This is a personal blog, please observe Think Hour for ad hoc quasi-diary writings and Big Ideas for my ratified longform items. I will see you there.


2020-08-05


Trying to be more efficient and dedicated with these blog posts now. The last couple took much too long. Let’s see how I fare on my first consecutive day of posting.

Checking in on wifi-hermit @ futureland

I caught onto Wifi (artist & acquaintance) making this journal at Futureland over instagram a few weeks ago, didn’t look into the platform much but enjoyed the BTS (behind the scenes, not a gaggle of Asian singer-dancers) style postings. I bookmarked the page and I’m going to have a look now… first off I’d like to know what exactly this website is all about.

On the main landing page Futureland is defined as a tool for creating a “network of public or private digital journals”. This honestly seems like something I should have looked into before deciding to put my efforts into creating and initiating this blog. I really like how targeted they are on the idea of reliably maintaining and nurturing attention to documenting projects, skill progressions and the like:

We find it is difficult to overstate the power of continually bringing your attention back to the things you care about most.

You can view what appears to be a global activity feed, but on closer look might be a curated or limited to site developers feed, which reveals a breadth of things journalled on the platform. Right now the latest post is about barbecue (stylized as BBQ) and there are posts about yoga, reading and of course a plethora of digital design and programming tasks.

Wifi's Wave

I’m here for Wifi, though. Last I looked, there was posts on a variety of 3D work. Less focused on hard surface or traditional 3D modelling and armature/vertex animation and more focused on what appears to be procedural stuff, rigid body physics and fluids. Here’s a good reference point, including a complaint of the load that computing such things puts on a PC. Lot of cool visuals, I really liked the floating island. I could probably just ask, but I’m wondering if the body of the island a straight up sculpt or something more.

Recent posts that I haven’t seen, cover most of July. There’s some kind of array of points forming the surface of earth, to create a “Lego earth” - hard to say if this was done manually or otherwise, but effectively quantizing the surface by colours (or nothing, for ocean) to help create a lego-block version of earth. Futureland has an slightly unusual way of serving video, but I managed to collect a ts file and I will share the contents converted to a nice gif below, possibly illegally.

Lego Globe

Even more recently he’s been posting a bunch of real nice looking photo-realistic jewellery. I can’t say I know what the impetus is for this and it kind of diverges a bit from the work I know him for, but this stuff is really amazing to look at. Of extra interest is recent investment in networked octane rendering and a rigid body physics “pillsplash” animation which looks so potentially great.

Horsell Common Landing Site A.R. Experience

On the “Librivox” app, you can listen to a wide range of public domain works, narrated by volunteers. After finishing my reading/listening of “The 9/11 Commission Report” by the U.S. Government, I moved onto the H.G. Wells classic “War of the Worlds”. I don’t live particularly close to the site of the events, which unfold in southern England, but some would say most of England looks alike, and hearing town names I recognized thrown about as the setting for an alien invasion along with my visualization of a place not unlike where I live, was quite frankly hilarious.

Horsell Common

It made me consider how perhaps lesser known but still iconic sites might be memorialised in the real world. The first thought, which I quickly strangled, was a sculpture of one of the landing craft, a monolithic cylinder, at the real-world location of the fictional landing in Horsell Common. Horsell Common is of course a protected area of land with open fields and woods - and a large sci-fi themed sculpture is entirely unwelcome there, but what if you could parley the real-world basis of long and wide array of iconic and classic fiction and art in some kind of AR application?

Detailed Mock-Up

See some good drone footage of this particular landing site here. Then imagine you are looking through a phone screen at a giant cylinder somewhere in the water.

My thinking is that the UK government could serve its people in many ways at once by creating and promoting such a thing. It’s just Pokemon Go, except it promotes tourism, outdoors activity and exercise, as well as being a tribute to great works - especially British ones. We have so many great writers and stories. This is either a extremely ingenious idea or a bit cringe worthy and silly… regardless I don’t think any government could execute on such a task, maybe some kind of museum or foundation could do it, by proxy with funds they extracted from the novelty-wary government.

Just to add: I would never use such an app if it entailed letting the government into my handset and GPS ping log. Also, this is a free idea. While I think it’s potentially valuable I’m happy for anyone to take this and run with it without giving me credit. I also reckon things like this exist to such an extent that my idea isn’t exactly novel anyway.

Official Surveillance