3d in the browser - is it really finally coming?

VRML was once to be said the future of the web - everyone who ever tried that out back in the good days will agree with me that it was deemed to failure right from the beginning on. It went under and was never seen again with the second generation browsers. Modern browsers had other stuff to worry about - like passing acidic tests and such so 3d was not a main concern ever. Now word from the Game Developer Conference hits the street that the Kronos group is working together with the Mozilla foundation to bring accelerated 3d graphics inside the browser window. The Kronos group is responsible for OpenGL and OpenGL ES (iPhone is all I say here) and Mozilla of course for the Firefox. They formed an "accelerated 3d on the web working group" that will create a roalty free standard for browser makers to implement and webdevelopers to use. Hallejulia - now it might take some eons for a) a standard to form b) browser to adopt the standard c) 3d program letting you export stuff in the right format but the prospects for real 3d in the browser in a 3-5 year time frame are exiting to say the least. Personally for me this is bigger then vector (as it includes vector hopefully) - the possibilities are endless and truly exiting. Be sure to hear back from me if there is the earliest inclination of any beta or even alpha warez to try this out.



3d Scanner with Lego

scan12.jpgThings that used to cost around a million and one buck just a very short time ago seem to be available for almost nothing these days - especially if you roll your own. Such the case with 3d scanners it seems - while only 5 years ago its was inconcievable to even dream about owning a 3d printer - things started to get interesting 2 years ago when the prices dropped into the sub $5000 range and the first efforts of DIY open source 3d scanners appeared on the ether. Now we drop into the sub $300 range with a laser 3d scanner made out of the Lego NXT system. Oh good are the times.

via make blog.


60 sites with free 3d models - 150+ sites with videotools

Via twitter come two really valuable links that I think are in the scope of myself very much. One has links and explanations to 150+ pages of video tools that you can use online - it ranges from video sharing, editing, streaming to commenting and hoarding. The other is personally even more useful - it contains 60 sites that sport free as in beer 3d models. Countless of times I needed a very generic object just to populate a scene and have looked on the three lousy sites known to me without luck.

150+ online videotools and resources

60 free 3d object sites

via @dollars5 & @LisaTorres.


Procedural City Building

Introversion the makers of the great Defcon game have released some videos about their upcoming game Subversion. Man this procedural city building extremely rocks - I hope this can somehow be used for exporting to be used for other 3d scenes.


Toxic on OSX - Bye bye Shake?

Autodesk is going OSX big time - and its about time. The company that for such a long time has been neglecting the OSX platform almost completely (exception is combustion) and only continued bought in packages on OSX (maya) has been making some big announcements. Toxic - their compositing package - with an pretty awesome keyer and an interface that enhance the node tree interface concept (its really nice) is coming. Now that the market for compositing packages on OSX was narrowed to only to the Foundries Nuke after the long negligence of Shake by Apple itself (what a shame) (and I am not counting After Effects as a serious compositing package) Autodesk has seen the light and brings over Toxic. I wont complain at all - competition is great - even so Autodesk could use some of that themself especially in the 3d market where they bought up all major 3d packages over the last two years (they posses now 3DStudioMax (its always been theirs), Maya and Softimage). Speaking of 3d - Mudbox is also coming to the Mac and I really really am happy about that announcement. ZBrush has abondend the Mac platform and lost all Mac users in the process for once and all by promising to port version 3 forever (2 years and counting) and never delivering on their promise - just last year Mudbox was catching up to ZBrush and even surpassing it in some features (real time displacement and realtime HDR is just the bomb) now its coming to my current workplatform and it will be probably a nice addition to the toolchain.
As for imagemodeller - never really used that program can´t really comment on it but the more the merrier I would say.


Warhammer Online Trailer VFX Talk

warhammerpresentation.pngRarely have I seen such an indepth discussion of the VFX pipeline for a film/short/trailer. While I really like medieval settings but not so much the war side and while I probably never will have the time in my life to play a MMPRPG (massively multiplayer role playing game or whatever they are called these days) I quite enjoy the the all 3d trailer with a huge amount of attention to detail. This must be one of those project that revieved a lot of personal love (you can tell from the little stories inside the bigger stories - the off the main focus details) and most of the stuff is very much handiwork - no automated scripts like Massive for the battle scenes (that means you have to place 7.000+ 3d orks by hand battling it out against each other). The crew talking is funny and engaging and even if you do not have a vested interest in 3d and vfx stuff this (2+ hours) talk is very mind opening and much of it is digestible for the non techie crowd - even if it is just to see the amount of work being put into a 4 minute trailer.

Blur Studio talks about the Warhammer Online Trailer


Spam Architecture

spam_architecture.11.jpgAlex Dragulescu is making automatically generated architecture - his data input are spam emails. Keywords in these spam mails are used to generate planes in three dimensional space.


Guerrilla CG - Advanced Graphic learning for free

guerillaCG.pngWith tutorials costing as much as €200 and software mostly completely out of reach learning professional computer graphics that incorporates 3d and highend compositing is mostly for rich people - or those that live a dangerous live or those that have too much time on their hand or those that just touch a software and understand it. So it had to happen at one point that digital tutor and gnomon school for visual fx had their market taken over by an open source project. GuerrillaCG is that project and it aims to bring easy to understand 3d video tutorials to the masses for free. I can say that I applaud that idea and say "about fucking time". Maybe I am doing one or two tutorials for them as time permits (and it never permits over here ffs)

The GuerrillaCG Project is a free non for profit organisation that hopes to make it easier to learn high-end computer graphics. We are building a team of volunteers to create videos, that describe in an easy and understandable manner, the fundamental concepts of computer graphics. Because core concepts rarely change with time, these videos have the potential to teach for many years into the future and help thousands of people all over the world. With enough people, it's possible that we can create a vast library covering many of the core concepts of computer graphics.

Here is one tutorial on how to do edge-loop-perfect face modeling in maya.


Blinkenlights: iPhone App released

BlinkenLightsiPhoneSim.pngThe Blinkenlights iPhone application is released and available on the appstore so you can watch the stream of pixels as it appears (or should appear ones its working) on the house on you iPhone with different viewpoints.

iPhone BlinkenSim on the Appstore


Sigraph Paper: Capture Normal Maps with Camera Flashlight

In my ongoing series about absolutely stunning developments from Siggraph this year comes a techdemo /white paper that is so simple yet so powerful. Every serious 3D artist knows that it is hard to capture real life textures and replicate them with lots of details and try to make them appear haptic. Tricks like making fake bump/displacement maps by extracting a range of values in a certain color channel only get you so far and touch up is time expensive.

