Issue #1: Dimensional Dispatch

What a time to be alive!

As we stand perched on the precipice of a new dimensional era, I can’t help but marvel at the possibilities spread out before us like an endless voxelated landscape. Just think - only a few short years ago, computing was confined to boring two-dimensional screens. How flat and lifeless that seems now.

Today, the combination of 3D and AI is unlocking new frontiers of creativity, collaboration and community that once existed only in science fiction.

At Looking Glass, it’s our mission to push the boundaries of dimensional possibility even further. That’s why we’re so thrilled to be launching Dimensional Dispatch, a newsletter for 3D creators artists, developers and enthusiasts to come together and get a glimpse the future. But this is not just any newsletter. Picture it as a curated, laser-scanned and algorithmically defined 3D version of a newsletter, sent your way to give you the scoop on all things three-dimensional. In a world where two dimensions are becoming passé and virtual reality is starting to look like, well, reality, our newsletter is here to help you navigate the z-axis.

In the coming issues, we’ll share the latest mind-bending projects, breakthrough techniques, clever hacks and interviews with industry leaders. This is just the beginning. The third dimension is ours to explore. So, fasten your 3D glasses and let's dive into this three-dimensional journey together.

-Nikki Chan

This week’s collection is curated by Bryan Brown, Developer Experience Engineer at Looking Glass

We'll be publishing bi-weekly. If you want to stay updated to our newsletter, be sure to sign up in the newsletter form below.

What Everyone is Talking about

It’s a bird, it’s a plane — no, wait. It’s a gigantic orb in the middle of Sin City, or what we all call Las Vegas. One block east from the Vegas strip, the record-breaking Sphere sits at 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide. In addition to being the largest sphere, the bowl reportedly also has the largest LED lights with 1.2 million lights the size of hockey pucks. We haven’t been there to see it for ourself but this video below should give you a good glimpse into what it might feel like to be there:

Spheres aside, our team has also been paying close attention to lumine AI, the group behind instaVerse, an AI-powered 3D asset generator and visualizer that creates explorable worlds directly from text input.


3D is Open (Source)

The past few weeks have seen some pretty big landmark releases from major open source projects like Blender and Godot. These all follow previous large releases and mark an exciting tide of regular updates to these incredible tools.

  • The Blender Foundation releases 3.6 LTS  introducing Simulation Nodes, a new UV packing engine, performance improvements in Cycles, mesh editing and so much more. Learn more in their full release notes here. (🔗)
  • Four months after the release of Godot 4.0, Godot releases 4.1 with plenty of new features like AI navigation avoidance and the added ability to detached code editors and put them on other displays. Read more about the full release notes on the Godot site here. (🔗)

New Kid on the Block

Wonder Studio is a new AI based tool allowing artists to animate, rig, and rotoscope 3D characters on top of real world footage, this makes the film making process way easier for folks looking to integrate CGI characters. Read more about their release on this post here. (🔗)

Notable Papers

Artists aren’t the only ones having fun, scientists can have fun too. In a time when it feels like there’s a new paper coming out every second, here’s a collection of some of our favorites:

  • Memory-Efficient Radiance Fields (aka MERFs) brings much faster real-time rendering of much larger scenes.  (🔗)
  • NVIDIA announces NeuroAngelo, a framework for high-fidelity 3D surface reconstruction from RGB video captures. (🔗)
  • SDFStudio, a toolkit for neural rendering already incorporates this paper into their work! (🔗)
  • Sea Thru-NeRF: New work on neural rendering under water could allow new insights into ocean habitats and understanding the world beneath the waves. (🔗)
Underwater Image Restoration
  • F2-NERF allows you to create a huge radiance field out of smaller radiance fields. allowing for much larger areas to be captured from relatively common videos that previous versions of NERF algorithms would be unable to handle. (🔗)
  • HyperReel allows you to convert videos into 3D scenes, choosing to navigate through time, space, or both at the same time! (🔗)

Indie Innovations

  • Three.JS gets a bunch of new high quality post processing effects thanks to 0beqz’ Realism-Effects library, which brings techniques like Screen Space Global Illumination (SSGI) to the web! (🔗)
  • Andrey Volodin ported NERFs to an OpenXR Renderer, allowing NeRFs to be viewed in close to real-time on a VR headset. (🔗)
  • Holograms in Tokyo - Steampunk Digital, an XR development team based out out of Japan put on a showcase earlier this year introducing Monocle Prime,  a 3D scanning application for the iPhone. They used a Looking Glass as a 3D canvas to showcase these scans and even wrote a bit about how the full process works here.

Featured Hologram

Every issue will come with a link to our favorite hologram. This week features some artwork by Jake Adams, a longtime member of our community who is set to launch a Looking Glass super project that he's been working on for two years - a holocomic called Aphid through the Looking Glass. Coinciding with this, he will be teaching Art Through the Looking Glass this summer at the International School of Holography. The course starts July 22nd, runs online completely and you'll be learning how to: 

  • Get the Looking Glass Portrait display to be an output of interaction with Unity
  • How the Looking Glass works and the future of the medium
  • Best practices for optimization of your 3D work
  • How to craft and design a compelling narrative for the future of interfaces

We're all pretty excited about this and we know that there is no better person than Jake to teach this.

Sign up here for the course and use LOOKING GLASS FACTORY DISCOUNT at checkout to get $25 off.

In Case You Missed It

  • We launched two new Liteforms last week: Lil' Inu & Android Andi. We've also increased our velocity of waitlist acceptances over the last week so everyone who signs up for Liteforms will have access very soon. Sign up here.
  • We pushed out a new short & quick getting started video for Looking Glass Studio for those who are looking to convert 2D → 3D videos and images to their Portrait.
  • Last Friday, Shawn joined Charlie Fink, Rony Abovitz and Ted Schilowitz on a podcast episode with This Week in XR last Friday to talk AI and Liteforms. (🔗)

That's all we have for this week! What did you think of our first issue? We're aiming to publishing and sending this out once every two weeks (ish) so let us know what you liked / didn't like / want to read more of.