Think you understand vision? Think again.


This Ted Talk is a must see:

 http://www.ted.com/talks/pawan_sinha_on_how_brains_learn_to_see#t-10188 

The demonstration of how motion makes it possible to parse out shapes and objects out of random blobs of color and why newborn eyes present out of focus content to the early brain to make that easier is incredibly enlightening. It opened the door to making it possible for older children to learn to see when they acquired sight at a later age – totally debunking the dogma that once you reach a certain age, development of the vision system stops. Bullcrap. We simply needed to learn how the brain learns. It turns out that the brain is much more clever than many of the egocentric scientists think.

I find it difficult to understand why humans embrace an all knowing attitude. This is true in religion, medicine, science, art, etc. in that people at the top of their game want to demagogue the way things work with some sort of de-fact-o certainty. Think about that religious guy burning a kids abdomen to get the demons out of a kid with cataracs. I’m sure he was absolutely confident that what he was doing was absolutely the right thing. We see this over and over an all of the disciplines. Doctors will express with certainty how long someone has to live when they acquire a certain disease. Indeed, saying any condition is incurable is the height of egocentric dogma. It is preposterous!

Nobody knows anything with absolute certainty. We can surmise expectation based upon study and observation and anticipate that things will continue to happen a certain way. But when you scale things down to the quantum level, anything is possible. Perhaps not likely – but possible. Theories change as new information becomes available. We’ve barely scratched the surface after years of genetic study.

I’m ranting because the human vision system continues to be viewed in such simplistic terms. We have these biomechanical sensors in our head that send electrochemical signals to our brains for processing. The Ted talk above points out that the signals sent mean nothing without the brain sorting the information coming in in a way that can be interpreted and understood. Our eyes don’t see anything. They present blobs of color in the form of electrochemical impulses that the brain interprets. Think about it! Blobs of color and luminance information coming in from two forward facing sensors that the brain converts into tangible perceptions. With stereopsis vision, we think we see the space between things because our brain converts the data into that perception. What we perceive is not real in my opinion. If we really did see all of the space between things that would be so much information that all of the brains on the planet couldn’t process it.  Our brains employ a sort of data compression that eliminates things that evolution deemed unimportant.

The human vision system is miraculous in its complexity and the more we learn and understand, the more we realize just how much we don’t know. This is my point. Indeed, just as we found out with the Hubble telescope when we pointed it to a tiny part of the darkest part of the sky and exposed the image sensors to gather light over a few days – over 2,000 galaxy’s were observed! We begin to realize that all of human knowledge combined is but a spec compared to all there is to know.

I submit that we should reflect on our ignorance and be humbled along with motivated to seek knowledge with passion while keeping our ego in check. What we discover might be important – but there will always be more to discover. I don’t believe in certainty except that I am certain that there is no certainty.

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The Death Of 3D… Really?


What is with the obsession the “media” seems to have with proclaiming 3D is now passe, gone, dead… [fill in the blank]?

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I think there is a problem with how content producers promote it. Time and time again you see 3D promoted as a visual effect and that, in my opinion, is severely misguided. It fosters the idea that 3D is something to experience and then move on to the next visual effect. And sure enough, as if on cue we have seen “4D”, “5D”, “HFR 3D” and “HDR HFR 3D” being promoted as new “beyond 3D” and “to be experienced”.

I often ask myself why it is so difficult for content producers to understand that any visual effect has little to do with how good the movie is? I get that it might be a reason to pick one movie over another of similar interest but, in my opinion, it is misguided to promote visual effects as a reason to go see a movie. Nobody waxes poetic or gushes over the amazing typeface that a book has. I submit that the quality of a book has little to do with the typeface that was used and the quality of a movie has little to do with the visual effects. From a design point of view, making good choices about a typeface and good choices regarding visual effects make sense. It should be a given that design choices should be in the best interest of the story. It does matter how the story is told. But the tools to tell the story play a supporting role. If the story is not good – I don’t care how much design goes into it.  If the story is bad the book will be bad and the movie will be bad and the stage play will be bad.

