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Post #6551

Week 352

There is a general sense of curiosity held by the people who work in this room.

It’s evident through the sheer volume of web links exchanged each week.
Some of these fall away quickly but others gather such traction that they live on for days as a sort of rolling cultural Katamari Demacy.

Tracing lines back through these threads imparts individual preoccupations and quietly reveals the collective interests of the studio.

So, here are a few things that people have been up to and what’s captured their attention in week 352.

Andy has been chasing up sizeable quantities of power adapters and continued to receive ‘proof of life’ for atoms in constellations of his design. You can read more about this intriguing image at:

He also sent around the output of a collaboration between visuals artists Memo Akten and Quayola.

These animations are described on as ‘a study of the relationship between the human body and movement’ rendered through abstract 3d forms. This prompted a discussion about the visual queues required to convey a sense of human movement. Matthew discussed the conflicts and payoffs between 2d and 3d. And Timo highlighted the capacity for the simple lines and dots of ‘motion capture’ to create hugely characterful movements. “There’s a magic about seeing human movement in the simplest of forms, like this.” (examples below).

Denise spent time designing characters for a forthcoming animation that plays a part in a project for Uinta. And readying an exciting proposal for a potential client.

She forwarded this little poem to the group:

And the beautiful Clouds project by Amsterdam based Berndnaut Smilde. This sparked some conversational speculation on the possibility of channeling this into the design of consumer electronics.

Then, of course, the inevitable question of whether we could keep a cloud as a studio pet cropped up. It’s yet to be answered.

James, the impenetrable logic dynamo and fashion maverick, has spent the week sculpting code and sharing some splendidly weird links.

First up, this animated gif of a chirpy chap spotted in a couple of eggs, which I looked at for way too long.

He also suggested that if Jack were to design an album sleeve it might look something link this:

Timo prepared the Silverton workshop for next Tuesday and managed to find time to write an excellent blog post with Nick entitled: ‘Swiping Through Cinema, Touching Through Glass’. (Read it here:
He’s also been filming and editing for Uinta and Chaco projects with Oran.

He shared this NASA image from the March 6. A “Multiple-wavelength View of X5.4 Solar Flare”.

And also this slice of optical motion capture processing (mentioned above)

Helen spent the week coordinating with different parties to ensure ongoing organisational legitimacy and defend the studio against exposure to fire or other catastrophes.

Alice, the Little Printer whisperer, has managed to convince the the device to send and receive picture messages. I now have My Little Pony and Power Puff Girls receipts on my desk.
Her other major triumph this week has been to discover an image of Rihanna throwing up ribbons. On loop.

Nick can usually be found lurking in the Linux mines. Or Tooting.
He sent around a link to the ‘Freescale Mechatronics Robot’ coupled with the message, “Anyone fancy a walking development board? Now with added ‘face’.”

And a project by Fay McCaul concerned with “….embedding reflective material into cotton yarn and using fibre optics and iridescent acrylic to create unconventional materials” (more info: Fay McCaul.)

Jones stands upon stilts, like a shepherd of the Landes, extending his field of vision for a string of sales meetings, workshops and presentations.

He’s also been very active on the mailing list.

The new iPad app from

A PhD research project making AI that can design, evaluate and develop entire video-games.

Spacewalking helmet, fully loaded: 3 videocams, old lights and new LEDs, plus nose pad to clear ears inside.

From a tweet by chris hadfield!/Cmdr_Hadfield/status/177375221437833216

Wearable projector makes any surface interactive by Hrvoje Benko of Microsoft Research.

And evidence of tool use in bears.

Alex spent much of the week fusing artistry with pragmatism to find fitting ways to present the LP systems architecture to the user.
He’s also been hyperactive on the studio mailing list, in a very good way.

Starting with ‘Fresh Guacamole’ in which the director, PES, ‘transforms familiar objects into fresh guacamole’.

The stunning stunts of Jorian Ponomareff.

He also pointed out a post by Stephen Wolfram on his attitude towards the quantified self.

“One day I’m sure everyone will routinely collect all sorts of data about themselves. But because I’ve been interested in data for a very long time, I started doing this long ago. I actually assumed lots of other people were doing it too, but apparently they were not. And so now I have what is probably one of the world’s largest collections of personal data.”

A new supermarket scanner that recognises food by it’s colour and shape, no barcodes needed.

LEGO Space Shuttle Launched Into The Stratosphere.

And finally the latest DARPA robot named ‘Cheetah’ sets speed record for legged robots.

Simon is the gravity to which all projects are subject. Involved in everything to some degree.

This week he described the similarities and differences between Channel 4’s new service …,-4seven

and the BERG project Shownar:

He also showed everyone the Dollar Shave Club website which features one of the finest corporate videos I’ve seen in recent memory (which admittedly doesn’t say much, but it is very good).

Webb distinguishes scale from perspective in a series of sales and logistical meetings. He and Jones presented the outcome of the Kletting project to Uinta and he generally mans the helm of this good ship.

In response to Andy’s post about ‘Form’ he wrote this: “A 2d animation can do anything at all. When you watch this …”

“It mimics a 3d scene, like a live-action movie, but it’s not 3d: it’s constructed to look awesome to the viewer. Micky’s ears exist outside the 3d world, they exist entirely for the viewer and the screen, you can’t even imagine what they might look like to anyone else in the frame, they transcend the world of the cartoon.”

“But when you watch a Pixar movie – a 2d render of a 3d scene – or this thing, the magic of the moving screen is replaced by a view into a world which has to obey the physics of the 3d. Its potential is somehow made smaller. It exists independently from me, and so somehow there’s less room for it to explode into magic.”

In other dispatches, he notified people of the Microsoft holoreflector project to which Alex pointed out that the typing position is under and behind the display. It was agreed that this is Odd! Neat!

And excitedly sent around the Sim City announce trailer:

Finally, I have been feeling somewhat under the weather and a tad delirious. But you’ve probably noticed that.

One Comment or Trackback

  • 1. Mike said on 11 March 2012...

    Just curious: what kind of mailing list software do you use for your internal communication?

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