Monday, 28 February 2011

3D Holographic Projections

Being a kid in the 70's I was a big fan of the Star Wars trilogy. Boys all wished to have R2-D2 and to have the ability to make holographic images (Princess Leia was definitely a good starting image). A really poor little image being projected out of R2-D2 was still very cool.

Well, I am still not be able to get my R2-D2, but the holographic possibilities have just become amazing. I first saw a couple of sample holograms from Musion just after Christmas with two musicians. One was on stage and the other was playing at some different location but being projected using their Eyeliner system to look like he was on stage as well. It was quite impressive. They also have a product that called EyeSay that has been deployed at the Manchester airport as a virtual assistant for travellers. I thought these samples were already amazing but then I saw the video that the Black Eyed Peas put together using the Eyeliner system. That takes it to a crazy level! The Black Eyed Peas have already been experimenting with some pretty cool 360 degree video technology. They could not find a system that would do what they wanted so they went and created their own 360 degree video system. Now they are incorporating holographic images in their performance. Watch the whole video through but for the impatient types, you will not want to miss the 4:00 mark. 4:15 shows you what you have really been watching. At the risk of repeating myself...very cool.

I want one, Dan

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Sapporo Beer Commecial in 3D, without 3D glasses

As I hopefully develop a few followers of this blog, I should probably give a few terms of reference on how often I plan on posting etc. My intention (hopefully I will adhere to this fairly strictly) is to post twice a week. Usually on Monday and Thursday evening...yes I am tell you this in a Wednesday post. I am full on contradictions. To this end, I have been compiling a list of various topics that I am planning on blogging but this just sort of jumped the cue. It appeals to a few key interests of mine:
  1. 3D
  2. very high on the cool factor
  3. beer is not necessarily a bad thing either
Some of you may already have seen this given that, when I am posting, it already has almost 2.5 million hits on YouTube. This is very interesting if you have not seen it. This Sapporo beer commercial is almost 100% CGI and must have been a pretty heavy investment in money to create. I won't ruin it by describing too much prior to you watching it but when the scene goes below the stream, it shows some insane 3D without any need for glasses. It does not pop out of the screen at you but there is amazing depth of field to this, utilizing some well applied perspective. As the scene moves around the foreground and background change in unbelievable ways. The link inserted in this page won't let you get the full screen HD effect so I am including that link here (don't forget to come back after).

To make this even more interesting, Sapporo has a website devoted to this campaign. It is interactive and as you move your mouse cursor the scene navigates much like you see in the video. I have not found a lot of information about exactly how they are doing it yet. If anyone has more info about it I would love to know. I plan on asking my CGI guru, Rob Clegg, to see what he has to say about it. He/his work is on my list of topics to blog about so you will learn more about Rob in the very near future. 3D web navigation would add a a pretty interesting feel to a web site, don't you think?.

Feeling very thirsty...Dan

Thursday, 17 February 2011

3D printing on steroids - The inaugural blog post

3D printing has come a long way since I started following it about 7 years ago. I have seen very low resolution, brittle models that turn to dust with a little handling and cost a fortune. More recently, 3D printing has made significant improvements in quality, mainstream visibility and more accessible pricing. The article "The Secret World of Printing Concept Cars in 3D" (linked from Wired) is about the improvements in quality and mainstream visibility....accessible pricing, maybe not.

As I head out to the 2011 Canadian International Auto Show next week, I am curious how many concept pieces I will see that have some 3D printing included in the fabricating process? If the the Renault Ondelios' printed interior in the Wired article looks as good as it does in the image, then the possibilities are expanding for large scale fabricating.