Now Mashhuda Glencross and Gregory Ward from the University of Manchester in the UK and Dolby Canada in Vancouver developed a dead simple - everyone can do it way to extract the normal map of any photo that is shot twice - one time with normal exposure and one time with the flash turned on. From that the get the depth data of the surface. Look at the video of how simple this is - no commercial product yet but believe me that this takes about two weeks to surface (if it isn´t patent locked in some closet).

Watch the video to see how it works and be amazed:

Original Article over at the NewScientist

And I found this tutorial in the comments over there on how to fake this with 4 photos and a lightsource other then camera flash.

OpenGL ES specs on the iPhone

iPhoneOpenGLES.jpgBesides Apple trying to keep anything and everything under wrap there are things I wish they would just publish loud and open. I had to look about an hour today to find the maximum texture resolution and the general graphic specs for the iPhone implementation of OpenGL ES - since I am not developing but producing content for a developer I have no access to the specs but needed them badly. I eventually found some light info on which refers to an pretty extensive article called "OpenGL and Mobile Devices: Round 2 - OpenGL ES for the iPhone and iPod Touch" by Richard S. Wright Jr.
that is available from Dr. DobbsPortal:

There are a few limitations you should know from the start:
* There is no stencil or accumulation buffer.
* There are only two texture units.
* The maximum texture size is 1024×1024 (use power of two only).
* The maximum space for textures and surfaces is 24MB.
* Only 2D textures are supported.
* There is no software rendering fallback.


Mudbox - the end of rendering near

mudbox2009realtime.jpgI promised to put out some more cool stuff that was announced at Siggraph because I think that Siggraph this year has awoken the sleeping Motion-Graphics-Visual-Effects-Dragon(tm). Some extremely unexpected wow factor came from a video presentation about the new Autodesk Mudbox 2009. Its a competitor to the much acclaimed ZBrush (which has been lacking development lately so competition is good) but was never really up to be head on with the latter 3d sculpting tool (coming also 3 years later to the party). Basically this category of programms is "realtime sculpting and texturing of organic forms with subdevision models". There has been great innovation coming from this approach like an extended focus on normal and displacement maps and easier UV transfer from between models. But ZBrush dropped the bomb like last year that they can now do ultra high precision modelling in realtime and add some lighting in the process of sculpting - making a unprecedendet modelling process possible that already generated a lot of highly detailed wierd and real looking characters (some of the Lord of the Rings characters have been modelled in ZBrush). But this year Autodesk who had just bought Mudbox like a year ago is upping the ante with modelling in ultra ultra high resolution - we are talking about 15 Million Polygons + to add detail that floors everyone and the modelling is still realtime and yes you are actually working with the quad polygons and not some normal map trick. The guy in the video is subdeviding the model he works on again and again - to like level 7 or 8 (that is quadrupling polygons on every step) - most programs crash out on level 4 up til now. But when you think it couldn´t get any better he turns on his texture, Light with Shadows, realtime HDRI lightning, RealTime ambient occlusion and realtime Depth of Field. WTF. Looking at the model (see the picture above) you think its rendered with renderman and took about 4 hours to render - but yet he continues to draw details on this fully lit fully textures models as if this is a low poly un-textured model - the light updates the viewport updates, he can reposition the main lights to see how the crinkles work he just painted - absolutely stunning.
See the video and more over at Autodesks Area User Platform (so to see the video you have to be registered).


Beautiful Javascript Creations

darknoon_organics.pngEver since I entered the code behind the internet I have been a big fan of Javascript. While there was a time when Javascript use was seen as something only those who had no clue did todays thinking has changed and you can probably not get around the modern web these days with your Javascript turned off and have a pleasent experience. But I always knew that Javascripts capabilities have been greater then just pulling some data from some server and presenting it interactively in a glossy interface (so I am always trying out new stuff look at the moving logo up this site - based on code I wrote in 1997!). Well with the SquirrelFish engine in the nightly build of Safari and Firefox 3 things are getting mighty speedy in the Javascript world and things are possible that seemed impossible before. Like recursive mathematics f.e. I stumbled upon a site that makes recursive beautiful organic pictures totally with javascript and totally inside your browser - no plugins needed - all open standard nice Javascript. I am genuinely exited.

So download WebKit Nightly (the developer version of Safari) and start tinkering with the following site:">


How to make a ghost

howtomakeaghost.jpgYou stumble upon the strangest things but trust me to follow a link "how to build a ghost" and actually find something amazing behind it. Look to the left now - see the ghost? Follow the link to see how it was made - I am sure you are going to be surprised how easy it actually is. Sometimes simple things are just wonderful.


Angelique Houtkamp at Nelly Duff Gallery 6th/7th of June 2008 London

ah_flyer_website.jpgI wrote about her before and I really like her art. Its such a great blend of popular styles with enough ornamentals and street credibility that I honor the request of her Gallery and post the flyer for her upcoming gallery show in London on the 6th and 7th of June 2008. I did say that I really like her art didn´t I?

Angelique Houtkamp is a highly respected
Dutch tattoo artist & painter. Her work conjures the graphic romance of tattoos from yesteryear, portraits of half women half animal, freakshow and carnival ladies who are strange, sexy and beautiful... "Folies les femmes" is Angeliques first UK show and will feature her stunning original watercolour painting aswell as new limited edition prints.

Nelly Duff Gallery can be found here:


Autodesk buys Realviz

AutoDeskLogo.pngWell everyone ever comlaining about the lack of development on the 3D tracking market can rejoice. Autodesk just bought out Realviz - known mostly for their Matchmover 3D tracking software but recently also for their Stitcher VR panoramic stitching application (you know shoot photos all around and get a QTVR stitch - the new hype in 3d animaton at the moment) and their pretty new Movimento Motion Capturing Solution that works with real camera input (instead of the expensive other mocap solution called VICOM that uses highspeed infrared cameras to try and capture body movement).
Seeing that matchmover will not coma as a standalone product anymore under the autodesk brand it gives hope that we see this technology integrated into the two flagship autodesk 3d programs - Max and Maya. As for Maya finally replacing the "Maya Live!" tool that has not been updated for over 5 years (and is about the worst solution if you want to do any serious 3d tracking that you can find).
I really think that is one of the first aquisitions that I read on in a long time that actually makes a lot of sense and will actually help moving things forward - especially since matchmovers interface and core program also lacked development even so the underlying algorythm are said to be some of the best out there. I really look forward to have a 3d tracking solution that works inside Maya - the confusion with scale, different interpretation of how 3d cameras work, 3d data exchange that still has no real standard that actually works etc have been driving me nuts. Working integrated uncomplicated 3d tracking together with a simple and cheap motion capturing solution is one of the last core things missing before the whole 3d world can move to realtime rendering ;)

Read the press releasehere.


