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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ARTS Lab Blog has moved

This blog has been relocated to our own hosting solution at our site, and you can find all posts from this blog on the "Blogger Archive" section.

Monday, October 04, 2010

New Picasa Web Albums Activity

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Oct 3, 2010 11:00:13 PM

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ignite New Mexico 7 TONIGHT!

Without a doubt one of the most fun events in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas (there's some work on a Las Cruces-based event as well), "Ignite" events bring together presenters for a range of creative fields (though especially in the range of 'design' areas).  With speedy talks selected by the online audience, there's rarely a weak one -- and as with short film fests, a weak one is over pretty quick.  I hope you'll check it out.

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Tonight at 7pm in ABQ.  Ignite NM 7!

Didn't RSVP?  Come anyway!

Sorry about the Auto email from Eventbrite earlier this week. There is no need to print or bring any ticket to the event.  The RSVPs are to help us have an idea of how many are coming vs. how much food etc.  So yes there will be refreshments.

A couple helpful links:

Speaker List


We are in the big round room immediately as you walk into the building.  Just follow the signs. The building has parking, so no worries there.
CNM's Smith Brasher Hall Room 100
717 University Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106


With thanks to our sponsors:

This email is for those interested in Ignite NM. Know someone else that would be interested in Ignite? Forward this message to them.

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Ignite NM
PO Box 576
Los Alamos, NM 87544

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Save the Date for THATCamp New Mexico (October 2-3)

From Mimi Roberts at the NM Department of Cultural Affairs:

New Mexico digital humanists take note: THATCamp is coming to town. On October 2-3, 2010, THATCamp will be held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Don't miss it! For more information visit our website at <> .

What is THATCamp?

THATCamp (The Humanities and Technologies Camp) is an "unconference" where humanists and technologists meet to work together for the common good.  An "unconference" is "a facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose." Unconferences are not spectator events. Participants are involved from the schedule creation to the wrap-up session, and actively present, discuss, and collaborate with fellow participants.

Why THATCamp New Mexico?

New Mexico's rich heritage in the arts, culture, and sciences make it prime THATCamp territory. THATCamp New Mexico is the beginning of a new collaborative digital humanities community. We are a diverse group united in our commitment to the creative use of technology to communicate New Mexico's stories, from ancient times to the present, and to reconnect all New Mexicans to the spirit of innovation that spans our history from the oldest Clovis point through the development of the atomic bomb and the founding of Micro-soft.

No Suits, No Papers.What Do You do?

Show, tell, collaborate, share, and walk away inspired. Sessions at THATCamp New Mexico might range from software demos to training sessions to discussions of research findings. The thing you won't see is people standing up and reading full blown papers.

Still a little unsure as to what you might want to propose?  To get an idea of the scope of topics check out the blog for the original THATCamp <>  or some of the regional camps (THATCamp Columbus <> , THATCamp Pacific Northwest <> , or THATCamp Austin <> ).  Don't feel limited by these topics, however. Anything is fair game if it falls under the categories of humanities and technology, and impacts you, your organization, or the field of digital humanities.

How do I Register?

Easy!  Just go to the Registration section of this website ( <> ), fill in the form, and you are good to go. Unfortunately, we can only accept a max of 100 people, so we're going to have to do some vetting.  If you've got any questions about applying, contact us.  Deadline for submitting is September 3, 2010.

Attendance at THATCamp New Mexico is free, however, a donation of $25 is requested from all attendees to cover meals, snacks, and supplies.

How Can I Help?

THATCamp New Mexico is participant run, and we're always looking for folks who are willing to help out. If you can volunteer some of your time, let us know when you register or contact Mimi Roberts <>  for more info.

THATCamp is being sponsored by NMHU's Media Arts Department, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New Mexico Association of Museums, but we are still in need of more sponsorships! Contact Mimi Roberts <>  if your company or organization would like to sponsor THATCamp New Mexico.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Mexico Post Alliance Kick-off Event (8/6)

From the New Mexico Post Alliance:

Dear Community Member,

It is my great pleasure to invite individuals and companies from the film, television and digital multi-media post and related industries to the NMPA (New Mexico Post Alliance) kickoff membership meeting and social mixer at The Albuquerque Press Club, starting at 6pm on Friday, August 6th.  Come down and meet the board and your colleagues and have some refreshments.  We are excited to be opening membership as of this meeting, and hope to see you all there.

