Thursday, 31 December 2009

Dark Knight

I was thinking back on just how powerful the effect of The Dark Knight was, so I stayed up late and watched the BluRay last night. It is still a heavy piece of cinema, the Joker is wonderfully conceived and realised becoming the catalyst around which all the other characters need to find themselves and reveal who they really are.



I think I will watch through the full Star Wars saga over the next day or so - plus do some year in review type posts and may even get to my end2009 reel...

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

WoWing with the Family

The Chilli sisters (Kischilli, Nachilli and Alichilli) have been having a great time together over the holidays. There is something fun about the 3 of us playing together, rather than going off on our separate ways. We had a super super time going through Scarlet Monastery and we are now 42 and really enjoying the 3-caster-combo. The kids are also enjoying the breadth of the game with trades, achievements and all the holiday fun.

Dragon Training


[Theatrical poster for How to Train Your Dragon]

The second of the 3D trailers we saw at Avatar was for How to Train Your Dragon, a new 3D animated film from Dreamworks. I am not sure about this one yet, though the various dragon designs look fun and animation more than just engaging.

Tim Burton's Alice


[Alice in Wonderland theatrical poster via Wikipedia]

One of the 2 trailers we got to see at the Avatar 3D screening was Tim Burton's take on Alice in Wonderland. This is the kind of story that is well suited to the quirky tales and visuals that Tim likes to weave together for us. Disney will bring their stamp to the project as well of course and it looks luscious. JUst have a look at the website to see how rich it all is:


[Alice in Wonderland website capture]

Here are the links to the Youtube vids for the trailers - looking good:

TRAILER 1
TRAILER 2

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Toy Shelf

I have a few more figures on my growing toy shelf. 3 figures from the Tim Burton series from Dark Horse, namely Brie Boy, Staring Girl and The Pin Cushion Queen are very cool in both design and workmanship. The little set of Tin Tin with Snowy on the moon gives me fond memories.



I also found Sideshow Collectibles as a good site to see other inspirational pieces I would love to have - money being a serious impediment. Here are a few images from the range shown on the site:




[Collectible figure images via Sideshow Collectibles]

AVATAR again

Watching AVATAR again on the IMAX 3D screen was wonderful. I dont generally see films twice at the cinema, that is mighty rare, so it does speak to the quality of the film both as a tale and as technological milestone.

There is a cool article by Leonard Teo in the January 3D World Mag which covers some of the technological work required to bring the epic to the screen. I wont spoil it all, but here are a few stats from the article covering their rendering hardware: 4,352 render machines armed with 34,186 cores and 104TB of RAM - that is some serious firepower.
The article has some lovely imagery from the film as well - as it should.

I am sure the concept art for the film is also something to behold - The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic Adventure book might be one to grab.


[Avatar concept art preview images via Amazon, Filmfilia etc]

Monday, 21 December 2009

AMNH Digital Universe

Here is a stunning video by the American Museum of Natural History showing our planet Earth in relation to he known universe. It does gloss over galactic structures and super-clusters etc that could have been fun - but it is a very nice piece of scientific visualisation using their datasets.

Stompy Robot Video

Here is a very cool animation piece by Federiko Alvarez out of Uruguay. Reports (like this one) are claiming extremely low budget figures and seem to give Fede credit for everything, regardless it is very neato stuff. If the reports are true he has been offered some more serious cash to create a larger film. Anyhow - check out the vid:



I will have to check out the sites with more of his work a Aparato and Murdoc.

Avatar Visuals

Here are a few more images from the Avatar Flickr site which show off how gorgeous this film iss. I am just building up the enthusiasm to go see it again later this week maybe. The detail and realism in the images is wonderful, I like the geometric cammo pattern to help differentiate the technological humans from the natural aliens.




[Avatar imagery via the official Flickr site]

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Iron Man 2

The trailer for the next instalment of Favreau's Iron Man is out and looks great. It may not have the luxury of the 'origin' story to tell, but there seems to be plenty going on that should be great to see. Iron Man 2 will be with us in 2010 and I am looking forward to seeing if the effects work has me gasping as they did in the first.

SGU

Watched the intro episodes of Stargate Universe on the 10 website a few days ago. I thought it was quite a dramatic beginning with some interesting characters and clearly extending the mythology of things another step forward.

There are a few decent effects shots with cool spacecraft feeling impressive above planets and so forth. Here are a few pics also from the channel 10 site for SGU - not sure what this will look like for those outside Australia. I am keen to see how it evolves from here, how the arcs start to evolve.



