Thursday, 11 December 2008

Bolt is coming and coming fast

The upcoming new CG animated feature from Disney titled Bolt is looking absolutely stunning. With legend John Lasseter at the helm we are set for a treat in terms of endearing characters with animation that glues us to the screen.

Disney and Pixar Bolt Ahead is a great little article on CGSociety by Renee Dunlop. We get a suite of finished renders and more showing the initial sketches and modelling. Getting a glimpse of the process and the intention of the creators is great and the finished product just looks amazing.

[Images from Bolt via the CGSociety article]

The characters are clever and full of the pixar/disney emotion and animated in a robust cartoon style that works with the overall feel of the graphics etc. Just look at the beautiful fur and the close-up shots show there is some great depth of detail in the eyes and textures. Beneath that a pretty cool set of rigs which allowed the animators to get some nice looking poses and facial expressions as well.

Monday, 8 December 2008

City of Heroes - Issue13

The latest update to City of Heroes is live now, not that I have played for a looong time now, but it is still fun to see the additions and changes come. Issue 13 delivers a bunch of new functionality to a game that I always felt was ahead of the curve on many things and a world which generated the most role-playing I have seen in any game by a vast margin.
I like the way the game is evolving with additional powers as well as gameplay elements. I would love to dive in there again - but the key to these games is having other people playing along with you and with everyone else WoWing along it would feel lonely in there :-)
I think the graphics could be better - but they do have a nice comicy feel which works. The video page has a bunch of trailers which present features, story arc elements and gameplay.

[images from the City of Heroes Issue 13 expansion via the official site]

Sunday, 7 December 2008

CGSociety Stempunk Challenges

The crowd at CGSociety seem to have the steampunk look on the mind, with one challenge just completed and another starting based in the style. I love the look of steampunk, how it brings a hand-made decorated look to complex machines and cotraptions. It is technology pushing the boundaries, where everyone is like a test pilot and there is a unique wonder in each mechanical construct.

The recent Star Wars Steampunk Challenge had contributers take the steampunk aesthetic to the expansive universe that we all know and love. It always amazes me how much energy these guys hurl into these challenges across multiple categories. The vote/winners thread has final beauty renders, WIP and wireframes of the winners, all of which ispire me!!

The winner was Albert Gomis' Steampunk Stormtrooper based on a concept sketch by Bjorn Hurry. The WIP thread details its creation from this point through to the final work. I love the detail of the model and how the character of both the stormtrooper and his steampunkiness both shine. Star Wars lends itself rather well to this mixture of high and low techs.

[Albert Gomis winning entry in the CGSociety Star Wars Steampunk Challenge]


[promo image for CGSociety's Steampunk Myths and Legends challenge]

Next comes CGSociety's Steampunk Myths and Legends Challenge. This is a bigger stage and with all the prizes as well there will doubtless be people from everywhere trying their hand at this nifty concept. This is how they describe the challenge idea:
This challenge asks you to render traditional myths and legends in the steampunk style using elements of gears, springs, brass and steam power. Re-imagine legendary characters from some of the world's most ancient stories, such as a steam-powered minotaur, or a Zeppelin-mounted Thor, hurling lightning bolts from the sky.
fun fun fun!


Went off the the sale at Kings Comics today. Came away with only a few pieces - though I could have come away with HEAPS more. I would love to have some of the figurines around my desk for some 3D inspiration - but the good ones cost a fair bit. I have been a fan of Kings for ages now and though I dont actively collect anything, it is still great to pick up something inspirational now and again. They have some books on the creative process and collected gallery type books as well, which would be great to have.

Anyhow, I now have an X-Men t-shirt and the Marvel Zombies TPBs 1 and 2. There is something simultaneously cool and funny about having all the marvel characters eating flesh and brains. Plus there is Marvel Zombies 3 to look forward to as well!!

[Marvel Zombies 2 cover from]