Interférences (String Network) | Alexis Langevin-Tétrault

Had the chance to see last night the performance of Alexis Langevin-Tétrault at “Visions of the Future III” and was blown away by the playfulness and dynamic aspect of it. It’s a perfect combination of powerful sound, subtle lighting and choreography working very well together. If you get the chance. Don’t miss it.

On stage, an audioreactive play of light unfolds gradually: Alexis Langevin-Tétrault (CA) builds a network of strings with which he interacts to create a sound universe between the industrial noise, electronica and acousmatic music.

Source: Interférences (String Network) | Alexis Langevin-Tétrault

(video link )
(Photo credit: Nicolas Bernier, 25/04/17, Salle Claude Champagne)

Highlights of the Blender Conference 2016

Here are three video recordings of presentations done at the latest Blender Conference that I think are worth watching.

Mad Entertairment Studio

I’ve never had the chance to attend the Blender Conference, but they have always provided live streaming and published recordings afterwards. The diversity and quality of the presentations invite me every time to go through it. There is a lot to discover in the field of 3D creation and, as with any open source software, people have used the tool in many different ways for the purpose of their research. So, after watching a few videos, here is my selection for this year.

Paul Melis uses Blender to demonstrate how path tracing works. Path tracing is a rendering method based the physical properties of light and thus simulates realistic lighting of a scene. Blender Foundation has developed a rendering engine called Cycles using this method. But how does it work? Paul Melis has modified Blender to literally show us how the rays are moving around in 3D before being turned into colored pixels. Along the way, he shows us how and why certain things might influence the final render.

For her PHD in media studies, Julia Velkova is focusing on open-source animation film production. She does not uses Blender, so this is not a technical presentation. Instead, she is focusing on the community, economy and mechanics behind the production of free culture using free / libre software. Her presentation puts in perspective contemporary media production with the history of art and technology. She also raises good questions for the Blender community and the free / libre art and technology practitioners as a whole. I’ll be looking forward to the conclusion of her PHD in a couple months.

MAD Entertainment Animation, is an Italian based animation studio that has gradually switched to a full Blender production pipeline over the last couple years. While this is more and more common in small sizes studios across the world, Ivan Cappiello presents here the latest projects they have been working on and shares the methodology they use when you don’t have big production budgets but still want to make big feature animation films.

I’ve singled out their presentation because of the particularly poetic look and feel they have achieved in their work (the illustration a the top of this article is a still from one of their production). But also for the Kinect based motion capture they use to help animators quickly set up poses for secondary character animation. All very inspiring.

There is of course a lot more presentations to watch if the subject and software is of any interest to you. So let me know which are your favorites from this year and why.

Git versioning and diff visualizing tools for designers

Git for Designers (1st slide)

Here is the video of my presentation at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2016, in London. For the most part, I expose my quest for a Git based visualizing tool that could help designers integrate a version control workflow.

The slides are viewable from here. You can also download them from this Gitlab repo.

If you find this video interesting or lacking more in-depth information about the subject, please have a look at these detailed blog posts:

  1. Collaborative tools for designers – Part 1
  2. Collaborative tools for designers – Part 2 : Dropbox
  3. Collaborative tools for designers – Part 3: Pixelapse
  4. Collaborative tools for designers – Part 4
  5. Collaborative tools for designers – Part 5: Adobe Creative Cloud
  6. Collaborative tools for designers – Part 6: the Githosters
  7. Github, why u show no more media files

 

Les leçons de cinéma de Tony Zhou

Tony Zhou

Puisqu’on est bien dans une civilisation de l’image et que ça n’a pas l’air de vouloir s’arranger, il est peut-être important de savoir “lire” une image et, peut-être encore plus, de savoir “lire” une image qui bouge.

Que ce soit pour les amateurs de cinéma, de vidéo youtube ou d’anime, pour ceux qui veulent en faire ou juste en consommer, je ne peux que conseiller cette merveilleuse série de documentaires par Tony Zhou: Every Frame a Painting (littéralement, “chaque image est une peinture”).

Tony Zhou est monteur de profession et, dans ses vidéos de quelques minutes, il aborde certaines techniques de cinéma en plongeant dans les références, actuelles et passées, pour nous apprendre et guider notre œil sur ce qui est bon ou moins bon dans une image cinématographique.

C’est jouissif. Ça se regarde plusieurs fois. C’est en anglais, mais tu peux activer les sous-titres en français. Et surtout, tu ressors de là en ayant eu l’impression d’avoir appris un truc. Faut pas lui en vouloir si après tu comprends mieux pourquoi tu t’ennuies pendant certains films.

Je te mets ci-dessous 2 ou trois que j’aime bien. Mais tout est bon, c’est vraiment difficile de choisir.

Petite question pour voir si t’as suivi: tu savais pour Spielberg?

…aan zee

Video posted by Anthony Martin on Monday, November 9, 2015
Click here if you don’t see the video.

aan-zee

Radical Networks was rad

Radical Networks

Last weekend, Brooklyn, in the chilling space of NYU Polytechnical School of Engineering, was held the Radical Networks conference, organized by Sarah Grant, Amelia Marzec and Erica Kermani. This was the first edition, but the mood and quality of it really made it seem like this had been rolling for years. The talks and workshops available over the weekend shared these goals:

  • To understand how the technology can be used as a method of control and how to subvert that.
  • Teach people how to use networking technology for themselves.
  • Encourage creative and social exploration with computer networks.

The event was sold out but thanks to Internet Society NY, you could watch a live stream and still can access the recordings. So I’ll just point you a couple that I really enjoyed, although you could just watch all of them, as they really bring interesting approaches and point of views on these questions.

Seeing the Internet


Do you have any idea what the cloud looks like? Well, Shuli Hallak has been photographing it for years so the “Saint Thomas of I have nothing to hide” can’t say he did not know.

In The Final Days Of The WWW


A portfolio of digital art projects done by Dennis de Bel and Roel Roscam Abbing, former students of Piet Zwart Institute. They played around and hacked the notions of networking in goofy clever ways and brought a breath of fresh air and good laughs in the middle of all the “serious” talks we had over the weekend. A must watch in terms of creativity and exploration.

NYC Mesh, a community owned Wi-Fi network


And if you want to hear me speak about why you should talk to your neighbor, or how citizens can reclaim these hidden networks Shuli Hallak talked about, hop on the NYCmesh train with Brian and Dan.

See you next year, RadNets.

(Cover illustration uses a photo by Shuli Hallak, licensed CC-BY-SA)