Cinema Swarm – Autonomous Subject Tracking Robotic Camera System

I’ve been working on my Vive-tracking robotic cameras for just over a year now, and I’m falling over with excitement to announce that they’re now autonomous enough to have their own name:

Cinema Swarm

For the first public outing of the multi-camera system, we filmed 24 bands in 2 days.

To be in Brisbane’s best music venue, surrounded by hugely talented people, and have this crazy thing working, moving, tracking, and capturing footage exactly how I’d hoped it would when I first designed it inside my brain. That was a pretty special time. Continue reading Cinema Swarm – Autonomous Subject Tracking Robotic Camera System

SUTU “Nawlz” vs Mixed Reality Camera Tracker Robot

Most of my recent work in VR and Mixed Reality has been rough, proof-of-concept stuff. Nawlz is an attempt to create something with a little more structure. Returning to Australia from a secret overseas Tilt Brush project, SUTU stayed over for a couple of nights and we documented the entire creation of a Tilt Brush artwork.

The piece is a 3D re-imagining of a panel from his interactive comic Nawlz (Season 1, Episode 5, Page 3 for those following along at home).

The video combines a number of mixed-reality techniques I’ve been developing for months: VR timelapse, VR Automatic Camera Tracker in both timelapse and realtime modes, in-app greenscreen painting and some other secret spices.

For more background and progress, check out my recent videos on Vimeo.

Brisbane Powerhouse – Discover Brisbane Powerhouse: TV Advertisement

I’ve been filming various events and promos with Brisbane Powerhouse for much of 2015, all the while colluding with them to combine the huge breadth of footage I was capturing into a TV ad which showcases the Powerhouse as a whole.

We dubbed this project the Destination Trailer. It’s part of their Discover Brisbane Powerhouse campaign, which launched in November 2015.

The piece distilled months of filming into precisely 20 seconds, because Television. To include some more awesome stuff we’ve also produced an extended “Director’s Cut” for web. Continue reading Brisbane Powerhouse – Discover Brisbane Powerhouse: TV Advertisement

Tim Shiel and Queensland Symphony Orchestra – Duet Live: Performance

Tim Shiel composed the award-winning soundtrack to mobile application Duet, a mesmerising, minimalist, and wonderfully difficult game.

Brisbane orchestral composer Ryan Walsh found himself thoroughly addicted to Duet and decided that he’d make things much worse by arranging the soundtrack for a 16 piece orchestra.

Tim asked if I’d be interested in putting together live visuals for the show. We met up in Melbourne, planned out the storyline of the set and how we’d translate the 2D, minimalist visuals of the game into something immersive.

Then I spent a couple of weeks building 3D versions of the game, and making those simple rotating Red/Blue balls into an epic journey through space, building weird mechanical cityscapes and crashing suns into planets.

For the show I did live visuals and also programmed lights via Ableton Live, creating a rather special, immersive 45 minute experience. It was performed for a rapt audience on 15th May, 2015. Here’s a 15-minute section from the middle of the show, with my visuals overlaid in some sections to get a proper feel for the animation style:

Continue reading Tim Shiel and Queensland Symphony Orchestra – Duet Live: Performance

WAAX – Wisdom Teeth: Music Video

WAAX are a band of punk-as-rock, hectic kids. Their track “Wisdom Teeth” had been creeping up on Triple J and Unearthed for a couple of months, and needed a quick clip that would match the intensity of their sound and live presence. Continue reading WAAX – Wisdom Teeth: Music Video

Violent Soho – Saramona Said: Music Video

After the Violent Soho/Graetzmedia single-shot clip Covered In Chrome was nominated for an Aria award, we knew the follow up had to be really special.

Director Dan and I had been discussing if we could use the camBLOCK motion control system to do a low-budget version of the famous “Children Of Men” car chase scene. We did some tests in the back of a van and realised that the robot would be able to move while under acceleration, so we started planning.

Shitbox car purchased and modified. I came up with systems to allow director Dan to control the moco rig live, moving throughout the entire length of the car while he was huddled in the back underneath dirty clothes and sleeping bags. I figured out a quick-release system that enabled the transition between car interior and hectic live performance, which I may have done slightly differently if I’d known that transition would be mediated via my jumping in the passenger door of a moving vehicle.

Behind The Scenes

What followed was one of those wonderful creative experiences that makes the hard work of filmmaking completely worthwhile.

Continue reading Violent Soho – Saramona Said: Music Video

Little Scout – March Over To Me: Music Video

After designing and 3D-printing modifications to convert our 3-axis camBLOCK motion control system into a monster 5-axis crane rig, I needed a project to test out the system. Fortunately my buddies Little Scout were about to release their new single, and the aesthetic perfectly fit the multi-pass, audio-reactive ideas in my head.

Motion control gave me some delightfully crane-y multi-pass camera moves, and audio reactive lighting made the band members magically appear only when their instruments made noise.

This clip won Gold in the Music Videos category at the Australian Cinematography Society’s 2013 Queensland awards. Continue reading Little Scout – March Over To Me: Music Video

7bit Hero – Come On. Stand Out: Music Video

I’m the visualist/networking/game-master member of bitpop band 7bit Hero. When introducing our weird hybrid gaming/live music project to people, we had trouble explaining how it all works. The band actually wants people to be messing with their phones at our shows?

Perhaps a music video might get the concept across, with BEEEEZ!!!

Continue reading 7bit Hero – Come On. Stand Out: Music Video

Mt Franklin Lightly Sparkling & Cozi by Jennifer Hawkins: Advertisement

This was an interesting shoot. I flew to Sydney to represent Graetzmedia in a big commercial production, with the camBLOCK motion control system packed in 2 big Pelican cases. Turned up at FOX Studios, walked in to the giant soundstage and announced myself as the Motion Control guy, to receive the response “No you’re not. Where’s all your gear?”

There were a lot of grizzled advertising shoot veterans with surprised looks at the end of that day. camBLOCK handled the full size Alexa with aplomb, and we spent a very pleasant time filming lots of copies of a pretty lady in different bikinis.

Continue reading Mt Franklin Lightly Sparkling & Cozi by Jennifer Hawkins: Advertisement