Many content producers/promoters seem to have a hard time prioritizing what is important. For those who are still confused, I’m trying to say “It’s the story, stupid!”. Everything else is window dressing which can be appreciated and admired, etc., but the story is the single most important thing… that is, if you are seeking something besides mindless entertainment.

It is true that flashing lights are more attention grabbing than darkness or a steady light. Explosions, nude scenes, violence, gore, sex, 3D, thumper sound, and so forth are all attention grabbing elements. They are the lowest common denominator. Like shouting, they get attention. But why is it so hard for content producers to understand that there is a difference between getting attention and creating art through storytelling? Aren’t books, movies, imagery, dance, etc. about storytelling? No? These things are about mindless entertainment? I don’t see it that way. Reading “the death of 3D” bugs me a great deal.

Rather than turn this into an ongoing rant, I suppose it would be better for me to take my own advice and tell the story of 3D in a thoughtful and interesting way. It is a visual effect but more importantly, it is an experiential sense. 3D is fundamental to human perception and when not present because of blindness, amblyopia or something else, there is a perception paradox. In my opinion, a perception conflict is like looking at pieces of a puzzle that don’t fit exactly. Try describing a series of events absent time and space. Stories are more meaningful when we can relate them to our experience. Perhaps when 3D in the movies doesn’t match our human 3D experience the perception conflict is similar to what is experienced when a perception is absent. It is possible to adapt if people are of a mind to adapt. On the other hand, they can push back. The human mind can take different pathways in terms of acceptance or rejection of perceptions and perception conflicts. The differences among us can be very striking. I have written in the past about experiential vs. referential imagery. But all imagery and perception go towards fostering story and life experience. Start with a great story and the tools that are used to tell it become much more powerful.

 

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Amped 360: Featured Attraction At Boston Tattoo Convention


COME SEE THE 50 CAMERA AMPED360 ARRAY! 

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The standard for tattoo imagery is about to change and Almont Green is out to change it. Coming to the Boston Tattoo Convention, rotational imagery display systems and do it yourself training will be part of a huge AMPED3D exhibit at the show. A fifty camera AMPED 360 array will be set up to capture tattoo images for rotation in addition to information on how rotational images can be created using a single camera and uploaded to the AMPED360ink.com website for display on Facebook and easily embedded within websites. Giant hologram type AMPED3D images will also be on display at the show and available for purchase.  “Right now galleries across the globe are still using photo albums to display 2-dimensional images of their 3 dimensional artwork. With 3D and 360 degree rotational imagery now available, it’s a natural next step in the evolution of tattoo imagery to use smartphones, tablets and display systems to take portfolios to the next level. “– Almont Green, Amped360ink.com

Click and drag to rotate (or swipe with finger) to see the effect! 

One innovative tattoo business, “Visions Tattoo & Piercing” of Medway, MA already understands the importance of this concept and will be displaying their work on a custom designed rotational monitor system at their booth. “We want both new and existing customers to be able to see our work the way it was meant to be viewed.”- Canman, Visions Owner & Artist

During the show rotational image display systems, training programs and rotational image web hosting options will be available for purchase.  Amazing hologram like AMPED 3D images will also be on display at the event and available for sale at special pricing.

 

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CONTACT ALMONT GREEN STUDIOS at 508-533-0333

http://amped360ink.com

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Amped 3D images are images you can see into. Amped3D photography, created by the artist Almont Green, is accomplished using a unique combination of complex camera hardware, sophisticated proprietary software, materials and painstaking manufacturing techniques. Digital images are precision aligned, processed, and printed with a modified high-resolution printer with each perspective occupying a vertical strip 1/2000th of an inch wide. An amazing, world’s highest resolution 30″x30″ human skull image that comes right out of the frame will be on display and available for purchase.

