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!

Get your arse to Mars - and now everywhere else too

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Friday June 10 2016

Anyone for a Workshop-enabled, virtual reality scene-sharing system? In an initial step towards some sort of dystopian metaverse (that, or glorious virtual tourism across our planet and beyond), please welcome the latest thing wot I've been working on - the Source 2-powered Destinations.


Includes an improved, updated version of the photogrammetric Mars scene shown at the Museum of Flight's Spacefest event late last year, and relayed in degraded form here via the medium of random YouTube video:


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There's also a tranquil, digitised scene of a wintry, sunlit Derbyshire churchyard (Seattle failed to provide much in the way of ancient architecture) and, most importantly of all - whatever everyone else across the internet uploads. So if you've got a hankering to capture the world and share it virtually with others, here's your chance.

Edit 2016-06-14: now with bonus Scott Manley!

That 'reality' thing was overrated anyway

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Tuesday April 5 2016

Something I've been busy with for a while is finally released:

A glimpse of the future.

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I've been using the HTC Vive (from dodgy 3D-printed prototypes onwards) for over a year now, and it still feels like magic. Science fiction looks staid by comparison. Being able to effortlessly walk around - and interact with - another world, be it imagined or captured, using consumer hardware? Wow. Don't just look at it as a gaming platform - this is something new entirely. It's hacking the human senses into believing the impossible.

May contain glimpses of previously seen imagery!

Edit 2016-04-06: snippets also appear in the closing credits of BBC 2's Newsnight for the 6th April. Shitting crikey. I suspect Auntie likes stuff wot I do.


posted in General by Cargo Cult on Tuesday March 22 2016


Get your arse to Mars

posted in Space by Cargo Cult on Friday November 6 2015

Another one of my side-projects went out of control, this time becoming part of a temporary exhibit for the Museum of Flight's Spacefest event.

Disclaimer: Our HMDs are not hermetically sealed against near-vacuum.

Walk around on a huge, life-sized tract of Martian terrain built from raw Curiosity navigation camera images using my photogrammetry techniques. Then, get a majestic overview of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko before teleporting down on to its surface, using a super-high-resolution version of Mattias Malmer's comet nucleus shapemodel constructed from Rosetta imagery. Finally, to round it all off - have a quick go with Tilt Brush, a 3D sketching program.

I have now personally put many members of the general public into space. Giving VR demos is fantastic. To anyone thinking it's just a fad, and will wilt away like 3DTV did - you should see how people respond.

It runs for the next few days. Hurry hurry hurry! I'm not sure how the ticketing works, but beyond entry to the museum it's free and you don't have to book in advance.