Geo Week News

August 22, 2011

Monday morning wake-up with Photofly and Hunz

3D, georeferenced information is a valuable and real tool for industrial and civil applications. There’s no doubt about that. But it’s a tool for other things, too, some that may seem frivolous at first glance, but which underly very real business applications. Like music videos.

Many thanks to Autodesk Labs for pointing me in the direction of Hunz, a synth-pop band out of Brisbane, Australia, that’s contracted IV Motion and Graetz Media to produce for them a hauntingly beautiful music video that uses to great effect the 3D possibilities of Project Photofly, an on-the-fly photogrammetry software application that’s just beginning to excite designers of all kinds around the world. 

First, let’s take a look at the video:


Okay, so maybe they go a little overboard with the multiple lead-singers shooting back and forth (it seems a little show-offy). What I like are those stoic digital statues that appear as real objects as the singer moves through his environment, and, obviously, the wicked cool (as we say here in Maine) way the pieces of digital image wrap him like a mummy at the finish. This is the promise of real 3D – not that stereo crap (okay, maybe it’s not utter crap) that’s being foisted upon the masses. You don’t need to experience it “in 3D” to appreciate that those images don’t look flat in the video but rather look real, like the best CGI. They cast shadows.

Except this probably cost a fraction of what real CGI would have cost. The image capture was easy, the reconstruction supplied by Photofly. This didn’t take a team of people at Dreamworks (I can assure you Hunz could not afford such), but rather a handful of forward-thinking video and effects geeks with a vision (IV’s address is a PO box; Graetz is four guys). 

The music industry is in terrible flux. Digital downloading can’t hope to make up for the album sales that propelled the industry in the late-80s and early-90s, before file-trading started cutting a gash in the revenue stream. Now bands need to try harder and harder to catch attention, hold ears and eyeballs. So, they’ve again turned to video, like they did with MTV 30 years ago, but this time going with YouTube and Vimeo and other social sites, hoping to spread like wildfire and thus get people to pay them when they come to their city for a live show. 

As they scrap to survive and turn a buck, it’s great to see them embracing these kinds of tools – admittedly created by Autodesk for the purposes of “building renovation” and “historic preservation” and “game development” – in ways even the creators never dreamed. 

How can you get creative with 3D tools in your line of work. What are the 3D problems you haven’t even tried to solve yet?

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