Saturday, 14 July 2007

Day191 FSM sketching

FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) sketches
Did a bit of work on ideas for some FSM jewelry (necklace probably). For those not in the know the FSM is the Flying Spaghetti Monster - see these links for all the fun details and the design on which my thoughts are based:
http://www.venganza.org/
Anyhow, the idea is great, the imagery cute and the underlying theory something I would wear. Others should as well for that matter. While the IPU is perhaps a more universal symbol of such things - I like the FSM's squiggly alien look that would appeal to those who arent up on all the theories etc.
The sketches show pretty well that the design evolves quite naturally to not only my styling but also the logic of a jewelry piece. I could get it printed on the new 3D print machines - that would be very cool. It is pretty flat as a model goes, so would be fast and cheap to run.
These are some of the sketches I made - now to computify them to give a better feel and to get them to STL format beyond that.

[some of my FSM jewelry sketches]


Friday, 13 July 2007

Day190 Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Dived in and saw the latest installment to become a movie (very nice site: http://www.harrypotterorderofthephoenix.com/) of the awesome series that is Harry Potter. The book itself is a huge piece of work (that I recall just not being able to put down) spanning some 700+ pages of action, plot, twists and intrigue. Well the movie cant possibly cover all of this and feels very much like a summary of events. Even then we are given a version of affairs that differs from the book in many places.

[a couple of cast images from the order of the phoenix site]
This time even when we get to those sections where the visual medium of film should take over and embelish what we know (as with quiddich and the dragon fight for example) this time they somehow feel rushed. The wizard fights (Dumbledore's office and a the Ministry) somehow just werent what they could have been for me - they felt like they were holding back.
It was great seeing the flashback sequences from the earlier films - seeing the kids growing up is one of te unique elements of the whole thing.
There was more CG in this movie than any before and even when it wasnt front'n'centre the feel of the movie was all CGed to introduce darkeness or mist or funky lighting or backgrounds etc. I think the effects work was very good actually and integrated well with the lighting and characters.


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Boot Camp
I set about getting Vista onto this lovely new MacBookPro of mine. Alas my Vista DVD doesnt quite seem to be happy - it just spins away and doesnt get recognised by the bootcamp assistant. Sooo I will have to check that out further and go from there - maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Day189 Maya beginnings

I started my journey into Maya today - well I got as far as installing and watching some intro video help. I am greatly looking forward to diving into this baby over the coming months.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Day188 Sketchup & Roboblitz etc

Worked with Russ and Jeremy on importing Sketchup content into the Roboblitz editor and thus the Unreal3 Engine. We have a rough process that works and means to texture and even get the collision volumes required to have rb_destructable objects as well as the static meshes. Using the line collisions gives us most of the functionality we need as far as model content from sketchup goes. Texturing and lighting though arent resolved at all and need more work to start realising he capability of the engine.
The walk around feature in sketchup is actually pretty good for a completely free app (which we love dearly). Even though the Unreal3 engine has so much to offer - as early adopters we are perhaps not getting as much from it as we will n a few months time.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Day187 Touch Screens and Reports

Touch Screens
Had a good demo of a 46" LCD panel with a touch screen overlay (integrated in this case) and it was definately a great piece of tech for interactive studio presentations and intutive feedback. The panel we were shown was a Clarity (http://www.clarityvisual.com/) with the NextWindow (http://www.nextwindow.com/) touch tech running with the nice HD (1920x1080) res for us. Windows ran nicely enough on the demo laptop giving us a feel for the sensitivity and image quality. When we plugged my monitor in though it didnt pick up the res properly (we will have to play more with that in times to come).
Things like sketchup worked ok, though without the same ready access to the keyboard we felt a little crippled the way we had them physically setup.
I am looking forward to bringing the demo in so we can get the potential users to 'play' and start generate ideas for greater use (as well as config options). We will still have to work on proportions, sizes, numbers, inputs, computers, power management, IR controls, security and the cost - but all in good time.

One interesting thing I noticed, before using the screen I invisaged that in sketchup I would use my left finger to click the various control icons (hand, orbit etc) and my right finger to do the actual manipulations. I figured that this would be fast and take advantage of my not having to track across to the different icons. Strangely none of us (including me) used it this way - we all just used the 1 finger to do everything - funny. I wonder if we would evolve better habits over time...

Reports
I actually enjoyed reading through 2 Research Project reports and providing feedback. Assessment is a complex mindset...

I also worked some more on the other report for the program itself and pulled together an extended opening with the inspirational imagery included. I think it adds more punch and implied scope which flavours the following content better.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Day186 Architectural Computing Imagery

Did a collection of Architectural Imagery for a promo doc here at uni. Basically this set is designed to inspire further thinking on the role of computers in Architecture and what the future might hold.

This is the set I grabbed and will see if I can arrange in some way with some student work as well:





[suite of images from multiple sources showing off Architectural Computing]

Day185 Program

More work on the new Program today.