If you’ve ever wondered how these giant world-wide high-resolution maps come together, Wired has a great new article with the creators of “MapBox”. MapBox is taking continuous streams of satellite data from the likes of NASA to construct giant near-realtime images of the entire globe at staggering resolutions.
“For the new release we’re processing two years of imagery, captured from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012,” says Loyd, “this amounts to over 339,000 16-megapixel+ satellite images, totaling more than 5,687,476,224,000 pixels. We boil these down to a mere 5 billion or so.”
The first problem is even getting the data. It’s all available in the public domain, but just transferring it over to MapBox’s servers was a major task because of the volume. To do this render, they needed to download two thirds of a terabyte of compressed data. “We’ve got 30 to 40 servers pulling down data from NASA,” says Herwig. “We called them up and said, ‘hey we’re going to hit you hard, what’s the best way we can do it for you?’”
via A Cloudless Atlas — How MapBox Aims to Make the World’s ‘Most Beautiful Map’ | Wired Design | Wired.com.
FXhome’s HitFilm has made good strides into film-editing suites on Windows, but has always been a windows-only application. Lots of reasons (I don’t want to get into “PC Rules, Mac Drools” arguments) exist for this, but with modern equipment and Microsoft’s new “features” like Windows8, they acknowledge that it’s time for a Mac version. They’ve been working on it internally and mostly completed the project, but have opened it to kickstarter for a quick community-infusion of excitement (and cash) to finish it off, to the tune of £25,000.
The vast majority of the Mac version will be funded by FXhome. We’ve already invested heavily in the initial R&D. The challenge is in the immediate cost to equip our developers with the essential hardware, development tools, software licenses and test machines needed to create the Mac version.
That’s where we need your help.
This Kickstarter gives us the boost we need right now to accelerate development. It allows us to keep the software affordable and speed up development so that HitFilm Mac comes out this year.
via HitFilm for Mac by FXhome — Kickstarter.
Up in British Columbia, legislators are pitching a new film labor tax credit raise up to 40% that will “allow competition with other jurisdictions”. With a proposed cost per-film of $100,000-$120,000 paid by the taxpayers, there is obvious backlash.
But economists call it “corporate welfare,” and say B.C. should get out of what has become a “race to the bottom” with tax incentives.
“We know that we have the best crews in North America,” he said in one of his final rallies, where he was surrounded by close to a thousand supporters at Vancouver Film Studios.
“All they require is a level playing field and we will compete, and we will win, and we will bring jobs to British Columbia.”
via NDP’s ‘corporate welfare’ for film industry won’t save jobs: economist | Globalnews.ca.
ComputerGraphicsWorld brings us the news that on June 10th up in New York, there will be a VFX Town Hall moderated by Mariana Acuna (@vfxchick) to discuss the recent turmoils in the VFX space.
“The VFX Town Hall at COLLIDER promises to be a unique experience,” says Acuña. “There are so many vital issues at stake in our industry right now, and so many different opinions on the subject, that no two town hall gatherings are ever going to be exactly alike. Basing this discussion in New York will provide a distinctly East Coast perspective to the rest of the country and the world. This is an ideal opportunity to keep the conversation moving in the right direction.”
via Computer Graphics World – Collider Conference to Host NY VFX Town Hall.
With 3d printers getting popular and cheaper, the ability to build and share models is becoming more important. A new website called “FabFabbers” connects OpenSCAD’s open model creating tools with GitHub to allow full revision control and backup of your models.
“I was motivated to do this from discussions on the RepRap forums,” Marcos says “People seemed to have become disenchanted with some aspects of the Thingiverse terms of service, ownership/licensing of models, etc.”
via SolidSmack.com – FabFabbers is the New Site to Share and Edit Your 3D Models.
Iron Man 3 starts off the big movie summer with another VFX-fest full of explosions, armor suits, and death defying stunts. Geektyrant has a good collection of shot breakdowns showcasing some of the bigger VFX projects.
Regardless of what you thought of the story, the special effects ended up being really good as always. I enjoy watching videos like this that show the process of how they were completed. They always end up being surprising. For example, I had no idea that James Badge Dale wasn’t actually wearing the Iron Patriot suit in the scene they show in the video below.
via IRON MAN 3 Special Effects Video Reels – News – GeekTyrant.
Shotgun Software today announced the release of their new Shotgun 5.0, boasting a totally rebuilt UI made to make it easier to use.
“For the 5.0 release, we turned our focus to artists and supervisors, designing simple and visual tools that connect them to important project details and to each other,” said Don Parker, Co-Founder and CEO, Shotgun Software. “This is an important step towards providing an off-the-shelf toolset that equally meets the needs of creative artists and data-centric facility managers around the single goal of doing great work while running a solid business.”
See the full release after the break.
Over at FastCompany, they have an interview with Jonathan Schwabish of the Congress Budget Office on their new push toward the use of Infographics to educate congressional staff.
Before attending a one-day Edward Tufte course a few years back, Schwabish had no background in visual communication. But that one seminar “opened his eyes” about the way the CBO was presenting their research to their client. Schwabish snowballed his interest into a basic graphic design course, and at the course’s conclusion, the teacher wanted Schwabish to create a pamphlet. Schwabish designed an infographic for CBO instead. And since then, he’s been spending about 25% of his time making infographics alongside an expanded team of colleagues.
The graphics themselves are based on some large-scale behavioral and economic simulations, and so far they’re not showing any great success in changing economic policy. But as they keep pushing forward, hopefully that will change.
via 1 | How Infographics Are Changing Congress | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.