20. June 2008

Rupert, the Rocket Bunny

I am currently working on a project together with Erik for which we produced some slow motion videos (~1400fps at 720p, yay). That was around Easter, so back then we also produced a little Easter video for fun. :)

Rupert der Raketenhase on Vimeo.

(You can see the video in full resolution if you visit the vimeo site)

So.. erm.. happy Easter… :)

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: bunnyEasterslow motion

Zen Station – Using the Player’s Pulse as Controller

Zen Station

Zen Station is a game focused on relaxation. The player who is chilled the most wins.

It is an installation on which two players can play a game. Goal of the game is to win by being as relaxed as possible. During the game, pulse and blood oxygen levels of the players are measured. The player who durably has the lowest pulse wins.

At the beginning of the game, a thin line is created on the center of the playing field. This "destroyer" slowly moves towards the player with the faster pulse. Additionally, each player frequently creates "virtual life forms" (which look more like landmines to me). If the destroyer touches such a life form, it is hurled back in the opposite direction.

The overall design of Zen Station is very cool. The effects are beautiful and also have nice sound effects.

By the way, Zen Station was created using vvvv – the same software which Erik and I used to create our interactive music video installation.

» Zen Station

(via Erik)

Keywords: gameinstallationpulserelaxationvvvv

Unpacking the Red One

A Red One with accessoires - stuffed into three large shipping boxes

In case you always wondered how a 35’000 dollar camera is shipped, here’s an interesting article by Mike Curtis. Mike has recently bought a Red One and documented the unpacking process a little. :)

What he is unwrapping there is the Red One number 417 with a bunch of accessoiries. Worth about 35k$. He believes that one could manage with less accessoiries and get away with just 25-30k$.

The central message of the article: This is a whole lot of stuff in a whole lot of packaging. Better schedule a lot of time for the process. :)

» Red One Unboxing – Part 1

The report has over five pages and doesn’t even reach a completely assembled Red One. :) I’m curious for the sequel…

(via EXTReeeME.Org)

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: camerafilmpackagingRedshipping

9. June 2008

Anberlin – Blueprints for the Black Market (CD Review / Recommendation)

Cover: Anberlin - Blueprints for the Black Market

Anberlin are an american Band which exists since 2002. Their style is commonly referred to as alternative rock, emo or "christian rock" (weird term for a music style). I am very bad in categorizing music, so please leave a comment if you know more. :)

In 2003, Anberlin released their debut record, Blueprints for the Black Market. As usually I don’t have the verbal skills to adequately describe why this record is so cool, so I’ll stick with a simple description: It rocks! :) My favorite tracks are "Readyfuels", "Autobahn" and "Glass to the arson". The "Lovesong" cover is pretty cool as well.

Unfortunately, the acoustic version of Autobahn is not included on the CD – a shame! This version is what first introduced me to Anberlin. According to an internet source, this version was originally created as a promo for the website of the Rolling Stone Magazine and maybe was also found on the MTV website. Now, the acoustic Autobahn seems to be only available through illegal channels. If someone knows a legal source, please leave a comment!


Listening samples are available at Amazon and Last.fm

Tracks on Blueprints for the Black Market

  1. Readyfuels
  2. Foreign Language
  3. Change the World (Lost Ones)
  4. Cold War Transmissions
  5. Glass to the Arson
  6. Undeveloped Story
  7. Autobahn
  8. We Dreamt in Heist
  9. Love Song
  10. Cadence
  11. Naïve Orleans

More Music Recommendations

Subway to Sally – Bastard

Ghoultown – Tales from the Dead West

Deine Lakaien – Acoustic (music review)

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: alternativeCDemomusicrecommendationreview

Red’s 5k Camera: Red Epic

Red Epic

Besides announcing the Red Scarlet, Red also announced a 5k camera called Red Epic. Again, a fascinating announcement. As far as I know there is no digital camera, yet, that can record in 5k resolution.

To put things in perspective, here a comparison of different resolutions, taken from a Red leaflet:

Red Comparison Chart

The small rectangle in the lower right is the common TV resolution. 720p, the next level, is what Erik and I are currently using for a project. The dark gray rectangle is full HD resolution, the highest resolution of the new TV standard and also the resolution that most other current digital movie cameras are recording in. 2k, sharp above full HD, is what most current digital cinema projectors can handle. 2k-3k is what most ordinary analog films have in the local cinema.

To see a movie in 5k, you probably would have to visit a film festival and hope to see a especially good copy (film festivals are usually supplied with better copies than normal theatres).

In short: A 5k camera is pretty impressive. :)

Here a few specifications:

  • Full Frame S35mm new Mysterium X Sensor
  • 1-100 FPS
  • Up to 100MB/s recording to Redflash
  • Full size dual link HD-SDI, 2 XLR audio inputs and HDMI
  • Wi-Fi control
  • Firewire 800 and USB2
  • compatible with most Red One accessories
  • fully upgradable sensor, body, boards and mount

As usual: Specifications are subject to change.

