Saturday, 19 May 2007

Day135 SimCity

SimCity4
Spent my time as a virtual Mayor in Sim City (http://simcity.ea.com/) today - such a clever little game and not a hint of slaughter to be seen. I have experimented with several city styles today and different development speeds etc - all very enthralling!

Friday, 18 May 2007

Day134 GMod Inflator

Gmod Inflator
A new update for GMod, this one brings us (amongst other things) the Inflator Tool (http://www.garrysmod.com/?dont_buff_my_pylon=47) which is another piece in the puzzle to have editable geometry within the environment. The current tool however just does ragdolls and has a simple (but very nifty) expand and contract logic.

[quick screenshot showing the inflator tool's work]

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Day133 MacFUSE & Google Analytics

MacFUSE
Another inspired piece of software from the mids of those clever Google folk. MacFUSE (http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/) allows the Mac to see all manner of data as if it were part of the file-system. The demo from the creators (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3138515991250095768) shows them mounting processes, Google Docs, Picasa etc. One of the features this allows is for the Mac to read/write NTFS3 which will get around my having to deal with 32GB FAT petitions (esp when I start my MDM)
This same FUSE logic can give you access to the Gmail file storage which is really extending the functionality of the total Google offering. This is one such implementation (http://richard.jones.name/google-hacks/gmail-filesystem/gmail-filesystem.html).

Google Analytics
The new version of the Google Analytics Service (http://www.google.com/analytics/) has arrived and shows off some really lovely interface work from the masters at Google. The dynamic Flash driven charts, maps and such interact beautifully and give a great way for people to see how their site visitors are behaving. Considering you can jump onto their tool for zip, this is another solid piece in the vast Google offering. The ability to see what searches bring up your site is nifty - obviously the stats for this little backwater blog dont show me enough to delve into things in much - but the potential is all there!!

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Movies
There are a bunch of movies here or nearly here that I am deparate to see. They all have some serious CG integration and showcase the upper capability of this whole area. Spiderman 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Dinosaurs 3D and Shrek3 = just look at all those 3s :-)
Then a little later there is Fantastic Four 2 and the surprising Transformers!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Day132 Concept Cars

Concept Cars
As part of a branding exercise here are some of the 'concept cars' that I found to illustrate an image. This are is full of some very inspired design and thinking looking forward for us all. There are heaps of sports type concept cars that have a futuristic essence to them. The ones below have a style that isnt about testosterone - but rather just a cool factor that invokes positive forward looking thinking.

[Student concept from the Royal College of Art’s Masters (MA) Vehicle Design course http://www.artvps.com/news.21.htm]

[MIT Concept cars from the Gehry course, they have plenty on the site and this is a nifty sample http://www.archinode.com/mitcar1.html]

[3 wheeler concept car (there are several out there) but the idea of a hybrid bike/car is still clever http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/a-clever-green-machine/2006/04/25/1145861350353.html]

[Some amazing ideas from the Peurgeot design contest http://www.lemonlawvehicle.com/wordpress/date/2006/12/page/3/]

[Ross Lovegroves concept car design is just sooo clever. The idea that they park onto poles that lift the car up off the ground where they then operate as street lighting is super http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/05/lovegrove2/source/17.htm see his TED TALK http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/27]

[Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid is one of our heroes and here is her Z-car concept http://archive.cardesignnews.com/news/2006/060605whats-new/index.html# ]

[This site has just sooo many wonderful examples of design these are just a couple of the car ones http://douglas.typepad.com/content/design/index.html]

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Day131 3Dyoutubing & GModding

Doll Face
A super little 3D video by Andrew Hu (http://youtube.com/watch?v=zl6hNj1uOkY). It shows a great handling of 3D, integration of video footage and a deep and meaningful message all packaged in an approachable way. The way the technology feels advanced, yet also fallible and clunky is great, this is reflected again in how the images are just almost random scratchy snippets on the TV itself.

