Watch: Stunning Blade Runner VR Fan Project is Nearly Done, But There’s a Hitch


We check back in with Blade Runner 9732, a stunningly detailed fan developed VR recreation of Deckard’s iconic flat from the original film. The project was recently updated showing some incredible progress, but despite its near final status, there’s one snag which is holding up its completion.

It’s been a little while since we last checked in on Blade Runner 9732, a one-man project that started as a technical exercise and blossomed into a quest to recreate one of sci-fi’s most iconic movie locations. With the sequel to the 1982 original, Blade Runner 2049, now confirmed for release this year, we thought we’d check in on a project we first covered over 2 years ago.

Blade Runner (1982) director Ridley Scott’s obsessive attention to detail when it came to set dressing made for dense, layered scenes littered with carefully placed, hand picked objects which may only appear fleetingly (if at all) in the movie, but were instrumental in bringing to life his vision of a dystopian future. It also means the film is rich pickings for those wishing to go about recreating that world. In Creative Software Engineer Quentin Lengele‘s case, Blade Runner 9732 began as an exercise in sharpening his 3D modelling skills, specifically 3DS Max height maps, even more specifically wall tiles found in Blade Runner protagonist Deckard’s apartment. “It was just a height map test on wall tiles in 3D Studio Max. It quickly turns into a modelling challenge to reproduce all the assets of Deckard’s apartment and a view on Los Angeles streets,” said Lengele of the project’s origins.


We originally wrote about the project back in 2014, with the project already showing huge promise, demonstrating as it did the sort of attention to detail that virtual reality fans crave. Now, over 2 years on, the project is looking better than ever. In a new dev blog Lengele gives us a real-time video look at the project (see embedded video at the top of this page). Here’s a list of the latest builds improvements:

  • New lighting setup. No more Direction Specular Ligh[t]map, only Directional.
  • New Reflection Probes setup. Less probe instances, high quality only when needed.
  • New Post-Processing beta4 implementation
  • Finetune particle systems
  • City mod & texturing enhancement (Substance Painter)
  • New Police Spinner animation & textures
  • Better Global Fog settings
  • Finetune Lens Flares
  • Reduce Volumetric Lights quality
  • Move all assets into Resources folder
  • Reduce scales in lightmaps on several objects
  • Finetune glass rendering
  • Finetune some PBR materials
  • Fix apartment walls, floors and roof meshes
  • Add new unmounted Blaster gun

After years of painstaking work, it now appears Lengele is approaching completion of the project. In a response to a comment on his dev blog, the developer says he’s very nearly there. “I have 3 things to do before releasing this experience: 1. Improve the bathroom
2. Add a few more details on buffets.” But one crucial step may have to wait, the final up to date VR port of the experience. Sadly Lengele doesn’t possess a current generation VR headset, just a now obsolete Oculus Rift DK1.




Considering the potential for this incredible digital homage to a bonafide sci-fi movie classic, surely there’s  someone out there who can help Lengele get his hands on the latest VR hardware? To be clear, Lengele has never asked for a hand out, but if Oculus, HTC or Valve are reading this, can you throw some hardware at this guy? From my perspective, projects like these (and we’ve seen a few over the years) present an opportunity to highlight forms of creativity which VR can truly bring to life. Lets see if someone can help make it happen! [Source: RoadtoVR]

January 2, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , , , , , ,
The Fourth Industrial Revolution World Economic Forum


Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Artificially-intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed.

Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.

December 21, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
AirSelfie. The only portable flying camera integrated in your phone cover



AirSelfie is a revolutionary pocket-size flying camera that connects with your smartphone to let you take boundless HD photos of you, your friends, and your life from the sky. Its turbo fan propellers can thrust up to 20 meters in the air letting you capture wide, truly original photos and videos on your device. The anti-vibration shock absorber and 5 MP camera ensure the highest quality images. And its ultra-light 52g form that slips into a special phone cover and charger means you can keep AirSelfie on you at all times. Say hello to the future of selfies.

