is the personal homepage of João Mesquita, Phd (aka vanoak). João is a screenwriter, creative technologist and professor based in Portugal.
This is the blog. To know more use the side links.

May 15 2024 15:14:24


Negative Positive

Because it's 2024, there's no reason not to use ubiquitous computing to make contact sheets in real time, not least so as not to waste photo paper - which is expensive. So I spent a weekend making an iOS app that inverts the negative to positive in real time - with the option to save the positive image - thus allowing a pre-selection of the most interesting photos.


May 05 2024 15:08:58

Aerial Plant (2024) Seixal

2024 Plantas Aereas


May 04 2024 19:01:21

Tejo em manhã de neblina (2024)

2024 Tejo Em Manha De Neblina


Apr 28 2024 13:30:14

Rua da Junqueira, Belém, Lisboa (2024)

alt text


Apr 28 2024 13:26:19

And so it begins (re-begins?). After getting the darkroom lab in Lusíada into shape, time to do it on my own studio. These are the first results.

Travessa dos Algarves, Belém, Lisboa (2024)

(Travessa dos Algarves, Belém, Lisboa (2024))


Jan 24 2024 22:47:32

2013 Cverde

(cape verde - 2013)


Jan 21 2024 15:34:53

2009 Costa

(costa da caparica - 2009)


Jan 19 2024 09:04:01

2022 Cabo Espichel

(cabo espichel - 2022)


Jan 18 2024 11:54:34

2017 Costa1

(costa da caparica - 2017)


Jan 17 2024 09:41:51

2017 Porto Brandao Small

(porto brandão - 2017)


Jan 16 2024 23:13:03


(beira baixa - 2007)

now that i stopped being a photography teacher - until they dragged me into it again - i can dedicate myself to photography itself, but in a slightly different way. it's been decided that i'll go back to film and print - 35mm to pick up where i left off, but what i really want to do is 6x7. only in black and white because, curiously, i see better in black and white - i think it's because i'm a nocturnal person. i see more and see better. and no it is not a new year resolution.


Dec 23 2023 16:53:16

last print of the year.

Last Print


Oct 21 2023 14:21:13

this week i was asked - directly - how i got to where i am. not that i think i'm in any important position, but how did i get there?

never though much about it.

it's true that in the years i've been teaching, i've noticed that most students are not interested in learning what i teach, but are more interested in knowing how i got to where i am and if i have contacts in this or that industry. and if i don't focus my teaching on that then they don't pay attention.

i can't help them succeed.

but when i was asked this week, i spent a few minutes thinking about it.

and the answer is that when an opportunity arose, it happened that i was the best prepared person to take it. even when i wasn't the ideal choice i became the ideal choice because i was the best available.

and the way i became the best available is because i put in the hours, learning everything i could about what interested me. being prepared in those moments of oportunity for me is a consequence of that.

and i realized that's still what i do every day.


Oct 05 2023 07:23:55

IMG 5749

first experience in analog development in...decades. the camera is more of a camera obscura than a camera, the film advance lever works ... most of the times, half of the roll hasn't developed but the negative is... undeniable. MAAT, Lisbon (2023)


Jul 20 2023 00:00:51

ported Pompeii (aka As Musas) to Godot 4. not painless, but not too much.


Jul 17 2023 20:31:29

unpopular opinion: i enjoyed The Flash.


May 21 2023 23:16:50

at a job fair at my university, some of my students went to ask human resources at companies that were recruiting about opportunities for creative people. the answer is that they must be excellent prompters because in the future all content would be AI generated.

(btw, some of these gentlemen are looking for programmers with 10 years experience in Swift, when Swift is only 8 years old... true story).

My students came to class and asked me about the problem that this answer creates for them who are learning to create content.

My answer was (is) twofold:

  1. I used a comparison: if they had to choose from a group of 100 people someone to work on their team, where 99 know how to use a calculator, but only 1 knows how to use the calculator and do the math by hand, which one would they choose?

  2. The old adage still applies: if the future is uncertain - and it always has been - the best choice is still to be prepared for as many scenarios as possible.