[Stargate Universe images via the 10 site for it]

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Femto Freckles Brief

The freckles concept has been going through a fair degree of evolution in the background of my head. With James Horner's stirring AVATAR soundtrack in the background I think things have finally come together - check this for a brief:

Humanity has been symbiotic partners for the millennia with an organism we call the freckle. These largely dormant hitch-hikers on our DNA are coming to a momentous rebirthing that the Brotherhood sees as a sign of violent cataclysm. For Femto, her freckles have always been a big part of her character, she is even called Femto Freckles at school. When she starts to see her freckles move, at first she thinks she is going crazy, but soon she works out they are forming new patterns. The revelation that these patterns confer her with powers sets in motion a cascade of adventures leading to the showdown with the Brotherhood and the revelation of the destiny of all freckles everywhere.

I already have plot pieces and some descriptive character ideas and more - I just need to narrow all this down to a scriptment of some sort and concept art.

Friday, 18 December 2009

AVATAR

Avatar was simply remarkable - in 3D at IMAX it is a very special cinematic experience indeed.

I will have to cover things in more detail a little later, after it sinks in perhaps. I am planning on a repeat viewing actually, just so much majesty and the passion for fantasy story telling is on display for all to see - wonderful.
We are treated to special effects in 3D that are so seamless and engagingly realistic that the whole is completely immersive. The film was already long (161mins) but we only had glimpses of many characters that would have been great to expand upon. The vast alien world, culture, landscape, flora and fauna in all their detail plus the concept of the Avatars themselves is stunning to see revealed. These visuals combined with the 3D, heart pounding audio and a tale I was keen to see unfold made the whole grand indeed. I think I have used enough superlatives already.


[Image from Avatar via the official Flickr Area]

flat out breathtaking. (see the official site for video and imagery to inspire)


Official Avatar Movie

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Figures and the McFarlane sets

I got myself a little set of chunky Hasbro Star Wars characters to add to my shelf - it is slowly looking the part. The little R2-D2 and a pair of Jawas are pretty cute next to the Toy Story figures and the little girl from Corpse Bride.

On this topic I browsed Pidgeonblog which covers all manner of such things and much more. But to get right to the point, I can feel the urge to add some bits from the McFarlane Figures sets - class all-round. The McFarlane collectible toys are clever and beautifully made, I only wish I could afford more. Here are a bunch of cool ones:





[Images of McFarlane figures via the official site]

Monday, 14 December 2009

Spacial Geometry

I often think of nature as being very amorphous in its visual creations, but in truth there is a fair bit of order in what springs from the incomprehensible number of variables. These images from the Cassini probe of Saturn are another example of how seemingly non-natural formations can form quite naturally. The giant hexagon at Saturn's North pole is pretty cool, For more check SciPop's article and go from there.


[NASA's Cassini probe images of Saturn's hexagon via SciPop]

I Adore You in Colour

Just a quick coloured version of the I_Adore_You doodle.

Post-it stop motion

This is a cool TVC, the Post-it note commercial shows real dedication to the taskand we get a glimpse of the work required to create it. I also like the pixel-like nature of the post-its themselves.



Taking the idea, we also get Rubik's Cube stop motion as well.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Cutest Doodle

I did a cute doodle during a few meetings today:


---


---


---


wait for it


---


---


it says...


---


I adore you


maybe this would make a fun t-shirt...

Scientific Images

There is a cool article/gallery on Popsci which compiles this years most amazing scientific images. Here are a few to inspire a closer look.





[Images from Popsci]

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Fall of the Lich King

Blizzards latest patch for WoW has a cool new machinima trailer of its own. Yes, World of Warcraft 3.3 Fall of the Lich King features all manner of huge monstrosities on display that all serve to enthuse the millions of players the game garners...

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

DC Animation Contest

The powers behind the upcoming DC Universe Online have fired up an animation contest. Yes, the vid even has Jim Lee asking us to join in and help animate shots using assets and storyboards provided by them. It looks like Maya is the tool and they provide models, rigs, audio and more - we then animate and submit - with the winners working with them to include the animation in some way for the release. The instructions say Maya 2008 only, will have to see if Maya 2010 will be ok.



This is a very interesting idea and I am certainly thinking of trying my hand at some. Though I have other projects I really should be doing. Also interesting that the full site is on Facebook, they are really linking with the idea of community.
I will take a closer look over the next few days...

tempting...

And here is the E3 trailer to catalyse the enthusiasm:

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

CG to See

I thought I would just make a quick list of the CG films that I havent seen of late. If you spot any notable omissions, maybe I saw it - what this list shows is how many CG related films there are these days. (images come from the official sites primarily).

Up________________
site


District 9________________
site


2012________________
site


Coraline________________
site


GI Joe : Rise of the Cobra________________
site


Ponyo________________
site


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs________________
site


Surrogates________________
site


Terminator 4________________
site


9________________
site


Astroboy________________
site


---

Then there are things like Avatar coming which I am really looking forward to of course.