With its Aeronautical grade anodized aluminium case, four turbo fan propellers powered by brushless motors, a 5 Megapixel HD video camera, and a weight of nearly 52 gr., make it an easy to carry drone. The case also houses a battery that recharges the drone in 30 minutes.










Check out their Kickstarter campaign; they are looking to raise €45,000 for production. But at the time of writing they’ve already raised €145,090.


Source: AirSelfie

November 24, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , ,
BBC builds a ‘holographic’ TV to see how we may watch shows in the future

A holographic image of a beating heart, projected using a flat screen TV and an acrylic pyramid. BBC/YouTube


The BBC has created an experimental ‘holographic’ TV to bring to life some of its archive footage. It produced striking footage to show how holographic TVs may be part the living rooms of the future.

The holographic TV was made as part of the broadcasting corporation’s work in exploring emerging technologies for future audiences. The BBC’s head of digital partnership, Cyrus Saihan, lead the project.

Saihan’s team used existing technologies and simple techniques to explore ways to create holographic content.

First, in order for the images to really float like a hologram, video footage had to be adapted. The team collaborated with MDH Hologram, a UK-based visual effects and hologram specialist company, which tweaked and formatted the archive footage to make it ‘holographic’.

The team selected archive footage that they thought would work well as a hologram, including clips of the London New Year’s Eve firework display and dinosaur recreations from some of the network’s natural history history footage.

Then, a simple acrylic pyramid shape was placed on top of a 46” TV, inspired by an old Victorian theatre technique. The images were then broadcast through the TV, making them appear holographic.

“The technique that we used was based on the work of John Henry Pepper who in the 1800s came up with a way of enabling ‘ghostly’ objects to appear and disappear on stage. The technique involves placing a reflective material at an angle (we used transparent acrylic) and shining an image onto that material at a certain angle, giving the impression of a ‘floating’ image,” Saihan told WIRED.

“By creating a shape like this, we were able to allow audiences to see the ‘floating’ image from a wide range of angles.”



The experiment was tested out on audience members touring the New Broadcasting House building, who felt that it brought the images to life more and made watching TV more engaging.

It was found that the images were more powerful when the ambient lighting levels were low and the room was dark. The effect of the images also worked best when the display was positioned at eye level.

Though the BBC experiment was simplistic, it demonstrated that new technologies in this area may have the potential to change the way audiences experience media content.

“This is just a toe in the water for us, but it will be interesting to see how the space develops as the augmented reality devices that various technology companies are creating start to become more widely available,” said Saihan.


September 25, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , , ,
Inside Star Trek Beyond’s Amazing Visual Effects


Design FX dives into the incredible special effects of Star Trek Beyond. From the digital construction of the Starship Enterprise all the way down to the extraterrestrials themselves, Mike Seymour takes us into warp drive as he breaks this successful franchise down to its DNA.

[The Scene]

July 27, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , ,
Lucasfilm and Magic Leap are pushing Star Wars into augmented rality

(Lucasfilm / Magic Leap)


The company’s released a teaser video earlier this week, showing two memorable characters from the franchise in an AR setting.

Lucasfilm is joining forces with Magic Leap in order to bring another dimension to the Star Wars experience.

Announced at the Wired Business Conference, the exact details of the union are unclear. Will the partnership be for creating theme park rides; or will it be for special movie effects or for computer gaming? Despite dazzling the world with teasers and demos, Magic Leap is still a company that is keeping its augmented reality technology a closely guarded secret and this partnership is no exception.

However, a video, which premiered at the event in New York on Thursday, showed amazingly life-like computer generated representations of C-3PO and R2D2 appearing in a room, talking straight to camera and appearing to interact with their surroundings.



June 20, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Razer’s VR headset is designed for developers


The OSVR HDK2 was arguably Razer’s biggest E3 unveiling this year – but it was also kind of besides the point. Like Google’s Daydream announcement a few weeks back, this is a reference device, a way of showcasing hardware designed specifically to work with the company’s software.