Dec 05 2022 09:21:19

regarding AI in creative domains (dall-e, chatgpt, etc). my opinion is that these technologies are as useful for creativity as a calculator is useful for doing math. my main concern with technologies is that most of them result in a devaluation of the concept of effort that while superficial actually harms education, ie. expertise on a subject.

PS - an update on this issue. this evolution reinforces the concept that human intervention in digital processes is in the transition from production to auditing. and for that we still need specialists.


Nov 20 2022 13:04:00


I made another tool to help my students visualize scripts. It's called runner and it's a textual storyboarding tool. the aim is to decompose the script into individual shots and fine-tune its duration depending on what we want to convey. we still have to imagine the scenes but it can help to understand the film before it's made. making drawings can take a long time, so this way is faster. after this work is done, it can be exported to a subtitle file to be used in any nle.


Oct 29 2022 13:58:07

cibernetic cinema screenwriting tools

after finishing the script for O Vazio Aqui - we're in the layout phase - I thought I'd start implementing the principles that characterize the cybernetic cinema definition. I have 8 principles for now. You have to go to my classes and workshops to find out what they are, at least until they are more scientifically sedimented.

There's one I've been exploring these past few days and that is how time is managed. For now, the definition is that time is independent of action. In eXistenZ (Cronenberg, 1999), artificial agents waited in torpor until the human agent guesses the right move. Here, the artificial agents get on with their agenda. The cybernetic engine should adapt the action to the time "wasted" by the human agent.

To test the possibilities I did an experiment with a terminal program containing an infinite loop in which I can interact with the keyboard through function commands (they work on different threads). After the time cycle was defined, I realized that each artificial agent must have an agenda and that the human agent crosses its actions with the agendas of each of the them, where predetermined actions can take place.

What I ended up doing however is creating a screenwriting methodology for cybernetic cinema that is extremely iterative and fast. I assume it shouldn't be that much different from interactive fiction authoring tools but if my experience with them is of any indication, this method is more efficient.

The film I'm writing with this screenwriting tool (for cybernetic cinema) is a mix between Se7en (Fincher, 1995) and Covert Action (Meyer,1990).


May 04 2022 22:15:30

cibernetic cinema on Alquimia 2022

what interests me is not how new media designers can integrate narrative into the objects they produce; rather it is what filmmakers do when they're given new media as a means of expression.

IMG 5251


Apr 14 2022 22:19:34

on webapps

following my studies in swiftUI, i reconsidered web technologies as an infrastructure for graphical user interfaces. it is an extremely flexible infrastructure if you know what to do, i.e. if you don't use frameworks and have the knowledge to hack divs on floats or grids. in a short time i made a few experimental webapps (tasks, bibform, ganttbuster and on_untitled). they are all very different user interface-wise as they should. they have rough edges because there are no plans. i code new stuff as i need it.

i still think things like electron.js are weird - around the 2000s I worked on a project where it was a desktop app but from Flash projects, which never worked very well on client machines - but i could probably change my mind if someone builds something lighter. my webapps are running on a local server, in a browser and for now they are enough.


Jan 06 2022 21:02:53

looking into swiftui. conceptually, a mix between html and css. that’s not a terrible ideia.


Jan 06 2022 19:28:50

i made a rss reader. it works great!

Or Untitled


Dec 01 2021 21:56:52

some of the embedded content is not loading. which reinforces the idea that this blog should be autonomous as much as possible.


Dec 01 2021 21:34:27



Jun 09 2021 20:45:41


May 14 2021 09:21:13

Esta quinta e sexta-feira são os OpenDay Virtuais na Lusiada. O curso de Comunicação e Multimédia vai ter um stand onde podem esclarecer todas as questões, dúvidas e inquietações acerca da nossa oferta formativa. Inscrições no evento: E fica aqui o link para um best of dos trabalhos realizados pelos alunos no ano de 20-21: #lusiadaopenday2021


May 14 2021 09:19:59

E a MultiWeeks 2021 terminou com a Catarina Pulli, que nos mostrou o seu trabalho como Concept Artist (tradução portuguesa: ilustração de produção). O entusiasmo foi tal que entupiu a largura de banda.


