Category Archives: Ingenuity

The Ningyo

“Set in 1911, The Ningyo follows a professor who specializes in “cryptozoology,” the search for mythological creatures. The title stems from a Japanese myth about a fish-like creature known as the ningyo that can curse a person with immortality. When a map leading to one is discovered, it sets off a globe-spanning hunt that takes our protagonist from his university office to a secret cryptozoo and the bottom of the sea.

The 27-minute film may take audiences on an incredible voyage, but behind-the-scenes the production was surprisingly humble. Where practical photography was possible, they used it. Everything else was created in 3D using industry-standard software like Maya, Nuke and V-Ray.

The Ningyo began in 2013 as a Kickstarter campaign seeking $50,000, and thanks to the donations of 1,025 contributors, the project went on to far surpass its goal and receive over $80,000. One of the largest contributors was Chaos Group, which supported the project as part of its “Partners in Art” program, an initiative designed to help independent filmmakers by providing financial backing, software licenses and custom tools.”

More here.

Interactive Projection Mapping

This was 3 1/2 yrs. ago. Time to go to the next level?

“Box” by Bot & Dolly

The piece was essentially grounded on the Principles of Stage Magic, invoking five of the basic categorizations of Illusionary.. These Categories greatly informed the conceptual and aesthetic foundation and were fused with a graphic design aesthetic heavy in Minimalistic Forms and Illuminated Fractal Geometry..

This direction was then placed into a projection-based Physical Installation, where all the ‘magic’ was captured live and in-camera, filmed documentary-style with no post effects or treatment to make it feel authentic and real… In essence the immense technology behind the curtain being completely masked from the viewer by the methods used to capture the performance.

VFX of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

From Weta Digital.

The scope and diversity of visual effects work in the final film of the Hobbit trilogy was astounding. The integrated fx simulations produced for the destruction of Lake-town and new virtual stage tools developed to bring the epic CG battle sequences to life are notable highlights. See how it all came together in this behind the scenes look at the ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’.

Blooms: Strobe-Animated Sculptures

These 3-D printed sculptures, called blooms, are designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. The placement of the appendages is determined by the same method nature uses in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotation speed is synchronized to the strobe so that one flash occurs every time the sculpture turns 137.5º—the golden angle. If you count the number of spirals on any of these sculptures you will find that they are always Fibonacci numbers.

For this video, rather than using a strobe, the camera was set to a very short shutter speed (1/4000 sec) in order to freeze the spinning sculpture.

Find out more here.

Blooms: Strobe-Animated Sculptures from Pier 9 on Vimeo.

Laser Weapon System

From the Department of Defense.

It’s a new era: the Navy is about to take a big step for military-kind. This summer they will add the first ship-mounted laser to their fleet, and that’s just the beginning.

This video was published March 6.

Here’s an interesting article about the timing of release.

Questions, questions.