Achilles has shared an amazing visual effects breakdown of how Star Wars: The Force Awakens was brought to life for everyone to enjoy. The side-by-side breakdown shows just how much work J.J. Abramsand the Industrial Light & Magic VFX and animation studio put into merging the real and visual effects.
Sony announced its new QX series of lens cameras that can attach to smartphones today at IFA 2013. The previously rumored QX100 and QX10 lenses contain all of the hardware ordinarily found in a point-and-shoot camera except for a viewfinder, and use Wi-Fi to connect to a smartphone to fulfill that requirement. The lenses can be physically detached from the phone while still connected via Wi-Fi, allowing users to shoot independent of the viewfinder. For more specs on the higher-end QX100 and the Q10 zoom lens camera, take a look at the product pages on Sony’s website. Both the QX100 and QX10 lenses are already available to pre-order from Amazon, and will ship on September 27th according to the retailer.
This time-lapse video shows the painstaking process of digitally restoring and colorizing a badly deteriorated old photograph. The time-lapse is by TheHatersalad of THS Photo Restoration.
Five-time Emmy nominated VFX Supervisor Jeff Campbell and three-time Emmy nominated Supervising Producer, Luke Groves led Spin’s team to deliver over 200 shots for the season, including Mance Rayder’s Camp, the Direwolves compositing sequences in the Northern Forest, CG crows, the 3D Unsullied Army, the Twins matte painting and The Wall 3D environment.
Rockstar Games has announced and released an official gameplay trailer for Grand Theft Auto Online, their upcoming video game offering “a dynamic and persistent online world for 16 players.” It will be available for free starting October 1, 2013 to anyone that purchased Grand Theft Auto V, which will be released September 17, 2013.
In ‘Grand Theft Auto Online,’ players have the freedom to explore alone or with friends, work cooperatively to complete missions, band together to participate in activities and ambient events, or compete in traditional game modes with the entire community, all with the personality and refined mechanics of ‘Grand Theft Auto V.’
Players can invest in their character through customizing their appearance, improving their stats, owning customized vehicles, purchasing personal property, and taking part in missions, jobs and activities to earn reputation and cash to open up new opportunities to rise through the criminal ranks. The world of Grand Theft Auto Online will constantly grow and change as new content is added, creating the first ever persistent and dynamic ‘Grand Theft Auto’ game world.
Google has announced Chromecast, a dongle that allows users to stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, and other apps using Chrome on their smartphone, tablet, or PC. The device plugs into the television via HDMI and is powered by USB, and generates its own Wi-Fi hotspot to which users can connect to stream content to the television. Chromecast is currently available to purchase from Google Play.
Elon Musk announced the Hyperloop system concept, a new method that would transport people from one side of the US to the other in just 45 minutes, a trip that normally takes almost six hours by plane. Musk describes the Hyperloop system as “a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table.” Hyperloop would a system of cross-country tubes that would consists of capsules capable of carrying six people and their luggage. Six-person capsules travel in the tubes and can reach a maximum speed of 6,500 km/h, and provide 50 times more transportation per kwh. A tube can travel from New York to Beijing in two hours, and make a round-the-world trip in just six hours.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 sports car, artist Gerry Judah created a 111-foot-tall sculpture of 3 of the cars soaring into the sky. Commissioned by Porsche, the sculpture includes an early 1965 model, a limited edition 1973 RS, and a brand-new 2013 model. The sculpture was displayed at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK recently.
The American Helicopter Society has officially declared AeroVelo winner of the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition. The AHS Sikorsky competition began in 1980, and the prize was destined for anyone able to stay at least 10 feet in the air for at least 60 seconds within a 30′ x 30′ space using a flying machine powered solely by a single human. No team has ever managed to meet all of the requirements — until now. AeroVelo Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter captured the long standing AHS Sikorsky Prize with a flight lasting 64.1 seconds and reaching an altitude of 3.3 metres.
Canadian Todd Reichert and his team have just been awarded $250,000 and the honor of building something that really worked. Reichert said:
“This isn’t something that you’re going to commute to work in any time soon, but it’s an exercise in really pushing the limits on what’s physically possible, and what you can do with lightweight materials and really creative design. Winning this competition really is a catalyst to keep doing the things we love. Our goal is to take on projects that really inspire people to follow big dreams.”
