Focus stacking in photography is a technique used to get the greatest amount of depth of field in a single image by processing multiple images taken at different focus distances. Most of the time we are talking a handful of images. Probably less than 10 for most people. Now all of that changes when you start doing micro photography and use microscope lenses to get your final images.
The video below is about the groundbreaking photographic technique used by Levon Biss for the Oxford University of Natural Sciences. Biss focus stacks as many as 8000 images, moving his camera 10 microns at a time to get his end result. A human hair is about 75 microns, so Biss is moving his camera about an eighth of the width of a human hair to get enough shots to build a final image. The reason for this is because the depth of field on the lenses he is using is so shallow, it is the only way he can produce the results he wants. And those results are pretty damn amazing.
OK if this tech works as shown in the video it’s pretty amazing. There is no word on pricing or a launch date, just summer of 2016. It’s a pretty interesting concept, although I’m not sure why they don’t have a smartphone app to launch at the same time as this. An app just makes so much sense since the dictionary could update in the background, and the translation algorithms could be updated as well. Plus people always have their phone with them, and this is one more thing you have to carry. None the less, the translations shown in the video seem pretty remarkable, and apparently more accurate than any translation app I have on my iPhone. As for the marketing, the video is just bizarre and even though it has been seen by over a million people, ili has been forced to post an update that makes me question it. If everyone in the video is an actor and an actress it makes me think the whole thing was scripted and rehearsed, which sort of invalidates the results. Hmmmm I guess we will just have to wait and see.
For Lumiere Durham 2015, England’s largest light festival, French artist Miguel Chevalier has unveiled his latest art installation “Complex Meshes”, at centuries old Durham Cathedral. The cathedral was constructed at the end of the 11th Century and represents one of the most accomplished examples of Norman architecture in Europe. Complex Meshes follows Chevalier’s immersive projections at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, and is a monumental projection mapping project that happens at dusk on the ribbed vault ceiling of the central nave.
Chevalier’s mesh is a projection of a three-dimensional object consisting of vertices, edges and faces which form polygons. The use of numerous wireframe meshes projected onto the ceiling becomes an aesthetic in itself enhancing the original mesh structure of the original Gothic architecture.
Chevalier uses different colored weaving patterns composed of triangles, quadrilaterals and other polygons overlapping and evolving slowly in real time creating a virtual light curtain of diverse and complex shapes. The surface is deformed to generate the abstract landscapes of a living universe which is constantly evolving.
The video below takes a couple of minutes to set up the space before showing the actual projection mapping project.
The two-minute short for wildlifeaid.org.uk is about the declining population of hedgehogs in Great Britain. While the demise of the beloved hedgehog is concerning to me, especially since they have dropped from 30 million to 1 million since 1950, I really want to talk about the wonderful animation quality of the video. Directed by Kris Hofmann with Illustrations by Sandra Dieckmann, the animation is a really nice blend of 2D and 3D techniques that creates a really unique and memorable look for the short. Being memorable is exactly what a PSA needs to do, and Wildlife Aid with the talented crew they hired to produce this have done just that.
The video below is the animated teaser for Kaplan International English integrated campaign I Love London. Created by Al Boardman and following on the heels of the awesome animated New York city guide, Kaplan asked more than 500 of their students what they thought the perfect day in London would be. Taking all the information they received they distilled it down to the 8 top choices for the city which Boardman then animated. The animation directs the viewer to the I Love London page where others are encouraged to post and share their dream day London, as well as see a brief synopsis about each of Kaplan’s top 8 picks. Hat tip to Boardman for creating such a fun, fresh, and cheerful animated piece.
You probably never stopped and really thought about what goes into making a pair of scissors. I know I hadn’t. When you think about it, scissors are actually extremely complex tools. The blades have very low tolerances, and have to be sharp, balanced, and designed to fit a variety of hand sizes. If the blades are to far apart, they won’t cut. If they are to close, they won’t shut. Now, imagine making them by hand. Talk about skills. The video below documents Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield England, one of the last remaining hand manufacturers of scissors. Specifically “Putter” Cliff Denton as he makes pair after pair by hand, forging, grinding, and polishing them to perfection.
I hope this stays at Goodwood in the UK. I’d love to see it in person some day. Porsche 2013 by artist and designer Gerry Judah is a 22 ton steel and real Porsche sculpture that was commissioned by Porsche UK for the 50th anniversary of the 911 and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The sculpture features three different models of the Porsche 911: the 1963 Original 911; the 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7; and the 2013 911. The photos look pretty amazing so I imagine in person this will knock your socks off. Even if you aren’t into motor sports or automobiles you have to admit this is pretty impressive. The white arrows that suspend the cars above the ground look like jet contrails as these classic cars jet off into the sky.
“I had to create a sculpture that personifies the energy and excitement not only of these beautiful cars but also the Festival of Speed. The 911 is a fantastic shape that can’t be deconstructed or embellished, so in this context, the sculpture had to provide the right platform for the car to soar up and shine in the sky.”