Saturday, 11 October 2008

Open Green

[Full image of Open Green by Andrius Balciunas from the CGSociety article]

I love this image (Open Green) created in 3D by Andrius Balciunas which is features in Ballistics brand new Exotique 4. He has written a great little article on CGSociety which walks through the craetive and technical process used to build the piece from the ground up. The WIP images are great at helping us undertand how he went about the various phases.

Andrius has a neat website as well called CRYINGHORN where there is a gallery featuring this piece and suite of others as well.

[Closer view of Open Green by Andrius Balciunas from the CGSociety article]

Autodesk M&E Launch

Last night I went to Autodesks Sydney launch of their 2009 versions of the M&E (Media and Entertainment) packages. This time we were at the COFA campus in the main lecture theatre. Unfortunately we didnt get to see a horde of showreel goodies, but we did have the regualar cast of experts walking us through examples of new features and tools in the 2009 versions of Maya, Toxik, Mudbox and also 3ds Max.

I will have to take a closer look at some of their newer aquisitions, esp in the gaming space along with the might of mudbox (eg GMax, HumanIK and Kynapse)

Blue Ray Leopards and HD hugeness

I am loving the new HD and blue ray setup now purring along at home. After adding an optical audio cable to the mix I am now getting the full effect from all devices. Watching the documentary from National Geographic "Eye of the Leopard" is simply amazing in full HD with the cinematic audio.

Now off to watch the full special edition of the Lord of the Rings - wow.

Friday, 10 October 2008

HEROES is back

With Dr Who finished, it seemed that there would be nothing on tv that I was clamouring for each week. But just in the nick of time come the new season of Heroes. And a great return it was, the gasps and revelations and shock value are all back in spades.

The CG work has stepped up again with various powers now visible and the city destruction in the future awesome.

Cant wait for the next part now.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Gaming and Brain Research

I liked the research done recently by Dr Spiers and Professor Maguire as reported in a press release via The coverage in the ABC Radio National Science Show detailed how the study was showing the relationship of navigational thought to specific regions of the brain.
Steven Novella (from The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast fame) blogs on the study over on Neurologica as well which is cool.

Anyhow, one of the interesting pieces in this research was the use of "The Getaway" PS2 game which models the London streets. This allowed the taxi drivers to mimic their usual work function including the navigation while strapped into an fMRI scanner.

A quote from the press release:
In a follow-up study, Dr Spiers and Professor Maguire used the Playstation2 video game "The Getaway" to examine how taxi drivers use their hippocampus and other brain areas when they navigate. Taxi drivers used the virtual reality simulation to navigate the streets of London whilst lying in an fMRI brain scanner. The researchers found that the hippocampus is most active when the drivers first think about their route and plan ahead. By contrast, activity in a diverse network of other brain areas increases as they encounter road blocks, spot expected landmarks, look at the view and worry about the thoughts of their customers and other drivers.

[Screenshots from The Getaway via the Gamespot site]

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Real-Time assessment

I have been working on the assessments for my Real-Time group for experiment 2. They have created some amazing looking SolidWorks models in the group - actually all the groups have.
Check things out via my group at:

I will post some of the most inspired once I finish marking :-)

Big Screens, Big Sound and BlueRay

I finally acted on a long burning itch over the weekend and I am now armed with a Samsung 46" LCD, their Sound Bar and even a Blue Ray player as well.
The biggest jump for me in all this so far is the audio - the sound is just soooo much better than I had before.

I got a single Blue Ray disk to test out things, Horton Hears a Who. It looked stunning on the new screen - such clarity and detail - this is a technology with a good future. I also watched some of the Fellowship of the Ring DVD and it was much better than my previous setup, much!

There is still alot for me to work out with getting all the different controls, cabling options and such sorted out. Plus I am on Optus Cable TV - where there is nooo HD...

More news (and images) on this as I get a chance to fine-tune things.