Boston-based inventor Steve Hollinger has invented the Squito, a throwable ball-shaped camera that utilizes position and orientation sensors to capture and process 360-degree images over the course of its airborne trajectory by the three panoramic cameras. It uses orientation sensors to know when to take the images before stitching the multiple pictures together to create a single panoramic aerial shot.
In this bizarre video, a Japanese schoolgirl demonstrates an electromechanical exoskeleton as a hideously disfigured host, “Scarface Santaro,” explains the many features of device, the Powered Jacket MK3. According to the manufacturer Sagawa Electronics, the aluminum and carbon fiber exoskeleton is over 7 feet tall, weighs 55 pounds and will be produced in a limited run of five examples. The company has also released a manga series about the Powered Jacket. Given the satirical nature of the video, and the lack of information on the Powered Jacket MK3, it’s unclear if the product is actually destined for production. That being said, Sagawa Electronics claims the exoskeleton will be publicly demonstrated at Wonder Festival 2013 in Chiba City, Japan at the end of July.
John Hess traces the evolution of the screen shape from the silent film days through the widescreen explosion of the 50s, to the aspect ratio of modern digital cameras.
“AMMO” is a photo series of some 900 pieces of ammunition that have been neatly cut in half to reveal their surprisingly varied and intricate contents. Photographer Sabine Pearlman shot the series last year in a WWII-era bunker in Switzerland.
I was originally intrigued by the ambiguous nature of the subject matter. The cross-sections reveal a hidden complexity and beauty of form, which stands in vast contrast to the destructive purpose of the object. It is a representation of the evil and the beautiful, a reflection of the human condition.
Bioscope is a handheld digital video viewer which the user operates with a hand crank. Depending on which direction the crank is rotated, the user can watch the video forward or backward, in one-frame increments. The device is inspired by an early movie projector of the same name. Bioscope was created back in 2012 by Jon Stam and Simon de Bakker.
French video game developer Quantic Dream — the studio behind Heavy Rain — has released an impressive PlayStation 4 tech demo called “The Dark Sorcerer.” The first few minutes of the 12-minute demo were shown atSony’s PlayStation 4 press conference earlier in the week. “The Dark Sorcerer” is running in real time on the PlayStation 4, but is not part of any game Quantic Dream is currently developing. Previously we’ve written about Kara, a Quantic Dream tech demo created to showcase motion capture on the PlayStation 3.
Sony has finally unveiled the PlayStation 4 video game console’s design at E3 2013 after facing criticism for not showing a physical console at the initial announcement in February. The new console is all black, looks somewhat like a slanted PlayStation 2, and shares a partially shiny, partially matte design with Microsoft’s Xbox One.
Sony also took aim at Microsoft’s online requirements and used game policies for the Xbox One, promising the PlayStation 4 won’t impose restrictions on lending or reselling game discs and users will not have to be connected to the internet to play single-player games offline.
Turning to games, Sony announced a number of new PlayStation 4 exclusive titles like The Order: 1886 developed by Ready at Dawn, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV — formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII — and Kingdom Hearts 3. The company also provided brief updates on previously announced PlayStation 4 launch titles Killzone: Shadow Fall, Evolution Studios’ DriveClub, and Knack. Infamous: Second Son will be released for the new console in Q1 2014, as well as Blizzard’s Diablo III, and Square Enix MMO Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be released exclusively on the PS3 and PS4. Upcoming Bethesda MMO The Elder Scrolls Online will also be available on the PS4 in Spring 2014.
Sony also showed off a number of indie games that will be console exclusive to the PlayStation 4 — though several have already been released for the PC. Transistor from Bastion developer Supergiant Games, Don’t Starve by Klei, and Mercenary Kings by Tribute Games — the developers behind Scott Pilgrim — will all be coming to Sony’s new console alongside Young Horses’ Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Secret Ponchos by Switchblade Monkeys, Ragtag’s stealth-action puzzler Ray’s the Dead, and Outlast by Red Barrel. Oddworld Inhabitant will also launch a remake of the original Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee titled Oddworld New N Tasty, and 7 bit Games, creators of Skulls of the Shogun, will release a side-scrolling world space shooter titled Galak-Z The Dimensional.