May 14 2021 09:19:27

A webinar da Maria João na penúltima sessão do MultiWeeks 2021 já está disponível no YouTube


May 14 2021 09:18:33

Segunda e última semana da MultiWeeks 2021 desta temporada. Dia 7 de Maio às 14h e às 17h. EDIT: A webinar da Catarina é sobre concept art e não sobre animação!

alt text


May 14 2021 09:17:05

Brenda Laurel, 1993. Zielinsky said "The 20th century is not over yet".

IMG 5039


Apr 15 2021 22:28:01

bacelar instagram


Apr 11 2021 11:18:27



Apr 11 2021 11:08:32

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by João Mesquita (@_vanoak_)


Apr 11 2021 11:07:30

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by João Mesquita (@_vanoak_)


Apr 11 2021 11:06:07

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by João Mesquita (@_vanoak_)


Mar 12 2021 11:37:57


Congratulations to everyone on completing Phase 1 of this project. You did it. And as predicted, we learned a lot, everyone. Time to critically dissect the work and prepare Phase 2 and Phase 3. Also thanks to Universidade Lusíada for the vote of confidence. Thank you Tatiana, João, Henrique, Mafalda, Francisca, Sérgio. Thank you remaining members of the Communication and Multimedia Students Group. Thank you Paulo Pinto. Thank you Paulo J. Pinto. Thank you Tiago Narciso. Thank you Cátia Branquinho, Sofia Fontinha, Cristina Gokaldas, Pedro Fonseca, Sebastião de Botton and Nuno Venes.


Mar 12 2021 11:34:09

This is one of the rare times that you will see my face on the web, so enjoy it. I made the public presentation of the Post-Graduation in Creative and Technological Practices in Digital Media at the Inspiring Future Masters and Post-Graduations Fair. I show up between 55 seconds and 22 minutes.


Jan 30 2021 16:31:43

An update to Cartago. Abstract coming soon.


Jan 26 2021 19:58:07


Jan 24 2021 10:51:10

2h Timeboxed lab. Reproducing half-life 2: Point Insertion with Godot CSG internal modeling tool.


Jan 11 2021 11:21:03

people tend to forget that social networks are also databases.


Jan 10 2021 10:43:00


Jan 09 2021 22:00:18

my thoughts exactly...


Jan 02 2021 22:37:39


Dec 29 2020 11:50:26


Dec 28 2020 23:23:59

Dialogo from blo que on Vimeo.


Dec 28 2020 11:34:59


Dec 28 2020 01:29:51


Dec 28 2020 01:18:29

updated O Vazio Aqui.

Page 1 of o Vazio Aqui


Dec 28 2020 00:41:46


Dec 28 2020 00:36:16

embed test


Dec 27 2020 23:19:49

finished gemini rue yesterday. unfortunatly i don't have the option (time) of playing the game as one should (without hints). this is the review i put on steam (i think is the first one, too)

one of the most complex and interesting story games I have ever played in any game and I played a lot. it's more in the wake of gabriel knight than in the lucasarts or broken sword games. some of the puzzles suffer from interface problems (like the GK itself or the goat puzzle in BS1), in which sometimes the reasoning of a puzzle solution is correct, but the action is not the correct one: "kick" instead of " use".


Aug 18 2020 13:32:23

Epic vs. Apple. There is one aspect that always baffles me: if you do not want to follow the platform's rules, why do you invest in it? I would say it is opportunistic behavior, but experience tells me that it is normal behavior for a company. But this one is key, citing John Gruber:

The thing is, Epic isn't just a game publisher. They're a platform vendor too. One of the core things developers want from a platform vendor is stability, in every sense of the word. If I were a game developer who depends on Unreal Engine, I'd be irate at Epic. They're creating drama and eroding trust over a fight that Unreal Engine licensees aren't a part of and didn't sign up for. Fortnite users - especially kids - might blame Apple for Fortnite disappearing from iOS. But professional game developers will blame Epic if Unreal Engine updates are hindered by this.

via daring fireball

This was my first thought: good thing I don't use Unreal Engine.


