Touchdesigner

Box- Just Look At It

It’s exquisite. It’s everything I dreamed of when I was a kid- robotics, in-camera film effects, precision. The San Francisco based firm of Bot & Dolly has pretty much upped the game for everything involving projectionmapping in real-time and combined it with extreme robotic film making. It seems a natural progression though, and I can’t think of anyone more capable and qualified to do it. But before we give in to our Robot Overlords, let’s remember they still need to be told what to do. It’s just that they do it over and over again with ridiculous precision and razor-accuracy. I don’t know what they used for projectors, but I suppose it wouldn’t take much in terms of lumens for a project like this. Projection software on the other hand was accomplished with Touchdesigner. As advanced as Touchdesigner is, the more you watch what they’re doing with the Iris robotic arm the more you realize that projectionmapping is the easy part. They have an entire array of tools at their disposal- BD Live, BD Time, and the stunning BD Wheel- a hand-held control wheel that allows you to scrub through a shot or attenuate playback speed. If you’ve ever been to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and seen their toy manufacturing display – this is like that x1000. They have a couple of Motoman robotic arms that you can race and play against…but this scale is entirely different.
Iris

bdwheel

It’s not hard to discern where or how the effects are in-camera, but the marriage of the elements is what overwhelms me about Box. That, and the sound. That first big whoosh at 1:24 is just plain sensual.

Tobias Kinnebrew of B&D explains: “Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on robotically controlled moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. Bot & Dolly created this work as both an artistic statement and a technical demonstration. It is the product of an experience vision realized through the integration of multiple technologies pivoting on our software platform BD Movetm for precision control of robotics.” It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to extrapolate where you can go with this type of gear on a film set. With the extreme precision and playback capabilities, the possibilities are truly endless. I gotta get out to the coast and see this in person. That’s all there is to it.

Absolute heaven. Dig it!

Box from Bot & Dolly on Vimeo.

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Touch In-N-Out Meetup in Brooklyn this Friday!

For you Touchdesigner followers, Touch In-N-Out Meetup is in Brooklyn this Friday Sept. 6th. Dev Harlan and Barry Threw will be on hand to discuss their work with Touchdesigner and give attendees a rare glimpse into the world of this great piece of software and it’s influence on the industry. Head over to TouchIn NYC to RSVP and get directions. If you’re anywhere near the Eastern Seaboard and want to attend an incredible session- this would be the one!

Rumor has it there will be a live stream, so stay tuned- I’ll post a link if one becomes available.

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Leviathan for Ubisoft at E3

I’ve been a Clancy fan from the beginnings of Rainbow Six to the latest release of Splinter Cell- even going so far as to join gaming ladders and lose myself in FPS overload. So I was absolutely giddy when I saw the latest press from Leviathan. Looks like Touchdesigner was the weapon of choice for the mockups and playback…read on:

From our friends to the North:

Splinter Cell: Blacklist E3 Launch from Leviathan on Vimeo.


CHICAGO – Aug. 27, 2013 – The principals of the award-winning Leviathan creative studio are very proud to showcase their artistry for Ubisoft(R) Entertainment at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show. At its global press conference streamed live worldwide this past June, Ubisoft dramatically announced the forthcoming release of the next blockbuster title in the critically acclaimed Tom Clancy franchise. That title, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, was released last week in the U.S. and Europe. (more…)

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Light Art- the app……

sebbo_logoGot a great tip from Erick Calderon over at Light Art Interactive- his new projectionmapping app for iOS called- you guessed it- Light Art. Erick works a lot with Touchdesigner and got tired of using giant computers to come up with mapping schemes, so why not make a tablet app? I haven’t had a chance to download and use it yet, but it looks fascinating. As soon as I procure an iPad, I’ll let you know how it goes, but in the meantime, for those of you with an iPad with an HDMI interface, give it a go and let me know…better yet- let Erick know!

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White Kanga Strikes Again for CTL Logistics

The incredibly inventive folks over at White Kanga recently did this huge industrial for CTL Logistics. Utilizing eight 22k projectors and Touchdesigner, they transported the audience on an intergalactic themed presentation, and then fed live video of the entertainment into the animated video frames. These guys do some amazing work- make sure to check out their piece that appeared on PF previously… MPS v1.0

Indoor mapping for CTL Logistics from White Kanga on Vimeo.

As a bonus, I thought I’d hip you to their Interactive Kinetic Mapping System, Building version:

iKMS Building v3 from White Kanga on Vimeo.

