An elaborate ruse to get people to look at my holiday photos​

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Monday September 21 2015

Oh, hello again.

I've been busy.

Viewing this at home melted my brain.

That brief mention of photogrammetry in an earlier article turned into a fully-fledged obsession. Viewing things on a flat monitor was certainly interesting, but viewing them in a super-high-end VR headset was something else entirely. A church door from Twickenham, with super-detailed textures - walking up to it in VR from half a world away was quite unearthly.

But this door was just one object, surrounded by CGI nothingness.

So I've been figuring out how to scan entire scenes, using wide-angle lenses and the like - and performing low-poly reconstruction to get the cleanest, most seamless results possible. And, of course, documenting the process.

Photogrammetry in VR - a general guide in three parts.

Do you want to join this revolution? No, let me rephrase that. You will join this revolution. Capture the world, and let distant people see where you have been.

It's like photography, only you're actually there.

Buran(s)

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Monday June 15 2015

It's okay, you can all stop emailing me this link now.

Actually, please don't - it's bloody fantastic.

In case you're not aware, a certain Ralph Mirebs somehow got access to a forgotten Baikonur hangar containing an under-construction Buran and a high-fidelity boilerplate stand-in, assuming I've parsed the machine-translated Russian correctly. And, having done so, he took lots of lovely photos.

I thought I knew all about the fate of this Soviet shuttle programme (it proved splendid reference for areas in Portal 2), but apparently they're really good at keeping intriguing things hidden at that Kazakhstan cosmodrome.

Exif tags suggest the images were taken back in May 2010, which kind of adds to the intrigue. How secret are these things?

I think I'm in love.

Covered in slowly-accumulating bird-shit and decades of miscellaneous detritus, but hidden nevertheless.

Glass cockpit? Kind of, if you ignore the holes.

Thanks to Steve K., another Steve K., Paul T., Jeff B., Laura D. and anyone else I've forgotten!

Also, I promise to start posting more regularly here. I'm building up a nice backlog of interesting things...

Analogue

posted in Photography by Cargo Cult on Sunday October 5 2014

That whole 'digital' idiocy was just a passing fad. Everyone, myself included, is going back to tried-and-tested film technology - with self-developed photographic emulsion, a camera older than me and enlargements made with a sodding huge framework of optical equipment and further trays of chemicals.

The monsters that ate Seattle. PCNW FTW, BTW.

Also of note: Agisoft PhotoScan, as used by some gloriously mad Poles to digitise themselves some chunks of environments. ... Please excuse this sudden intrusion of monstrous digital technologies. Ahem.

Intermittent Electronics

posted in Electronics by Cargo Cult on Sunday September 14 2014

Been slacking a bit. Will catch up with this blogging malarkey sooner or later. For now, have an unrepresentative prototype.

Rat's nest of wiring.

Intermittent Things - Soviet Space edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday November 17 2013

Why, hello. Remember this, where I'd post interesting links to interesting things on a regular basis? Perhaps restricting itself to posting in a purely arbitrary manner, it's back. And it has some things for us.

A '60s camper-van - in space!
Prior to the monstrous space-fungus infestation.
Galina Balashova, Space Architect - ever wonder how the curiously homely and retro-futuristic interiors of the Soyuz and other Soviet-era spacecraft came to be? Demonstrating that (despite countless other problems) the Soviet Union had the best visual designers, this curious archive of a near-forgotten architect's designs provides an intriguing glimpse into this cosmonautical age. Includes her watercolour paintings of Earthly scenes to comfort homesick cosmonauts...

Vyacheslav Mescherin Orchestra - EasyUSSR!

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Vyacheslav Mescherin Orchestra - the perfect backing tracks for viewing the above space-architecture, here's some authentic (and ridiculous) Soviet space music, via an entertainingly random BBC Radio 4 documentary. Cosmonaut and pioneer spacewalker Alexey Leonov, a personal friend of Mescherin, describes taking tapes of this stuff up into orbit. Awesome.

Dr. Bullock isn't crashing this one.

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Soyuz undocking, reentry and landing explained - most importantly, includes footage from inside the Soyuz capsule during re-entry and landing. Fancy. See also: the European ATV-4 burning up in the Earth's atmosphere, as seen from the ISS...

Bonus RJP Biological Horror Corner: