Freitag, 10. Juli 2009

The Interview Project

I think this is a pretty smart project:
About the Interview Project

If such things could be done worldwide, like local institutions interviewing the people in their own surroundings and so on, it would make the world a significantly more peaceful place I imagine. Everybody would understand each other better and all that... Plus we would have a huge database for potentially amazing knowledge from a wide variety of people from all cultures. It's worth thinking about...
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Freitag, 1. Mai 2009

Lie to Me*

As an animator and someone intensely interested in psychology, I found this TV show to be highly entertaining:

Here's some more info from Wikipedia:

Lie to Me* is an American television midseason replacement that premiered on the Fox network on January 21, 2009. The main character, Dr. Cal Lightman (played by Tim Roth), aided by his colleague Dr. Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams), detects deception by observing body language and microexpressions through the Facial Action Coding System, using this talent to assist clients (such as law enforcement). The character is based on Paul Ekman, notable psychologist and expert on body language and facial expressions. Dr. Ekman and his colleague, Dr. Maureen O'Sullivan, identified "naturals" in what is known as The Wizards Project, which identified 50 people with the ability to spot deception after testing 20,000 people from all walks of life. In real life, they call these "naturals" Truth Wizards, or wizards of deception detection.

The TV show is also fairly educational by the way, it was even a little too unnatural at times, in my opinion. But it's okay. Check it out if you're interested in human nature, as you should be.

Anyway, apart from that, I was actually at a presentation by Paul Ekman once. It was two years ago, at the FMX in Stuttgart. He was in fact just a guest if I remember correctly, but he still showed the audience some interesting footage about microexpressions. The presentation was more about a 3D project based on his work though: Facial Animation Toolset

The toolset basically implements the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) into 3D models. It's quite useful. It enables you to create complex facial gestures with ease. Well if you don't know anything about 3D it's hard to explain why it's as cool as it is, but it's cool. :) Part of its coolness comes from it being a free, open source software though. If you register over there you also get access to a Facial Expression Repertoire and things like that, it's interesting.

We even used the toolset on our music video thingy back then. We weren't able to finish it (long story) but you can still download the finished half of it here: Remembered for Whatever - Prevaricator

Or you can watch a slightly lower quality version too:

If you watch it you'll see a singing tear-like creature in it. To animate his lips and the rest of the facial movements during singing, at first we tried to film and track my face with infrared markers+cam while I pretended to sing, but that didn't work out well since we didn't really have any face tracking experience before. (The mouth was opening and closing but the calibration was too bad and the setup too simplistic. It just looked like a spastic 3D version of South Park style animation.) So we ended up having to hand-animate all the details. In the end the lipsync and the facial expressions of the singer-creature is good enough, I think. But it had other problems and it isn't finished anyway, so who cares... :)

Finally, remember that the best way to ensure that you won't get caught while lying is to be honest. Honesty is also more fun for everybody. :)

Donnerstag, 23. April 2009

Gods Must Be Crazy

Wonderful movie. So unique.

I had seen the series on TV when I was very little. I had only vague impressions left from it in my mind. I just saw the first, original movie once again. It's amazing that a film like this really exists, must have been a very interesting production.

Some more details here:

And 6 years ago, our hero died apparently:
'Gods Must Be Crazy' star N!xau dies

I think seeing the stark contrast between two lifestyles like at the beginning of the movie is really something worthwhile. It's very meaningful, it's enlightening and thought-provoking. Actually thanks to YouTube you can already see it here and now:

Not the best quality, but it's not bad either. I recommend seeing the whole movie in a better quality though. And I'm not sure why but I really love how the children dance and sing at 4:10. If I can convince a few friends I'll try to do the same dance with them. It looks like fun.

Mittwoch, 15. April 2009

Daito Manabe

He's a japanese, innovative, high-tech artist-like person. I found his work quite impressive.

This is his website:

I didn't yet check it out but I looked at his Youtube channel and seeing some of his videos convinced me that he'll be a much more famous guy one day, if he can keep doing his thing. He plays with the muscles' signals and uses the body's electricity to make noises/music for example:

And vice versa:

It's all still pretty experimental obviously, they're works in progress, but I think the potential is also obvious. He has many more videos on YouTube.

P.S. Discovered through Derren Brown's blog:

And this is also interesting:


Sonntag, 29. März 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

This looks promising:

This is the official Website of the movie:
Where The Wild Things

The song used in the trailer is from Arcade Fire's first album, titled Wake Up.

Freitag, 20. März 2009

Sarah Silverman

I had heard about her before, and I had seen a few clips of her in the past, but recently I started watching her show* and I'm impressed. The Sarah Silverman Program is probably the smartest and the most creative TV show I've seen since Arrested Development. Actually I didn't watch any TV shows since then. :) At least not in their entirety, just a few episodes of certain shows to get an idea. But I keep an eye on new stuff, so I guess I would've caught if there were any other excellent things out there.

Silverman has a very active, productive mind, for all kinds of ridiculously silly stuff. But she'll never ever be taken seriously about serious things after all this again, not in the near future. :) I used to be a more silly person myself. It's a lot of fun, but has its difficulties sometimes...

*: What triggered my interest in the show was this: SS at AME

Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009


I might comment on this article some time in the future:
Losing track...

I had similar experiences and thoughts at times... Nick Southall has written a series of "Soulseeking" articles apparently, the others may be interesting too.

P.S. Oh, wow: Baby born with foot in brain (actually more like another fetus)