Björks trippy Wanderlust video Red/Green 3D

bjoerkwanderlustin3d.pngWired hosts Björks Wanderlust Video with a Red/Green 3D effect. Its quite a psychadelic treat for those evenings where you need a trip to a different planet.

Get it here. (a Quicktime for a change)

Also in 2d and a making off on the same page...


Enter the Holographic century

There have been hundreds of devices out in the last 100 years that all attempt to bring true 3d visuals to the masses. Now I tripped over the Cheoptics360 and I think this could be the real deal. While the website and the net in general is spare on details on how it actually works it surely looks like a R2D2 style hologramic projection is what this machine does - but watch the videos (and remember the videos you see are 2d so the 3d effect is not sooo visible - yet you can make out the floating object in front of the all the backgrounds which is a good indicator that this is actually working and quietly enough (read: no rotating mirrors) to be installed in an airport lounge. And large enough to eventually give us almost immersive environments... I still suspect this to be the old mirror trick but since its visible from 360 degrees this can´t be. Expect to see you live size game characters appear holographic in your living room in the next 15 years until then enjoy the video... or visit the developers vizoo website.


Digital Tattoo goes mainstream

2-21-07-digital_tattoo.jpgAh its just strange when you think of a sci-fi idea that you project about 15 years into the future and then all of the sudden researches take on the idea (or comes up with it themself) just 2 years later. So it happened to my Kalkin Revelation "tattoo interface". At least this can´t be patented in a general sense as I hold the prior art :)

the "real" scientific project here:"


The movie of mine here: (save as then open with mp4 player of choice)

Update: Oh the collective minds of the internet there is also a novel which employs the idea called the Commenwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton published around the same time as I had the idea first (about 3 years ago) - no I have not read this back then - maybe humanity has a collective mind after all ;)

Fire -> Water -> Ice

firewatericehouse.jpgThis is how it looks when an old mansion catches fire is sprayed with water (to defeat the fire) in the middle of the winter. Stunning. More pictures on flickr


Stop Haunt me Everyday

HauntMeEveryday2.jpgA creative portfolio on the behance network from and by Tony Ariawan and I like it very much. See more of the same here.


Angelique Houtkamp - Betty Boo meets a Tattoo artist

tattooedboo.jpgmexicanboyskullart.jpgI stumbled across the Art of Angelique Houtkamp. Her website says:

Angelique Houtkamp is the inspirational Dutch tattoo mademoiselle of the contemporary art world

I would say she has a twisted whicked sense of style and borrows from betty boo in her main character. Very haunting stuff. A side project of hers are the painted children skulls (the mexican boy is pictured here).

Cultural Revolution Clipart

chinapropagandaclipart.jpgcommunist propaganda art - check
red / white / black - check
vintage - check

The Cutlural Revolution Clip Photoset on Flickr is for the time you are in the need of that special something for a next left-wing conspiracy party or when you want half a billion people almost starving or kill about 2 million indigenous people. Looking at communist propaganda vs. western propaganda (not only vintage) makes me think that the communists seem to be much more positive in their message over all then the fear mongering kapitalists.

See more of it here


NVidea&CG Society Art Challenge - Amazing Creations

1024bound.jpeg3d is slowly transforming from an "elite only the big wealthy hollystudios can do it" art to a "everyone can do it" art and it shows from recent pictures you see from this field. NVidea and CG Society have seen this trend and called out for competition on "Amazing Creations" depicting non-representative 3d art. Some of the outcome is outright stunning - I liked some of the honorable mentioning best.


Machine Learns to understand 3d in 2d photos

A Standford University project taught some software how to understand the 3d information in one 2d photo and reconstruct the 3d structures to be used by tributary human beings. You can interact with the picture-understanding-overloard through a website interface where you can send it your most personal photos to understand and make a not so exact replica of the bikini wonder you have seen on the beach. Or you can replicate that air castle that you would soo love to live in for your Second Life Avatar - so he might have to squeeze through some pixels and morph into a 2.5d being at times where the hyperintelligent software just thought there must be 2d elements in the real 3d world otherwise the strange arrangement of pixels can not be explained.


If you like Skateboarding and things blowing up

You might like the following video. Very convincing. I am quite stunned and am not quite sure how it was done.

I would say some of it is actually real (the guy jumping over the electrical box f.e.) some are clearly fake (the last big fire boom) and the rest is a mixture between Styrofoam small scale explosion, dust explosion and cgi. Its great and epic and has this "we blow up your city with vibes" message. Its great.


Autodesk Applications to integrate WiiMote and Multitouch?

I just had a very inspiring email exchange with Scott Sheppard from the deep underground laboratories of Autodesk Inc. - makers of two major 3D applications (Maya - Max), all major CAD Applications (AutoCad, Studio) and some much more professional application in the design and visual fx market. I stumbled across a post on the Autodesk Labs_ Blog concerning the use of the WiiMote to be used as an input device for their applications. I asked him about the possibility of making the headtracking I posted yesterday available inside Maya (and on OSX). Never expected a reply but I eventually got one. Basically he is saying that they see the WiiMote as a big step forward for a cheap revolution of interfaces and that he actively discussed this with the person responsible for MultiTouch in the lab. They come to conclusion to integrate something like this it would need an interface inside Maya that is not there yet. I kind of disagree as it probably possible to integrate this with Python - but sadly my Python skills lack "a bit" to make a proof of concept.

Anyway what was important is that a major software developer (I would say they rank in the top 10 if not even the top 5 software developing companies in the world) is understanding that the current method of interface input devices need a big overhaul, that they embrace going the "cheap" route instead of developing stupid proprietary stuff and that its not only the WiiMote that is of interest but also multitouch (they even had a mutlitouch summit). Now if the headtracking I posted yesterday together with multitouch input doesn´t make for a great input future of computing devices I don´t know what would. Just imagine how "clay like sculpturing" would work here. You move around and closer just by moving your head and use your ten fingers to sculpt the model...

I am greatly exited.

