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Technology
Avatar
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
2 Comments :: Article Rating :: Artifical Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Psychology, Media

Everyone is looking at you. You look gorgeous. Every now and then few people invite you to become their friend. You have a huge network of them. You feel very confident. You tend to switch your cloth every two hours. Won’t take much effort tough. You just want to experiment. It makes you feel better when you are always appropriately dressed depending on your surrounding environment. Now you decide to go and show off your latest dress on a catwalk. You look so real and so magnificent. Let’s have some fun …

This is the virtual world of our dreams. Your avatar is the representation of your digital self. As it was fantastically portrayed in the movie, The Matrix, your avatar can become a big part of you when you are in a very realistic looking virtual world. People will be paying a lot of attention to their avatar in a virtual world.

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Machinima

Technology
Machinima
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Artifical Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Media, e-commerce
Ever wanted to visualise your fantasies and see them like a video? Or perhaps you wanted to express your creativity after seeing a movie and try it the way you wanted to see the story unfold. In recent years, Machinima has helped the rapid production of story-focused in-game fan videos. Using a game engine and environment, a Machinima creator, also called Machinimator, can use existing game characters, sets and environment to create a film. Of course new sets and characters can also be created and added to the world. This result is then compiled, captured, edited and made into a film.

As animations become more realistic and easier to make, there will be a huge interest to make videos for good stories that are not yet told. On one side of the spectrum, ultra-realistic animations are becoming ever more popular. These however are usually designed by professional with access to high-end software and render-farms.

On the other side of the scale, average users may just want to visualise a fantasy with semi-realistic graphics and be willing to give up the realism for tool simplicity. In this case, the ease of video production is the key. The current trend in Machinima is the use of scenario builders in 3D games to create videos out of the components provided by the games. These editors are usually used to make the game itself, so they are incredibly powerful tools. What you can make with them is only limited by what each game engine can artistically provide. Apart from game engines, Machinima can also be created using virtual reality tools such as Second Life. These can be much more open and cover a wide range of possibilities; though they may not have the fancy polish and style of latest games (see a movie made in Second Life).

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Micro Projectors

Technology
Micro Projectors
Sunday, November 18, 2007
1 Comments :: Article Rating :: Gadgets, Media, Electronics Engineering, Human-Machine Interface

Imagine you live in a world that the concept of a screen no longer exists. You no longer need to have a fairly large gadget (like a TV) to view films or play games. Imagine when any wall can be a display and just about any device can produce a large screen for you on any wall you want. You no longer have to look at a tiny screen of a mobile phone and hope that you can actually read it. Your experience goes from ‘lean forward and squint’ to ‘sit back, watch and enjoy’, making your experience a lot richer and more rewarding.

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Ultra-Realistic Animations

Technology
Ultra-Realistic Animations
Saturday, November 3, 2007
5 Comments :: Article Rating :: Computer Graphics, Psychology, Media

You are watching a video with your mouth half open. You simply cannot believe what your see. How is it possible that the prime minister of Britain would say such a thing? It is so politically incorrect; that he might as well shot himself in the public.

Two days later, it is revealed that the footage is fake and it’s been produced by ‘Invincible Animators’ who created the video using 3D animations and morphing techniques to achieve the result. This immediately leads to lots of conspiracy theories on the net that suggest the Prime Minister actually said those words and this is just a cover up trying to convince the world that this never happened. Everyone is amazed and you start to wonder how can you trust a video source now? After all it can be faked again.

The above scenario is perhaps a dark side of this technology, though there are many lighter sides to this too. Ever since 3D animation industry was conceived, the holly grail was to make a photorealistic animation that looked like it had been filmed from a real scene in the world. The industry has come a long way since it’s inception as it can be seen in special effects produced by Hollywood. We are still a few years away from getting the holly grail, but we are advancing quickly.

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Life Logging

Technology
Life Logging
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Artifical Intelligence, Gadgets, Society, Media, Human-Machine Interface

There was a lot of excitement. It was your wedding day. The guests were all dressed up and ready to go. You had a very tight schedule today and you wanted to enjoy every minute of it. You didn’t want to miss anything and wanted to keep it recorded for future. Almost everyone had a camera. They also didn’t want to miss anything. After all they were your immediate family and have been anticipating this day for a long time. They were just as happy as you were. When you arrived in the registry office, everyone was ultra-excited. Almost simultaneously everyone started to take pictures of you and your partner. They didn’t want to miss the great shot. The problem was that now everyone was engaged in photography rather than paying attention to the event itself. You and your partner didn’t know where to look as everyone was pointing a camera at you. When the pictures came out, they didn't look as elegant as you hoped for. People were posing for a picture, but not everyone was looking at the camera. Everyone wanted to log the event, but they had to sacrifice their participation. You wished that there would come a day that you didn’t have to worry about logging your life or events, that something would automatically log them for you while you enjoyed the especial moment.

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