Cartoon Girl in one Formula

By: | Topic: Design | Tags: , , , , | Comment »

Can you create the portrait of a cartoon girl reminiscent of the Frozen movie using only mathematics? Yes. This mind-blowing video by 3d graphics genius Iñigo Quilez shows exactly how, using only high-school mathematics, a keen eye and some patience.

You know you can make computer graphics with a mathematical formula such as the one for a sphere, or a box, or other building blocks. You can probably guess that there are formulae for colouring, lighting and shadows. You might also know about “noise” and how “randomness” can be made to produce something like a TV tuned to a dead channel.

In intermediate high-school mathematics you learn to combine formulae. You could compose the formula for a sphere with that of a thin cylinder and make a lollipop shape. What you might be surprised to learn is exactly how to use this compositional technique in an entirely artistic process to produce a compelling cartoon “selfie girl”. How do you make freckles? What about lips and eyebrows, a hoodie, braided hair and a frozen snowscape.

Not only does Iñigo Quilez masterfully create all these things, he shows you how it is done and even lightly animates the figure to complete the illusion that the girl is posing for a photo.

What is unique about this approach is that it shows the power of mathematical modelling when combined with an artist’s eye. Artists do not need to use a brush to create art any more than they need to use a computer mouse. While there may be a defensible tradition of computer art that is constructed by the composition of hand-drawn elements, what this video shows us is that if you can describe in the language of maths the curve that your hand would circumscribe, you can type it into a computer and see the result appear before your eyes like magic.

Algorithmic computer graphics is more usually relegated to the realms of fractals and the infinite lacy filigree of alien geometric spaces. But trippy graphics is no more essential to the medium than the naked bosom of a Venus is to oils.

What makes this form of art peculiar is that it is expressed in a language most of us insist on remaining illiterate in, despite living increasingly in a world defined by algorithms. The attitude that mathematical illiteracy is an excusable allergy for a modern, educated person feels to me like more than a missed opportunity. Consider that its mathematical notation is broadly representative of the impenetrably cryptic and is often aped to refer to the toxic effluvia of crazed genius. Nobody is expected to know it and yet we are all alarmingly numb to the message that our world is increasingly defined by algorithms.

So think of this as a reminder of the oft-cited beauty laying wait beneath the veil of our own ignorance in the expressive, magical realm of maths. Why not lift that veil every now and then?

Having said that i appreciate that while this composition uses what is declared to be high-school maths, it does move quickly to compose a large aggregation. Click through to the detail without preparation and you might be reminded that approaching the uncarved marble block with a renewed willingness to learn does not imply that the tools in your hands will reveal a Statue of David. Take heart and take the next step.


This is not the first formulaic painting Quilez has done. There are a series of how-to videos for several of his impressive creations on his youtube channel. Note he is also the creator of Shader Toy – a tool designed specifically for creating graphics using this approach.


Racer : A genuine new thing

By: | Topic: Apps, Design, Digital Agencies, Games, Music, Software, Strong Like Water, Tech | Comment »

Since working on Racer and launching it a few people have said, ‘oh it’s like such and such a game’ but I’m yet to find something that is truely as unique as this AND is in a browser. Racer is a multi-player, multi-device Chrome Experiment. A retro-style slot car game played across screens. On phones or tablets, Android or iOS. Anyone can join. No apps. No downloads. Just the mobile web. It’s now up for The FWA Cutting Edge Project of the Year. If you think it deserves it please cast a vote!

google-chrome-racer-hed-2013

And if you’re interested here’s the making of video which goes into detail on why it was so tricky to build.

Here’s Racer being demo’d at Google I/O 2013 – live demos are always nerve wracking, thankfully this one went smoothly.

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Also awesome and cutting edge is that there’s also an installation version that runs on the same code base as the mobile game. The table was at Google I/O 2013 and another Google event ‘Zeitgeist’. Here’s a couple of pics of the table:

Racer_5

In addition to the table version, there are two flight case boxes containing a line up of mobile devices ready to play. This version also runs on the same code base. Here’s a pic of the cases and me demo’ing it at Cannes 2013 in the Google tent :

Racer_Flight_Cases_2

Racer_Flight_cases

One final plug to get your vote on if you like it thanks!


World of Warcraft in Minecraft

By: | Topic: Culture, Design, Games | Tags: , , | Comment »

World of Warcraft on Minecraft


Deus Ex Machina Open on Venice Blvd in Los Angeles

By: | Topic: Bikes, Culture, Design | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Can’t wait for this store to open. Custom motorcycles with surfboard racks, custom retro surfboards and single speed bikes. These guys just make and sell things they want in their own shed.

Their nearest competition will be Surfing Cowboys, about 1 mile away on Abbot Kinney Blvd but they don’t sell bikes. You’ll have to go to Bartel’s Harley Davidson further up Lincoln for one of those. Nearest single speed store would be LA Brakeless on Venice. The Deus site says the Venice location (AKA The House of Thump) will have a workshop and Stumptown coffee. Nice maneuver, Venice is screaming out for another good cafe.

 

Coming Soon : Deus Ex Machina LA

Future Deus Ex Machina Custom Motorcycle Cafe Location

I’ve snooped around the outside but you can’t see inside, looks like some construction but no indication on when it will open. The site, 1001 Venice Blvd on the corner of Venice and Lincoln, in Venice, used to be a Florist and has had that ‘Deus Postmodern Activities’ sign up for at least a year now… It’s about a 15 minute walk from the beach. At their Sydney store they run some surfboard swap meets in the vacant lot opposite. They also have another store in Bali with a cafe, custom Indonesian bikes and a cool blog.


New Dubstep T-Shirt for all Your Wub Wubs and Wow Wows

By: | Topic: Design, Music, Products | Tags: , , , , , | Comment »

Let’s be honest, when the drop comes, you want to be going mental to all those wub wubs and wow wows in the coolest gear possible.

So deep in our mountain retreat, the Strong Like Water brothers have brought to life our first bit of ‘merch’.

Behold the Wub Wub Dubstep T-Shirt:

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We’ve kept the price way down on this, even though it may mean we will sell out quick (we don’t want everybody wearing it!):

$19.40 US

And with our biggest, baddest button, we compel thee to…

add to cart


Steve Jobs

By: | Topic: Culture, Design, Tech | Tags: , | Comment »

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. 1955 – 2011

A sad day for technology and innovation, the Edison of our times moves on. A few people have put me on to this speech he made. Advice a lot of us know we should take but not everyone has the courage to make it happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6qgbj88_QY


Face Substitution

By: | Topic: Culture, Design, Tech | 1 Comment »

Meme time. Kyle McDonald working with Face Tracking – very Aphex Twin.

Credits from Kyle’s vid to his work with Arturo Castro

FaceTracker library from Jason Saragih web.mac.com/​jsaragih/​FaceTracker/​FaceTracker.html
ofxFaceTracker addon github.com/​kylemcdonald/​ofxFaceTracker
openFrameworks openframeworks.cc/​

 


Timelapse Girl Takes a Photo Every Day for 4.5 Years

By: | Topic: Design | Tags: , , , , , | Comment »

Look at how her eyes stay fixed. She cuts her hair, she gets ready for parties, her mood changes but she always takes the photo. Every day for 4.5 years.


Michael Wolff, Graphic Designer

By: | Topic: Design | Tags: , , | Comment »

Beautiful!