Friday, 5 December 2008

External Graphics

Well, it was over a year ago that I was looking at external graphics adapters for laptops. Fujitsu, as part of their new AMILO Notebook 3650 has released an external GraphicsBooster. The little box sports a 512 Radeon 3870. This is a pretty good idea in many ways, rather than all the weight and heat and size and power and such that a big graphics sub-system needs onboard all the time - having a little box for when you need it has merit.

[Image of the Fujitsu AMILO 3650 and external GraphicBooster via Ubergizmo]

Going by NotebookCheck's rankings for the two cards you would see a BIG improvement.
The built-in shared memory ATI Radeon 3200 scored ok with 1446 in the 3Dmark06
While a Radeon 3870 scored 8421 which is awesome, but I'm not sure if all of that translates through the external connection logic.

MobileTechReview list the specs of things quite nicely and Engadget have their coverage of course as do UberGizmo if you prefer them.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Old Advert

The might of photoshop is brought to bear on a whole heap of things these days. It was interesting seeing the work they were doing in BEES on body image and beauty by manipulating photos at the UNSW Creative Media Showcase.

Anyhow, the images below are from an ad campaign in Ecuador called "Nobody is Younger than You" for the Coronado Beauty Center. Koenig and Partners created adverts showing some famous hollywood celebrities as old women. I dont know what the legal implications of such a campaign might be, but they are interesting pieces in their own right. They chose a slightly gloomy looking Ang photo, but the work is pretty good. I find it interesting that when you squint they still have the same basic structure of beauty, I wonder if that will actually change over time as well.

I found these via TrendLand, Coloribus and ScaryIdeas.

[the 3 images of the Coronado Baeuty Center Ads from the TrendLand site]

Darth Toaster

When Mal first mentioned this baby, I thought it was such a great idea. Not just in the cool patterns like this that toasters should be able to make, but also the vast array of Star Wars references that would be opened up at breakfast. Check out the fun the guys had covering the toaster over on neatorama.

[image of the Darth Vader Toaster via neatorama]


So this begs the obvious follow up question - I have a bad feeling about this - perhaps a programmable toaster is the next iteration. Being able to print out on toast your own designs seems like something every household should have. Be it an internet aware toaster that you can ask to throw a random or most popular image on for you, or whether you have your own library or perhaps it takes its cue from your iTunes library or even the latest news - where will it all end???

Do not be too proud of this technological terror you have constructed, the ability to toast pictures onto bread is insignificant to the power of cereal. hmmm, I think I will leave the Star Wars refs there before things get worse.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Colors on the iPhone

My newest little app for the iPhone is Colors (yep, the American spelling). This little app delivers a painting style interface into your hand. It feels very much like the MillionMasterpiece web creator with its controls over the brushes and the awesome playback facility. This interface is pretty basic by artistic creation standards, but for a phone it is simple, intuitive and most importantly, driven by your finger.
The app gives you access to the sites gallery so we can al marvel at the skills of fellow artists or just be dumbstruck by how much time people have for such things.

Here are a few samples from the web interface to the app showing the awesome creative talent some people can bring to such things. There are many more on the site to check out and be sure to watch the 'playbacks' this adds another whole level to the appreciation.

[Images created with the Colors iPhone app as presented on the gallery site for the app itself]

I have only done a bit of playing so far - I guess the next step is to create something neat with this very cool toy.

UNSW Creative Media Showcase and Robox

I got to spend the morning at the UNSW Creative Media Showcase Research event in the Scientia. It was a kind of show'n'tell for people working from a liberal interpretation of Creative Media. Each little presentation (15 mins a piece) allowed staff to present their past, current or future projects. This is a REALLY great idea and something I hope the uni expands going forward.

There was a nice variety from student grad projects to grant funded giants like iCinema. Russ presented the TubeBOTS for us as well as his Porosity/Game Engine work. Jack Barton's PhD work looked really interesting, I will have to get a heap more info from him on mapping peoples emotions onto 3D models of urban architecture. Steve Weymouth's showed where they are up to with his Character Lab project and its relationship to the 'uncanny valley' and more...


[Robox image via the BlueBotics site]

One of the cool references we were told about during questions for the TubeBOTS were the Robox bots which have been doing related things at expos like expo2000 in Germany and then Switzerland in 2002. The BlueBotics site itself has info on their work and the current state including renting these babies.

Here is a vid showing the Robox in action - I like the way people try to herd or block them:

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Trend Land

[The Trend Land site]

I think I first came upon this site follow links on fashion design sketches - The Trend Land site is very blog-like running heaps of short articles covering all manner of trends in graphics, advertising, fashion and more. There are some cool articles there, something for everyone really - here are a few images from recent posts which show the kind of flavour of things to be found...

[Images from the Trend Land site articles]

Iron Man Special Features and the HUD

I really enjoyed the special features set on the second blu-ray disk for Iron Man.
Seeing how much energy from so many people is required to create something of this quality and refinement. I would love to be part of a smaller production at some point to get a feel for the process.

[Iron Man HUD graphics via the blog]

I love seeing the development of things like the various HUDs and their character. Getting a greater understanding and appreciation for a sub-element like this shows us how complex a full movie of this calibre really is. There is a cool coverage of the HUD and POV graphics in the article on the User Interface Resource Center. I like the way there is quite a developed logic to the design that only flashes up there, that it is still quite resolved and indeed evolves through the movie shows their dedication to delivering a refined Iron Man experience for us.

This vid shows off the MkII HUD through the flight test sequence: