With everyone heading to or already at SXSW this week and next, I thought this would be a good time to post about the location aware music apps that Bluebrain has been doing. They’ve already done one for The National Mall and Central Park ( Listen To The Light ), the new one The Violet Crown is based around Austin and SXSW. Basically it’s, as Bluebrain describes it, “a musical composition, available exclusively as a free iPhone app, that uses the phone’s built-in GPS to alter the music as the listener traverses the area – each street and intersection is tagged with various pockets of sound, turning the festival grounds into a musical ‘choose-your-own-adventure’.”
You can download the free app here through iTunes.
It’s a really cool concept and as of yet, I haven’t been able to try out the other versions from The National Mall or Central Park ( Listen To The Light ), The Violet Crown will be the first.
For those that can’t make it out to SXSW this year, I dug a little further to get some more of the background on The Violent Crown app and some process. Ryan Holladay of Bluebrain went over the technical info and he sent me a few screen grabs and a map from the programming end of things. He also did a breakdown of how it works, which I think is really interesting.
“What you are looking at in these shots is the app simulator running running on our desktop — this is a way that we can remotely test the music without having to be in Austin and simulate the experience of, say, walking from one block to another and hearing how the music changes. As you can see, there are many in a single area, often with so many overlapping that it’s difficult to tell visually where each of them are located. The crosshairs in the middle represent the location of the listener, the various circles indicate the size of the audio track and the colors the state the audio is in: Blue, as you probably guessed, is playing, while yellow is cued and red is disengaged.
Because, by design, the app basically has to be ready for whichever direction you move, what we have is a system that prepares the audio to be dropped in at any given point and at the correct interval by preloading audio in every direction within a certain proximity. So, for instance, if you were to begin walking from Frontage Rd towards Congress Ave, halfway up 4th Street it will have prepared the tracks waiting for you when you arrive at Red River Street. But, when you reach an intersection, the audio to your left and right is also waiting for in case you chose that direction. Once it’s realized you’ve moved on, it drops those tracks to save processing power until you turn around and re-approach.”
To see what it’s all about check out the Making Of video below, which gives you a detailed explanation of what it does and how they actually built the one for Central Park ( Listen To The Light ).
Andrew Huang’s full length version of Solipsist is now available to watch above. I posted a few weeks ago on the trailer, which I was astonished by alone, but now the full version is up. This piece is nothing short of astonishing from photography and post to sound design. I won’t say too much more, but I will say that you might want to close out of Photoshop for about 10 minutes and fullscreen this.
Also, for those that are interested, here’s the making of that’s equally as interesting.
I’ve been having a good deal of fun editing on my iPhone lately and its even spilled over into some of my design work. I recently discovered a great little app called Grid Lens (well worth checking out), and created a custom grid for myself of skinny columns (Some inspiration from this painting) and took a sequence of photos of a white wall… It turned out like this (see image above).
I figured I was onto something and brought it into Image Blender (another invaluable app) and started layering it. First horizontally and then diagonally. I ended up with this:
This got me pretty excited, especially because it started with a photo of a white wall… I then layered it over another photo that I mirrored for more symmetry and ended up with this:
I find accidental creativity to be some of the most exciting, especially when it comes together quickly, when you almost cant keep up with it.
A few more examples of the same technique:
I am working on a logo right now and I figured this is great application to try out this same technique. I did it all in illustrator but the inspiration came from a $2 app.
Tools that fit in my pocket fit much better into my life.
All images by Seth Hardie
Find me on Instagram here: @hallwood
Explorers of Tomorrow is the title of the first book project I completed at the Academy of Art University in Spring 2009. Up to this point our projects consisted of posters and small printed materials, so this was the first time we were pushed to develop a consistent visual language and extend it across multiple pages. The assignment was to take a subject of interest, research its future 10 years from the present, and display our findings in a book.