Best regards,

Luca Cecccarelli
President, NMPA

map to Press Club:

To RSVP, visit

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Dona Ana Community College and UNM's ARTS Lab & Center for Advanced Research Computing are hosting the next Rio Grande SIGGRAPH Chapter 'Open Reel Review" this Saturday w/ Sony Pictures Imageworks Lead Animator Glenn Sylvester (IMDB) from 4-6 PM (location details below).

For aspiring animators and those wishing to move up in the industry, it's essential to have a 'Reel' that works. The Rio Grande SIGGRAPH Chapter's Open Reel Review series exists to help New Mexico's animators improve the content they present by providing feedback from real world pros about what works and what doesn't.  This month's installation focuses on Character Animation.  Whether you provide content of your own or just attend in listen in, this is an invaluable experience.

NMCAC Gateways
The Open Reel Review series relies on the use of the NM Computing Application Center's statewide "Gateway" system.  While we've primarily used sites in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, RG-SIGGRAPH is eager to connect with more people and programs throughout the state.  If you'd like to get involved, please contact them at the email below.

If you do plan to show content, we'd like to get it uploaded before the event.  Please send a note w/ info about yourself and the file(s) you want to send to  Please note: First, don't send the right now, you'll receive further instructions; second, our system works best with .avi and .mov files at the moment, so please output accordingly.

Albuquerque Location
UNM ARTS Lab & Center for Advanced Research Computing
131 Pine St., NE (one block west of University; half a block north of Central)

Las Cruces Location

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fulldome Professional Development Webinar this Monday & Tuesday

From David Beining here at ARTS Lab:

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

I'm writing in support of the unique opportunity you'll find below: It's a wonderful program dedicated to fulldome-based professional development in computer graphics as well as data-based archeological and cultural studies.  The presenting team, led by Kevin Cain, is an exceptional cast that have much to share with the fulldome producing community and the resources they're making available have great value in both production and research.  If you saw Kevin's talk at DomeFest2007, you'll have an idea of how clear the communication will be and how exciting the work is.  

Because of the usual bandwidth issues, there's a limited number of 'live' connections available and we invite those of you interested in fulldome content (and the many related tools and techniques Kevin and his team will discuss) to attend with us here at ARTS Lab.  The ARTS Lab will be hosting a group of interested participants here in our space (contact us at if you'd like to attend). If you'd be interested in hosting a group at another venue here in New Mexico, please let us know and we'll help make arrangements.

The team here at ARTS Lab has had a great collaboration with Kevin and the folks at INSIGHT, and this is an excellent opportunity to take the continued success of NM-developed fulldome content even further.

A Chabot Space & Science Center Production

 June 28th & 29th


Chabot Space & Science Center and INSIGHT are pleased to invite you to participate in the Maya Skies Online Masters' Class - a  FREE 2 day Webinar designed to introduce full dome producers and humanities researchers to the production tools and archive material available at the dissemination website.

The dissemination project, which was funded by a supplemental grant from the NSF, stemmed from our desire to share with others the expertise and learning -  both in terms of production techniques and archaeological archive material - that were acquired during the production of Tales of the Maya Skies.

Day one
of the Webinar is designed to help full dome producers produce immersive media from real-world environments.  Day two launches the Maya Skies Archive, a freely accessible repository of archaeological data from Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.  Both days keep the practical needs of full dome producers and humanities researchers front and center. 

The sessions are open to all - spaces limited to the first 100 applicants. Please RSVP to the address below and we will send you confirmation of your participation and details on how to join the Webinar:

RSVP, Chabot Space & Science Center:

A complete schedule is below - all times listed are Mountain Standard Time (adjustments made locally here at ARTS Lab).

The Maya Skies Online Masters' Class is presented by the Maya Skies production team from INSIGHT, an archaeological visualization group, listed at the end of this message.


Day 1: Monday, June 28

Session 1
Introduction to Data-Driven Full Dome Production I:  Pipeline Overview
Chris Bernal, Kevin Cain, Mark Eakle, Todd Gill, Jun Nagaoka

The full dome is highly immersive.  As a format, full dome excels at presenting real-world places with great immediacy.  But it's not simple to create realistic environments that hold up on the dome, especially for producers with limited budgets and experience.  This session introduces a pipeline for capturing data from the real world for use in full dome media.  2D and 3D reality capture are discussed, drawing on examples of time-lapse panoramic photography and 3D laser scanning.  While aimed at first-time dome producers, more experienced creators will also benefit.

