Urbanized to Join Objectified, Helvetica, as Design Nerds Get Their Ultimate Trilogy Box Set

Filmmaker Gary Hustwit has become the Francis Ford Coppola of design documentaries (I expect a vineyard soon). His documentaries on type (Helvetica) and industrial design (Objectified) are glorious, intimate sources of visual inspiration. Now, he’s taking his quest to release a third film on cities to Kickstarter. And while Kickstarter seems to be the “it” site of this bootstrapping economic dip, the pitch is pretty good. First, Hustwit on exactly where he came from: In 2005 I began work on my first documentary, Helvetica, which looked at the worlds of typography and graphic design through the eyes of one loved/hated/ubiquitous …

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shareddreams

Meet the Music and Sound Oscar Nominees, and Learn from Hours of Info from Sonic Masters

Shared dreams, indeed: welcome to Hollywood. And in 2011, the music and soundscapes of blockbuster films suddenly seem very much like the future of our dreams, from ground-breaking surround sound to interactive music to scores combining low-fidelity and high – and one breaktakingly-terrific score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that stands on its own. The Internet, as the subject of one Oscar-nominated film, is full of short attention spans and flirts, social dysfunction and lust. But there’s another side of the Internet. Someone interested in finding expressive inspiration, in learning the craft of music and sound, can virtually apprentice …

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Senior Living Music Vid: Royksopp as Moody Soundtrack for Short Cinema

RÖYKSOPP at their best, I think, become cinematic and atmospheric, an abstract soundtrack, but always with a sharp sense of wit. So Nils Clauss hits just the right note in his film for “Senior Living,” finding mood and humor. At a time when the signal-to-noise ratio for music videos is often out of control, here, the two seem made for one another. There’s always some risk of overdoing it, but Clauss manages to get comedic and musical timing down. I suspect some people might actually hate it, but then that, too, is usually the sign of a good music video. …

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Audiovisual Remix: Tron Legacy Lightcycles

Tron Legacy – Miguex & EshOne – Light Cycles [Unofficial] from Accent Creative on Vimeo. Our friends at Accent Creative indulge themselves in some Tron love, cutting up the new Lightcycle sequence and composing their own, original music score. (Take that, Daft Punk!) It’s like the audiovisual equivalent of those fabulous blue slushies you get at the cineplex, which I have a feeling is what I’ll be downing when this thing opens, just to keep the glucose flowing to my neocortex. Or maybe that’s just what the color palette is making me think. It’s also a great example of musicians …

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Interview: Jon Hopkins Talks Live, Studio Process, Habit, Instinct

Jon Hopkins performs live at the ICA. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Matt Biddulph. Classically trained as a pianist, musician and producer Jon Hopkins has one of the richest resumes in electronic music. He’s a frequent collaborator with Brian Eno, wand has worked with artists like Coldplay (who featured his music on their last album), Tunng, David Holmes, and Imogen Heap. He worked with director Peter Jackson, and has a sci-fi score on the way. He also has a rich set of solo releases. And we’ve seen him here recently with remix swaps with Four Tet and contributions to Eno’s upcoming Warp record. …

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BBQ Chicken Ambiences, and Ten Other Inspiring Sound Design Stories

Whether your trade in audio is in soundtracks for screens and games, or you’re just exploring strange, new worlds and seeking out new life and new timbres in your music, the discipline of sound design is as rich and deep as cooking. It’s something you can do every day. Okay, now just put that “cooking” metaphor out of your mind and steel your stomach. Sound maker and dirt bike rider Jim Stout of Austin (Roland, Sound Ideas, The Hollywood Edge) does some ungodly things with raw barbecue chicken and dog food. For more on Jim Stout, check out the exclusive …

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"Let's Enhance!" Montage Views Image Processing Through Hollywood's Eyes

There is technology, and then there is the popular imagination of that technology. Even in our increasingly-tech-savvy society, there’s often a gap between the two, conscious and subconscious. The imagination of how image processing might work, though, is especially incredible. If you haven’t seen the video above, it’s hilarious – and familiar. Perhaps the greatest gap between how technology works and how we fantasize it could work has to do with our own intelligence. We’re able to “zoom” our perception on tiny details, so why shouldn’t digital imaging? We have powers of speech, analysis, and logic, so why shouldn’t super-intelligent …

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“Let’s Enhance!” Montage Views Image Processing Through Hollywood’s Eyes

There is technology, and then there is the popular imagination of that technology. Even in our increasingly-tech-savvy society, there’s often a gap between the two, conscious and subconscious. The imagination of how image processing might work, though, is especially incredible. If you haven’t seen the video above, it’s hilarious – and familiar. Perhaps the greatest gap between how technology works and how we fantasize it could work has to do with our own intelligence. We’re able to “zoom” our perception on tiny details, so why shouldn’t digital imaging? We have powers of speech, analysis, and logic, so why shouldn’t super-intelligent …

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Real for Reel: The Amazing Sherlock Holmes Experibass, and More Winter Cinema Sounds

Sometimes, the best sounds come not from synthesis, not even from electrified instruments, but from the purity of a mic and acoustic instrumentation. It remains electronic, or even digital sound, but its source is organic. And so, one of the best reasons to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie in theaters is the wonderful noises that bounce around Hans Zimmer’s score. Behind many great film scores are great soloists as much as great composers, and Sherlock Holmes is no exception. Zimmer worked with Diego Stocco, sound designer, sound artist, inventor, and composer in his own right. To realize the inner …

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Minority Report Interface, Implemented in Flash + FLARToolkit, and Why it Rocks

ActionScript programmer Peter Kaptein has done some brilliantly creative work to mimic the infamous gestural interface in the film Minority Report using only Flash, a webcam, a printer, and your fingers. (Okay, you may want to pick up some Scotch tape, too.) The tricks to make it all work (as I see it, anyway): 1. Treat distance as “pressure” for gestures. 2. Use two markers, allowing for multi-finger manipulation of the interface. 3. Create combined actions – and provide lots of visual feedback. 4. Don’t work as much with transformations perpendicular to the screen – by avoiding some of the …

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