Category Archives: npar

“Pearl” at SIGGRAPH 2016

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Pearl will have a big presence at SIGGRAPH this year! We’re doing our making-of presentation in a Production Session on Sunday, July 24th from 10:45-12:15, and showing it on the Vive in the VR Village all day from Sunday through Thursday. Pearl will also be shown at the Appy Hour event on Wednesday, July 27th from 5-7 pm.

I’ll only be there Sunday-Tuesday, but I’m sure looking forward to it!

More press about “Pearl”

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Banana Frog, June 2: The Making of Google Spotlight Stories’ Short Film: Pearl

Nerd Reactor, June 2: Patrick Osborne on ‘Pearl’ VR-animated short and life after Disney

Cartoon Brew, June 1: Nine Can’t-Miss Events at Annecy 2016

iAnimate Podcast, May 31: Interview with Animator & Director Patrick Osborne

Fast Company Design, May 27: Don’t Be Surprised If Google’s New Animated Short Wins an Oscar

Beyond the Cartoons, May 22: Patrick Osborne’s ‘Pearl’ Launched at Google I/O Conference

 

“Pearl” goes live today!

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The short I’ve been working on for the past year finally goes live today! It should play nicely on any iPhone, iPad or Android device made in the past few years. Here are all the ways to see it:

If you’re on iOS: download the Google Spotlight Stories app.
If you’re on Android: visit Google Spotlight Stories using the YouTube app.

(If you’re on a desktop computer or older device, fear not: you can still see Pearl, as a non-interactive 360º video. But the experience is made for mobile, so that’s really the best way to see it.)

Whatever device you’re using, I recommend plugging in your very best pair of headphones so you can enjoy the 360º ambisonic sound and music!

 

Some great press about “Pearl”

It’s been wonderful to watch people react to “Pearl” as we take it out on tour. Here are some of the nice reviews and interviews that have come out since our debut at Tribeca:

USA Today USA Today, May 17: Google to show off animated VR short at I/O

Cartoon Brew, May 14: Observations from the VR Front: ‘Pearl’, ‘Invasion!’, and ‘Allumette’

Filmmaker Magazine, April 22: Tribeca 2016: Patrick Osborne on Winning an Oscar and his Animated VR Piece Pearl

The Verge, April 22: The best virtual reality from the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

The Verge, April 21: The brains behind Pearl on bringing Google’s new Spotlight Story to Tribeca

Inverse, April 18: Google’s VR Film ‘Pearl’ Combines Disney Charm and Cutting Edge Tech

Variety, April 16: Google Shows Off First Spotlight Story on HTC Vive at Tribeca

“Pearl” to premiere at Tribeca Film Festival

A scene from "Pearl".
A scene from “Pearl”.

News is finally starting to come out about the project I’ve been working on for the past year at Google Spotlight Stories. It’s an interactive 360º story, directed by Patrick Osborne, called “Pearl”. We’re simultaneously making a 2D film version of the story, which will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, April 17th at 6pm.

It’s been an amazing experience so far, full of exciting artistic and technical challenges, and it’s opened my mind to some astonishing new things. I’ll post more about it when we’re done, but in the meantime, Cartoon Brew has a nice writeup with some images from the show. And if you’re in New York that weekend, swing by and say hi!

Inceptionism and learning envy

Inceptionist squirrel is watching you!
Inceptionist squirrel is watching you!

A few days ago the image above started going around the social networks, attributed to “a friend working on AI”. Apparently a deliberate leak, now we know where it came from: a research group at Google working on neural networks for image recognition. Their research is worth reading about, and the images are fascinating: Inceptionism.

I have to admit, machine learning makes me jealous. Why does the machine get to do the learning? Why can’t I do the learning? But projects like this make me feel a little better. When the black box opens and we see the writhing mass inside, we get to learn how the machine does the learning. Everyone wins.

And the machines still have some catching up to do. As soon as I saw the amazing gallery of inceptionist images, I recognized the “inceptionist style” from the mysterious grey squirrel. Could a neural network do that?