Urban Tracking

21 11 2008


Tracking in logistics concerns a process starting with determining the current and past locations and other status of property in transit. In the context of hunting it involves the science and art of learning about a place via animal trails and other environmental evidence. In navigation, tracking concerns setting up a track on other objects momentarily viewed from the observer’s own location.

Thus ‘urban tracking’ collates to observing urban movement and habitation habits and the rapid cancerous growth of eco-hostile conglomerates. Using the process of dead reckoning one determines one’s location with respect to certain points in the vicinity. Thus by mapping one’s location with a constantly growing habitat, we track the urban cancer in its rabid growth to overcome enroute the road to total annihilation.


Anti-Terror Technologies

6 08 2008

Psychologists tell us that after horrific events, such as the September 11 terrorist attacks, people tend to react initially with shock, fear, confusion, sadness, and anger, but then they want to take some kind of action. This urge to do something may result from a desire for revenge, but it also stems from a need people have to regain control of a situation, and to do so in the most effective way possible, using whatever special expertise they can bring to bear. This was certainly true for me. If he response about how computer graphics technologies can be used to stop terrorism—is any indication, it was also true for many others in the computer graphics community, though I’m sure pure altruism and patriotism on the part of the respondents were major factors as well.

The response was impressive. Some 70 respondents offered innovative ideas for employing computer graphics tools and techniques in a host of applications, ranging from improving airline safety and enhancing emergency-response training to employing counter-terrorist measures and raising consciousness about the precursors and aftermath of terrorism. What follows is an edited sample of the comments: Read the rest of this entry »

Mind Game

4 08 2008

Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Writer: Robin Nishi
Genre: Animation / Adventure / Comedy

Mind Game recounts the story of Nishi, a wienerish manga artist who’s too shy to confess his love for his childhood friend Myon. After a chance meeting, they go to the yakitori restaurant that Myon runs with her sister Yan and her pathetic, egocentric father, who is wanted by the yakuzos. The gangsters show up, and in a weird twist of events Nishi is murdered in one of the most degrading manners conceivable. After a brief stint in the afterlife, Nishi makes a break for it back to earth with a new lease on life and the balls to match. He rescues everyone and skips off with Myon and Yan in the gangsters’ car, but the yakuzos are soon on his tail. The chase goes well for Nishi and crew until they ramp off a bridge and are swallowed by a huge whale. There they make friends with a fellow Jonah and settle in for a long, fascinating stay.

This movie is brilliant for more reasons than I can even begin to describe. Masaaki employs a dazzling array of anime styles and techniques, tampering joyfully and explosively with everything his medium has to offer. To watch this film is to examine life through more colorful lenses than I almost thought possible to the imagination. Masaaki dances between perspectives, flits along mad tangential flights of fancy, peeks incessantly at bright possible-worlds, back-flips through reminiscences, makes unthinkable connections, and somehow, incredibly, still leaves much to the imagination.

Mind Game couldn’t be more different from the slick giant robots, mega-sized guns, and short-skirted schoolgirls that have come to be associated with Japanese anime in the minds of Westerners. Fast and funny, smutty and sexy, bizarre and hypnotic. It’s a movie that exists to remind us that life is a miracle. And so is Mind Game.

Anifest India ‘08

4 08 2008
Anifest India '08

Anifest India '08

Anifest India explores challenging ideas from a wide range of artistic and intellectual perspectives, including traditional mediums, cutting edge technology, production and management, education, film appreciation and associated crafts. Festival participants are encouraged to view the art of animation and the world in new ways, and to approach the task with the vitality, humor and candor one finds in conversations among close friends.

The festival will take place in the picturesque IIT, Powai campus in Mumbai between August 15-17, 2008, and in the pipeline are dynamic speakers internationally renowned for their talent and accomplishments. The festival’s artistic lineup will be announced shortly.

“We were exhilarated by the stupendous success of our festival the past year, and are all geared up for an action-packed version 2008,” said TASI Secretary Ranjit Singh, who is scheduled to make his first appearance as a speaker this year on production management and control. “Based on the positive response from participants so far, I am confident the festival will be an even greater success this year.” he added.

Vaibhav Kumaresh, the Joint Secretary of TASI talks about IP, focusing on creation rather than marketing and copyright protection. “First get the ball rolling (create IP) then start playing the game (owning and marketing IP)” says Vaibhav whose studio has been producing successful original content ever since their inception. Their creations like Simpu and Mangal Pandu are household names.

According to the NASSCOM report on animation the Indian Animation Industry Expected to Reach USD 950 Million by 2009. The market size of the global animation industry (from the demand perspective) was estimated at USD 55 billion in 2005. The industry is expected to witness a CAGR of eight percent and is estimated to be USD 75 billion by 2009. Of the total animation market, approximately 40- 45 percent goes towards the cost of development. Based on this, the global animation market (from the developers’ perspective) was estimated at USD 25 billion in 2005, and is expected to increase to USD 35 billion by 2009.

The size of the Indian animation market is expected to witness a CAGR of 35 percent from 2005-2009 and increase to USD 950 million by 2009. Currently, activities at the production stage form a major portion of outsourcing, with postproduction accounting for a small share. The share of post-production activities is expected to increase in future. The entertainment sector contributes as much as 68 percent of the total Indian animation market (from the developers’ perspective). In entertainment, the share of fully animated movies is expected to increase significantly, from 15 percent in 2005 to 28 percent by 2009.