Video of WiiMote controlling Autocad
corresponding blog article
Multitouch and AutoCad Video on Youtube(A must see if you are a designer and can´t envision what wultitouch brings)
We Have the Touch introduction of Multitouch at the Autodesk Lab


Old Soviet Christmas Cards

hny0129.jpgIts the "stumble along the web and trip over your past" day it seems. A collection of old christmas cards from the Soviet Union back from the old days - images that just get you this homey feeling when you grew up in a East-Block state.


Pornography + Art + Religion =

pstia.jpgpop_03ps.jpgPornography on the web is mostly ugly, woman discriminating, cheap and everywhere, so much nicer it is to stumble across a different or interesting or even artistic approach to the subject matter. is a website that has such an approach. Some of the artwork featured on the groups website is very beautiful and inspiring. (artistically workplace safe ;)

pictures above: 1.arisu 2. visual clash & Tatum Reed


Kickass Afghan Flower Arrangements

afghan-wall-designs299.jpgThe Europeans have big buckets full of color, the Japanese yinyan balanced Lines the Afghans have their own flower culture. Beautiful Ornamentals rich in color and form deriving their influence from the great regional embroidery. Living ornaments so to say.

More Pictures and information at the humanflowerproject.


Retro Russian Space Exploration Pictures

retrorussianbatmobile.jpgOh I love them. I have some sets as well that I should scan and share... They are so rich and colorfull and optimistic Mr. Lem would be in delight.
Get them all at darkroastedblend


3D models from Flickrphotos

notredam3dflickr.jpgOne of these "why haven´t I thought of it" moments occurred to me today (so even if I would have I probably would have not been able to pull it off but thats beside the point). Take A LOT of photos from one and the same object/building possibly from different angles and generate a 3D polygon model out of it.
Now where do you find tons of photos of the same thing - Flickr the pixel rubbish tip.
So thats what researchers from the TU-Darmstadt and the University of Washington with the help from the usual suspects (Mircrosoft, Adobe and other "we want to own the world" types) have done. Take 200+ photos of highly varying quality of any one building and let some pattern recognition magic be performed to figure out the point of view of each photographer automatically. Then interpolate the edges of the patterns and put it in a 3D grid, shake it all fix the polygons and out comes - a 3d model representation of the building.
Now I thought this is enormously cool until I saw the actual output. I think to get that quality of polygonal modeling it takes less then the 2h for a human with only very bad knowledge of ZBrush to make a shitty model like this. I mean these are architectural marbles that have fine details and sharp edges - to present a 3D model that looks like a bad cast of souvenir soap does not speak for your research. So as cool as the concept sounds this is WAYS of to be used for anything productive other then - maybe - having a proxy object with roughly the exact measures (of by 2 inches for Pisa tower they say), but this I could also by just having a background photo.
It does however seem to work quite nice for organic object (one would have to see the mesh cloud of one of these objects to actually get a real good observatory comment on this - something they (deliberately?) have not made public.) as can be seen on the fabric of the statue of liberty. So rather then taking 200+ photos of building in flickr they should maybe focus more on making 50+ instant photos from a person and get rid of laser scanners for ones and all? Or maybe they will use this tech to make a 3d representation of humans with 200+ surveillance camera photos of one and the same person and then clone them?

Technorati Tags:


Light Emmitting Fabric Available to Endusers

Jacket.jpgA very long time ago I wrote about a cool invention - a special kind of fabric interwooven with glassfibres where you could put colored LEDs on one end and the whole fabric starts to light up in the color of the LEDs. I stumbled over that tech again today and its actually available for bying. Sadly the company called "Lumigram" seemingly holding the patents and marketing this knows nothing about the latter - marketing. Their website looks like it came out of a internet horrorflick of the early 90s and the actual designs of things they market with their very very cool fabric are pretty similar bad - and since only economy of scale would make such a product affordable for joe and jamie we will probably wait until the patent becomes fair game to a wider market before the prices get into any kind of affordability range. But if you have 200 Euros to spare you can see your girlfriend run around in a poorly designed lit up top or for just 1000 Euros you light up your whole 4,00m x 1,50m dinner table with some selfilluminated tablecloth (good thing you can not do anything wrong designwise on a tablecloth - this company would have).
LumiGram clearly should just sell the patent to true design companies who understand something about it and should continue to innovate interesting fabric - the enduser game is something they are not well prepared to operate in and it would be sad to see such a nice tech go down the drain because some management people are to greedy and "wanna do it all" instead of letting people with some understanding bring this to the market.


Apple props Red One

red_one_in_action.pngIn a bold move Apple showed a Red One logo at their NAB keynote presentation.

"You can take 4k files, plug it directly into a MacBook Pro, and see and edit them right there. The industry is going to change. You will be able to work with this whole new breed of moviemaking." (engadget).

WOW. 4k on a powerbook 4:2:2 and it is actually real. I mean that is basically absolutely every motion picture artists dream come true — BiG period for a while (until 3d comes along).

The video is now also on


"In all due respect, real artists use canvas."

is what Paul Fleuranges, a New York City Transit spokesman said when asked about an event that a german shoe company is hosting to promote their newest shoe styles. The event features european graffity artist like Can2 from Germany or Skore from the UK who will paint graffiti on a replica of new york subway train.
Authorities are not happy (per usual) because their view is that it promotes crime. How absolutely dumb they are you can see in the headline of this post.

"In all due respect Mr. Paul Fleuranges, real artists have never ever ever only used canvas."


Software Company Ethics 2.0 and the pleasant surprise I had today

First and foremost: I am a very skeptical person and I am very cynical especially when it comes to today companies and their policies but what happened today shattered a small part of my world view about kapitalism in a very positive way.