The price is rumoured to be around 40’000 dollars. That’s quite a lot, but compared to many other digital movie cameras with only a fraction of the resolution still very cheap.

» Red Epic Website
» another, more extensive article about the Red Epic

(via digitalredvolution)

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: 5kannouncementcameraEpicRed

Red’s "Small" Camera: Red Scarlet

Red Scarlet

After creating quite a buzz with the Red One, Red is doing it again: They announced a small camera. A small camera with a 3k resolution. It is going to have a 2/3" sensor, a built-in LCD display and a zoom lens. The release date of the Red Scarlet is expected to be in the beginning of 2009.

According to rumors the price tag will be around 3000 dollars. That would (once again) be a phenomenal price for that kind of resolution. It would be cheaper than most cameras that I used in recent years and those had at best a resolution of 1920×1080. :)

The only pity is the sensor size. Many hoped that the Red Scarlet would have a full 35mm sensor. With 2/3" you’d still need a 35mm adapter for the 35mm feeling.

Here some of the announced specs from the red website:

  • 2/3" Mysterium X Sensor
  • 1-120 FPS (180 FPS Burst)
  • up to 100 MB/s recording to dual compact flash
  • 4.8" LCD
  • 8x T2.8 Red Zoom Lens
  • HDMI and HD-SDI
  • compatible with many Red One accessories
  • Wi-Fi control

The website also contains a thick warning that all specifications, release dates and designs are subject to change… and that you should count on it. :)

» Red Scarlet Website
» Fotos from the NAB

(via digitalredvolution)

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: announcementcameraRedScarlet

4. June 2008

Data Retention Effectively Changes the Behavior of Citizens in Germany

A new survey shows that data retention laws influence the actual behavior of citizens in Germany. 11% had already abstained from single telecommunication acts, 52% would not use phone or e-mail for confidential contacts.

» read on!

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: Germanypoliticsprivacysurveillancesurvey

26. May 2008

Untouchable: HIV positive photo camera

Untouchable: HIV-positive Kamera

Wayne Martin Belger (a.k.a. Boy of Blue Industries) creates pinhole cameras using various materials. His newest creation is a camera made of titanium, aluminium, copper, acryl and… HIV infected blood. It is called Untouchable.

The blood is pumped through small pipelines in front of the pinhole (where other cameras have a lens) and is used as a red filter. Wayne Belger constructed the camera to shoot a photo series about HIV positive people.

Personally, I consider it a little bit too crazy to use real HIV blood. The camera looks great, though. :) All that titanium in combination with copper and tubing reminds me of steampunk.

Plain red color would have been sufficient, though…

» Untouchable (HIV)

According to several comments there is probably no virus left alive in the camera. HIV is said to be very unstable outside of the human body and these specimen are floating in a 80% solution of heparin and Sodium Chloride to keep the blood from congealing.

Still, Untouchable is pretty creepy…

(via Boing Boing)

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: bloodcameraphotographypinhole

MySong: Simple Software Automatically Composes Musical Accompaniment

A research project by a student (Ian Simon) and a Microsoft empoyee lead to a nice toy called MySong. This software analyzes the melody of a vocal track and automatically creates a musical accompaniment:

MySong [...] automatically chooses chords to accompany a vocal melody, allowing a user with no musical training to rapidly create accompanied music. MySong is a creative tool for folks who like to sing but would never get a chance to experiment with creating real original music. Come on, you know who you are… you sing in the car, or in the shower, or you go to karaoke clubs, or you just once in a while find yourself singing along with catchy commercial jingles.

Here is a short video which demonstrates MySong:

For those who can’t/won’t watch the video, here a short description: At first, you sing a melody into your microphone. As soon as you’re done, MySong builds a chord sequence around it. You can influence the style a bit with two sliders. You can decide whether the music should sound more sad or happy and whether it should be normal or jazzy.

MySong’s creators emphasize that their program is not meant to automate songwriting. Nobody will ever create a top 40 hit using any version of MySong. It is rather meant to at least give people an impression of how it feels to write a song. It should also be good enough to produce a birthday or valentine song.

Unfortunately, the program is not available for download. I hope Microsoft doesn’t let it rot in the drawer…

» MySong Website

The website also has an article of a scientific journal which describes the theories behind MySong in detail. There’s also tons of samples.

(via Basic Thinking via ReadWriteWeb)

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: compositionmusicsingingsoftware

Decaying Mental Institutions – Fotos by Jeremy Harris

Jeremy Harris - American Asylums

Decaying buildings make almost always fascinating photos. American photographer Jeremy Harris documented several especially depressing urban ruins. In his series "American Asylums", he shows photos of former mental institutions.

I have rarely seen such beautifully crumbled rooms. The color is peeling in large patterns from the walls. Debris resides in rooms and corridors. Every now and then there are sad artefacts of the former life – wheelchairs, cekks, crutches, stuff that looks like blood samples…

» Jeremy Harris – American Asylums

More Urban Decay

» My photos of a demolition area in Freiburg
» Rotting school books in a ware house

(via Boing Boing)

(This article is also available in German)

Keywords: photographyurban decay

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