Saturday, 29 November 2008

Quantum of Solace

We went off to see the new James Bond film at the cinema last night, Quantum of Solace. There was some very nicely integrated visual effects integrated with dramatically cut and shot action sequences. There were some nifty computer interfaces, but the plot and whole were somewhat flat. I think they missed some key plot developments that could have made the threat of all these hidden operatives something very cool - but that just faded away through the film. Without the gadgets and with the much rougher Bond, this is a very new direction for the franchise.

[image of the gruffer Bond from Quantum of Solace via]

The film does a good job of blending the CG and effects work with the live action footage - there arent large CG-centric extravagances - but the CG does add an edge to the rapid-fire action scenes.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Peter Callesen Paper

This artwork isnt the slightest bit digital, but it is very cool. Peter Callesen has created a suite of sculptural pieces from single pieces of paper. There is some link to this blog in his words about exploring the relationship between 2D and 3D. This relationship comes up alot in computing work, we see 3D represetations on a 2D screen, integrate 2D textures on 3D geometries and more.

[images of Peter Callesen's papercut art from his website]

Anyhow - take a look his website where he has images of his A4 papercut works as well as his larger installations. I love the idea of him bringing to life simple A4 80GSM paper into these lovely works of blended 2D/3D - playing with the medium for us.

[images of Peter Callesen's papercut art from his website]

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The Resort - Crysis map by SKM

After having a browse around at various UT3 map creations yesterday, I thought I may as well allow a reply of sorts from Crysis, so I followed first link and came to The Resort by SKM. This guy has created a stunning environment, using what the Crysis engine does so well. There isnt a great deal of Architecture in there, but the landscape is beautiful.

[Screenshots from The Resort, SKM's Crysis map via Map-Factory]

SKM has documented the map extensively in his CryMod thread, though it is available and I first came to find it via the Map-Factory page. There is so much to this island that I cant include enough drool-soaked screenshots here - so check out the links to find more. Sooo I have just included the smaller versions above. I have however embeded the two main vids below as well, make sure you dont hurt your chin when it hits the floor. The first vid is a trailer showing gameplay as well, the second is just a visual tour of the various environments - watch them at a nice size... Sven Kiesser has done a super job, this is just one guy and thus should inspire us all to get in there and do the same - another reason to talk some more to my Alienware guy :-)

UT3 Maps via Map-Factory

After the assessment yesterday I had a browse around at some of the maps available online for UT3. The online maps are far more static than the student's work, which was drawing on a different type of interactivity that can be at odds with the DM/CTF/etc gameplay. So I was just looking at visual quality for the most part, seeing the levels of refinement, attention to detail and overall atmosphere.

The images below come from the suite of maps available in the UT3 section of Map-Factory and show the kind of thing that people out there are creating. These are just uploaded maps, so they arent the mod team work, I would expect that they would have primarily been one or two people working away on them.

[UT3 maps preview images from the MapFactory site]

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

UT3 marking and mods

Spent some time today finalising the marks for the Real-Time Interactive Environments course submissions for Experiment 3. This final submission saw them creating environments inspired by a game and drawing upon their SolidWorks exploded building models. Since the student submissions are all up on their blogs, you can check out their work via my tute's page and you should check submissions in the other tutorials as well - also linked via my blog entry...

To give you a feel for some of the cool stuff - here are 3 images from various groups:

[images from various BENV2423 submissions for their UT3 environments]

Monday, 24 November 2008

Iron Man Blu-Ray - Take3

Sat down to watch the full movie through in all its glory this time. The Blu-Ray resolution and clarity is great for seeing the intricacies of his suit coming together - love those sequences. Plus we get to see the snippet at the very end with Nick Fury...


I am still truly impressed at how great the image quality of the Blu-Ray format over DVD is. For some cool comparisons check out Xylon's thread on the AVS Forum. Without trying to steal his thunder, here are two of the files from his comparison (warning they are chunky - and you cant see the diff in the thumbs :-)

[DVD and HD comparison images from Harry Potter via Xylon's thread on AVS]

Sunday, 23 November 2008

A little more on Gaming Laptops

Just a few more links to various gaming laptop pages showing a range of machines from the likes of Asus and Metabox. The recent Gameplayer look at a suite of laptops in various form factors is titled The Best Gaming Laptop Money Can Buy. The section called Ultimate Gaming Laptops - Performance covers a few of the 15" variety that most interests me at the moment, other sections cover the beefier 17s etc.
P4 have some gaming laptops (Asus and Metabox) - some of these look good and dont break tooo many banks along the way.

not sure what to get, but to make it worthwhile - seems to be sane to go with a 9000 series card as good as I can get. This will see me armed with a good MBP and a Vista box - perhaps...

hmmm - pitty these things arent dead cheap :-)

Gentle Giant Models

[Gentle Giant biker scout figure from the website]

One of the cool things I am yet to play with for myself is taking digital models and printing them out in 3D. With the FBE's new 3D printers (and laser cutters) the pathway to these things is nice and short. Soooo now I just need to model something that will be worth throwing at the machines.

Anyhow, I was having a little look at the statues and such made by Gentle Giant - plenty of inspiration right there to try something.

[more images of the Gentle Giant models from their site]

SIGGRAPH Asia 2008

At one point I was entertaining the idea of heading over to Singapore to attend this mighty inaugural event that is SIGGRAPH Asia 2008. Alas it is all a little extravagant, so I will try and enjoy things via the net...

Here is the Computer Animation Festival preview vid on Youtube:

The conference isnt far off now (Dec 10-13) and combined with papers from the main US version there is heaps to discover. There is a nice list of 2008 papers on the web here and the mighty CGSociety are covering the event again for us all...

little look at Sager Laptops

Not that I can get these in any sensible way here in Australia - but it s good to keep up with how the more competitive markets are going with gaming laptops. In the US, one of the smaller companies who have been around for a while in this space is Sager. They have a decent range of laptops with some real grunt under the hood, the 15.4" NP8660 sports the 9800M GTS which is outstanding for this form-factor. Their merciless 17" laptops like the NP9262 sport the fastest CPUs and if desired SLI 9800M GTX cards for the finest graphics possible.
Their cases are neat - but nothing too exciting design-wise. Hopefully these guys are keeping Dell etc on their toes - which helps us here...

[Sager's NP8660 and NP9262 laptops from their site]


Dont forget to reference things like NotebookCheck's GPU benchmark tables.