Jul 13 2020 20:11:06

the next chapter. out of the oven now. (btw, written 2 years ago)

IMG 4645


Apr 24 2020 13:44:10

teaching distance classes for a month. the kids are doing alright to the point where the real problem of this generation - in my opinion - starts to be less noticeable: there is no culture of effort. all knowledge takes time to build. in this generation, all tasks must be solved immediately at first attempt and with a quality comparable to what is best done in the field regardless of its complexity. building knowledge takes time. before they didn't had the time - really? now they have some and that is a little better.


Apr 06 2020 14:31:30

some classes updates:

  • transitioning from Processing, Python, Visionaire and Unity to Godot, exclusively, in the multimedia side of things.
  • transitioning from Pure Data to Sonic Pi
  • transitioning from Blender to DaVinci Resolve, in the video editing and motion graphics side of things.
  • transitioning from Raspberry Pi to Arduino (much simpler and not needed in an education enviroment; students prefer to use their own computers.). Trying to implement OSC in Arduino. EDIT: not worth it. Used a proxy app Serial/OSC in Python.
  • still using Blender for everything else.

some research updates:

  • managed to get OSC from Godot to Sonic Pi rerouted with OSCulator. Let's find out if I can do the opposite. EDIT: yes, it can.


Feb 27 2020 23:11:28

i think i fixed the my computer.

it is a relief. it is a 6 year old computer but I do not like the idea of having to buy another one. completely different from pc time - buying another was always an excuse.

Random Shutdown on Macbook Pro Apple, Macbook Pro, random, unexpected, silent, crash, shutdown, turn off, 820-3662, 820-3787, 2013, 2014, 2015, 13",15"


Jan 19 2020 22:08:44

made me look twice #foundobject.




Nov 19 2019 02:09:59

From the news i gathered disney+ the mandalorian is a weekly series.

on streaming. while the competition business model is based on publishing entire seasons.

i predict that was not the best idea.


Oct 06 2019 12:08:48

good morning #foundobject



Aug 26 2019 21:18:49

there is something off with that lightsaber. i think it is her gesture. visually, it doesn't work at all.

and btw - that is not a jedi saber nor a sith saber. it is a "kylo ren" sabre.



Aug 26 2019 02:13:53

it came to my attention that the rss feed had two bugs that are now fixed.


Aug 20 2019 22:51:27

after looking into backup solutions in the cloud, i bought a external dvd reader/writer. should have done it years ago.


Jul 27 2019 22:54:41

stonehenge #foundobject



Jul 26 2019 21:58:34

Most interesting piece of the article.

"The engine maker will only secure the full $525 million if enough shareholders, most of whom are former and current employees, decide to sell".


Jul 11 2019 22:04:29

Corner Splitting Option in Preferences. YES!


(do not know how long this was an option, but nevertheless THANK YOU!)


Jul 11 2019 17:42:28

is official. from today I stopped being a professor of strategic media planning. It took four years but I finally succeeded.


Jul 07 2019 09:38:04

made me look twice. #foundobject





Jul 02 2019 22:55:26

environmental installation.


Jun 27 2019 10:08:18

i think they are selling it.


Jun 23 2019 15:21:07

i've been contemplating integrating reverse lookup into #foundobject posts. i think authors should be credited. however the purpose of these posts is to initiate a thought process about an environment (film, installation, bd).

and not knowing the artist or the context of creation and theme is in fact critical for this process to happen.

but the fact that me not wanting to know, doesn't mean my visitors don't want to know. so, this is and example of the previous post.

more about this image


Jun 23 2019 14:42:47

made me look twice #foundobject

65318297 2634323533258761 3341937473474265088 O


Jun 21 2019 21:45:31

actually feels like it.


Jun 20 2019 22:11:57

made me look twice #foundobject





Jun 18 2019 22:16:33

made me look twice #foundobject

64317605 10157274769142173 8542012188724822016 O


Jun 16 2019 17:39:37

made me look twice #foundobject

Forest Land Art Nature Spencer Byles 110



Jun 15 2019 23:14:14

nice premise for a film.


Jun 15 2019 22:52:28

I was surprised by Apple promoting something like this, something that I always saw as a huge security risk.

In Portugal, citizens have an id number, a taxpayer number and a social security number - not to mention a driving license number. All these numbers are different because there is an assumption of separation of information that is beneficial to privacy. When I buy something, I have to provide my taxpayer number, but not my id one. And that is important.

