Invite: A Day at the Gulch

Isaiah Saxon


In Person

Isaiah Saxon


We’ll be making an appearance at two events coming up (one of them is tomorrow!) We’ll be showing films, speaking, and showing some teasers from our feature film in development. Come see us if you’re in the area.

Palo Alto International Film Festival

542 High Street  (between University Avenue and Hamilton Avenue)
Palo Alto, California 94301

Friday, September 30 – 7 p.m. at Talenthouse






Playgrounds Festival

October 5th in Amsterdam

October 7th in Tilburg





Buzzin’ The Gulch

Sean Hellfritsch


We were recently paid a visit by Dr. Steven Byers, the father of our summer intern. He flew into the local airstrip in his dreamy 1950 Piper Super Cub. Over a post-dinner campfire, Daren & I asked him if he would take us & some cameras to the skies above Trout Gulch. He happily obliged!

We outfitted one of the floats with two GoPro cameras in a hyper-stereo configuration: 14′ between each eye. This allows one to perceive depth on massive scales. You can view an excerpt from the flight in 3D here.

Racoon Timedrawing

Isaiah Saxon


As many of you know, we’ve been busy cooking up our first feature film – DIY in 3d – an action adventure epic for kids about makers, hackers, farmers, builders, and doers – set in Pennsylvania in 2023.

We’re going to LA next week to take our development to the next stage. We now have the entire film represented in 26 concept shots that look more or less like the finished film should look.

This is a shot I recently painted that sums up how we’ve been working to achieve this.

Open Source Ecology at Trout Gulch

Isaiah Saxon


Marcin’s farm in Missouri isn’t very cozy from November to March, so last winter the Open Source Ecology founder did a residency with us at Trout Gulch. Over the course of his visit, I got pulled deep into the workings of his project and rapidly began taking on more responsibilities.

By the end of his stay, I had designed a new website, written founding documents for non-profit filing, developed a documentation standard for all instructional wiki content, and laid out a cohesive communications strategy. Near the end of his stay, I wrote and directed this TED talk – synthesizing his work into a compelling story that most people could understand.

Its been out for a few months now, and the influx of support has been overwhelming. There’s really no way for us to currently leverage all of the good will that’s out there for this project. I consider that our primary task. How do you convert a thousand, geographically dispersed contributors into a functional organization in the quickest fashion possible? We’ll see how it goes…

Here at Trout Gulch, we’re still trying to find the right fabricator who wants to collaborate on replicating the MicroTrac Walk-Behind Tractor. This machine’s nimbleness would revolutionize the soil prep stage of our hillside farming operation.


Isaiah Saxon


I’m wearing the Vizux STAR (See Through Augmented Reality) glasses, while at ARE 2011 a couple weeks ago. This is the state of the art, but its surprisingly low tech. They use an optical system, so as you can see in the video there is a little screen and some 45 degree 50/50 mirrors. The field of view is only 30 degrees, so they aren’t at all practical or immersive. Because people only have focus on the 6 degrees at the center of their field of view, any viable AR display will need to give you 60 degrees or more of viewable real estate to be able to place layers to the side that you don’t want occupying the center of your vision.

We saw presentations by the three players in this space – Vizux, Immersion Optics, and Innovega. The takeaway is that it’s a wild west scenario – everyone’s racing, with marginal resources, to crack the nut of AR wearables under 3 ounces with 90 degree field of view that look like Oakley sunglasses. Immersion Optics were lacking any demos, but were our personal favorites – we may be receiving a pair for development. They promised the 2012 release of the “Immy 60″ and the “Immy 90″ – yup, 90 degrees field of view and they claim they’ll be 2.5 ounces.

I’m still terrified of these things, but they’ll likely be the interfaces of the near future, so we better figure out how to deal with them intelligently – perhaps by creating healthy user experiences early on to help define the culture around them.

Geeks needed / We’re Hiring

Isaiah Saxon


We’re teaming up with Zach Klein (Co-Founder of Vimeo) to make an augmented reality app. We’ll release on iOS and Android. We’re building the first game in a series of games that will lead to the creation of a new youth skill-sharing platform, called DIY.

We need three hires to get to the next stage. Bay Area is best, but if you’re just right, we don’t care where you are. These are contract positions with options to continue full-time if it all works out.

AR Developer
Expertise with various AR toolkits and computer vision libraries. A scrappy generalist programmer hungry to push the boundaries. We know you’re out there.

Game Developer
Ideally developed and published an app using Unity. Must have a deep love for Mr. Miyamoto.

3D Modeler/Animator
Generalist who can model, skin, rig, and animate in MAYA, 3DS Max, or XSI. Modeling and animation needed for various props and 1 character. Experience with video game development workflow a must.


TG Surf Club

Sean Hellfritsch


Two months ago a tsunami wave from Japan hit Santa Cruz and dealt some serious damage to our harbor. One hour before that, Rob and I were paddling into the 1st Peak lineup at Pleasure Point and catching some huge rides on our inflatable surf mats. Only today did I discover these images…
Thanks to Chris Elmenhurst for the great shots!

Surf mats are said by some to be the fastest wave-craft on the water. Riding one is akin to body surfing on a bubble. We like them because they are backpackable, appropriate for almost all surf conditions, and harmless in a wipeout or collision.
Some notable youtube clips include: “Surf Mat Turbo Time” & “George Greenough Discussing Surf Mats”

Digging the Gulch

Isaiah Saxon


The Trout Gulch Farm website is coming very soon. Expect a virtual portal of timelapse, interactive panoramas, tractor porn, and other visceral documentation of our land sculpting. We’ve been busy double digging

We remove the soil down to 18″, mix it with compost, break all the hard clods, then put it all back in the hole. Place seeds or starts, put down drip irrigation and then boom, you’re eatin’.

3DS is in effect!

Isaiah Saxon



It’s better than we imagined. The Nintendo 3DS is the world’s first real consumer AR device.

It is still a marker based experience (for now), but Nintendo has included so many subtleties to smooth out the experience, it feels extremely natural. We were immediately climbing on top of things to get the right angle to see inside or around things.

The autostereoscopic display and a smart use of shadows helps to create a solid illusion, but the large black border around the display prevents the full “magic window” effect where you can imagine the screen to be transparent, rather than a video feed.

We’re waiting to see some games using PTAM instead of markers – maybe we’ll be the first.

3DS Titles in development (none are yet claiming to be AR specific, except the bundled teaser we’ve been playing)