A little background story: As most of you dear readers know I am doing lots of 3D animation visual FX and similar virtual pop art media work. I do this since 1992 where I started with a program called Silver3D (that then became Imagine) on an utlra fast Amiga 2000. Anyway this backstory is getting out of hand already. I love doing 3d - or at least I love what comes out in the end because it allows me to put into visual form for other people what I see inside myself (even the boring small stuff) so for me its the only way to share my inner vision. The big problem is the technical side. It consumes so much energy that I can´t just pump out stuff. Things are getting better on a grand scale in this field. Jez – I can´t keep focus. Anyway one of the coolest things that I love to do is integrate 3d into real life footage. Its lovely and puts my innerpictures right into clash with reality (and I love it). BUT for doing that you either have to take a camera on a tripod (boring) or try to recreate a real world camera move inside your computer through a process generally called "tracking" today. While there might be a third way that I will hopefully talk about soon the tracking is the state of the art thing to do. Now as easy as it sounds it is not. Its a thing that until a couple of years ago you did by hand (yes I did that by hand in a 1996 project for a local bar commercial with a flying dragon - 30 seconds handtracking 3d is something you never forget in your life as a BAD experience). Of course it was the military that developed computerized tracking guides for their missles and some Hollywood studios got to think that it would be cool to use these algorithms and created half intelligent match moving programs. Now as it is with hollywood and its inner circle - they do not like healthy competition purely based on artistic merits (some bad tongues might interpret this as they would loose their monopolistic propagandistic business model) so in good american manner they keep competition out by either completely shutting out the public (they only use "inhouse software" thats never released in any form) or they price software at sums where any independent artist would need to sell both kidneys half a liver and three quarters of a heart to get their hands on it (outside the wrath of the studios that is) - oh and its not just Hollywood its the whole entertainment "industry". But I am loosing track again (pun pun). Match moving is no exception and in the early days matchmove software cost you the sum you would pay for a house and a garden. Match Mover I think it was that cost like upward of 50.000 USD until like 2 years ago then it all changed. First a university project came to the "market" called "icarus" and it rocked (and it was available for the mac - the only one at that time). It was a very crude interface and all but what it did was generate very accurate 3d tracks. The absolutely shocking thing was: It was free. Yes some student/prof hackers did something for free that the close to hollywood developers where charging you the price of a house for. (Just for the record about the same time it was when Alias|Wavefront|nowAutodesk Maya was dropping in price from like 20.000 USD for the "small" version to 1.500 USD). So the monopoly of big industry studios in terms of 3D was falling like the sky on a doomsday. Then when all independent 3D artists where dancing in the street filmed by shaky cheap DV cameras and later accompanied by their 3d visions the software disappeared. Speculation and conspiracy theories emerged in the whispery hallway chatters in rundown artist mansions all over the world. Did a big hollywood post house bought the right to the software, did a rival company made "contribution" to the University were the software was developed - nobody really knew until a small message on the icarus website hinted that the developers where going to become independent developers and form a company called The Pixel Farm (I am not so sure on that part, PixelFarm might have existed before, but for the drama lets say they created it). The company was also based in some English country side rather then on the self-dominating westcoast of the US of A. So they brought out Icarus under the new name PFTrack (PixelFarmTrack) und they did so for a far lesser price then the original about 4500 Euros and on top brought out cheaper siblings like PFMatch (750 Euros) and PFHoe (150 Euros) that seemingly put the 3D in reach the indy artist. Just last year another app entered the market called SynthEyes (crude interface not good project management but good tracks) which sells for like 350 USD. In the end if you are serious about 3D tracking you need the big PFTrack or one of the other big two (Matchmover boujou) that came down in price to match (pun again) PFTrack. PFTrack for me would still be the choice as it offers about every option available for 3D tracking and matchmoving and scene reconstruction and track project management available and you really want all that for a good workflow without boundaries. Still I mean 4.500 Euros come on, what artist is gonna be able to pay that chunk of money?

The real story (god I wish I would stay on point better): Having an ok start into my after school career at the moment and with some 3d projects that need tracking lining up on the horizon I decided to try out some demo versions to see what I really need and what tracking software would work with me best and so applied to PixelFarm to get a 3 Day fully functioning version of the app — and I loved it a lot.
After 4 days I got a lovely formulated email saying something like "thank you for testing of our product if you have feature suggestions, saw bugs or have general commentary please let us know". Needless to say that the inner betatester came out in me and I gave them a long detailed answer of my experience, send them some crashlogs and a very repeatable bug report and about six feature suggestions. A mail came back thanking me and while I planned the bank robbery to pay for the app the communication went silent. That was all about two weeks ago.

- a little pause for the suspense factor -

Today the phone rang with a number somewhere from germany that I had never seen before. Now normally those numbers only call to sell me something (like lottery tickets or "free" bankaccounts for all the money I don´t have or a vacuum cleaner or such shit). So I was reluctant to answer at first. But I do like to hear their sorry attempts to actually win me over (just so I can cruelly hang up on them) so I picked up the phone. A nice voice in broken german answered and ask if its me on the other end. I said sure that it was me already wondering why they get so personal. Then right in the second sentence he mumbled something that I understood - PFTrack. AHA...

- pause for more suspense -

Now I was preparing to ward off a reseller for PFTrack who probably got my contact details from the trial signup. First I offered him to switch the conversation to english (his german was not very understandable) so the conversation went on. He turned out to be really caring and listening and wasn´t in the slightest way pushing for a sale — a new tactic I though (I already mentioned that I am cynical and skeptical right?). Once we were over the smalltalk part of the conversation (great programm blah blah) I told him quite blunt that there is no way in hell that I can afford the program at this stage. Then (and I spare you another suspense pause) something happened that I have not ever witnessed in this capitalistic society. He offered to me that if I have a project coming up that needs 3d tracking we can talk about it that I would get PFTrack for that project for free.


He said they intend to multiply market share and get into the Industry and they need artists that can use the program and a bigger installed user base so that PFTrack can become the industry standard. Ok thats quite a capitalistic thought process but in the subsequent talk he acknowledged that companies need to care for the customers and see their needs to expand themselves and a lot of other things that normally would sound like marketing talk but sounded for once very honest. He also said that whatever I need we work something out - also for a permanent license in the future. Some more niceties and the conversation ended.
I am baffled - I mean we are talking not about a free Donut or something like that but about a 4.500 Euro software. No they won´t give it to me completely for free but help me establish my business. Something that makes SOOO much sense from my and their perspective its unbelievable.

Conclusion or that means the following: Software companies are start to realize that code can´t be sold like hardware. That there are different needs for the same product out there that deserve special treatment. That your installed user base with lots of experience using your software is more important then a single lost(or never to be done in the first place) sale. That leads to a completely new software sales paradigm for the future - the call today was definitely a right step into that direction and I will surely take them up on the offer rather sooner then later. It is a SURE way to get along with piracy or making the reason for piracy mood. I would always pay for software if I earn money with it but I can´t pay 5.000 euros for a software for projects that - at least in the beginning - only garner 500 euros - there is no relation in my not so humble opinion. Software needs to become an individual product that earns money through services (see all and every big opensource project where this works quite well already).

So thanks to Marcos Silva-Santisteban from FES Media GmbH - the german Pixelfarm reseller - for the enlightening conversation.