OSVR VR is Razer’s attempt to build a hardware ecosystem for virtual reality, away from the proprietary nature of companies like Oculus, HTC and Sony, whose chief concern is getting and keeping people in their own virtual reality offerings.

“A huge part of OSVR is enabling the community,” Razer Product Marketer Jeevan Aurol told TechCrunch in an interview at the company’s booth. “We offer a product which the community can upgrade, change and use it as their own to further their own VR needs.”

At $400, it’s certainly not the most premium headset out there. But the company’s not looking to compete directly with the Rifts and Vives of the world, even though purchase will be open to consumers. It’s pretty big and chunky and, as one might expect from a reference design, and doesn’t contain many of the niceties we’ve come to expect from more expensive reference models.



Razer is certainly couching the initiative as an altruistic method for bolstering the developer community. The company offered up a good chunk of its booth space to startups like Gloveone, which has developed an impressive glove-based peripheral that both tracks motion and features haptic feedback to simulate touch.

“OSVR is a software platform that facilitates the growth of an open ecosystem,” adds Jeevan. “Different brands of hardware can coexist within this ecosystem. That allows for compatibility and allows a consumer to walk into a store and purchase any type of headset they want, with any type of controller they want.”

At the very least, the growth of the ecosystem positions Razer extremely well to develop consumer-facing hardware of its very own. The gaming peripheral maker is, however, still a bit cagey. Says Jeevan, “There is a strong possibility that we will make VR hardware for the industry in the future.”



June 20, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , , , , ,
‘Your job is to create a world that lasts forever’ Steven Spielberg Speech | Harvard Commencement 2016


This world is full of monsters,” director Steven Spielberg told Harvard graduates, and it’s the next generation’s job to vanquish them.

“My job is to create a world that lasts two hours. Your job is to create a world that lasts forever,” he said.

These monsters manifest themselves as racism, homophobia, and ethnic, class, political, and religious hatred, he said, noting that there is no difference between them: “It is all one big hate.”

Spielberg said that hate is born of an “us versus them” mentality, and thinking instead about people as “we” requires replacing fear with curiosity.

“‘Us’ and ‘them’ will find the ‘we’ by connecting with each other, and by believing that we’re members of the same tribe, and by feeling empathy for every soul,” he said.

June 8, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , , ,
9 Different Ways Of Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
9 Different Ways Of Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Serious business owners have been investing to Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality, and the market is as large as the desktop market today. AR and VR can be used in nine ways, and the transformation is under way.

Video games – gamers insist on the best graphics and the revenue from gaming is expected to be $5.1billion in 2016. Lessons can be learned from the industry and with games such as VOID, you find virtual and physical worlds merged so you can play in a specially designed theme park.


Healthcare – these were some of the forerunners when it comes to using AR and VR. Health professionals were trained with the systems, and a big advantage is that training can be held safely.


Real Estate – architects gain from the processes as houses can be shown in a fun way. Sotheby’s estate agents are marketing the condominium development in First Hill and use VR headsets to allow viewers a clearer view of the inside of the building.


Engineering – projects can be safely tested throughout the term of the job.


Education and Training – this could be public schools or the military and complex theories can be studied at a sensible price.

Military – no harm can come to personnel training with VR and AR. Scenarios can be shown, and knowledge gleaned.


Live Events – VR will be very important when it comes to living to stream. NextVR and VReal are pioneers and offer 3D VR experiences. The National Collegiate Athletics Association allowed fans to watch the tournament between Villanova and North Carolina in VR.

June 4, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No helicopter needed: How drones are opening the sky for filmmakers



Long gone are the days of indie filmmakers blowing half their budget on a helicopter for that all-important aerial shot. Quadcopters are where it’s at, their flying and camera capabilities now good enough for capturing incredible footage that can wow audiences – subject to the director’s artistic vision and flying skills, naturally. Tim Cash, a filmmaker from Bend, Oregon, has been using the technology for around a year now and although music videos are his specialty, he recently had the chance to include some carefully crafted drone shots in his debut feature film, which lands this summer.

