Squeezing the soul out of digital video

24 January 2017

The image above is from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon title sequence. Pretty iconic, right? It is the result of a new video technique I came up with. For more examples and a thorough explanation, read on:

I was taken by a Strange Mood and created a small combination of shell and python scripts that:

1) Creates a still image from every frame of a given input video, then 2) Compares each of these images against each other, round-robin style, in order to 3) Find the two images (and therefore, the two “shots”) which are the LEAST like each other in the source video.

Essentially it take a video input, and finds the two frames that are least like each other. My theory is that all of this will Tell Us Something. I don’t really know what. This is something like digital mysticism, trying to find the soul of a string of bits and surface it.

The current method is sub-optimal in several ways, for one it takes a long time to run on a laptop. Remember: We’re comparing every second of video to every other second of video, and that adds up. Running the script against a full 22-minute episode of a TV should would require 970921 comparisons, so I’ll set that up to run tonight and maybe it’ll be done by morning? This sounds like a job for EC2.

Some more examples:

A-Ha – Take On Me

Citizen Kane – Original Trailer

Remove TimeMachine Backups.backupdb file manually via terminal command line

10 January 2017

This weekend I started building a media center with the CHIP and an old external hard drive which formerly functioned as my Time Machine backup (here’s the new Time Machine drive). In the process, I needed to delete the old Time Machine backup but NOT format the drive. This proved to be harder than you’d think.

Long story short, the tool you’re looking for is tmutil. It exists solely to modify and delete Time Machine backups. Use it like this: sudo tmutil delete /Volumes/YourDisk/Backups.backupdb

Source: Remove TimeMachine Backups.backupdb file manually via terminal command line | Garbage In Garbage Out : Tech Blog

Badlands: The Scroll of Naming

05 January 2017

Instead of just asking for money for my prototype game, Badlands, I’ve created the Scroll of Naming. Visit the Badlands homepage and you can pay $1.50 to add any 3 names to the random name generator in the game. Your submissions will be added to the core game code and distributed with the game to everyone.

Don’t be a jerk. I can / will reject names due to bigotry or other jackassery.

Announcing Bridge: A positionally tracked mixed reality and VR headset for iPhone

13 December 2016

So… We Made A Headset. More on the official site.

We started working on Bridge, in secret, pretty soon after Structure Sensor launched. It’s so cool to be able to talk about this in public. I got to get my hands dirty with a lot of Bridge, including the Bridge Engine that powers the software. The press has done a better job than I could in describing the device, so I’ll leave it to them for now:

Wired: The Bridge Headset Powers Up iPhone VR With Positional Tracking

The Verge: Bridge is a new headset that lets you mix virtual objects with the real world

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My name is Phil Nelson and I make beautiful objects for a troubled world. I'm a designer / developer / writer / director / editor / narrator at Occipital.

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