Technorati Tags:


Pimp Shake Command Line Renderer with Python

In a perfect world all software would work in all situations and all Scripting languages share the same syntax. In the real world my love for shake erodes at the command line and I need to learn Python (on top of Javascript, MEL, PHP and Perl).

The Probelm:
While Apples Shake as in Version 4.1 supports command line rendering through

shake -exec shakeScript.shk 

and employs methods for adding a sFileIn node and adding a fileOut node it lacks in an important area. There is no way to do the following from the command line:

a) change an existing sFileIn node or change an existing fileOut node
b) change the inPoint and outPoint to be rendered to reflect a sFileIn's node frameRange

So any serious batch processing from the command line that takes different input movies with variable length, processes them and outputs them to different output movies with a descriptive name (like a version of the input movies name) is not possible in Shake at the moment.
But Shake is such a Unix beauty of a program and the shake script documents are easily readable text documents. So I set out to make a small Python script that adds exactly that functionality to the command line: a simple batch renderer.
After trying with a normal shell script that in the very early stages got scrapped because I got some kind of permission error while reading out the movie length information. Then I had a brief try in Perl but realized that my Perl is not sufficent and that if I learn a new script language it should be Python because - well - god and the world swears on Python these days. Especially the recent inclusion of Python into Autodesk Maya 8.5, Python beeing included into Blender 3D and about any and all cool new program in the visual FX area putting the python in the tamers basket it is quite clear that I should get familiar with it rather sooner then later.
So eight hours later I can release my first Python script which is a bit crude but does what its meant to do simply and well. I have not figured out why out of all the languages it must be Python that seems to win the script wars and some of the Python logic is not absolutely clear to me yet but coding was indeed almost fun at points (those where things worked as expected).

1.) make a Shake Script that does what you want to do.
2.) The Shake Script should have exactly ONE sFileIn (preferably you want to use one of the movies out of the batch so everything is set up right (pixel size, aspect ratio etc etc)
3.) and also the Script should have exactly ONE fileOut. While it doesn´t matter what path or name the FileOut is referencing too (it will be replaced in batch)
4.) it DOES matter that you make the fileOut a Quicktime Movie with your desired compression settings - otherwise the script will fail.
5.) save the Shake Script with a descriptive name

How the batch works:
1.) make a folder
2.) put the Python Script into the folder
3.) put your Shake Script into the folder
4.) put all the movies you want to have processed by the Shake Script into the folder
5.) navigate to the folder in the command line and make the folder current

cd drag`n`drop folder
(for the non terminal users)
6.) execute the script by
7.) Watch your movies being rendered

1.) The script creates a Shake Script for every input movie. So f.e. you make a bluescreen key and it works on 9 out of ten 10 shots you can just open the one shot it didn´t work and adjust settings and render from within shake. So the sFileIn and the sFileOut and the frameRange is set correctly when you open the script for the problematic scene. The Shake Scripts are named

2.) The scripts makes descriptive filenames for the output movie

1.) the script only supports .mov for sFileIn
2.) the script only supports .mov for sFileOut
3.) the script should only be run ones. If you need to run it multiple times (to correct a problem) make sure you delete all the newly created ShakeScripts and Movies, otherwise you end up with multiple versions and duplications and a general mess.
4.) if the script does not run make sure the permissions are set correctly. Do this by typing the following in the command line:

chmod 744

Its crude but I might develop it into something more interesting if Apple is making future versions of Shake (which I really really hope). If not then this is a crude hack to learn Python.

Script is under GNU General Public License v2.0. See enclosed document called "COPYING_LICENSE.txt" for more information.

Download the Script with documentation and a tutorial folder here. (700kb)

Technorati Tags:
, , ,


Anti War Art Gallery

stopwar.jpgMoGreens pointed me to a webpage today that is dedicated to host anti-war art from around the globe specifically targeting US war mongers. has stunning stinging biting beautiful art with an impact. You can send them your anti war art if you have some laying around that you want to share too.


Peace is what humanity should crave for


Artist chics6 crew
via Eyebeam


Circles around

deldiscoveryred.jpgEver since my interest in the interface design side of all digital things has been spiked through my school opening an interface devision I do look out for the next generation interfaces that might make the life of a information junky and digital lifeform easier and maybe even more understandable - so most interface designer out there seem to rather like science art then interface design and are presenting pretty pictures of lots of data to the world with claims about saving the world with them. One such example is the "". Wrapped around the social bookmarking service owned by web 2.0 yahoo its supposed to be a commentary to social bookmarking from the view of the creator. While it produces some nice pictures - and I do like data visualization from an aesthetic standpoint - it falls flat to show me anything on the first look - and that is what such a project should be targeted at - giving you an overview of data that you understand at the first look - read Mr. Tufte on this subject - while creating beautiful pictures you get each and every of his presentation on first or mostly second look - the art is just pretty pictures that where generated with some formula - an exercise in Flash programming. Yes if you dig deep into it you can actually see what is meant by it but again the hype vs. utilization factor is still very much on the hype side. The graphs he shows before going all "cirlcly arty" are much more clear and are worth digging into - he should have made those a web application and accessible to others to put in their data instead of just his own - you know its web 2.0 time and all is about participation especially if you are commenting on social bookmarking that is about others more then yourself. But yeah pretty pics in pretty style. homepage


Gaming Tech to help in Previsualisation

themovies4sm.jpgMachinima goes Hollywood - well not quite. In a development that could be a first step of big Hollywood studios implementing gaming technology to actually "render" their films (and that WILL happen soon) a lot of smaller studios contracted for PreViz - which is like making a live action storyboard that looks like the final film just without great acting, perfect lighting, texturing etc - more to see camera angles, needed props and tax the films cost - are start using game engines to make those previz films. Up to know they have build "simple" 3d sets and puppet actors in 3D applications and then animated them there and rendered out the result without much texture lightning fuzz - mostly using the almost realtime OpenGL implementations of certain 3D programs. As it looks right now Game Engines are not exactly up to snuff in accuracy of camera positioning but this is about to change soon.
What would happen if Game Engine Tech catches on in Hollywood is that we would probably finally get a real realtime Movie Creation Tool which is still nowhere to be seen (some people use "The Movie" a game about movie making to make their Machinimas - problem is all copyright to the final movie goes to Activision - the maker of the game). What I personally would like in such a tool?

