Willow’s “Sweater” makes a beautiful music video on one stage with Projection Mapping

Everything shot in studio with 3 beamers projecting on a floor and two walls.

Directed by: Filip Sterckx
DOP: Pierre Schreuder
3D animation / Editing: Filip Sterckx
Production: Pierre Schreuder, Filip Sterckx
Technical support: Aitor Biedma
Production assistant: Nils Goddeeris
Thanks to: Het Depot, Stake5, Cools multimedia, Tom Brewaeys, Birgit Sterckx, Antoon Verbeeck, Pieter-Jan Boghe

Night Bright Interactive Installation of Nocturnal Discovery

Night Bright is an interactive installation where children physically interact with an imaginary nocturnal ecosystem.  As explained by creator Design I/O:

“Night Bright is an interactive installation of nocturnal discovery where children use their bodies to light up the nighttime forest and discover the creatures that inhabit it.  Listening to the creatures’ sounds children can locate them in the forest, as they play a nighttime game of hide and seek.  Some creatures are curious and will investigate the light, while others are frightened and will hide in the shadows.  Using their light, children can grow nocturnal plants and release fireflies from their flowers.  The fireflies illuminate the environment and help locate the creatures hiding in the forest.
Night Bright was created for the Bumble children’s cafe in Los Altos, California.

Music for the video documentation courtesy of Diederik Idenburg / MOST Original Soundtracks.” (Design I/O)

 

Source: All images from Design I/O.

3D Holographic Displays Grace the Markets thanks to RealFiction

Dreamoc mixes 3D motion graphics with real objects or no objects at all to create a stunning holographic display.  Marketed commercially, Dreamoc is made by Denmark-based company RealFiction to advertise retail.  Leave it to the Scandinavians! This kind of technology holds great possibilities for the arts and experiential realms as well.  Eager to find out more information on how exactly they use the glass pyramid to create a 3D holographic illusion.

Check out this demo video:

 

How Vimeo went Interactive with Old Spice’s “Muscle Music” Video

The latest thing to go viral is Old Spice’s “Muscle Music” video (above), where after watching an impressive display of musical flexing, users can play their own muscle-y tunes by pressing keyboard keys.  Old Spice has always had incredible advertising, but this interactive Weiden + Kennedy video brings a fresh perspective to the brand.

 Interested in how this was done, I came across The Atlantic’s interview with Abby Morgan, Vimeo’s Senior Manager of Strategic Sales Partnerships.  Here’s what The Atlantic, had to say, according to author Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg:

“Wieden came to Vimeo back in June, and together they worked with the visual effects shop The Mill to produce the spot. Asked why Wieden selected Vimeo over other video platforms, Morgan explains, ‘I think it was because we were willing to work with them throughout the entire process of ideation, creation, production … because we were willing to take the journey and step into the trenches with the creative process.’ In addition to the live video recording of Crews, the video is a composite of over 150 different elements. While the Flash player runs through the music video, it loads the interactive portion, which is ‘effectively a new player.’ The real triumph, Morgan says, was figuring out how to speed up the server-side compositing of 150 moving parts so that users could record and save their own Muscle Music videos. The process they came up with is surprisingly fast; watch the progress bar load and it just gleefully declares ‘COMPUTER STUFF HAPPENING!'” (The Atlantic)

Source: The Atlantic

 

Today’s Google Doodle: Interactive Star Trek Animations

Google’s doodle today is especially awesome today, paying homage to Star Trek’s original series through a sequence of interactive animations.  If you miss it, you can still check it out at Google’s Doodles page.

 

Source: http://www.google.com

Heineken Didn’t Think Lego-like Beer Bottles Were Cool 50 years ago

 

I don’t know many adults who feel “too old” to play with LEGOS, but if that sounds like you, check out Heineken’s beer bottle building bricks from 1963.  You can’t get your hands on one now–they only made it to a prototype phase– but it’s worth reading how Alfred “Freddy” Heineken attempted to eradicate homelessness with the invention of these stackable bottles. See below for pictures of real houses built using the Heineken World Bottle “WOBO” blocks.

Reposted from Laughing Squid:

“In 1963, Alfred “Freddy” Heineken visited the Caribbean island of Curaçao and noted two issues: the lack of building materials for the island’s lower class and the excess of bottles littering their beaches. In response, he connected with Dutch architect N. John Habraken and the Heineken WOBO (World Bottle) was invented. The WOBO is a Heineken-branded beer bottle that doubles as a stackable, self-aligning and interlocking brick made for building eco-homes. One thousand WOBO bricks would be needed to make a simple 10 X 10 foot structure. According to Wikipedia, almost every bottle has been destroyed and only two remaining WOBO structures exist “and they are both on the Heineken estate in Noordwijk, near Amsterdam…””

 

And last but not least, Laughing Squid brought up that Heineken actually did revisit their rectangular roots, but for saving fridge space rather than saving the poor and homeless (and possibly alcoholic): meet the 2008 Heineken cube.

 

All images from Laughing Squid.

 

 

 

InOur.Name App mixes Twitter with Politics, wins Media Mash 2012

As part of a popular New York based competition to mix apps, feeds, and data from NYC-based media companies, InOur.Name paints a solid picture of how your state legislators stand on all sorts of issues. Combining Twitter with the Congressional Research Service, it even cites specific bills and explains Congressional procedures.

Enter your zip code and issue (such as “healthcare,” “human rights,” or “veterans”), press enter, and you’re good to go.  You’ll even see your representative’s contact information, making it simple to reach out to them.

