Saturday, 21 July 2007

Day198 Transformers Alex Jaeger

Transformers Art Director Alex Jaeger
continuing my look at the CG giant that is Transformers I checked out the article on Alex Jaeger over at CGSociety (http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=4150). I like Jaeger's discussion on the detailing the robots for believability and then not having them feel like "walking junk piles". The article has some great images from other projects he has worked on with ILM like Pearl Harbour, Star Wars and Star Trek. I love the idea of the concept artist and taking conceptual and rough ideas to new and greater places. When this logic is applied to movies like Transformers it is great to see - but we can also take this same method through to all manner of other areas in our creative lives.
Jaeger seems to have a dream job realising, designing, creating, imagining and embelishing in multiple media for the amazing projects that come to ILM - awesome.
Check the forum (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=59&t=517155&page=1&pp=15) where there is some discussion about the bot designs - whether they are clean enough with people expressing views on all sides.

Alex Jaeger also has a nifty (if overly organised) website (http://www.alexjaeger.com/) which has a daily sketch section which is fun to look through. Actually it is far more than just fun - the work is full of character which should inspire me to do more sketching!!
Plus he gives us a blog as well right here on blogspot: http://alxartblog.blogspot.com/


[images of Jaeger's work from the CGSociety site]

Friday, 20 July 2007

Day197 Iron Man look

Iron Man Preview
ILM are hard at work on another huge movie coming our way - Iron Man (http://www.ironmanmovie.com/). Tony Stark is none other than Robert Downey Jr and the supporting cast has some interesting folk to help out. The ILM effects work we are in for will have something in common with their Transformers work on metals and nice big super-combat sequences - it will be a treat. It looks like we wont see this until 2008 and there isnt even a full trailer for us yet - so all we really have are a few images like these which hint at the fun to come.

[teaser images from superherohype and wikipedia]

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Day196 Transformers in 3DWorld and more

3D World Transformers feature article
Got Issue 94 of 3DWold and it sports a good article on the work ILM did for Transformers. The images on show are those we get charging around the web, but they are no less impressive for it. Infact in this format and with the accompanying text we get a good feel for the various levels of the creation of the bots - from the macro dynamic animation rig and overall styling towards the concept work right down to individual textures and mechanical detailing of robotic eyes etc.
Previous blogging on the Transformers back on Day184

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Back at COFA today for a little more intro including their IT (mac) system and COFApass etc. Te lab we happened to be in didnt have the latest versions of everything running as I took a little look around - but they are installing several labs of new gear which should be fun. I noted specifically that FormZ is there which will be fun to test-drive!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Day195 COFA Welcome and Bags

COFA Welcome
Had my first real taste of COFA (http://www.cofa.unsw.edu.au) for my upcoming Masters of Digital Media studies. It was good to meet some fellow students and get around the Padington campus. The staff and students at the College definitely have their own style which is great. The half day of intro has peaked my interest further - cant wait to get started next week. None of the other students who I met today were part-timers like myself though - I can see myself slowly plodding along as all the full-timers zoooom past me :-)
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Laptop Bags
Started looking at bags to use in trekking to COFA with the new Mac and other bits'n'pieces. There are some mighty expensive choices out there of course - just have to find the right one with enough bang for my buck.
Some of the companies in the mix:
Rushfaster: http://www.rushfaster.com.au/
STM: http://www.stmbags.com.au/home
Crumpler: http://www.crumpler.com.au/
Possibilities:
STM medium evolution: http://www.stmbags.com.au/mediumevolution
Brenthaven expandable trek: http://www.brenthaven.com/catalog-expandable-trek.html

[images from STM, Brenthaven and Rushfaster]

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Day194 E3 and QTVRs

E3 2007
Here are some E3 vids that deserve watching:

Unreal 3
http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJdF_O0Xk5E
The engine on display here is simply 'unreal' and though the pace of the trailer doesnt allow us to enjoy it as much as it deserves, there is definitive quality/capability on display.
  
[Unreal Tournament 3 screenshots from their site]

plus make sure you check out this lovely outdoorness using the engine:
http://www.gametab.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316

Assassin's Creed
http://assassinscreed.uk.ubi.com/interstitial.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWfi9NTxyOU
This game extends the idea of gaming into what looks like a much more alive environment, the chase sequence is great with the environment and its inhabitants as real parts of the 'puzzle'. The cloth, animations, effects and interactivity is awesome and shows what Ubisoft can do with the new consoles.

Crysis
http://www.incrysis.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmSXDKktWU4
The first video shows the pretty fish, crabs and other wildlife while showing us around the game.
  
[Crysis screenshots from their site]

more in the coming days...

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QTVRs
Russ and I worked through getting HL2/GMod locations into the QTVR format. As with all things digital there was far more exploration, experimentation and general complexity to arrive at a result that, while nifty, belies the work done. The process took in at various points Garry's Mod, GCFScape, HL2 and the envmap then GoCubic (plus we went via the mac using MkeCubic as well at one point and various other general tools where appropriate). The end-to-end process is now relatively sane with some restrictions which is good.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Day193 E3 Vids

E3 2007 Trailers and Videos
Prompted by some of the snippets I am hearing from E3 (http://www.e3expo.com/) I thought I would just dive into some of the eye-candy that is on offer from this big event. Their site has heaps of the content trailers right there for us and the likes of youtube have all we could want as well.

I will come back to this for the next few days trolling through the fun.
By way of a teaser - check out this little run down of some anticipated titles:


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Mac and Vista
I got Boot Camp (http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/) and then Vista (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/default.mspx) and then Parallels3 (http://www.parallels.com/en/products/desktop/) installed on my new MacBookPro today. This was actually kinda fun. I have some things to learn about how parallels does things (like shared areas) and to get the interfaces under control - but in principle it is working like a charm.
I also started installing CS3 (design premium http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/design/?xNav=DP)onto the mac side of the equation (boy is it a monster 6GB of stuff with the fattest application being Acrobat , believe it or not which is almost a GB on its own).

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Day192 Maya and Pirates

Maya Tutes
began working through the tutorials that come with Maya today and they are slow going for some reason. Part of it comes when I have to work out what is gong on when things dont go exactly as the tute describes. This is probably a good thing - as I am finding all manner of bits'n'pieces that I wouldnt have explored if the tute had just happened.

Pirates 2 DVD
Watched Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest on DVD - was great to see the effects in action again. Basically the whole thing is an effects extravaganza and I will watch it and its second DVD a bunch more times to come.