Growing up, one of my favorite books was Automobiles of the Future by Irwin Stambler. Written in the 60s, it imagined the automobile in the 80s, 90s, and even the new millenium. The book was a window to a strange parallel dimension, where everything inside was a streamlined, pastel version of reality. Its pages held promise, for the future of automobiles was about more than spark plugs and oil filters, it was the story of man’s struggle to better himself. At the same time, it was very naive and simplified the world of tomorrow to a utopia that answered all of the problems facing their society. It never considered the possibility that the future would have its own set of obstacles to overcome. But that was its biggest appeal to me, to see the ways our society had advanced so far from their wildest dreams, yet fallen short on its fundamental ideals.
Space exploration has always been a fascination of mine. With that in mind I began to think about our future. 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight, and I thought it would be interesting to look at the future of space exploration 10 years from the present, but from the perspective of writers in the past. Specifically, I wanted to look at how a society that had just landed on the moon would view space travel in the future: how would our idea of 2019 compare to a society’s that looked to the stars for answers?
Continuing my new year’s resolution, I wanted to share my experience working on a rebranding project for school. This project was completed over the course of Spring 2011, and the assignment was to choose a dying or defunct brand and breathe new life into it. Throughout the semester we developed a logo, letterhead, visual identity, and brand extensions for the revamped company, and the final deliverable was a brand guidelines book. Alex described his process working with Playboy, and I highly recommend you check them out if you haven’t yet.
I had a lot of fun designing the deck of playing cards for Beast in a Neon Cage, so I thought it would be interesting to work with a playing card company. Once I chose my industry, I looked at brands like Kem and Copag and ended up choosing Hoyle. Hoyle is part of the United States Playing Card Company, which also owns the Bicycle and Bee playing card lines.
I’ve been taking pictures with my iPhone for about a year and half now and I’m continually surprised at the things I’m learning and new techniques I’m discovering.
I barely used to crop at all, especially when editing my DSLR photos. I was always (overly) concerned with resolution and making sure I didn’t lose any.
Enter lower resolution iPhone with a fixed focal length…
As I always have my iPhone on me this is how I take most of my photos these days. I often find my self on the other side of a river, across a huge field or just a little too far away from a mountain. This has literally forced me to crop in closer to get the photo I want. Because apps like Instagram publish quite a small image I don’t care as much about resolution anymore (although this can be frustrating later).
Having this “freedom” of no longer caring so much about resolution has encouraged me to crop more and often I find myself revisiting photos that I had written off, only to discover post crop a new favourite photo. Where I was concerned about resolution before I’m now concerned about the final composition. Now I just need a 50mp camera thats fits in my pocket!
All images taken and edited on the iPhone and posted on Instagram by Seth Hardie.
I’ve been meaning to write up process posts for some of the work I’ve created while studying at the Academy of Art University, and now that it’s a new year I figured it would be a good time to get started.
Beast in a Neon Cage is the name of a hypothetical film festival I created during the Fall 2010 semester. The assignment was to create a festival for a director of our choice and develop a brand and visual identity to extend across multiple pieces including: a poster, catalog book, DVD set, soundtrack, letterhead, schedule, tickets, signage, website and numerous products. Previously, Alex wrote about the process of designing his festival for Wes Anderson here,here and here. Instructors at AAU continue to use his festival as a benchmark for a successful project.
UPDATE: It was fake, but now it’s real. And it’s going to win everything. Download it now.
Ever since I started working in startup land, I’ve felt the need to ingratiate myself in the ever-buzzing world of *tech*. This means staying up on other companies, the blogs, and the general Silicon Valley scene. This can be very repetitive. People get funded, apps get released, and companies buy things. Sometimes a conference happens. Having spent the better part of the last few years neck-deep in this hullabaloo, I figured it was time to parody it.
As I’ve written before, I currently am working on Nosh. Download it now please, it will give you some context. One of my periodic jobs is to drum up support for our beloved application. Of course we do this the normal way (press releases etc), but when I have a free weekend, I like to try and make something crazy and unusual to help things along. I call it the Skunkworks project (achieve victory by any means possible). We had great success with the 404 page, and the Jotly project was my next move. Continue reading for the full process behind the project.