At Anifest India 2008 a new attraction is the Dedicated Interactive Session for added excitement and fun. The TVCA Awards which are unique to Anifest India have also seen some additions this year where the audience votes for the prize-winning film! All pre-selected films for the competition are also screened for the audience. This year a new category has been introduced: Commissioned Films which include animated ad films, promos, packaging, music videos and public service films. Last Date for entries: 5th August 2008. TASI takes a very holistic view towards animation and strives to involve all those who are connected to the industry in some form or other. If you are interested in supporting the festival

As a festival volunteer, you will have a hands-on role in implementing the Anifest India vision. Whether you are interested in a year-round volunteer leadership position or would just like to contribute a few hours during the week of the festival, your involvement is a fun way to support the festival and meet people who share your interest in the arts. To volunteer, simply get in touch with the our Volunteer Co-ordinator Devang Parikh.

Your presence in the festival audience is one of the most important ways you can support TASI’s efforts. Check out their events calendar and bring your friends and family along to share the experience when the curtain rises this Independence Day!

Be there or be square!

An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

31 07 2008

Written in 1998, the Incomplete Manifesto is an articulation of statements exemplifying Bruce Mau’s beliefs, strategies and motivations.

  1. Allow events to change you.You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.
  2. Forget about good.Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.
  3. Process is more important than outcome.When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.
  4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.
  5. Go deep.The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.
  6. Capture accidents.The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.
  7. Study.A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.
  8. Drift.Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.
  9. Begin anywhere.John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
  10. Everyone is a leader.Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.
  11. Harvest ideas.Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications.
  12. Keep moving.The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice.
  13. Slow down.Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.
  14. Don’t be cool.Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.
  15. Ask stupid questions.Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.
  16. Collaborate.The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.
  17. ____________________.Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.
  18. Stay up late.Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world.
  19. Work the metaphor.Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.
  20. Be careful to take risks.Time is genetic. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future.
  21. Repeat yourself.If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.
  22. Make your own tools.Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference.
  23. Stand on someone’s shoulders.You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.
  24. Avoid software.The problem with software is that everyone has it.
  25. Don’t clean your desk.You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight.
  26. Don’t enter awards competitions.Just don’t. It’s not good for you.
  27. Read only left-hand pages.Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our “noodle.”
  28. Make new words.Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions.
  29. Think with your mind.Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.
  30. Organization = Liberty.Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a ‘charming artifact of the past.’
  31. Don’t borrow money.Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed.
  32. Listen carefully.Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.
  33. Take field trips.The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment.
  34. Make mistakes faster.This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.
  35. Imitate.Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You’ll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique.
  36. Scat.When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else … but not words.
  37. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.
  38. Explore the other edge.Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old-tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential.
  39. Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms.Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference — the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.
  40. Avoid fields.Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.
  41. Laugh.People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.
  42. Remember.Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself.
  43. Power to the people.Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.


30 07 2008

shooting film – Cameras record the action going on.
in a realtime 3d – the time needed for the computer to transform the abstract data into a 3-dimensional visible representation is so little that you do not notice it. The whole calculation takes less than 1/10th of a second. Thus the term “realtime”.
virtual environment – the actors aren’t human, but virtual Avatars or Objects, controlled by user input or scripting and act in a virtual world that is simulated using a computer game.

Machinima (pronounced [mə.ˈʃiː.nə.mə] or [mə.ˈʃɪ.nə.mə]), a portmanteau of machine cinema or machine animation, is both a collection of associated production techniques and a film genre defined by those techniques.

Actually, it was a typo thing that led to the integration of the term animation. Originally the word “machinima” was just machine and cinema. But somehow it’s fashionable and nice to have animation in there, right? Read the rest of this entry »

National Design Policy

15 07 2008

Did you know India has a National Design Policy?

i. preparation of a platform for creative design development, design promotion and partnerships across many sectors, states, and regions for integrating design with traditional and technological resources;
ii. presentation of Indian designs and innovations on the international arena through strategic integration and cooperation with international design organizations;
iii. global positioning and branding of Indian designs and making ‘Designed in India’ a by-word for quality and utility in conjunction with ‘Made in India’ and ‘Served from India’;
iv. promotion of Indian design through a well defined and managed regulatory, promotional and institutional framework;
v. raising Indian design education to global standards of excellence;
vi. creation of original Indian designs in products and services drawing upon India’s rich craft traditions and cultural heritage;
vii. making India a major hub for exports and outsourcing of designs and creative process for achieving a design-enabled innovation economy;
viii. enhancing the overall tangible and intangible quality parameters of products and services through design;
ix. creation of awareness among manufacturers and service providers, particularly SMEs and cottage industries, about the competitive advantage of original designs;
x. attracting investments, including foreign direct investments, in design services and design related R&D;
xi. involving industry and professional designers in the collaborative development of the design profession.

The strategy to achieve this vision would focus on strengthening quality design education at different levels, encouraging use of designs by small scale and cottage industries and crafts, facilitating active involvement of industry and designers in the development of the design profession, branding and positioning of Indian design within India and overseas, enhancing design and design service exports, and creating an enabling environment that recognizes and rewards original designs.

Draft National Design Policy (pdf) (dated October 2005)

Korea: Design Policy Plan
Dutch Design Foundation’s Policy Plan

John Thackara on Design Policy
Bureau of European Designers Association on Design Policy

UK Design Council: Design policy actions for Government
Japan: Toward the New Design of Competition Policy