Check it out!

Images from the Siemens Press Site:

The press release from Siemens:

Quite a few people wondered if it would ever function. Yet right on time for the first Advent Sunday it is obvious to all: But still it moves! Siemens – together with multimedia artist Michael Pendry – has lighted up the world’s biggest revolving Christmas star. The lighting installation can be seen throughout December at the northern gateway to Munich – beginning at dusk every evening. “The Siemens Superstar is a pioneering technological project and an important symbol for the Global Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Green innovations are lighting our way to a better future,” said Siemens President and CEO Peter Löscher. “Munich has a new landmark for the Christmas season. It stands for renewable energies and energy efficiency – and these are also important issues for Munich. By 2025, we want Munich to be the world’s first city to meet all its energy requirements from renewable sources,” noted Munich’s Mayor Christian Ude enthusiastically. “I like to take art outside the narrow confines of museums,” explained lighting artist Michael Pendry.

Siemens developed and completed the unique and pioneering technological project together with Munich multimedia artist Michael Pendry over the past twelve months. The lighting installation consists of 9,000 Siemens Osram light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are as bright as around 20,000 Christmas candles. Yet the entire installation uses only as much electricity as a hair dryer or a water kettle. In good weather, the art object can be seen for 30 kilometers. The span of the world’s biggest revolving Christmas star is nearly 70 meters – as wide as a soccer field.

Nearly 400 meters of power cables were laid for installation – a length that would reach over the top of the Eifel Tower. The lighting installation adds 100 kilos to each rotor blade. The LEDs are fastened to the wind turbine blades with superglue used in space, since under windy conditions the LEDs are subject to forces up to 20 G, or more than three times the g-force experienced by an astronaut during a rocket launch. Just a few days ago, TÜV SÜD – the technical service corporation responsible for inspecting and testing technical installations – gave its final approval to the installation. Munich residents, motorists and airplane passengers can be assured everything is in order.

Because of the wind turbine’s prominent location next to the A9 autobahn – a main traffic artery not far from the airport and used by well over 150,000 motorists a day – it was considered to be ideal for the lighting installation from the very beginning. In the fall of 2008, representatives of Siemens and Munich multimedia artist first discussed the idea of creating a shining symbol for green technologies and sustainability on the eve of the Global Climate Conference in Copenhagen. And what better place to demonstrate the sustainable use of electricity than a wind turbine? The operator of the wind turbine, Stadtwerke München (Munich City Utilities), offered its full support for the project from the very beginning.

In the following months, the idea slowly became reality. At first, the focus was on the project’s technical feasibility. In the spring of 2009, a handful of experts in various disciplines such as wind energy, aerodynamics, lighting and adhesives got together to sketch out all aspects necessary for realizing the project. Answers had to be found for all key issues: How should the LEDs be arranged to have the least possible impact on the wind turbine’s aerodynamics? Which type of LED should be used? Which adhesives were most effective for securing the LEDs in every type of weather?

Late in the summer, the wind energy experts completed their computer simulation analyses on the effects of the installation on the rotor aerodynamics. At this point, tests were begun under real conditions: In wind tunnel tests at the Technical University Berlin, over 15 different configurations of LED models, lighting arrangements and cable routing were analyzed until optimal conditions were found. Tests showed that the LED installation had only a minimal effect on the wind turbine’s performance.

Yet even after the wind tunnel tests were completed late in the summer, all hurdles still hadn’t been taken. Approval from all relevant authorities had to be obtained. And last but not least, the lighting installation had to be attached in only two weeks. 30 technicians worked day and night to make the Siemens Superstar shine. Programming the lighting animation alone took two full days. The lights are coordinated in real time with the various strengths of the wind and speed of the wind turbine itself. A technical masterpiece!

Truly excellent.

Jakub’s Almost Light Theremin (If Theremin Could Do Video)

A guy named Jakub Koźniewski created something quite awesome – using photocells, Arduino, a real-time audio synthesizer called Supercollider, and the Processing environment, Jakub created a pretty excellent audio and video controller.

I wrote about the Processing environment a while ago, in relation to a project called MSAFluid.  It’s worth checking out the Processing and Supercontroller websites if you’re a geek like me.

This thing is awesome, Jakub.  Great work.  Check out Jakub’s Vimeo channel – cool stuff.

Here’s the original video of Jakub’s work, this set not quite as detailed as the one above:

Thanks a lot, Make Mag.  This is why I love your blog so much.  Original post on the Arduino Forums.

NASA’s Flying Lady with Long Distance Eyes, SOFIA

NASA has many telescopes in play, optical or otherwise, in a variety of different forms.  We have the Hubble Space Telescope that peers into the celestial bodies in several ways, we have ground-based telescopes that track the stars, radio telescopes that listen for whispers among the stars, and several other forms of watching and tracking the sky and beyond.  NASA has been working on a new one for a while (at least a few years), this time it’s a far-infrared vision system mounted on a modified 747SP.

Meet SOFIA – NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy:

See that big gaping hole in the side of that aircraft?  That’s the telescope.  SOFIA flies around and tracks planets, stars, and other space stuff – at least when it’s operational.  That’s the plan.  Right now, the feat is that SOFIA’s big open cavity there is the largest to ever have been flown.  The telescope is fully exposed, and NASA is making sure that all is copasetic with the design and equipment before doing any of the really cool stuff.

SOFIA’s main gear is a German-made, 2.5 meter far-infrared range telescope capable of seeing between 0.3 and 1600 microns, weighing in at 34,000 pounds.  She’s going to be looking for planet formations in nearby star systems, planetary composition, Milky-Way dynamic activity, and ultra-luminous infrared galaxies among her other work.  SOFIA’s got a big task, and it is super cool to me that NASA is taking this to the skies.

Besides looking at the universe from a new angle, what I like best about SOFIA is that she’s not at all trying to blow up missiles, enemy troops, tanks, planes, or any of that other nonsense crap.  SOFIA is trying to scope out things that could help us find answers.  LOVE IT!

Here’s a few videos of SOFIA – the first is a NASA “Mission Update” video:

The second video is an air-to-air video of SOFIA in flight:

Last video – an animation of the SOFIA aircraft and some of its inner workings:

Be sure to check out the SOFIA mission page at NASA, and the Dryden Flight Research Center site.