Session 2
Introduction to Data-Driven Full Dome Production II:  Tech Walkthrough
Kevin Cain, Mark Eakle, Todd Gill, Jun Nagaoka

This session expands the discussion of Session 1's data-driven production pipeline.  We present a focused introduction to managing laser scan data in production, from initial capture through alignment, merging, surfacing, and painting.  Particular attention is paid to techniques for editing, UV layout and texturing steps, as conventional approaches generally fail with dense data-driven geometry.  This session is designed for full dome producers new to 3D reality capture techniques.

Session 2B
Live Session Follow-Up
Chris Bernal, Kevin Cain, Mark Eakle, Todd Gill, Jun Nagaoka

The speakers from the morning sessions will be on line to answer questions, provide detail, and connect with the web audience.

Session 3
Building Realistic Computer Graphics for the Full Dome
Chris Bernal, Kevin Cain, Mark Eakle, Todd Gill, Ali Jamalzadeh

From the start, the lion's share of full dome media content has been supplied as rendered images from 3D computer graphics.  Realism, long an object for CG images, is now becoming possible even with modest budgets.  This session explores two practical ways to increase realism for full dome graphics:  non-biased rendering of light, and efficient use of dome sampling in compositing.  Using the Tales of the Maya Skies production as a basis, we present suggestions for managing the complexity of rendering with natural light while remaining practical and efficient.  We also discuss new tools  to optimize color reproduction on the dome for rendered images and present an automated system for processing renders for collaborative review.

Session 3B
Live Session Follow-Up
Chris Bernal, Kevin Cain, Mark Eakle, Todd Gill, Ali Jamalzadeh, Jun Nagaoka 

The speakers from the afternoon session will be on line to answer questions, provide detail, and connect with the web audience.

Day 2, Tuesday, June 29

Session 4
Introduction to Digital Cultural Heritage and Digital Capture Research
Kevin Cain, Mark Eakle, Greg Downing, Greg Ward

Archaeologists and art historians have been practicing digital field techniques for at least the past decade.  However, the recent proliferation of good, cheap digital cameras and affordable processing power has enabled humanities researchers to take on more ambitious digital documentation projects.  In this session we survey research from the worlds of computer graphics and computer vision, showing approaches that can be directly applied to cultural heritage work.  We present the computer vision research for Tales of the Maya Skies as the core of our discussion, with emphasis placed on open source tools and off-the-shelf equipment that will work in the difficult field environments found at archaeological sites around the world.

Session 5
Maya Skies Archaeology Case Studies and the Maya Skies Data Archive
Chris Bernal, Kevin Cain, Falken Foreshaw, Ali Jamalzadeh, Jun Nagaoka

All of the data gathered on site at Chichen Itza, Mexico for Tales of the Maya Skies has been gathered into a public repository, which the team launches in this final session.  Using archaeological case studies from the archive, we introduce this archive and the web application built to navigate it.  The archive tools are themselves available for download; in this session, we walk through the steps to build your own humanities 'data dashboard'.

Session 5B
Live Session Follow-Up
Chris Bernal, Kevin Cain, Mark Eakle, Todd Gill, Jun Nagaoka

The speakers from the morning sessions will be on line to answer questions, provide detail, and connect with the web audience.

Suggested reading:

New Heritage: New Media and Cultural Heritage
Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage: A Critical Discourse (Media in Transition)
Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media


Speakers participating live at Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland, California, USA:

Chris Bernal: Core member of PalmaVFX, Digital Modeling Lead has worked with INSIGHT on archaeological film projects for several years, including two full-length documentaries on Egypt

Kevin CainINSIGHT founder and Director, has introduced digital tools to archaeological projects around the world for the last ten years.

Mark Eakle: Xenexus founder and long-time INSIGHT collaborator, photographer  shot on location for Tales of the Maya Skies.

Falken Foreshaw:Archaeologist - has assisted the Tales of the Maya Skies team in archaeological review, notably for the Caracol and Osario structures.

Todd Gill: INSIGHT Technical Director brings a career of visual effects to his digital field work and pipeline development for Tales of the Maya Skies, from CG work for feature film to web interactives.

Ali Jamalzadeh: Lead Artist has been at INSIGHT for two years; for Tales of the Maya Skies he has been focused primarily on painting the reconstructed structures of ancient Chichen Iza.

Jun Nagaoka:INSIGHT Technical Lead is responsible for guiding the development of the Maya Skies Data Archive and for much of the tool chain used in the production.

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