Many years ago I was asked to implement a pre-purchased script on a website I maintained, one that gets the list of contacts of the user from several online email providers. That day, I decided that I had to change jobs as soon as possible.

Do not place you username and password on a site other than the one where those credentials are valid. Period.


Jun 14 2019 18:21:22

made me look twice #foundobject



Jun 14 2019 18:13:25

PRINCE.EXE is 30 years old.


Jun 14 2019 18:00:12

made me look twice #foundobject



Jun 14 2019 07:58:32

Untitled Project temp name Project Rashomon. It is an environmental installation that appropriates the film Rashomon (1950) by Kurosawa. As the director shows us the retelling of the crime by the witnesses, he does it by adapting the composition, montage and actor's performance to serve the witness argument.

In this installation the user is able to enact the film and change the original testimonials, by manipulating a set of environmental constraints, in fact creating their own version testimonial, becoming also a witness.


Jun 14 2019 07:57:30

made me look twice #foundobject



Jun 14 2019 00:21:11

made me look twice #foundobject



Jun 13 2019 00:24:46

made me look twice #foundobject



Jun 13 2019 00:18:57

made a new offline editor.


Jun 13 2019 00:17:11

made me look twice #foundobject



Jun 07, 2019 02:31

in the masters, we used open frameworks as the main toolset. worked so well, that i took the chance to make a custom built video player for the evaluation of the post-production class. the process is documented in LAB.


May 28, 2019 12:38

podcast - first episode available (


May 25, 2019 11:36

true... true....


post on twitter

May 25, 2019 11:33

The illusion of meritocracy in #opensource explained in one sentence: "In his experience, van Rossum sees incompetent men's ideas gaining acceptance more often than merited because they are more forceful in how they present them."


post on twitter

May 24, 2019 12:31

never gets old.


May 10, 2019 04:49

post-graduation minisite launched


Mar 24, 2019 09:44

storyboarder: now with 3d shot generator. cheers


Mar 03, 2019 09:17

most of my teachers knew my parents (and aunt) so expectations were very high. even today, I think some people think I got where I got through my dad's network. it was not, but it is something that some people will never believe.


Feb 15, 2019 01:11

updated to blender 2.8


Feb 07, 2019 10:35

peter gabriel said that the worst request anyone can ask to an artist is to tell them that they can do whatever they want. he said that the most interesting objects are created because there are constraints that have to be dealt with.

i agree.

and that's why I think it's so interesting the prospect of soderbergh wanting to make a movie using the iphone.


Feb 07, 2019 09:41

lastest news: since today, i am the professor of multimedia design production in the master's degree in design at the lusiada university of lisbon.


Feb 04, 2019 11:42

highly recommended:


Jan 24, 2019 06:39

you practice technique to get your fingers to go where you want them to go. you practice theory to understand where they can go and why.

-- tom morello @

the keyword is why.

i stole this argument because it's similar to what I use in open classes. we should all consider attending university at some point in our lives. a good time will be when we begin to ask ourselves "why am I doing it and why is it important"?


Jan 24, 2019 06:28

made me look twice #foundobject


Jan 19, 2019 07:55

made me look twice #foundobject


Jan 19, 2019 07:14

post permalink are available.


Jan 17, 2019 10:57

the problem is not so much, why facebook needs this (did they started it?), but the fact that participants of this event are contributing to the creation of a structured database that can be used by a data broker to connect, for example, two datasets separated by a few years with the least effort - a browser navigation robot connected to a screen scrapper.

Had a page on hi5 or myspace? posted pictures of yourself?

it is very unlikely that this is the goal but that is not important. what is important is that something that was almost impossible, becomes attainable.

we sometimes forget that what in the common lexicon is known as a hastag, that meta-comment prefixed with a cardinal sign that expands the meaning and context of a post is also known by two other names: descriptor or search criteria.

