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.

Mixed Reality Automatic Camera Tracker with SUTU

It’s been a little over a week since I launched my Automatic Camera Tracker project. It’s still a work in progress, but as SUTU is monopolising my Vive and nerd-basement at the moment, it felt like a good time to check in on its progress.

The current version is working alongside other VR apps, and can track a controller or VR headset at realtime or timelapse speeds as the user moves around the VR and IRL space. A little like this:

I wrote some more technical details about the system in a Reddit post on /r/Vive, and the tweet announcing the video received quite a bit of attention…

… which is exciting, because it’s a project I’ve had in my mind since I first used the Vive over a year ago, at PAX Prime in Seattle. As soon as I waved the controller in front of my face and noticed the tracking speed and accuracy I started mentally designing camera tracking systems. I wanted a VR system in my life because I love games, but I needed a Vive for filmmaking science experiments.

I’ve spent today with SUTU filming with my most recent version of the system, using it for both timelapse and realtime, handheld shooting while he worked on a Tilt Brush version of a piece from Nawlz.

 

Ball Park Music – Pariah Music Video/Promo

We had such a lovely time making the Ball Park Music tour visuals last year, so when it was time to release music from their first album in 2 years, Sam and the gang decided that they wanted to do some things that were leaning more towards visuals than traditional music videos.

Pariah is a sprawling, 7+ minute, mostly instrumental jam. Sam creates much of the band’s visual style through collage of old images, which fit the tone of the song beautifully, so I took his raw cutout materials, and turned them into a journey through time and space:

The band were understandably nervous about this kind of track being their first new material in years, but the public response to both the track and visual style was overwhelmingly positive, supportive, and loving.

So it looks like there will be a couple more of these to come. Yes indeed. We’ll also be able to use them as live visuals for future festival shows. Bonus!

Update: After release, Rage – Australia’s publicly-funded, greatest-music-video-show-in-the-history-of-the-world contacted the label to ask for a copy of the clip. I didn’t think we’d bother to submit a 7-minute long piece of mostly-visuals, but they played it third on Friday night, and then first up at 9am on Saturday! Thanks for keeping it weird for all these decades, Rage.

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

My Own Pet Radio – No Great Mystery: Music Video

After having a lovely time working together on visuals for Ball Park Music, Sam Cromack asked me to help him create a world for the debut single from his solo project, My Own Pet Radio.

Combining 3D printed characters, robotic controlled animation and a twee black and white aesthetic, this shoot was just as much fun as you’d expect. Continue reading My Own Pet Radio – No Great Mystery: Music Video

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 – Fur Eyes: Music Video

The third Graetzmedia music video for Violent Soho. Trying to keep their quintessentially Australian Suburbs image intact, while throwing some technological head-trip curve balls at their THC-addled fans.

We spent a lovely day in an excellent, naturally art-directed Queenslander house, running the robot back and forth endlessly. It went Rather Well Indeed.

Continue reading Violent Soho – Fur Eyes: Music Video

Subway BBQ Bacon Subs – Flavour vs Flavour: Advertisement

Making sandwiches look like they’re epic opponents in a boxing ring requires some ridiculous camera moves.

A T-Rex Superscope lens mounted on Red Epic, mounted on the camBLOCK I modified to work as a 5-axis crane rig. Looked messy, worked a treat!

t-rex-lens-epic

You can see it in action (and some other nerdy Graetzmedia shoots I was involved with) in this little BTS promo:

Continue reading Subway BBQ Bacon Subs – Flavour vs Flavour: Advertisement

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