Sunday Things - delving too deep edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday January 15 2017

So yes, the Sunday Things is back.

Surprised yet? I definitely am. Now, to rummage through some of the masses of links I've been building up...

The exciting bit of the Bullet Time stuff in the Matrix was the background.

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The Campanile Movie - all-seeing prophet of computer graphics, Paul Debevec, made a little video back in 1997 - which proved highly influential in various ways. I first watched it when I was at university many aeons ago, and it must have been lurking in the back of my mind when doing more recent things. Great to see how the technology of capturing and recreating the real world in a computer has advanced. For a start, we have digital cameras...
Nothing to do with The Thing. Wrong end of the planet.
Greenland's receding icecap to expose top-secret US nuclear project - a decidedly cold Cold War base buried beneath the Arctic ice, with chemical, biological and nuclear waste that was assumed to be hidden for a frozen eternity.

There's a terrifyingly claustrophobic roomscale VR game in this somewhere.

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Abandoned Shale Mine - a little while ago I watched a fascinating BBC Four documentary on the Scottish oil shale industry. It included a few segments filmed by a gloriously mad, pink-haired urban explorer who'd been delving deep into some of the long-abandoned mines. This is one of her videos - dark, damp, corroded, mineralised, rotted and plain terrifying, with remnants of machinery and tools chemically and physically returning to the rocks. The regular beeps are from an air quality monitor indicating that it's still safe to breathe...

Bonus Winter Holiday in your Own Home corner:

Yet more non-photos

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Sunday January 8 2017

It's 2017? Crikey. Have some more non-photos on Destinations:

Raufarholshellir Lava Tube, Iceland - or a close simulation thereof
Raufarholshellir Lava Tube, Iceland - as seen in The Lab, only reprocessed from scratch in Reality Capture for generally improved improvedness and much less manual cleanup.

Includes an accidentally captured heap of horse manure
Country Lane, Derbyshire, UK - some extra photos shot at the beginning of 2016, then processed in late 2016. It was decidedly odd seeing the place again recently over Christmas.

I might point a camera at bits of Seattle eventually. As soon as I find myself a castle.

Bonus Not Scanned By Me But Awesome corner:

There's loads more stuff on the Workshop to go exploring - this brief list was by no means exhaustive. Also, this was a covert Sunday Things. IT BEGINS!

Colourful post-apocalyptia

posted in Media by Cargo Cult on Friday November 11 2016

In a bit of a post-apocalyptic mood lately, for potentially obvious reasons. Ciclope, a beautiful little animation made for the opening of a film festival, cheered me up a bit:


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Anyway, I'll be ready with my camera again. Although I'm seriously considering upgrading sooner or later...

Also not photos

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Saturday October 29 2016

More work on that increasingly world-spanning Destinations - a couple more non-photos for you to explore. The full-3D versions are included with recent Destinations updates, while those of you lacking the necessary virtual reality goggles can feast your unfortunate virtuality-deprived eyes on these 2D screenshots of 3D scenes:

Tower Bridge - the Thames was remarkably non-smelly. Now I can be at the office while at home. THE HORROR.

If you still haven't already discovered the magical secret 3D capture device hidden inside your existing digital SLR, more documentation is available - this time on Advanced Indoors Photogrammetry. Exciting.

And if you don't have a dSLR? YOU'RE WEIRD. Although decent mirrorless efforts are also acceptable. Just.

Edit 2016-10-30: now with another bonus random YouTube video recording!

Tower Bridge via Valve's Destinations

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This is not a photo

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Friday June 17 2016

I think you're all witnessing the future of my holiday photography - here's a VR-enabled, photogrammetric scan of Thingvellir National Park, Iceland as photographed in August 2015 and processed just recently with Reality Capture.

Click here for bigger. Click the other link for actual life-size.

Yes, I'm testing out workflows and tools for that Destinations thing wot I'm working on. Enjoy!

Edit 2016-06-18: I tried finding a source photo which matches the screenshot shown above, for comparison purposes - it turns out there isn't one. That view is completely synthetic. Oooer.

Edit 2016-07-01: Now with an advanced outdoors photogrammetry tutorial!