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Goofing around with fish (the shell)

I've been recently nerd-sniped by a geek friend about fish-shell (and that really says it all about what kind of person I am).

Anyways.. I've been a zsh and oh-my-zsh user for a long time now, way before zsh was promoted as the default shell on macOS. It's been a fun ride, full of autocompletions, fancy themes and quick history browsing. I quite enjoyed it, especially compared to the "duller" bash. But since I'm always up for trying out something new and living my digital life on the edge, I decided to give it a try for a while.. especially considering that at work I'm forced to use tcsh.

This brief post is a recap of my experience after playing around with fish for a few weeks.


The main "selling point" of fish is that it's dev friendly and provides an interactive autocompletion experience. It's hard to describe exactly how it feels while typing, that's something you have to try to get familiar to.. here's a quick gif to give you a hint:

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Conda for the pipeline person

Time for reading: 15 minutes

Who am I?

- A Pipeline TD trying to write, test and ship code that requires third party dependencies

For those who are not from the VFX industry, a Pipeline TD is a poor fellow that was too technical to be a VFX artist but didn't feel pursuing the good, cozy warm life of a software developer. He's basically a dev who likes movies more than startups, and should seriously reconsider his/her life choices.

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How this site works

In the last 2 weekends, I spent a bit of time revamping the backbone of this website since I felt I needed to have more control over it, not just on the presentation layer, but also on the architecture (while I was there, I did also add a sprinkle of darkness to the CSS but that's not what I want to focus on in this post).

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Unreal Engine + Python API

To those who aren't in the UE loop it might seem weird, but yes! UE4 has been offering a Python API for a while now (iirc, since end of 2019).

It also ships with a shiny Python3.7 interpreter, as recommended by the vfxplatform.

Its main purpose is to offer a way to integrate Unreal into existing workflows, and automate the heck out of it! This means that it's definitely NOT meant to be used for anything "in game". That would be crazy, performance-wise.

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Geospatial workflows in Houdini


What follows is nothing more than a bunch of CLI commands and scripts that - put together - resemble a workflow useful when exploring and visualizing geospatial data.

Source GeoTIFF, downsampled to 16bit

DEM data rendered in Houdini

Where to get the data?
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Fun with the new RPI HQ Camera


Last April, while probably half of the world was locked down in their rooms, the Raspberry PI team delighted us with a new toy. I guess they realized we would have a lot more free time in our weekends! ๐Ÿ˜„

I quickly glanced at it and the specs but I didn't want to be a beta-tester so I decided to wait for people to start playing with it before going into furious DIY purchase mode.

Fast forward to now - November 2020. We're facing the second UK lockdown, and still filling our lives with plenty of zoom/google meet/skype/facetime calls. I decided to improve my virtual appearance and I started to look online for a webcam replacement. I'm currently using my iPhone - but since it streams the video via wifi the image quality - despite the amazing camera sensor - isn't top notch due to the huge compression.

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Call 4 makers - Fablab Latina

Descrizione del progetto:
Portraits! รจ un'installazione artistica interattiva che realizza ritratti astratti.

Google Slides: slides

Video di presentazione:

Portraits! (ita) from VVZ3N on Vimeo.

Macchina in azione:
Meccanismo del grilletto:

Link al design CAD: https://a360.co/2Os6FV5

Circuito della CNC:
Che cos'รจ l'arte computazionale? Che cos'รจ l'arte generativa?

Ispirazione: Patrick Tresset, Paul the Robot

Sito web della mostra "Echosystems":

Useful electronic components

After many years of accumulating electronic bits and pieces, I thought it may be useful to have a list of different components grouped by their purpose.
So here it is!

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Some thoughts on AI art

Here's a link to break the ice:

Questions for discussion:

  • Is the only value of an AI artwork the fact that it has been generated via an AI?
  • Does the medium allow the artist to ask questions and explore corners that would not be possible to explore without AI?
  • Is this really showing some from of Intelligence, or is it just a sophisticated Pattern Recognition?
  • Is our own Intelligence just a sophisticated form of Pattern Recognition?
  • Are these AIs somehow capable of generalizing ideas or creating a numerical representation of abstract concepts?
  • How much of this work is the result of original research, and how much is just reusing somebody elses work but fed with different inputs so that it generates different outputs?
  • What's the difference between creating artwork in a commercial software framework like Houdini (written by others), or creating it using a Deep Learning algorithm (written by others) ?
  • What's the difference between creating a robotic machine that paints, or creating it an image using a GAN algorithm (written by others) ?

Digital meets real: 3D Printing

As soon as I started to fiddle around with Processing and Openframeworks back in 2013, I immediately felt the incredible power that their generative approach could offer. The amount of control, the expressivity and the variation of artworks that could be potentially generated felt really overwhelming! But one the most important things that you surely have already witnessed in your creative practice is that having (virtually) no limits can have a huge impact on the quality of your works. Sometimes a constrain or a technical limit are the best way to get inspired!

So, as digital people working with digital tools, how can we introduce some of these healty limits?

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