1) Import of own 3D models for the environment
2) Set of digital Nature Creation Tool (Trees Grass etc)
3) Almost unlimeted possibilties of creating humans through blending various sets of human models (sex, size, weight, color etc etc) as seen in some newer roleplaying games
4) customized clothing through self mode clothing designs (as seen in some role playing games as well)
5) extensible scripting of character
6) ability to import own characters (multi legged etc) and at least basic rigging possibilities
7) kick ass physics engine with newton laws, shattering objects and at least basic natural phenomenon (fire, water, smoke, fog)
8) 100% control over camera movement.
9) ability to nonrealtime "render" the final product with state of the art render algorythms... only the creation needs to be realtime - I have no problem if the final product needs a week to render if I know it will rock.
10) a very good implementation of 1-9 with an interface that makes sense.

Filed under "very very soon we are set free".

Affordable Table 3D Scanner

3DScanner.pngEngadget reports that the company Next Engine is now selling a 3D scanner for the semi rich hobbyists or the small 3d company. The Scanner comes with a turntable and a scan unit apparently harboring a lamp to light up the object, eight 10 mW solid state lasers to get the 3d data of the object and two 3 Megapixel Cameras to get the textures. The unit is connected to your PC through USB 2 and resells for around US$2500. Very lovely.... now i just have to rob that bank...



asciiInternationalChaos.pngBack in those times where a 24k modem was something to be proud of, times where you had to dial into local BBSes because there just was no interconnected net. Times when you had to wait for a full ascii 10 lines menue to load for 20 seconds. Times when you first got into contact with the truth of cyberspace - back in those days an artform was born that still to this day has a lot of followers and has lost nothing of its beauty - ascii art and everything derived of the 256 members holding ascii table.
A side devoted to preserve the best of all ascii in pure nonwebenabled ascii form is to be found here.
Get all the Amiga favorites in ascii with your current monospaced font, in the topaz font, or the pOd noOdle or the PC versions in ANSI or PNG.
Its a timewarp and the creativity is outstanding - so I do miss some of the cooler ones from the sites - I have to dig around if they are still on my old floppies somewhere and if I can get them over to my newer gear somehow as well. Still an ASCII art museum is a great idea.


Barcode Art - photoshop plugin tomorrow

jesus.gifSometimes there is a form of electronic art appearing on the net and you instantly know "there will be a photoshopp plugin for the masses soon". First time I watched this was with the "make a photo out of a million photos" then prominently featured in that Jim Carey "The Trueman Show" poster. It took developers less then a month to come out with a plugin that could mimic that effect out of a photolibrary of your choice (to lazy to look it up but its out there somewhere). Now another one of those cheesy fx hits the market and as the first one looked cool and existing in the first pictures the new one does to - until a photoshop plugin is out that lets everyone make its own barcode photos. Take a look before its boring. Via boringly enough again boingboing.


European City Underground

siolo-proc02.jpgLike physical underground not social or mental underground that is. Eerie photos from sewage and water channels underneath some European cities that could be taken straight out of the latest horror flick - but these are real. The one to the left is part from the drain tunnel system underneath Manchaster, UK.


Instant Blinkenlights - the return of the original

blinkenhandaustreck.pngYes the original one bit Blinkenlights comes to its original place - the "Haus des Lehrers" at Berlin Alexander Platz. For two weeks it will blink behind the windows of the rebuild house with the original "you can call in and play" pong - reachable under 0190-987654 (all money goes to the project) and some of the favorite animation that still mark my vj set.
if you have a Mac or other Unix system you can install the blinkensim and then connect to to see what is going on in the blinkenwindows. The classics are worth watching...
read more on tims blog


May the force be with you

Star Wars Episode III Trailer

The last (or middle depends on how you look at it) episode of the biggest saga in movie making history will hit the theater screen on May 15th 2005. Will it be so disappointing like the first two episodes that came and went in all its digital glory just to be extremely lacking in story telling and fxs compared to the classic last three episode from the 1970s and 1980s.
The Trailer for Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is now available and it does look good - but the trailers for the first two episodes also looked very promising and the movies were rather disappointing. I guess we will see soon enough how the saga unfolds and the Jedi got to fight the once great prosperous republik.


pretty girls in pretty style

I was tipped by Marcel Magis - who I meet at AVIT^C3 - to a site with wonderful illustrations that blend the 1920s Jugendstil (art nouveau) with modern line art elements and a unique character style. Iris Luckhaus is the creator of this beautyland and I can only recommend looking at her site if you are into petite art or if you are in the need of some very special computer icons.


The Minas Tirith Project

A team forum members is taking on the grand city of Minas Tirith as seen and read in Tolkins Lord of the Rings. They want to voluntary rebuild the city in all detail as a 3d model. Right now they fight over what to do with it once its finished. Raise you ideas. I would say its a typical open source project to be released to the public to reuse remodel and do whatever if credit to the original modelers are given. Creative Common anyone?


Must have AntiAmerikanPropaganda

One of the nicest crafted movies in a long time that talks about the project "American Century" has come to my notion. Its a must to look at the blend of 2000 style visuals with an appearance that reminds you of old film and the deep message within with a very nice use of graphical language throughout. Have a look.


The 2008 Swimming in China

A little look into the future of Olympics (since we start to forget about the last ones with our short attention span of modern day communication) lets us see the new stadium to be build for the swimming part. As all things modern China its HUGE and its totally cool and ähm modern ;) It seems the architect wants all people inside to feel like the are sitting inside the water themself. Pretty astonishing. Where the holographic video in the 3rd part comes from I really want to know. It must be one of those secret chinese developments.


Color Theory in 3D - A Tutorial

There is an interesting article on with lots of examples of how color theory works in the creation of 3D pretty pics. Worth reading through.


The Big Fat Orange Cat is Back

Yes Garfield gets his own movie - no no cartoon like live and 3d and hairy. Its gonna be hilarious judging from the trailer. He is getting saved by Lasagne, the hair simulation looks gorgeous the animation smooth and funny and its pure Garfield humor – lovely mix.


Dronez - Russian Robot escapes test facility

Well if you are up for some eyecandy without a story head over to the official Dronez Website to watch a short "film" rendered in 3d with some russian style robot taking over Siberia. Not very creative but fast pace and nice to look at. I hope some day people understand that message is king so - and that divx sucks.


Appleseed trailer released

No not the Customer BetaTest (seed programm) I am talking about the movie. As fan of anime the new upcoming cinema release of the great Appleseed series is something to be happy about. Go watch da trailer on Apples Japan website. (appleconfused yet?). Stunning 3d in the all lovely Appleseed anime style. Good vs. Evil. Weapons of Mass Destruction against anime beauties.

How the superpunch was made.

