Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Impossible Movie

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Life of Pi, Ang Lee's magical movie about a boy and a tiger trapped in a lifeboat together, surprised the pundits by topping $22 million in its first week. The movie features the most beautiful 3D cinematography that I have ever seen and a storyline that is as unusual as it is heart warming.

When director Ang Lee first read Yann Martell's novel ten years ago, he felt that making it into a movie would be "technically almost impossible" with the tools available at the time. However, he also "suspected that a new film language might open up the chances with this particular project."

3D Camera System from the Cameron | Pace Group
The Fusion 3D camera and workflow developed by James Cameron, Vince Pace and the Cameron | Pace Group along with advances in computer generated imagery made the impossible possible. "The 3D is an integrated part of the art form and I feel like the technology that we created has contributed to a masterpiece," Cameron explains.

The 3D imagery in Life of Pi rivals, perhaps exceeds, the beauty of Cameron's Avatar. Don't miss it!

What is your favorite 3D movie?

James Cameron and Vince Pace on Life of Pi

Life of Pi Official Trailer

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The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.

Quotations sourced from:
http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_22005587/life-pis-ang-lee-talks-3d-casting-and
http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/7706-life-of-pi-featurettes.html

"suspected that a new film language might open up the chances with this particular project."

Read more: "Life of Pi's" Ang Lee talks 3D, casting, and adapting the impossible - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_22005587/life-pis-ang-lee-talks-3d-casting-and#ixzz2DGl40EmK
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
"suspected that a new film language might open up the chances with this particular project."

Read more: "Life of Pi's" Ang Lee talks 3D, casting, and adapting the impossible - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_22005587/life-pis-ang-lee-talks-3d-casting-and#ixzz2DGkummkP
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
"suspected that a new film language might open up the chances with this particular project."

Read more: "Life of Pi's" Ang Lee talks 3D, casting, and adapting the impossible - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_22005587/life-pis-ang-lee-talks-3d-casting-and#ixzz2DGkummkP
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse


Thursday, November 22, 2012

November in Columbia

Jesse Hall in the Fall
November 10th was a beautiful day in Columbia so I grabbed a camera and went for a walk around the MU campus and downtown.  Here are some images I captured.



















Memorial Union Surrounded by Color

Yellow Leaves and Red Bricks at MU's Lowry Hall
Looking Up!
Red and Green
Jesse Through the Columns
Enter and Learn
The Quadrangle and Columns at MU from Jesse Hall
Framed by Pines

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The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

3D Printing Crosses an Inflection Point

A few days ago, a major inflection point occurred in the history of manufacturing and the progress of 3D printing. For the first time, a consumer company has started offering replacement parts for its products as 3D CAD drawings that can be printed on demand at a 3D service bureau or on a 3D printer at home.

Teenage Engineering, a Swedish company that produces electronic music synthesizers, has posted the models on Shapeways. Any customer can download the model for free or order the part to be manufactured on-demand by Shapeways.

The production of replacement parts on-demand with a 3D printer has been predicted by manufacturing experts for years including Scott Crumb, the CEO of Stratasys, one of the primary companies building 3D printing equipment. Now that it is beginning to happen, I expect the trend will accelerate and transform the way companies produce and stock parts.

3D printing creates parts by building them layer by layer based upon a 3D computer model. Each layer is added to the layer below until the part is completed. This additive process is completely different from the way most items are manufactured.  Traditional machining processes start with a block of material and remove material until the part desired is completed. The additive process can be much faster and easier for creating prototypes and small production runs.

The term 3D printing is seldom used by its practitioners.  The process was originally called "stereolithography" which is the name of the first method used to manufacture additively. As other types of technology were introduced, the term "rapid prototyping" became popular because that was the most common use for the machines. Currently, the preferred term is "additive manufacturing" because the method is used increasing for short run manufacturing and producing highly specialized products.

Whatever you choose to call it, the speed and costs of the additive process are continually improving and the technology will be highly disruptive to traditional manufacturing.  Teenage Engineering's new approach to parts support is one of many inflection points we will cross over the next decade.



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The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Recreating Classic Black and White

Early Eastman Kodak Camera
It has been 120 years since the Eastman Kodak Company introduced the first consumer cameras and film. For the first half of that period, most consumer photography was limited to black and white. Classic black and white prints have a crisp, clear quality that is seldom matched by contemporary printing methods.

A classic black and white photographic print is produced by exposing an image on a sheet of paper coated with a light-sensitive silver halide emulsion. Where light reaches the silver halide crystals, they are converted to metallic silver. Chemical processing then develops the metallic silver into the dark areas of the print and washes the unconverted silver halide away.  The silver that remains in the image generates the crisp image that we expect in classic black and white prints.

In the 1960s, consumers began capturing images on color film and receiving color prints from their labs. While the color photographic process is also based upon exposure of silver halide into metallic silver, the final result is different. Color print processing activates color dyes that are coupled with the silver. Once the dyes are activated, the silver is washed completely out of the color print. Initially, the dyes in color prints were not very stable which is why color prints from the 1960s and 70s are often faded and off-color.

In the early years of color photography, consumer labs offered both color and black and white processing. During the 1990s however, black and white had become such a niche product that many consumer labs began printing black and white images using color materials. Now, instead of one layer of crisp metallic silver, the black and white image was reproduced using cyan, magenta and yellow dye. The black areas were seldom black.

I am excited about a new method for printing wall decor that recreates the crisp clear quality of a classic black and white print. The metal prints offered by Black River Imaging and other professional labs are made with black ink and the metallic background brings out the timeless character of black and white photography.
Black and White Metal Print from Black River Imaging

Would some of your images be more interesting in black and white?  Have you tried having them printed on metal?


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The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What's Your Pinball




If I told what it takes
to reach the highest high,
You'd laugh and say "nothings that simple."


 Pete Townsend





In 1969, more than a decade before Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's experiments on Flow, Pete Townsend and the Who explained the phenomena quite accurate in their rock opera Tommy. Frightened and abused into a catatonic state, the apparently "deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball." The enlightened state induced by the game sets Tommy free.

He stands like a statue,
Becomes part of the machine.
Feeling all the bumpers
Always playing clean.
He plays by intuition,
The digit counters fall.
That deaf dumb and blind kid,
Sure plays a mean pinball!

He ain't got no distractions
Can't hear those buzzers and bells.
Don't see no lights a flashing,
Plays by sense of smell.
Always gets a replay,
Never tilts at all.
That deaf dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball!


Whether you call it "flow", "in the zone", or "in the groove", all of us have been so absorbed with an activity that nothing else seems to matter. This feeling of total involvement, when ego falls away and time flies, brings a sense of elation unlike any other.

For Tommy, that sense of elation came from playing pinball. For others it might be playing golf, skiing, building a website, writing a blog post, quilting, playing the guitar or questing in Worlds of Warcraft.

To reach the flow state, there must be a balance between the challenge of the task and the skill of the individual. The skill level and challenge level must be matched and high.

When do you feel the joy of total concentration?  What's your Pinball?


I'm free
I'm free
And freedom tastes of reality
I'm free

I'm free
And I'm waiting for you to follow me



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The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.