Goodbye Uncanny Valley

Alan Warburton: It’s 2017 and computer graphics have conquered the Uncanny Valley, that strange place where things are almost real… but not quite. After decades of innovation, we’re at the point where we can conjure just about anything with software. The battle for photoreal CGI has been won, so the question is… what happens now?

Still File

…is a series of 4 photographs recreating computer renderings as physical scenes by Skrekkøgle, a product and digital design studio in Oslo.

Cube, sphere and cone geometry with material textures mahogany, clear glass and white marble. Placed on reflective checkers plane.

Floating colored cube without environment. Low greyscale resolution creates gradient banding in background.

Three white Utah teapots – scaled, rotated, intersected and distorted. Diffuse lighting, composed on matte yellow plane.

Patterned spheres with pink metallic texture. Panoramic photo of a beach added on cylindrical environment, mirrored in both the base plane and in the metal spheres.

See also: Other posts tagged ‘3D’ and ‘CGI’.

Light-based media

Still File: Real recreations of computer renderings

The photos’ artifacts, surroundings, camera settings and lighting has been shaped intending to resemble 3d graphics of different types.

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Cosmo Wenman: The Times reports that artists Al-badri and Nelles used a modified Microsoft Kinect scanner hidden under clothing to gather the scan data of the bust. Following the Times story, there have been several independent and exhaustive descriptions of how their scan data simply cannot have been gathered in the way Al-badri and Nelles claim. […] They correctly point out that the Kinect scanner has fundamentally low resolution and accuracy, and that even under ideal conditions, it simply cannot acquire data as detailed as what the artists have made available. The artists’ account simply cannot be true.

All of this confusion stems from bad institutional practices regarding secrecy: The Neues Museum is hoarding 3D scans that by all rights it should share with the public, and The New York Times has allowed anonymous sources into the chain of custody of the facts of its story.


The Other Nefertiti — Artists release the 3D data of Nefertiti’s head

Nefertiti 3D print

Hyperallergic: Last October, two artists entered the Neues Museum in Berlin, where they clandestinely scanned the bust of Queen Nefertiti, the state museum’s prized gem. Three months later, they released the collected 3D dataset online as a torrent, providing completely free access under public domain to the one object in the museum’s collection off-limits to photographers.

Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles

Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles

“The head of Nefertiti represents all the other millions of stolen and looted artifacts all over the world currently happening, for example, in Syria, Iraq, and in Egypt,” Al-Badri said.

Updated March 9, 2016 with the news that this story is likely a hoax.

See also

  • The story of “Sweetie” — How a computer-generated 10-year old girl from the Philippines caught over 1,000 pedophiles in only two months.
  • The New Aesthetic and its PoliticsA photograph of Eric Schmidt wearing a flak jacket – as he does in his Twitter avatar – is a spur to investigate the circumstances of the photograph and the self-presentation of the corporation. It was taken on a visit to Iraq in 2009, when Google promised to digitise what remains of the National Museum’s collection, raising further questions about the digitisation and subsequent ownership of cultural patrimony, and of Google’s involvement in political activity and international diplomacy through its Google Ideas think-tank, which actively supports a programme of regime change in certain parts of the world.
Shape of things to come

Artists covertly scan bust of Nefertiti; release the 3D model for free online

“The Other Nefertiti” is an artistic intervention by the two German artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles. Al-Badri and Nelles scanned the head of Nefertiti clandestinely in the Neues Museum Berlin without permission of the Museum and they hereby announce the release of the 3D data of Nefertitis head under a Creative Commons Licence.

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ZERO-DAY by beeple

The next world war will not be invisible.

After the success of STUXNET, a virus written by the United States to destroy Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, the U.S. government could no longer deny it was developing cyber weapons meant to do physical damage. With US companies and agencies under constant attack from state-sponsored Chinese hackers, it is only a matter of time before tensions boil over and more sensitive infrastructure is targeted. As more or our devices (cars, homes, etc) become connected, we will become more and more vulnerable to the physical threat of cyber warfare.

More stills on Behance
Equally awesome process video after the jump →

Wire Cutters

A chance encounter proves fateful for 2 robots mining on a desolate planet.

It’s like a grittier Wall-E.

Boing Boing: On Reddit, filmmaker Jack Anderson explains that the making of his film involved a “$0 budget but thousands of hours of love and about a YEAR of rendering.”

See also: Wanderers, a vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System.

Pixar in a Box
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Pixar in a box! Animation lessons from the masters

Well now, this is something!

Khan Academy: Pixar in a Box

A collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy. Sponsored by Disney.

Don’t let the kid-friendly intro video put you off exploring the content. It all seems very good and there’s loads of mathematics, as you would expect from Khan Academy. They cover modelling, animation, rendering and other fun subjects like crowd ‘combinatorics’. I didn’t spot anything on lighting though, outside of the context of rendering.

See also

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Animation Master Hayao Miyazaki’s Work Comes to Life in This Beautiful 3D Tribute

Made with Blender, Gimp, Octane and Natron, and lots of love for the films of Hayao Miyazaki.

Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki made with Blender 3D

Updated to include this making of video found via the Blender’s ‘User Stories’ blog

Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki – Making of

I found it especially interesting how he was able to edit the entire animation directly in Blender.

See also

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A tribute to Hayao Miyazaki in 3D

Miyazaki has come out of retirement (again) to make an animated short that will only play at the Studio Ghibli Museum that will be entirely computer generated.

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