So Dan Selman wrote some code and named the program Voxra. It looks like it's coming along really well, and it also seems promising that this implementation will be pluggable from outside sources. He also has some experience with 3d music visualization with OpenGL, so he may be able to apply some of that experience to this project. So on my end of things, I've been hacking away and a proposal concept to take to Mark Bolas. It's called Mirage - a Wiremap composed of drops of water. There are a few awesome advantages to water. Firstly, I'd be able to drop water at varying depths, compared to the wire's fixed depth. This will give a fuller rendering effect.
Second, and I feel more importantly, a viewer would be able to walk into a rendered volume. They'd be able to physically interact with cyberspace... sort of. The effect would be a little quantum. As soon as you touched the rendered volume, your hand would interfere with the signal and be an intersecting surface. What I mean is, if you put your hand into a floating globe, a chunk of the globe would disappear and show up on your hand as a projected image. By involving a human body, 3d reverts back to 2d.
I figured that the proposal would require some media along with it, so I've hacked out a wiremap applet that works with gravity and falling water. It can be seen here. It uses the old engine that I had. In order to get a good feel of what it would look like on a big scale, I made the acceleration due to gravity 10 inches/second^2. This projected image would be correct if the image hits a water wiremap of 16 meters.
I'm trying to do it on a smaller scale, but when things get small, acceleration due to gravity gets relatively big. Even fast computers can't really keep up and the drops of projected light start to chop, which means the lighting will be spotty. I'm not sure if this means that the rendered volume will chop in and out of existence, or if it means that it won't exist. I'll have to do more testing.
I have my eyes out for 8' x 4' x 5/8" plywood to build that new wiremap. I believe I'm resolved to string or yarn. I think I'll be needing 512 washers, 256 meters of string, and a whole lot of time.
I've been trying to go to Lincoln Center with my new projector, but I tell myself I've been busy. I think I'm getting pretty tired of that excuse.
In news completely unrelated to wiremap, I've been playing around with standing / dancing in front of a projected iTunes Visualizer. From the point of view of a lighting designer, the effects are goddamn stunning. I plan on uploading something onto YouTube really soon.