Developers also demoed previously announced titles Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Watch Dogs, and Quantic Dream showed off a small clip of another impressive tech demo titled The Dark Sorcerer. Sony also briefly touched on upcoming entertainment offerings like Redbox and Flixster, which will join existing offerings like Sony Video Unlimited, Music Unlimited, Netflix, and more.
The PlayStation 4 will cost $399 — $100 less than Microsoft’s Xbox One — and will be available “this holiday season.” Sony’s website has a current list of PlayStation 4 games, and for more coverage of Sony’s E3 announcements, head over to Kotaku.
Visualization of the Screens of Every iPhone Ever Sold Combined into Monolith Looming over Manhattan
Josh Orter of Stupid Calculations has worked out exactly how large the combined screens of every iPhone ever purchased would be. Extrapolating from Apple sales data that reports 352,292,000 sold iPhones since the product’s launch in 2007, Orter calculated that the “Kubrick-inspired monophone” would measure a staggering 5,059 feet tall and 2,846 feet across. To give you a sense of scale, Orter created an infographic placing the monophone in the middle of New York City — the massive monolith is wider than Central Park and far outstrips any skyscraper in the city. More detailed information on Orter’s calculations can be found at the Stupid Calculations website.
Artist William Betts creates paintings out of video stills from closed-circuit cameras. To make the paintings, Betts processes the still images with custom software, sending the data to a CNC machine that paints the images with tiny dots of paint. So far he has created two series based on the process: “CCTV” includes imagery from surveillance cameras, and a traffic camera series, “Texas DOT Traffic Cameras.” For more on Betts and his work see this article & video by The Creators Project.
Disney Parks turned Epcot’s 180-foot-tall Spaceship Earth structure into an animated Mike Wazowski, a character from the upcoming Disney•Pixar film Monsters University (in theaters June 21, 2013). Mike is being projected onto Spaceship Earth to both promote the new film and Disney’s Monstrous Summer, which features Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland being open for 24 hours starting Friday, May 24, 2013 (Memorial Day Weekend). You can learn more at the Disney Parks Blog and the Monstrous Summer website.
On May 24, 2013, for one day and one night only, Guests on each coast will have the chance to spend 24 whole hours inside the Disney parks!
From 6:00 AM to 6:00 AM, enjoy all the monster-themed madness inside Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, as well as Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in California. From special entertainment and monstrous merchandise to frightening food and boo-verages, this “All-Nighter” is shaping up to be one scary good time!
Students Tim Bouckley, Millie Clive-Smith, Mi Eun Kim and Yuta Sugawara at the Royal College of Art in London have created Eidos, a system of sensory augmentation equipment that allows users to enhance their senses of sight and sound. The Eidos headset records video, transfers the images to a computer where they’re processed, and sends them back to the viewer. The result is an effect similar to long-exposure photography, which ideally allows the viewer to more easily identify patterns of movement. The other Eidos headset enhances hearing by neutralizing background noise and allowing the listener to focus in on one particular source of sound. It uses a directional microphone to capture audio, which is processed by a computer and sent back to the listener via three speakers — one headphone for each ear and a bone conduction speaker at the mouth. The group of students predict that Eidos could have uses in sports analysis, performance art, and heathcare.
A company called Virtuix, developed the Omni, an omnidirectional treadmill controller for virtual environments. The company has shown off support for games including Crysis Warhead, Team Fortress 2, and Skyrim in a series of YouTube videos, but we’re told that the device will work with all PC games when it’s released. Virtuix is aiming to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the Omni around the end of May or the beginning of June, and it’s targeting a price of $400-600 for the device. Watch the videos after more, it looks cool!
Analogue Interactive, a site that sells beautifully designed wood Neo Geo consoles, has introduced the Black Label, a service which allows you to choose from hundreds of custom exotic woods. The Black Label sets comes with an Analogue CMVS Slim, two Analogue Arcade Sticks, solid brass Black Label tags, video and audio cables, and a power supply.