DT got in touch with Tim to find out more about how drones have helped take his work to a whole new level, and about his experiences with the technology along the way.

How long have you been using drones in your work?

“They’ve brought production values way up.”

It’s been exactly one year since I got the chopper. I use DJI’s Inspire 1 along with my iPad Air as the monitor and controls. I wasn’t impressed with drones until I saw what the Inspire 1 could do. The main things for me were: controlling the camera settings in the air (i.e., shutter, aperture, and ISO), as well as being able to control the gimbal and do tilts in flight, all from one controller. It also used a camera that wasn’t fisheye and shot native 4K at 24 frames. Bonus, as all my work is in 4K at 24 fps.What impact have they had?

They’ve brought production values way up.  Always going for the bigger-than-life look.

What are the biggest challenges for you when it comes to filming with a drone?

Well, I would have to say the attention it brings. When shooting with my camera crane I get looks and interest but once they see this thing hovering, then flying over the ground at 60 mph, people get interested real quick. Mostly because they’ve never seen anything like it. I personally like to stay below the radar but drones just bring you more attention. And then there are the legalities. That’s all still happening, so we’ll see where things go in the next couple of years.


How much training did you need to get proficient at flying the drone?

Not much at all. I’ve been flying for a year and have about 200 hours in the sky. I have experience operating a crane with a camera on the end, which involves similar controls. That said, I’m still learning and the camera moves only keep getting better and more intricate.

What kind of mistakes did you make early on when using drones in your work?

Well, I’ll start by saying, “These things can be dangerous!” I started flying with a huge fear of hurting someone or damaging the craft itself. In all it costs around $4,000 for everything, so sending it to the ground is not an option. I’m a very conservative flier and safety is always the top priority. When I first started piloting, I experienced a few near-fly-aways at 200 feet; I had to fight with the controls to rectify the problem and it was scary at the time.

Before drones, how would you get aerial or elevated shots?

“Advice: Don’t crash it into people and ruin it for the rest of us!”

On one particular shoot a few years back, I used a helicopter. The pilot and the chopper, plus the cameraman, camera, and gimbal, cost over $3,000 for less than an hour in the sky. And you can’t get a helicopter nearly as close. I also have a 20-foot camera crane which has set me apart from most of my competition. So I’ve been doing flying shots for a while … just not without strings.

Drones produce such stunning footage that it must be hard to not use them during an outdoor shoot?

I’ve always been a variety guy. There’s a lot you can do with a drone but the trick is definitely not to overuse them. In the right situation they can set up a scene or add some serious action to another. We just released a trailer (below) for The Astronot movie, which has quite a few drone shots in it but we’re trying to get butts in seats so we really wanted to wow them with some cinematography right out of the gate!


Could you tell us something about that gorgeous sweeping drone shot at the start of The Astronot trailer?

Ha! Yeah, when it comes to flying the drone, I’m a send-the-bike-down-the-road-and-get-as-many-shots-as-I-can-while-the-bird-is-in-the-air kinda guy. I didn’t really know what I was getting until I saw it in the monitor, then it was all about the dance with the bike – keeping it smooth and keeping the bike framed artistically, all the while flying a multi-rotor aircraft. The second part tends to leave your mind especially when you have a wide-open area to fly in with no obstacles. When I have to fly around or through things, that’s when my heart palpitates.

Below: One of Tim’s music videos using drones, and drone shots, as part of the story:


What improvements would you like to see made to the currently available remotely controlled copters?

It’s already happening – better camera! They just released a new camera for the Inspire 1 with a great big sensor and it shoots RAW. I’ll probably upgrade to it sooner than later.

And finally, what advice would you give to filmmakers looking to include drone photography in their work?

Don’t crash it into people and ruin it for the rest of us!

[Digital Trends]

May 19, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , , ,
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