Thursday, 31 July 2008

Gmod Class and more

We had our first set of tutorials for the new BENV2423 Design & Realtime Interactivity today where the students were exploring Garry's Mod. It was great to see the different approaches that people have to an environment like this, some take to it very smoothly, others need to work their way into it. Some were completely new to the idea of FPS type navigation which is always fun.

Here is the link to my group's blog on day 1 (plenty more to come): BENV2423 Grahams Tute


Another cool thing today in another of the Arch Computing courses (Representation Studio) where they were using the SPORE Creature Creator - very neat.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Steampunk Keyboard

Came across this awesome construction project to create a steampunk computer keyboard. I am not sure what the 'touch' is like - but it is awesome anyhow - such style.

[Images of the constructed steampunk keyboard from the steampunkworkshop site]

The stempunkworkshop article for the keyboard has a range of images and video covering the construction as well as design drawings. The site has details on a suite of other projects - lotsa fun like the Steampunk Motorbike!

Another site worth checking in this area is the MAKE blog.

Sound and Concept art begin

My MDM session 2 courses have kicked off this week with a bang.

Sound Construction 1
This field is completely new to me and our first play with Pro Tools was fascinating. All the things that I thought/hoped we could do in the simpler video edit tools I have played with are there to enjoy in Pro Tools and its impressive array of effects and manipulations. I particularly liked being able to draw in a piece of the sound wave by hand.
Project 1 is only a few weeks away that will require an original musical piece created from a small sound library - will be a challenge for sure.

Looks like I might need to spend $$ to work on this at home, for an Mbox even...

Digital Illustration for Concept Art
This is another online course which also kicked-off on the Monday and has seen a good level of involvement from the students already. I have enjoyed looking around at Concept Art examples in response to lecture 1 and the opening tasks.
Two examples I used were Viktor Antonov's environmental design work for Half Life 2 and following from my look at Darksiders the other day, Joe Maduriera's sketchwork.

[Concept art by Viktor Antonov (from his site) and Joe Maduriera (from JoeMadFan)]


One site I have found that will be fun to explore in detail for inspiration is the
Concept Artists & Illustrators Like Collection

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

FBE Blogs

With the growing popularity of blogging to support learning outcomes and staff/student interaction in courses here in FBE, there is now a blog to help group them together here on blogspot:

From there we can all wind our way through the various course level blogs to the individual group/tutors and then to the students - more content than you can poke a stick at.


Speaking of blogs, I should mention the new blog Words on Play by the convenor of the UNSW gaming theory group, Malcolm Ryan at CSE

De Blob

[de Blob Screenshot from the official THQ site]

The WII is a remarkable addition to console-land and brings a host of new gaming styles and personalities to the fore. One new game about to hit the WII scene is De Blob. This stylish game sees you controlling a little blobby dude to bring colour back to your city. I like the landscape and the transformation you bring to it via the gameplay (even if you cant control exactly how it works).
I am not sure how many players will think about the relationship between a game like this and their actual environment - but check out the vids to see what you think:

Monday, 28 July 2008


Just a little playing around in sketchup for fun:


With the creative and fun filled times of Spore getting ever closer (Sept 7th) it is fun to see that it has again inspired at E3 and has a channel bursting with activity on Youtube as well.

The SPORE Youtube Channel also introduces the creature creature dance competition which builds on the success of their preview. Here is the E3 trailer - kinda fun:

One extra dimension (atop the creative/designer gameplay) that spore hits is its relationship to the sciences and evolution in particular. Though the water is VERY messy because we area actually designing rather than changes being due to mutation and selection pressures. The game does resonate pretty well with biology, ecology and cosmology. Plus I would think that our ethical and moral stances will be visible to some as well.

Here is Will Wright discussing this:

Sunday, 27 July 2008

FallingWater Viz

We used the Kasperg Falling water HL2 engine model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling water as our exemplar real-time Architectural visualisation in last sessions Collaboration Studio. Digital Urban reported on a nice new (non-real-time) visualisation of the same architecture for us. Though it isnt real-time, it does tell a nice story particularly in the first part.

Fallingwater from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

This sort of digital representation isnt new, but should still help to win over those who shy away from the digital realm. Interestingly, this visualisation of FallingWater makes it feel quite light and airy actually. This contrasts, for me, with the experience via the Kasperg model where the building feels rather heavy and closed - interesting. The Digital Urban blog has a vid of the Kasperg model as well.

Joe Mad and Darksiders

I have always really loved the comic styling of Joe Mad (Joe Madureira) and have fond memories of Battle Chasers in particular. JoeMadFan is the best place to start exploring his dynamic work spanning comics, concept design work and particularly video game art at present.

Here are some Battle Chasers sketches to both bring back some memories and get you in the mood for his new work on Darksiders. These comic development sketches are from the Gallery on JoeMadFan where you can also find finished works as well (note the site has higher res):

[Joe Mad imagery from Battle Chasers via the JoeMadFan site]

He has had a hand in a few video games - in a promo type way - like these examples:

[Joe Mad video game imagery from the JoeMadFan site]


The reason to check out Joe Mad again follows on from this with his new venture on Darksiders. This new console-based game is in development and brings Joe's visual work to a game world filled with angels, demons and more. Lets check out 3 more Joe Mad illustrations then in 3 videos we can see these come to life with glimpses of modelling, rendering and final cinematics in a very dynamic and visual game. There are more - you just have to check them out on JoeMadFan. Oh and following that are 3 screenshots from the Darksiders site showing how these translate - I so want to be able to do this.

[Joe Mad Darksiders imagery from the JoeMadFan site]

[Screenshots from Darksiders from the site]