The result of years of work, Almont Green developed AMPED 3D photography with the help of neuroscientists, brain research centers, vision experts and leading technologists. The images simply must be seen in person to be believed!

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The New Standard For Tattoo Imagery

Click and drag your mouse left and right and up and down on this image… Shouldn’t all tattoo imagery be like this? I’m working to change the standard and will be launching a Kickstarter soon to fund it for everybody!

http://6a3d.com/moi/

 

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June 21, 2013 · 6:43 pm

What’s Next From My Friends At MIT?


One of many interim solutions before true holograms become possible. These are all good steps on that road and serve to help pave the way for better and better solutions that are affordable.

Thanks MIT. Nice!

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A Copy Of A Recent Post To CML-3D News Group


For non-subscribers to the CML-3D newsgroup, you might find this post I made interesting:

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If people are of the mindset that 3D is a visual effect, then it is easy to accept that conversion is a viable process just as any other visual effect can be “created” with software and processing hardware.  It is absolutely true that content can be processed and made viewable with the perception of depth and that within the context of a visual effect – results can even be quite impressive and evoke ahhs and wows.  3D as a visual effect or add-on seems to be the primary interpretation as it is being used and implemented. It is viewed as a value-add and something which enhances the viewing experience. Marketing even fosters this idea about 3D and attempts have been made to jack it up even more with 4D and 5D. Pretty soon you might see D-Max and Awesome-D. Maybe Beyond-D and infinity-D.In my opinion, motion pictures, and still photographs are interpreted referentially. Since the beginning, I am not aware of anyone looking at a photograph or motion picture that has gotten confused as to whether or not what they are looking at is real. We all understand that the images we are looking at are references to reality. They occupy a different space than we do and require interpretation. Storytelling, by definition, refers to something in the past. A story is something to interpret and relate to based upon life’s experiences. The more we relate to a story or image, typically, the better we like it. Perhaps it embodies our fantasies or teaches us something that we value. Sometimes there are surprises as the story unfolds and certainly we enjoy humor.

My point is that, given the status quo, 3D is something that producers are trying to fit into the existing paradigm as an enhancement. But stereovision is something that most of us use every day to perceive reality. To experience life as it happens and to be in the moment and occupy the same space as the things that we are looking at. This physicality or realness has a much tighter relationship with our emotional self because real things can affect us directly.  The potential of 3D imagery to be transcendent and blur the boundary between referential and experiential is something that I find intriguing. As long as we have a one-size-fits-all approach to 3D, I think it will be very difficult to make this transition. I don’t think artificial stereoscopic constructs can do this effectively because there are too many perception conflicts and specular errors. Binocular rivalry is something that gives our brain information it needs to construct texture information, among other things. And make no mistake, it is our brain that creates an image with the depiction of depth and space based upon our human experience up to that point. Creating dimensional space from flat imagery is not the same as capturing two unique perspectives and the way the light enters each lens and imaging sensor through separate and distinct pathways. In many cases, the creation can be quite good – but in many cases it can be quite bad. Take snow on a sunny day, for example or a waterfall with its infinitely complex optical distortions.  How about heat rising from a fire? You can create imagery with the perception of depth for a single perspective image, but it will not be an exact match to capturing two distinct perspectives. Having the attitude that it is “good enough” doesn’t resonate with me in the same way ophthalmologists saying “amblyopia is no big deal” is absolutely ridiculous. It is a very big deal.

As we continue to monkey around with how we depict depth and space, it is appropriate to think beyond the limits of referential storytelling. Depicting space and depth can take us to new places and experiences that engage emotionally in completely new ways. How we perceive the world and our place in it can change. As content producers, we can do better and, in doing better, make a profound difference. Take a peek outside the box of referential imagery and you’ll see a whole new world open up.

