Balmy Alley test

2018-07-13T14:26:35+00:00July 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

These two panels from Balmy Alley are a test of large-scale models using normal maps for detail on a low poly-count model. This original model was a modest 400,000, but the lo-poly is 40,000. For the final version the high res meshes will be in the millions of polys, it will have both sides of the

Cherub Test

2018-07-12T18:22:40+00:00July 11th, 2018|Tags: , , |

I have been experimenting with bringing photogrammetry to real time graphics, and the first successful test is this cherub. I have been using photogrammetry techniques in film visual effects for many years, and I have been working to bring that high level of organic detail into real-time and mixed reality. The physical model is

MCP Electronics

2018-07-10T21:52:21+00:00July 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

The adafruit Feather M0 WiFi arduino board has turned out to be the perfect board for the Master Control Panel. There are many pre-made 'wings' that can connect together through a common set of pins, including the OLED screen on the top of the MCP, and the servo controller. Since the board diagrams are available

MCP Printed Case

2018-07-10T21:48:20+00:00July 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

The case for the Master Control Panel could have been a cardboard box and duct tape, but that wouldn't be robust enough to handle an on-set environment. So, I 3D printed a case out of nylon and aluminum, from Shapeways. It is light, and flexible, and strong. I was able to download digital models

Master Control Panel

2018-07-10T20:23:17+00:00July 6th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

This camera robot thing became way too complicated. I had gotten all of the individual pieces working, thinking that the whole thing would come together piece by piece. As started drawing diagrams of the wiring, it quickly became apparent that I would have to minimize the wires. I want the bot to have complete

cambot mcp

2018-02-09T03:17:06+00:00February 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It's been more than a year since I first set out to make the camera move around in a repeatable way. Sure, I was busy with another Chinese action movie, and life and such, but mostly it's taken this long because building a robot is hard. I knew it was going to involve challenges,


2018-02-07T22:27:38+00:00April 20th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

I was looking for a practical project to explore real world scale and photorealistic lighting in VR. My friend Susie is an architect. She is working on a house for a client, and she wanted to see if VR might be useful in her pipeline. The house was designed in SketchUp, then Revit. I

robo cam

2017-05-04T16:11:19+00:00January 21st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

Now that I am able to control the camera, I was able to get back to the automation goal. I originally set out to AUTOMATE the camera, but I was just thinking of the camera controls – focus, iris, f-stop. And then, I figured that if I was going to automate the camera in

Wired Camera Controller

2017-05-04T16:12:03+00:00October 23rd, 2016|Tags: , , , |

The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera showed up at the end of March. By the time it arrived I was knee deep at work on a Chinese action film and didn’t have a lot of free time to focus on it. After playing with it a few times I realized that the camera controls are


2017-05-04T16:12:46+00:00November 23rd, 2015|Tags: , , |

The ultimate goal, the reason I started mucking about with Arduino, is to be able to control the camera wirelessly, in a repeatable way. If the camera ever ships, I will be able to test these theories. For now, I’ve gotten the bluetooth and USB controllers to work, as far as I can tell, but they are

MIDI to Arduino – USB Edition

2017-05-04T16:13:53+00:00November 12th, 2015|Tags: , |

Yet another delay in the camera shipment date. And, because I’m an optimistic fool, I returned the cheap-ass on-camera monitor I’d gotten, and back-ordered the on-camera monitor from the same company the camera is back-ordered from. At this rate the camera and monitor will ship in January. As I wait, I forge on with the next phase of the


2017-05-04T16:05:05+00:00November 4th, 2015|Tags: , |

So, as I wait for the camera to arrive, I have been refining the control setup. I got it to work with wires, made the PS3 controller drive it over USB. Then I got rid of most of the wires and got LANC working, triggered off of the USB controller. The circuit and sketch

Past the Breadboard

2017-05-04T16:24:26+00:00October 29th, 2015|Tags: , , |

I haven’t dallied with electronics since high school. I soldered robot kits, and light sensitive buzzers. One summer I played with etching my own circuits. I couldn’t draft or silkscreen the boards, and I ended up drawing them with graph paper and a magic marker. The etching chemicals were toxic, and the experiment was

Controlling LANC with a PS3 Controller

2017-05-04T16:23:06+00:00October 28th, 2015|Tags: , |

While I wait for the camera to ship, I have been playing with making the LANC control work. I found lots of very helpful posts: Control Your Camera RF Explorer Video Vielseitig Verwendet I’ve been able to cobble together a simple circuit, and mix the sketches to make the arduino use the button presses

Arduino Camera Control

2017-05-04T16:30:02+00:00October 19th, 2015|Tags: , , , |

I have always wanted to be able to control a camera’s settings with midi. The ability to adjust any setting - iris, focus, zoom, gain - to match a beat or just to have a repeatable combination of effects. When the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera was announced, it seemed like it might give me