For a social-media obsessed generation that wants to make informed decisions despite heavily circulating yellow journalism, this app can only mean good things! Created by Jason Wright, a student a Cornell, the program is written in PHP with some jQuery for AJAX calls. Check out the video below and start using InOur.Name here.

 

Media Mash 2012 is sponsored by NYC Media Lab.

Google Steals Holodeck Idea from Star Trek with “Interactive Spaces” and it’s Fantastic

Remember when you first discovered the Holodeck, and tried to recreate it with cardboard and paper cutouts in your room? Maybe that was just me.  But get ready, because when you read this article about Google’s new software framework that creates interactive experiences in real physical space, you’re going to be blown away.  Called Interactive Spaces, the open source project was released through Google’s blog this past Monday, and you can check out a copy of the post (written by Keith Hughes of the Experience Engineering Team) below:

“There are cameras in the ceiling which are doing blob tracking, in this case the blobs are people walking on the floor. The floor then responds to the blobs by having colored circles appear underneath the feet of someone standing on the floor and then having the circles follow that person around.
 
Interactive Spaces works by having “consumers” of events, like the floor, connect to “producers” of events, like those cameras in the ceiling. Any number of “producers” and “consumers” can be connected to each other, making it possible to create quite complex behavior in the physical space.
 
Interactive Spaces is written in Java, so it can run on any operating system that supports Java, including Linux and OSX and soon Windows.
 
Interactive Spaces provides a collection of libraries for implementing the activities which will run in your interactive space. Implementing an activity can require anything from a few lines in a simple configuration file to you creating the proper interfaces entirely from scratch. The former gets you off the ground very quickly, but limits what your activity can do, while the latter allows you the most power at the cost of more complexity. Interactive Spaces also provides activities’ runtime environment, allowing you to deploy, start, and stop the activities running on multiple computers from a central web application in your local network.
 
Additional languages like Javascript and Python are supported out of the box. Native applications can also be run, which means packages like openFrameworks which use C++ are also supported out of the box. Plans are also underway for supporting the Processing language.”

No big deal or anything, I’m just sort of FREAKING OUT right now.  This is incredibly cool.  I also dig the added support for Processing, the program I’m currently learning that is fantastic for creating graphics.  Google thinks Processing’s enhanced graphic ability will make a great addition to Interactive Spaces by heightening its visual aesthetic.

I’d like to mention Rockwell Group here, as they collaborated with Google on the project’s initial designs.  They are a New York and Europe-based company whose LAB division “creates narratives and new design opportunities that provide deeper and more valuable experiences for visitors and inhabitants.”  Check out the company’s bio below:

“In general, the ambition of the LAB is to explore, experiment, and embed interactive experiences augmented with digital technology in objects, environments and stories. This activity includes in-house design and the creation of interactive environments/objects, scripting software, science and technology consultation, and maintaining networks of technology solution providers. Our toolkit includes working with custom hardware and software for RFID, UPC scanning, video processing, sonar, capacitance, shape memory alloy, LED and lighting technologies, wireless communications, and screen-based dynamically composited animation” (rockwellgroup).

I look forward to seeing what happens with Interactive Spaces while, at the same time, being super jealous that I don’t have this awesome toy to play with nor the knowledge to make it myself!

Interactive Vending Machine Reveals how low People Will go for Free Food

I’ve got mixed feelings about this one: is getting people to bow down to your product the most awesome thing ever, or just plain humiliating?  Personally, I’m embarrassed for all of the people in the video below.  Except for the grandmotherly lady who takes the initiative and hits the button 100 times for her free rice snack.

So what is this thing? It’s Australia’s Fantastic Delites new marketing campaign produced by Clemenger BBDO called “How far will you go for Fantastic Delites?”  As you’ll see below, people go very far indeed.  Dancing, literally getting on their knees and bowing to the machine, doing the chicken dance, pressing the button 100, 1000, and even 5000 times–it’s degradation at its best.  For rice snacks. RICE snacks, people! Does that even sound worth it to you?  For better or for worse, our opinions actually don’t matter because the video shows that type of marketing to be effective –just look at all the crowds!  I think a major part of the appeal is just that–it draws a crowd and attracts attention.  People stop what they are doing to watch another human make a fool of his or herself.  And then of course they become curious, what is this thing, what’s it for, who is Fantastic Delites, and maybe I want one.

This is a fantastic example of interactivity in marketing.  It’s pushing the limits of human-machine interaction, all while making a name for Fantastic Delites not just at its location, but around the world because of that video.  I’m impressed.  And slightly repulsed.  But mostly impressed.

Source: AdWeek

Entice your Inner Caveman, Play with Fire at the Museum of Science and Industry

I’m just about kicking myself right now for not knowing earlier about FIRE-combustion, an interactive exhibit in my own city’s Museum of Science and Industry!  Though it’s a bit of a trek from my house, going to see this exhibit would be worth every minute stuck on the smelly, crowded CTA train.  At the exhibit you can get your hands dirty (burned?) to “test virtual sources of combustion to see what common and unusual substances can be used to power cars and rockets,” “create colorful fireworks with chemicals that burn in vibrant colors,” and “learn how fires in nature can sometimes be helpful and sometimes harmful” (Museum of Science and Industry).

Pyromaniacs and Arsonists (yeah, that might not be a word…but it SHOULD be!) will experience sheer joy at knowing they can play with fire all while being  responsible citizens.  Not to mention, if you can control your inner caveman, you might actually learn something.  The beauty of this is that it’s both child-and-adult friendly, so you can share in the delight along with your child instead of feigning excitement every time they pick up a germ-infested plastic femur at the local children’s museum. Win-win.

Now please excuse me while I fawn over these other amazing MSI exhibits!