Monthly Archives: October 2016

Photography: A fun aerial tour of Google Chicago

Okay, I hesitated to share this as I’m allergic corporate self-congratulation, but A) it’s some pretty amazing aerial filmmaking (including in thunderstorms!), and B) the chase of the Androids is just so weird—and get only weirder/funnier as it progresses. That detail reminds me of Khoi Vinh’s smart observation from a couple years back:

Apple fans like myself often criticize Google for doing things that Apple would never do, and Smarty Pins is a prime example of that. Aside from being an unfair criticism, it’s pointless. The fact that Google endeavors to produce silly things like this is on the whole a positive thing, I believe. It’s acting according to its own compass, which is what every company should be doing.

Props to Joey Helms & crew.

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[Via Alex Osterloh]

Google’s trippy VR 360º Sprayscape lets you paint to create VR spheres

Wow:

We love VR. We love taking pictures. So we figured, why not try smashing the two together?

Sprayscape is a quick hack using the phone’s gyroscope to take pictures on the inside of a 360-degree sphere. Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas. Like what you’ve captured? Share your creations via a link and your friends can jump into your scapes and have a look around using their phones or even Google Cardboard.

 Nerdy details from the team:

 Sprayscape is built in Unity with native Android support. Sprayscape maps the camera feed on a 360 degree sphere, using the Cardboard SDK to handle gyroscope data and the NatCam Unity plugin for precise camera control.

The GPU makes it all possible. On user tap or touch, the camera feed is rendered to a texture at a rate of 60 frames per second. That texture is then composited with any existing textures by a fragment shader on the GPU. That same shader also creates the scape you see in app, handling the projection from 2D camera to a 360 sphere.

When a user saves a scape, a flat panorama image is stored in the app data. When a user shares a scape, the three.js web viewer takes that flat image and wraps it to a sphere, making it navigable on mobile web by panning, tilting, and moving your device.

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[YouTube] [Via]

Photography: Werner Herzog’s “Inferno”

Chuck that Dan Brown shite into some molten rock & peep this Inferno instead. (I mean, I’d listen to Werner read the phone book, and here he is talking volcanoes, for God’s sake.)

Werner Herzog’s latest documentary, Into the Inferno, heads just where its title suggests: into the red-hot magma-filled craters of some of the world’s most active and astonishing volcanoes—taking the filmmaker on one of the most extreme tours of his long career. From North Korea to Ethiopia to Iceland to the Vanuatu Archipelago, humans have created narratives to make sense of volcanoes; as stated by Herzog, “volcanoes could not care less what we are doing up here.” Into the Inferno teams Herzog with esteemed volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer to offer not only an in-depth exploration of volcanoes across the globe but also an examination of the belief systems that human beings have created around the fiery phenomena.

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[YouTube] [Via]