-Almont Green

G. Almont Green
Multi-Perspective Artist
Almont Studios
5 Grapevine Way
Medway, MA 02053
t. 508-533-0333 / c. 978-853-0084AlmontGreen.com
Amped360.com
Amped3D.com
almontgreen.wordpress.com

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Please Listen Pixar, This Is IMPORTANT!!!


Hello Pixar,

I am such a fan because you understand storytelling. You understand that details are important and that quality is more than a phrase or slogan. But you don’t fully understand 3D. Indeed, NOBODY understands 3D.

My point is that there needs to be a strong, thoughtful, purposeful effort devoted to understanding how the depiction of space fundamentally changes things. 3D is not just a visual effect. 3D is a perception created in the brain that gives people with normal vision a way to perceive things emotionally. There is a tangible quality to 3D. A sense of sharing the space with what we are seeing that needs greater understanding. 

It is ironic that the best 3D motion pictures are being created in artificial reality. They look real in an unreal way. I haven’t been yet, but I am sure that the Anaheim Disney Pixar attraction, in all its realness, is different than the artificially raytraced computer imagery that we enjoy at the theater. But unlike some, I am of the opinion that this is a good thing. 3D makes it possible to expand our perceptions beyond personal experience. We could benefit from the “freeing” of our minds to see things in new ways.

Let me be more specific. When I think about Pixar’s “bugs” it is a terrific opportunity to experience space in the same way a bug might experience space – the world and the cosmos. For example, a head and eyes the size of a pinhead provides a perspective that can free the mind to see nanotechnology in incredible ways. What about a head the size of our solar system? What do we see then? In other words, when we escape the limitations of our physical size do we escape the limitations of how we perceive our world and the space we occupy within it? 

This is significant. Spatial imagery is not a trivial visual effect – the possibilities of how it can be used and the technical boundaries pushed are limitless. We are on the cusp of devices coming available like the oculus rift http://oculusvr.com that can broaden our perspectives in unimagined ways. Ways that can be good and bad. We are now entering a transition from a referential “thinking” experience where we refer to our experiences to imagine a story in the context of our reality to something much different. We are transitioning to an experiential storytelling capability where we experience new perspectives and new ways to look at things that we never could have imagined. 

I submit that this transition is perhaps one of the biggest things to happen to mankind’s ability to understand things – period. It could free us from the limitations of our belief systems to think about things from completely new perspectives and gain knowledge that we otherwise could never achieve. 

So, why pick on Pixar?

Because of all the companies out there – Pixar has the capability to understand and see possibilities in a way most other companies can’t. John Lasseter is uniquely qualified to see beyond limitations – a very inspirational man that compels me to push the envelope and never be satisfied or complacent. I’ve never met him, but I understand and appreciate what he is doing. I asked myself: “why not post this blog and give Pixar a tweak?” I know they have read some of my articles, who knows? Maybe they might have me out for a meeting to share some of the things I have learned regarding this amazing thing called stereovision. (Which by the way is a misnomer). It is really the image that our brain cooks up inside our head that enables us to perceive the space that surrounds us as something that we occupy. Two flat images turn into something quite magical in the brain. Our brains fill in a great deal of information that goes far beyond those two flat images. 

How about it Pixar?

I see the future the way it could be and ask: why not? You guys can make a difference – but you need to expand the way you think about multi perspective imagery. I am compelled to take what I’ve learned and try to do something useful with that knowledge. I owe it to my kids and their future. I don’t have any IP to sell – only to provide to those that will listen and do something with it. 

So, Pixar… want to listen? Join me outside the box ;^) I’ll tell you a story with a beginning where you can finish the middle and the end. You guys are amazing!

Me? I have realized I have a ridiculous amount to learn as I’ve only scratched the air above the surface. I’d like to find out more and inspire change in the way people look at things. I give this blog entry almost a zero chance of having any effect. But you have to start somewhere. 3D is a lot more than rendering two camera ports. Experiential storytelling is something completely new I’d like you to consider.

With great respect,

-Almont

 

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