Ever wondered how you can deform the face of an actor as much as Neo did to Agent Smith in the battle sequenz of the matrix? Learn from a PDF.


Lord of the Ring dailies transported with an iPod

Ever had a thought how multiple gigabyte of Visual Effects for the Lord of the Rings went from New Zealand, home of Weta Digital the company behind the effects, to the Pinewood Studios London half way around the world for the director to make approvals?

Media was transferred from Weta to Pinewood Studios in London. There, Jackson's 30-gig iPod was ready and waiting to upload Weta's daily fresh-baked shots and sequences. His iPod was then delivered via sneaker net to his home a few minutes away from Pinewood.

Sneaker net. and meanwhile the guy transporting the iPod was able to listen to some of his favorite tunes.

Some have asked me about the Pixlet compression. This is where it comes into play. For making dailies (that the screenings by the directors and decision makers who approve or disapprove visuals, edits etc.) half way around the world in 1k or 2k resolution still beeing able to transport it around the world on an iPod and not introducing any bad compression artefacts.

Full article at:


The missing piece in the 1984 ad

1984_2004kl.png Well when I was watching the 1984 ad again and arguing over quality with Tim who showed me an (worse looking but better resultion) Cinepack version I noticed a difference. Its so small and you almost not see it. The version that is featured on apples website is a different version then the original one.
Look at the attached picture and try to find out what the difference of the "2004 might be 1984" version is compared to the "1984 is not like 1984" version... :)

2004 might be like 1984 <-------> 1984 is not like 1984

just one note: the integration is well done wether you like that they mugged around with the original or not


Japanese Commercial Eyecandy

If you are looking for some inspirational commercials you won´t find much on german tv. Other countries have much better commertainment ratio. In front might be Japan with their highgloss colorfull culture. If you want to check out some of their commercials head over to to see some of the current running commercials on Japanese TV.....


Blinkenlights Reloaded

Its blinking again. The installation comes back to its birthplace at Berlin Alexanderplatz. Beginning next Monday, December 21st until my birthday January 4h 2004 the installtion will feature millions (maybe not millions but a few) loveletters, lovely uncensored funny animation on 144 pixels - now each with adjustable brightness and a clean window. Also you can play the game pong with your mobile phone against a friend. More Information can be found on the official Blinkenlights Website.

you can download the flyer as pdf here.

Turn Up, Tune In, Drop Out


s it real or rendered? Beans Magic 3D renderings

Via TimPritloves Weblog comes the a question if we are up to the task of creating real looking Human Characters out of 3d programs.


With the advent of Radiosity (reflection of light of non mirroring surfaces - for example put a red wooden ball on a white piece of paper and the white piece of paper will shine red around the ball) there was a huge jump of perceived reality in 3D animations. Todays all major 3D rendering application have an option to render in Radiosity mode so with a huge render time penalty that makes this almost not feasible for movie production yet. For stills nonetheless this rendering mode together with HDR(i) (high definition range imaging and lightning) has enabled some great 3D artist to make outstanding picture that come very close to reality. Tim who is not a graphic expert is already asking the question if one of the pictures on BeansMagic Website is real or not. As a close look has revealed it is of course not real. There are still problems with the Radiosity beeing to strong also there are still not 100% perfect shaders for skin that makes the skin look to flat (translucency in our skin is not a solved mystery yet). Also the material of her headphones is just to perfect. There should be subconscious scratches or imperfects (slight bumps) to make it look more real. Overall so this is a ultra lovely picture pointing in the right direction and with the new renderers on the market (brazil) we will see more and more of pics in this quality. Now they have to develop some better animation technics to also make the facial movements with its 1000 muscles more real as moving all this with hand is a pain and has failed in about every movie that I have seen that utilizes 3d characters that wanted to mimic real persons.

Miss Digital World

A contest to find the most beautiful DIGITAL girl in the world

Just in time Ars Technica is presenting a piece on an Italian contest for the digital beauties whose mother is Lara Croft. Its a contest that is open to any fully digital girl but the models are not allowed to enter the contest if they have shown up in any pr0n movie or still or if they have spoken out in a polical context (censoring in Italy yadayada). So what is the case with digital womans nowadays will they replace the real ones for the geeks in time before the geeks become extinct? Will they be able to have children? What about cloning them and adjusting them for your personal taste? Will they be open source to enhance them with new kernels? Will RealLife Models have a chance to pose on Posters and will Actors go distinct soon with the digitial creatures that seem to be almost perfect and exactly what a human needs. What will the perception of our real life beauties be? The advent of Digital Beings in our "Real Life" will for sure cause great concerns. What is different from a Britney Spears and one of Renes HyperModels? Brintey is real and altered to be surreal and the Hypermodels are surreal altered to be real. They meet in the middle and none is better then the other to give the unaltered versions in our life something to look after. They all want to be perfect. Hey we all want to be perfect but some have settled with what they are. Its a question of our time and a glimpse in the future. Some woman would do EVERYTHING to look like the Bittis (That is what I call the Digitial Creations). Now most of the persons surrounding me do not believe that we will eventually "emerge" into machine. My thought is that this is the path of evolution and we are not far from it and maybe some of the girls will lead this evolutions as first fully perfect cyborgs inside our society - I would even go so far to say that current "altered" girls are already a form of bio-chemical-cyborgs. Who says that cyborgs need to incorporate steel and wires. Maybe silicon is already a form in this direction? The next thing maybe a color adjustable iris? Or what about self building muscles that also absorb fat cells? All bio altering but maybe those muscles or controlled by a little chip implant. I could go on should I? Maybe this chip is tunable from the outside. Oh you still think its not a cyborg?

What has this to do with the contest you may ask? Well I guess that in the very very near future our Entertainment Industry will be swamped with Bittis. There is no weight problem no aging noa attitude and no salary to pay. Its a convenient way for the producers to get retro bands for real cheap. Right now they are not up to the task to make them as real as to be believed but this will go away very very soon and the contest is a first sign of this as they apparently have become close enough that the distinction between real and virtual (surreal) is fading.

At one time then maybe the real life girls/boys that want to be superstars alter themself to play in the same "perfection" level as the Bittis and with this point reached there is a whole economy behind the evolutionary transformation of the human race. If our current economic model will not change in the near future this will one route that some might go.

The most interesting thing that I have not mentioned is that the Bittis want to get more real (right now its their creators who want to make them more real but I guess if they were able to think they would be on the same track) by adding imperfections. They probably at one point will want to walk around next to you and me or be on stage and be perceived as real adding to the coming emergence of the two worlds.