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Leviathan, Waveplant Studios Alliance

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CHICAGO—(Nov. 14, 2012)— Since launching in 2010, the principals of design-focused production studio Leviathan have collaborated with many leading agencies, brands and filmmakers to render scores of sensational projects across all markets and industries, earning award recognition along the way from the Association of Independent Music, Communication Arts Magazine, the AICP, The One Club, and the Themed Entertainment Association. Several of those projects have involved Waveplant, the personal brand of composer and sound designer Joel Corelitz. Today, along with Corelitz, Leviathan’s principals are very proud to announce a new creative alliance between their two companies.

“Our alliance is born from the idea that creating audio and visuals should be part of the same process, not something we seek to unite afterwards,” explained Corelitz, who has earned rave reviews internationally for his original scores and sound designs for high-profile videogame, cinema and commercial projects. “Together, we want to focus even more on handling projects that cannot be done any other way.”

Among the sensational efforts that united Leviathan and Waveplant in the past are major projects for HP, Dodge Dart and Kelley Blue Book, to name but a few. In particular, the two HP projects produced for Designkitchen (ed. link here on PF) promoting HP’s TouchSmart computers may represent the perfect application of Leviathan’s and Waveplant’s talents.

“For those projects, our team at Leviathan started with multiple layers of surface-mapped real-time animation, paired with a variety of small and large environments and custom-built sculptures,” Hutson said. “From Waveplant, the contributions included a constantly evolving original music score, split into various tracks and instruments with controllable filters, where the audience was allowed to control it all via touch interfaces on HP TouchSmart computers. We were all involved in these projects from the earliest discussions, and we feel that they represent the type of phenomenal audiovisual approaches that result in projects people get super-excited about. By virtue of this new alliance with Waveplant, we hope to increase our involvement in such forward-looking and innovative experiential projects.”

Both HP “Play Big” projects were finalists in the 2012 One Club Entertainment Awards, as well as being shortlisted in the 2012 AICP Show’s Next Awards.

For further information on Waveplant, please visit www.waveplantstudios.com.

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ISAM 2.0 Wooden Toy

Well I finally had a chance to see Amon Tobin’s iconic ISAM 2.0 show in Chicago at the Congress Theatre last weekend. I had to restrain myself from just jumping in at FOH and bugging anybody about the setup, but there were two pairs of what looked like Barco FLM-HD20′s and Peter Sistrom’s control bridge. Behind all that was the excited crew from Leviathan. The visuals from V Squared Labs and Leviathan didn’t disappoint and the Congress’ killer Nexo line array thumped with authority. I wanted to hang around after the show to chat up the crew, but since I get to Chi-town once in a blue moon, I left to go hang with some close friends. Plus, Amon didn’t take the stage until fairly late- and I’m old. Kidding.

It’s hard to explain what I saw exactly. There’s a lot going on and one only needs to see some footage to really understand….which, by the way, you can do here:

This is a behind-the-scenes look at the process behind creating the visual work for “Wooden Toy”. Check this great article over at Spinner.com, too.

Amon Tobin : Wooden Toy from Leviathan on Vimeo.

All in all, it was a fun time. I rarely get to actually attend a concert unless I’m working it, so it was a treat to see. Hats off to the whole crew that put their efforts into this one-of-a-kind event.

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Arkam.tv at Google I/O Interactive

Arkam.tv recently were involved in making the visuals for the after-hours party at Google I/O. Their overall size was 80′x20′, rear-projected. They also came up with a really inventive playback system using Android pads with Touchdesigner as the control, of course. There’ll be a write-up over at Derivative’s site soon so check there for more details.


Adam explains: “Falcon Northwest was nice enough to provide us with their newest micro tower build, The Tiki, for this project. It was running a NVidia GeForce GXT 680 which gave us an option for up to four outputs. The show’s output resolution was 2560×640 and we split that into two 1280×640 signals. Those signals were pumped out the two DVI outputs on the video card into a proprietary video mixing station from Riverview Systems. Once it entered their system they used some customized software to re-composite the two signals back together. Beyond that it was all in their hands and we didn’t have anything else to do with the signal. They were able to split the signal into three outputs that fed into corresponding projectors. (edit- looks like they used the Barco FLM 22). It was a rear projection set up. The full resolution of the combined projections was 4320×1080. The scaling on the projectors was so high quality and sharp that we decided to build our project at 2560×640 in order to maintain a high fps since our graphics were running in real-time.”

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