Saturday, 8 December 2007

Day337 Bugeye Cowboy Sketches

Bugeye Sketches
My book is filling up with all manner of wild west related sketches of various types. My old friend Bugeye has returned as well and looks the part with his western hat on. One thing is for sure, I really need some life drawing classes to get a better sense of mass, proportion, musculature and bones. So indeed it is my sketches that deviate further from natural anatomy that seem to work best. I did do a sketch based off a tracing from my Manga Mania Fanstasy Worlds book, she looks good converted to a cowgirl.

I have been playing with western flavoured elves and I even did a wild west frog, thinking some kid of oinkfrog could work. It is the Bugyeye sketches that are invoking a little more interest though and it is like having an old friend back.

Here are 2 of the sketches scanned in and then quickly coloured using photoshop and my trusty old wacom tablet.

[Western Bugeye sketch and quick colour treatment, mkI, plus another sketch]

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Harvey Tolibao
In looking around at western related sketches on the net I stumbled across the work of Harvey Tolibao. He has done a good range of covers for comics and pages for titles like Star Wars. His Glass House Graphics site has plenty of sketchwork to admire and his presence on deviantART has even more to inspire.
Here are a few of those super sketches - I may even colour one in the next few days...

[sketches by Harvey Tolibao from his site]

Friday, 7 December 2007

Day336 Game News

Nasty EVE Patch
This was the topic of much fun today in discussions, in fact the current Trinity patch and its deletion of peoples boot.ini file would have to be one of the absolute worst patches of all time. Info abounds on plenty of sites incl slashdot.

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Feign Death vs Moose
This story on Razorwire/Warcry tells of a boy who used his experience in using his WoW hunter's feign death ability to escape an aggressive moose. Yep, it does start you thinking doesnt it.

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Activision & Blizzard Merger
Occasionally we see big companies come together like HP and Compaq rather than the normal big fish gulping up the smaller ones. Here we have a $19bn (US I assume) merger between two giants in gaming - who knows what it will mean for us - but the scale is fun to admire.

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WoW XPS1730
While we wait patiently for our XPS1730's to arrive I see (via the Kotaku site) that Dell have teamed up with Blizzard to make a WoW themed version. Apart from a bundle of extra goodies the case is actually Horde or Alliance styled - neato.

[image of the WoW styles Dell XPS1730 from the Kotaku site]

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Spore
Yes, it has become somewhat the poster-boy for long wait times. But if EA & Will Wright are to be believed then it could well be here in Spring (US) 2008. Apart from the official Spore site, there are plenty of others (like xspore) documenting our wait for this one which is sitting pretty as the most anticipated game for 2008.

The 2007 Trailer (embedded below) is a good little reminder of why we are waiting:

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Day335 SketchyPhysics

SketchyPhysics
After checking out Sketchup with the Connexion controller I also found out about the Physics Add-on. This takes Sketchup to another level of capability and could allow a bunch of designers to do things with software that was the domain of either high-end applications or game engines really. SketchyPhysics is still a little new, so there arent too many quality examples yet.
Check out this compilation video to see what people have been doing with it thus far:


But it doesnt stop there - Rocketsblazed2thesky created the video below where we get Star Wars, Sketchup and some SketchyPhysics pulled together into an artier piece. Just look at all those droids...


Plus there are plenty of other videos on Youtube that show what can be done with this unassuming little piece of software. Like the Coop Himmelblau-Falkestrasse Model from vizarch.blogspot.com.

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IMAGETP Crysis
I am sure I have come across the IMAGETP folk a few times now in relation to their usage of the CryEngine 2 for Architectural and Urban Modelling. Their promo video (showreel really) demonstrates their capability with the tool which they have obvously been working with for some time. It is great to see some animated vision of things I had only seen in stills until now.

Jean-Baptiste Reynes from IMAGETP presented their work and process at the VIEW Conference on Nov 7th.

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Playing
Speaking of Crysis, apart from showing its wonders to a few more people today. I played through the zero-G part of the mountain and along with some marine re-enforcements we are taking on the alien dudes heading down the mountain.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Day334 WoWing

After a good discussion about the new expansion coming for EVE and the fun we once had in CoH. I dived into WoW for a little fun...

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Day333 3DConnexion, Crysis Physics

3DConnexion SpaceNavigator
Jim brought back a shiny new 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator from the Autodesk University 2007 event. I will have to cover AU another time though.

The SpaceNav is very entertaining to use, it plugs into a range of applications including sketchup, Google Earth and 3D modellers like Max and Maya and a suite of others. Though I was expecting to be able to navigate around, what was most interesting was that you can do this while doing actual operations with the mouse. So you can start building something, then pan and rotate your view of the geometry in mid creation or edit.

I only tried it with Sketchup and GoogleEarth so far and both under windows - I think I will try Maya on the Mac next.

The video from 3DConnexion on Youtube shows how easy the device makes navigation. This could be a powerful tool for having non-gamers get around in virtual spaces without having to learn those WASD/mouse movement or indeed a console controller. Armed with a SpaceNavigator users could move around freely and relatively intuitively using a device that doesnt reek of gaminess. This assumes we can get it working inside the engine at all.

That said, navigating isnt as easy as it looks and I feel very clumsy with it...

Here is a Youtube vid from the GoogleEarthBlog folk:


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Crysis Physics Fun
Found this new video of the Crysis engine performing some amazing feats - I am not sure what it takes to do this or how much trickery we are seeing yet. Either way it is mighty impressive and has loads of potential for simulations in other industries.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Day332 Net woes and other things to do

Well my home router is kinda dead - boy does that put a dent in my capability.
So out comes the sketchbook - that is fun.

I also grabbed a copy of The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King - should be fun after reading the long foreword. I havent actually read any of his books before and it is about time!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Day331 Unreal Vids, Blogger Pic Issues & Genre Fun

Unreal Editor 3 Video Tutes
I have finished vid5, which concluded the creation of the initial 2 room level. Things are working very much like UT2004 really - apart from the mesh quality it seems to operate with the same logic all round.

It is excellent that Epic have included these with the game. It will make level building and modding far more approachable and the engine an easier pickup for students and new-comers.

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Blogger Image Issues
Over the last 3 days now pages created in Blogger with images have been incorrectly building the code that would open a larger version of an uploaded image from its respective thumbnail. I thought it was some craziness at my end with photoshop or something, but after narrowing the problem down to blogger - they have it on their Known Issues page. Tom's reply on the Blogger Google Group has the same solution, to edit the generated code to reflect how things were prior to Friday.

This is obviously frustrating - but at least we have a workaround until things are fixed.

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Sketchbook
I have been having fun doing hand-sketches of various things, tv-genre-people, wild west elves and vampires and even an amoeba dude. These are all fun ideas that really should have legs to go further.

Others have gone down this road of merging strange things like elves and the wild west. I really loved the Deadlands roleplaying game and world (Wikipedia Deadlands link). The Bootmaker and the Elves by Susan Lowell and Tom Curry takes an old story with its elves and throws it into the wild west.

[pic of this little books cover]