Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's been a long time since this has been updated - I was at a conference in West Virginia (BIOS) and have been sick since I returned. So here is a precis, less cryptic than my other texts, in relation to what I have been working on. First, you should be able to get my entire Internet Text as a gzipped file (use gunzip); it's only 5.9 megabytes, and it's at . I've eliminated the URLs in it; most of them would be out of date at this point. But you'll be able to search the Text - as one long five - quickly with command line tools such as grep, or even using Find in one or another program.

Second, I've been working out from the motion capture pieces I've down. When I use motion capture, the result is a .bvh file which represents the movement of the figure through space. It's an ascii file and editable. I usually import these into Poser to fill out the skeleton; I've also used them in Motion Builder and now, in Blender. When the .bvh is imported into Blender, it appears 'invisible' - in order to see anything in the rendering, objects have to be assigned (as children) to the .bvh nodes (as parents). This can easily be done in a wiring diagram window. The result is a mapping of a human body in motion - a body now transparent, with objects where flesh and bones would ordinarily exist. So the vibration or tension of the body becomes apparent. Check out for an elaborate example of this; this was the earliest 'breakthrough' for me. You might also look at - in which a figure is mapped against a different background, see below, making the relationship apparent. In you can see the figure, outstretched, in an anomalous space. Prosthetics and amputation refer to the 'cauterizing' of some of the body sensors, which then head out to infinity or 'vibrate' as a result of catastrophic jumping between states. In Blender maps doubled parents against the objects - i.e. from two .bvh files simultaneously. In I created a 'carapace' of six plates behind eight cones; here the distortion of the figure appears as a tension more readily identified with organism. Note the sudden movement of the upper left-hand plate to the lower right; this is a catastrophe in the strict sense, a sudden leaping between states as the machinery literally moves almost instantaneously from one space to another radically different one.

With the .bvh files, it would seem anything is possible. I can imagine, for example, a generalized .bvh which would be a data structure taking any number of inputs; Blender would then ask for the mapping of the inputs (initial relationships) and the movement would be represented in a similar manner as here. One can think of data structures mapping an enormous number of interrelated points; if they were plotted in such a fashion, what sort of movement, what sort of figure, would arise?

But at this point, I'm tired of these, tired of avatars and movements in general. At the talk I gave at BIOS someone asked me how these related to the kind of stewardship I described this summer, in relation to the work I was then doing - stewardship in the sense of tending the earth. And these pieces (which were amazingly well received) seem so artificial in relation to such, of course.

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