Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Farallons Mention

The San Francisco Chronicle mentions the Farallons in Peter Fimrite, Big animals’ extinction forever alters environment, study shows.
The scientists found that the number and diversity of small animals and vegetation decreased all along the Pacific Northwest, as well as the western and northeastern United States, after mammoth and mastodon extinctions. In Alaska and the Yukon, what was once a mix of forest and grassland became mostly tundra after the loss of mammoths, native horses and other large animals, according to the study.

Nowhere has the change been more dramatic than in the Bay Area. Columbian mammoths were among thousands of now-extinct animals that roamed the region as late as 12,000 years ago. The shoreline was 12 miles farther out at that time, and a vast plain stretched from the Golden Gate, where a fast-moving river flowed, to the Farallon Islands.

Friday, November 20, 2015

North Farallon Island

North Farallon Island is an  unreachable granite island within sight of San Francisco.  Although it's within the city limits, it's actually 30 miles (48 km) beyond the Golden Gate as part of the few landfalls in the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge off the California Coast in the Pacific Ocean, which is owned by the public and administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. All of the Farallons except Southeast Farallon Island are considered to be wilderness.

It is shown as "closed" on a commercial map, which is the texture source.  Note the resolution seems to be adequate when viewed as a map or poster or from an approximate 200 meter distance in-world.  However, the underlying satellite image resolution is only one pixel per half meter, which results (in-world) in one pixel having to account for hundreds in the field of view, hence the blur at close range.

North Farallon Island substantially fits a 256 by 256 meter region and is worth virtual exploration in-world since it's impossible to visit without considerable special arrangement, such as participation in advanced scientific research.  Terrestrial inhabitants are mainly a Common Murre colony of about 100,000 birds spread throughout the North Farallon Islands, and there are considerable intertidal and marine flora and fauna.

The larger Farallon islands were hunting grounds for fur seals and provided San Francisco with eggs during the 1849 California Gold Rush and for over half a century afterward.  There is a small human presence and even a lighthouse on Southeast Farallon Island, as the Farallons are very close to the intersection of shipping lanes in and out of San Francisco Bay and up and down the coast.  From shore, the ships are easier to see than the islands, but occasionally the largest islands are easily visible in extraordinarily clear, dry weather as a collection of very striking jagged teeth on the horizon.

This build detail consists of 143 prims of the full build, 174 prims.  The region has been subdivided into 16 areas, each 64 by 64 meters that have a mesh accounting for the land area that is modeled very economically from the highest resolution contour map found, which turned out to be such a small map that it is actually slightly misleading, and 16 flat prims accounting for the ocean.  Meshes were omitted on eight outer, mostly underwater, subdivisions to reduce prim count to under the 150-prim threshold.  Bump and specular maps are applied to the ocean surface planes, visible with in-world viewer advanced lighting model enabled.

This particular island is the northernmost island of all the Farallons, and has several rocks offshore.  One is present to the northwest and one outlying rock at northeast is clipped from the selected region.  The largest rock at Southeast is present, but its mesh has been largely omitted from the detail build.

Map coordinates


Webcam (down)

On view through December

Build summary
  1. Obtain contour map and model as 256m x 256m region in Sketchup.
  2. Project map texture on to model.
  3. Segment model to (16) 64m x 64m sub-region maximum prim size and export COLLADA.
  4. Import mesh.
  5. Create sea level flat surface and import 16 textures.
  6. Install to commercial rezzer.
  7. Apply detail, remove outer mesh prims along east and west sides to reduce prim count to 143.
  8. Backtrack and apply normal and specular water textures to flat prims.
Wilderness aerial

Monday, November 9, 2015

Goliath (Step Back)

Goliath was reworked in a world similar to opensim and features recorded voice to a script by Tim Etchells in Stand Off.  Several test versions of the foot were used for a rudimentary confrontational development of the piece.


Goliath is a process of finding.  Once there was a weighty found object steel and wood sculpture named Goliath that was placed in the middle of two different living rooms on an old-fashioned steel and wood forklift pallet.  Since the exact appearance of the original Goliath has been lost, this expression of Goliath adopts somewhat Buster Simpson's rejected proposal to create a foot on the Embarcadero at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  Unlike Simpson's striding foot, this is a reclining foot, Tim's foot, imported from a stereolithography file into sketchup and from there into world and shown at Tabula Rasa.  The only mention is SaveMe's.

Update: removed previously posted images

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Goliath Related

The foot recalls Buster Simpson's failed proposal for San Francisco seen here, here and mentions here and here.

Goliath Bigger

The foot was rezzed at LEA5 and made bigger, and re-rezzed at Tabula Rasa larger as well.  Whether related or not, there is a notable UWA prize competition "Pursue Impossible."  It has a video associated with it featuring a young woman who runs all around the world, the "David" side of David and Goliath.

Goliath Installation Views


A temporary installation of Goliath, the giant anti-hero dismembered by David, is ending in Tabula Rasa, a region devoted to art galleries.  An opening review was "mixed."  I produced a five-year-old Goliath drawing from inventory, new photographic interpretations, rust sculptures of best recollection of "Goliath," the original found object on its pallet, the current Goliath, and the foot consisting of mesh models of tarsals and skin as found in search.  I removed the installation entirely to bare lawn in respect of review, then put the foot back for the remaining time.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Site Photos (Northerly Range)

Shot quite a few photos of the study area.  As you can see in world, the site shown here is actually rockier than the map elevation averaging of the terrain used for the model.  Apparently there are more detailed data available, but that is an exercise for future development.

Catalog update:
Explorations, depictions
Through June 30, 2015

Real life photos
Schickzal definitive in-world photo
Gallery article
LEA article
Ziki article
Eddi & Ryce article
Maddy article
Inara article
Caitlin article
Honour article