Saturday, 26 July 2008

Wii Remote on Displays

Johnny Lee has created some really clever adaptations (hacks) using the Wii remote to create an interactive whiteboard and a VR style head tracking display. His TED talk is quite special where he shows off both these things to a standing ovation. We will definitely have to try both these things here in FBE as I am hoping/assuming we will be able to use the same tech on our large format screens as well. In the second vid he shows how to create the Minority Report style fingers-in-the-air interaction as well.





There - completely incredible. Johnny Lee has the apps for free on his website for us as well - now to just find the time.

Lets let him have one more piece of fun though - tracking with infrared dots again - but this time with various foldable, moveable, tiltable etc display surfaces. It's like live special effects in action. He blogs on blogspot as well - check it out.

The Time Machine

Watched The Time Machine on DVD today from 2002 - though it seems longer ago (maybe that is because of bits of the original playing in my head). I like the steampunk look to the tech and there are some great special effects starting with his leap through time into the near future and it continues from there.



The soundtrack I like as well, by Klaus Badelt and I will have to keep an eye out for it.

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If anyone likes those effects then you just have to check out the BBC's Time Machine documentary - awesome (on youtube).

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Crysis Creation Mod and Alienware firepower.

One thing I am hoping to find some serious time for in the next few months is Crysis Modding. I am even thinking of going insane and getting an Alienware laptop as part of that endeavour.
Anyhow, have a look at these images from the mod called The Creation:


[images of The Creation mod for Crysis from the moddb site]

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Speaking of Alienware, I have them coming out in a week or so and hearing that Swinbourne Uni has labs with over 100 Alienware beasts humming away is quite inspiring. I am looking at things like the Alienware Area51 M15x laptop and indeed some of the desktops for research here at FBE. The laptop can sport an 8800M GT which for a laptop is inspired and even outdoes the SLI 8700s in the XPS1730's we have already and all inside a 15.4" form factor.

The images below are from a look at them via LaptopPicker:


[awesome Alienware Area51 M15x (and the 17" version) imagery from the laptoppicker site]

Review on PC Authority and Atomic MPC.

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Why stop there though, there are other options of course. The LaptopPicker site has a Gaming Laptop section whic includes entries on things like these :-)


[images from the front news page of laptoppicker's gaming section]

Poser Artists

I continue to be mighty impressed with what people can create using Poser (and even DAZ). When I get my junk mail from the Renderosity store etc there is a steady stream of products and rendering. Here are 3 images from Krista Holewinske who's work is there amongst zillions of others.

[3 Poser generated images from Krista Holewinske from her site]

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There are people doing more artistic work of course You should visit Richard Marchand's site where he has a host of amazing digital works for us. I believe they are (or at least some are) Poser created as he is featured on the Poser site gallery. Anyhow, just look at this work:



[images by Richard Marchand from his site]

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Gaming Laptops and the new HP Touch Screen

I am just doing a little exploring on the 15" gaming laptop front to see if it may warrant a second laptop in that arena for me to support the Macbook Pro. This might enable a range of experimentation around using 2 machines - this one geared towards the likes of Crysis development.

A quick rundown shows things like:
Apple MacbookPro > 512MB 8600M GT (mine is only the 128MB)
Dell XPS1530 > 512MB 8600M GT
Alienware Area51 M15x > 512MB 8700M GT & 8800M GT
Asus G1Sn > 512MB 9500M GS
HP Pavillion DV5-1007tx > 512MB 9600M GT

Laptop VGA Card chart thanks to Notebookcheck.

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But perhaps a more interesting development is the HP all-in-one touch screen pc from HP. The HP Touchsmart PC sports a multi-touch enabled interface and applications designed for it in a stylish single enclosure.


[image of the new HP Touchsmart PC]

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Crysis Natural Mod

I may have looked at this briefly when it appeared - but it is worthy of another look - showing just how amazing cryengine2 can be - here is the vid from the Crysis Natural Mod:


Natural Mod 2.0 for Crysis from pydon on Vimeo.

It is hard to believe we are seeing ingame realtime footage - simply amazing. It is just so awesome that the stills are amazing (note this file is big):


[Image from the Crysis Natural Mod from the Crymod site]

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It will be interesting to see how well (or not) Crysis copes with the MacbookPro hardware. I should get to that in the next day or so...

Crysis Vids

Noting that the next expansion to Crysis is scheduled for later in the year I thought I would see what people have been doing with the engine lately on youtube - here is what I found - awesome fun:





Hmmm - there are lots more - incl these three:
The Building Destruction
The Lego Physics
The Zombie Swarm

This is the trailer for Crysis Warhead btw:

Monday, 21 July 2008

Check out Alex Stratulat

After seeing his great work yesterday on his 3D model of Angelina Jolie - lets take a closer look. His site, AlexStratulat.com has extra images of his work which show how it generated in a fashion:


[3 images of Alex Stratulat's Angelina Jolie pic]

He has a handful of other pieces there with details in the same way which is good to see. I like seeing the geometry as the finished work masks so much energy under the covers. After doing the Maya course late last year, I have a greater appreciation for modelling like this (though I am nowhere close to this level of course).

Here are a few more pics to inspire a closer look at his work:


[Images of the 3D work from Alex Stratulat's site]

Game Stats

We were looking at game data today and it is interesting to see some of the numbers and trends in gaming over the years. We started by just seeing the amazing numbers that SPORE is generating when it isnt even released yet (see article). But when you look at data of sales for the big guns of gaming it shows just how big the industry already is - and there are huge sectors that are untapped.

The Wikipedia article (list of the best-selling video games) is a good resource for this, breaking down the sales by platform and a few other categories.
I like that something like The Sims franchise can sport sales figures over 100 million - and it doesnt even have guns, swords or depravity as an uninformed view of computer games might hold.

Another intersting site is VGChartz which tracks the unit sales of the various platform and handheld gaming systems. What I find most interesting is the dominance of the 'niche' - things like the DS and the WII are simply streaks ahead of the traditional consoles. For my money if I was to charge out and get a console type platform it would be one of these two as well...


[graph from VGchartz showing the sales rising for the WII and DS over say the XBox360 for reference]

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Note that just as gaming is huge, The Dark Knight just set a new record for the biggest opening weekend in US history clocking up nothing short of $150 Million US - yowzers.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

CGgirls Comp

The 3DM3 site has now had 3 competitions voting on some amazing pieces of CG work with a 'girl' theme. There is a mixture of styles in the mix - but they all represent artists with awesome talent and showcase where we are at with CG and 3D in particular.
The 3 comps are at:
Number 3
Number 2
Number 1

There are some amazing works in there of course (perhaps I shouldnt - but here are a few from the recent comp that should inspire a closer look. There is a mixture of 2D (photoshop) work and 3D using software like Maya and 3DS Max. Here are 3 of the 3D ones that should inspire a closer look:


[Some images from the 3DM3 CGgirls comp]

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But I wanted to particularly pull out this 3D work modelling Angelina Jolie by Alex Stratulat which is simply incredible. Using Softimage XSI he has created something special - I will come back to more of his work soon for sure.


[Alex Stratulat's 3D image - yep it's CG]