Jan 16, 2019 12:30
as I was researching social media networks as a publicity platform, I began to realize that for the content producer - and the added value associated with such content - they are a mousetrap.

the user creates the added value, which is then exploited by a platform that does nothing but spread it on a large scale (this could be an asset if only a few users could take advantage of it, which is not the case).

so it is nice when companies with a strategic vision very close to mine make a decision that I would take (and did):

in fact, my perspective on the subject goes further. in my blog there are no comments. it is not a fault. it is by design.

whether or not you agree with something I said, do not say it on my blog, say it in yours. you can always include a link to my post if you want.

Jan 15, 2019 12:18
gotta love these guys - storyboarded shot generator (now in 3D)

Jan 14, 2019 12:50
finally a socket server

Jan 07, 2019 11:27
freestyle is available in blender eevee, now my work can continue.

Jan 06, 2019 05:56
with the 3d print toolbox available, I transitioned to blender 2.8 today.

Jan 01, 2019 07:27
the most useful add-on for blender became available in version 2.8 - edit linked library.

Dec 28, 2018 11:56
made me look twice #foundobject

Dec 28, 2018 06:04
a long due rss feature

Dec 28, 2018 11:57
things that annoy me

  • give us your password to import your contacts.
  • forget about the "latest", here it is the "top".

no and no.

Dec 19, 2018 03:08
cartago - test#4

pretty much all mmm code has been ported. starting to work on the new stuff.

Dec 10, 2018 10:53
made me look twice #foundobject

Dec 10, 2018 12:17
MMM had it close! nasa insight senses martian wind

Dec 06, 2018 01:01
I do not understand the interest of a boss battle. never did.

Nov 22, 2018 04:08
cartago test#3

Nov 21, 2018 10:56
like I said I know that diablo immortal is not for me. in fact, "china really wants it".

Nov 21, 2018 12:47
shadow of the tomb raider. on the mac. 2019.

Nov 20, 2018 09:45
cartago test #2

cartago - test #2 from João Mesquita on Vimeo.

Nov 19, 2018 11:01
malcolm gladwell and rick rubin podcast. worth a hearing. cheers.

Nov 18, 2018 09:38

pablo ferro dies at age 83. rip.

Nov 18, 2018 09:29
made me look twice #foundobject

Nov 12, 2018 11:00
generative Arrakis (also known as Dune)

post on twitter

Nov 12, 2018 10:59
student visual sensibility quick-test: show kulechov effect.

post on twitter

Nov 11, 2018 11:24
made me look twice #foundobject

Nov 11, 2018 11:18
motion periodic table. pretty cool.

post on twitter

Nov 11, 2018 11:14
gdnative code for OSC implementation.

Nov 06, 2018 12:16
i play diablo 3 with some regularity but i am perfectly aware that i am not part of the audience for which it was conceived. the same happens with diablo immortal. it is not for me, it is for new guys.

Nov 04, 2018 05:04
vr is a long haul. they are getting it.

Nov 03, 2018 03:55
made me look twice #foundobject

Oct 31, 2018 03:01
made me look twice #foundobject

Oct 31, 2018 02:48
made me look twice #foundobject

Oct 31, 2018 02:27
the #bcon18 talk i mentioned earlier by @brentpatterson: in portugal, in media production this is so true. vocational and university students argue hard in favor of pro software as a must-have for employability. so they invest in learning the software, instead of the actual techniques.

and what happens is that the pro actually hides some pro knowledge like knowing about color channels and what is (mathmatically) a blend mode. classic stuff are "this layer system is doesn't work like photoshop" or the "where is the history window?"

post on twitter

Aug 04, 2018 11:16

"Don't trust the cloud. Don't trust YouTube. Download. Download. Download. UbuWeb is the backup for the internet."- Ubuweb.

my thoughts exactly.

post on twitter

Aug 04, 2018 10:32

made me look twice #foundobject

Aug 04, 2018 03:34
Gobelins MOOC on animation principles

Aug 04, 2018 03:24
made me look twice #foundobject

Aug 04, 2018 02:26
made me look twice #foundobject

Aug 04, 2018 02:25
made me look twice #foundobject

Aug 04, 2018 01:08
i know nobody asked me but rogue one is the best star wars film.

post on twitter

Aug 04, 2018 01:08
localghost: 127.0.0.o.o.o.O.O.o.o.0.1

post on twitter

Aug 04, 2018 01:08

made me look twice #foundobject