Hallucii
A cute little vid by Goo-Shun Wang (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhfhgbmZe9s&NR=1). The idea of using Escher's clever stairs with the goofy drinker is clever and the ideas cascade from there in a few directions. The animation is clever and considering it is actually really 3D, dealing with the optical illusion is nifty.

Animusic
A real set of classics for me, there are lots of these now but these are just wonderful to watch and hear. Pipe Dreams 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a8DF5U2Nh4&NR=1). Pipe Dreams 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfu5VkfrhYc). The others are more just nice animated music machines, these 2 take the idea that step further and have the cascading balls doing the work which is just dreamy.

Kiwi
Read about this baby in 3DWorld, and finally got to see this cute little piece (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdUUx5FdySs). Not only to see how well Dony Permedi animated the little guy, but also to see the beautiful little story unfold. And as a student this inspires me looking forward to my MDM. It is nice to see an idea unfold so nicely and then to leave you thinking about it afterwards!

Well there are zillions more of course, but these are a nice little sample of where this whole area can lead.

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GMod
The gmod site (http://www.garrysmod.org/) has plenty of fun to behold. A quick look at the mod downloads reveals things like the align tool (http://www.garrysmod.org/downloads/?a=view&id=3686). The Forums there will be a great resource if we get going on some of the projects that are being talked about. Cant wait to dive in deeper.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Day130 GMod and Machinima

Gmod Scripting
Well, Gmod brings LUA scripting to the table, the same scripting as WoW actually which will bring some comonality to our purpose. I am not sure where all the good info is on how to get started with LUA scripting in GMod - but I hope it is somewhere. Is being able to build in some Architectural tools into the 3D interface would be a great step forward. Plus we could de-militarise the interface and add libraries more appropriate to design and visualisation.
We discussed in detail some of the tasks before us in this regard, a tough but exciting road for us to travel.

Machinima
I am very new to this world, there is no doubt there. So lets start with a classic:
A Few Good G-Men
Check it out on Machinima.com (http://www.machinima.com/films.php?id=1154) where the author Randall Glass has some info on what he was doing. The scene from A Few Good Men is just one of those great cinematic moments and having it brought to re-life through HL2 brings it to a place I am keen to explore. Just had to watch it a few times - lovely.

Machinina.com (http://www.machinima.com) has plenty more to offer though using a whole raft of software including WoW, the SIMS, etc etc etc and some more HL2 ones like:
I'm Still Seeing Breen (http://www.machinima.com/films.php?id=1209)
The Fallen (http://www.machinima.com/films.php?id=13032)

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Day129 Lord of the Rings Online & MorphVOX

LOTRO
Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar is here and taking on the saturated MMORPG market. Will there be enough in this baby to lure gamers into a new world - famous as that world might be?
A world with the existing depth where we can dive in as a proud defender of the world of Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit or Men. The LOTRO site (http://www.lotro.com/) mentions interesting things like 'dramatic sequences' and the Monster Play idea reminds me of times long past in EQ1.
Apart from these teasers and the fact that there are doubtless lots of little things to make it fun, it hasnt thrown a whole new feel my way. It apparently takes places just after Frodo and co leave the Shire and it does look like it might be geared well for the casual gamer that I and friends definatively are. The graphics (as the screenshots below show) are nice, but nothing extroadinary. I look forward to hearing how it all comes together - or will I be lured in :-)

[screenshots of LOTRO from their site]
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MorphVOX
I have always kinda disliked Teamspeak etc in conjunction with online gaming - fantasy gaming in particular. While it can be fun to have my friends chatting, it does shatter the illusion as well. So I thought it would be great if the software changed our voices to be that of our character - enter MorphVOX (http://www.screamingbee.com/). Had fun listening to their promo 'changers' - this would be fun (but spooky for us to play with online. It may be extra handy for voicework in videos, like character and voiceover requirements.