Space Visual – Early Period (v2) (2011)

May 24, 2011

[blip.tv ?posts_id=5195101&dest=-1]

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Space Visual – Early Period (v2) (2011), 3:48

Music: Jan Joachimsen Video: Valentin Spirik (CC) 2011 BY-NC-SA

The above video is version 2 of this project first posted last October.

Some thoughts to the project

Overall Space Visual (v2) is closer to where I want it to be than version 1 was, yet a couple of things are not quite there yet:

technical:

– there is an issue with the toon edges, they appear in places where there is a certain 2D/3D logic, yet where they don’t make real sense. Not sure if this can be fixed easily… Overpaints (can be time consuming and not so much fun) will be the most practical solution here. If so then for a full HD rendered version:

– it is still only rendered in 960×540, Full HD simply takes that much longer and files are that much heavier to handle (in compositing). A hardware upgrade will make it much easier to go full HD with my online videos.

– there are a couple of features missing that I originally wanted for version 2 but then left out for various reasons: a believable cam shake, stars and grass (on the outside)

– it’s not been colour corrected in a technical sense, most of my online videos are not. There are practical reasons (effort vs necessity) and then there are artistic, or rather philosophical questions that I still have: basically the artist in me wants this to be a fully trust-your-own-eyes-and-feelings-process whereas the reality of colour correction is a rather cold, technical one with neutral-Grey-workplace-calibrated-monitor-trust-the-scopes-readings.

I want to understand how a Leonardo, a Van Gogh or a Turner could do what they did in a pre-digital time and why we today need all this complex high-tech equipment and then still are rather limited and have to make sure we don’t e.g. broadcast “illegal colours”. The artist in me says: no colour can be illegal. It’s simply a limitation and therefore can/should be challenged.

concept:

– while the minimalism of it is fully on purpose, I am wondering if part 1 (going down) works as well as it could. Since in part 2 we see halo light it may work to have dust/sun rays in part 1, this could further help with getting a feeling for the room (this I already tried to improve via textures and light:)

workflow:

– this was my first Blender project where I was not able to do an all in one render at the end: (in addition to a Sun and a Spot, and Sun/Sun for the Color/Shadow pass layer) I was using AO, Environment Lighting, toon edges and that Color/Shadow pass. So I had 3 copies of the same mesh in different layers for light/compositing reasons. Now in this setup, even if you exclude AO/Environment Lighting from the Color/Shadow pass layer, it seems that you will still get an “overall” AO/Environment Lighting render for this mesh once combined in the Compositing Nodes (=unwanted effect of meshes on top of each other)…! There is a certain logic to it, yet it also seems limiting (at least in this setup) and not quite right at the same time. So I ended up rendering my main layer first without any nodes, and then do a second round and render toon edges as well as Color/Shadow over that first render plus add other 2D effects on top (all by going through the Compositing Nodes, loading the first render and adding the rest).

As with all things 3D: there may well be a better solution for this workflow, I just may not have figured it out yet… Non photorealistic rendering (NPR) can be more tricky than you first think!

(Note: The 3D/visual part of this project was entirely made with Blender 2.57b.)

encoding:

– I still find it ridiculously hard to do open-source video (e.g. VP8) encoding (and no Blender is not the problem…). I really want this. I’m really trying. (See here and here). I’ll get there, our tools are about to get there.

Yet I also know who is to blame for high-quality open-source video encoding not being there today in every video “app” – on all platforms – in the year 2011, about 15-20 years (!) after the digital post-production “revolution” took place:

There are forces out there, multinational corporations as well as specialised law firms, who want a monopoly on a particular video codec since:

– it would be the key to control content ($$$) (imagine the possibilities if you were to own parts of a Hollywood film studio at the same time as well as an online store for movies…)

– it would be the cash cow of the century if you could just get people to pay fees for every single frame of video that is shown (“commercially”) at every given moment on this planet!

Just think of it: you could first sell them the cameras (or better: sell them a “smart” phone with a camera), and then make them work for you! Imagine a whole generation of minors, working for free for you and uploading their videos to Web 2.0…! You could make the video platform pay licensing fees and those stupid kids who work for free for you will on top of it then pay for it via having to watch yet more ads! Wouldn’t that be a plan or what…?!

I know who to thank if high-quality, open-source audio/video encoding still does not work out of the box in 2011.

I know who took care of this and who is to blame.

And I won’t forget!


“Copying Is Not Theft” (2009). And Software Patents = Organised Stealing (e.g. Apple and h.264).

May 19, 2011

Copying Is Not Theft – Official Version (1:00)

Creative Commons license: BY-SA 3.0

Video’s page (questioncopyright.org)

Copying Is Not Theft

Show this to your kids, pupils and everyone you can think of and educate them about the merits of a free (digital) copy!

And someone show this to all those RIAA lawyers that “Hope” Obama brought to his government:

Obama Taps 5th RIAA Lawyer to Justice Dept. (www.wired.com, 13.04.09)

Obama, Keep Filling Administration with RIAA Insiders (www.wired.com, 21.04.09)

Obama Nominates RIAA Lawyer for Solicitor General (www.wired.com, 24.01.11)

And someone show this to Obama’s choice for the vice president, Joe Biden, who not only famously said:

Biden to file sharers: ‘Piracy is theft’ (news.cnet.com, 22.06.10)

but went on displaying his competence and wisdom when he commented on Julian Assange in late 2010:

Julian Assange like a hi-tech terrorist, says Joe Biden (www.guardian.co.uk, 19.12.10)

and then while the People were out on the streets of Egypt:

Joe Biden says Mubarak isn’t a dictator, questions legitimacy of protesters’ demands (boingboing.net, 28.01.11)

Software Patents = Organised Theft

You see the same people that still want to uphold traditional copyright are of course also the ones that keep supporting the patent trolls and thieves:

Obama cites Steve Jobs’ wealth, product success (news.cnet.com, 22.12.10)

To all you Corporate Fascists, to all copyright thieves and patent trolls, to all the abusers, to the Joe Bidens, the Steve Jobs and the Bill Gates of this world (and their patent troll Moloch organisation MPEG-LA that steals everyones h.264 video footage *), h.264 still being used in every Apple smart phone as we speak while the first Android phones using the open-source WebM/VP8 codec are coming out right now), to all you greedy thieves:

I turned 40 earlier this year and I believe I now have seen enough crap and need to clearly warn the generations coming after me! You know those who may or may not vote for you at the next election and opt for the Pirate Party instead, or those who may stop buying your products because they realise you simply screw them wherever you can (would you trust a company with non-linear video editing that at the same time holds patents on a video codec that you (may need to!) use and that you need to pay licensing fees for every time you use your own work commercially…?!).

To all you rich, disgusting, organised thieves:

FUCK PATENTS. FUCK COPYRIGHT. AND FUCK YOU.


*) See also: Web Video Rivalry Sparks U.S. Probe (online.wsj.com, 04.03.11): this is basically about the MPEG-LA finally being investigated for their abusive comments (see also what Steve Jobs had to say) made after Google’s free and open-source WebM (VP8) codec was announced a year ago!


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