Saturday, 21 February 2009

Art and Video

Two more videos while we are letting youtube do the talking.

First up, a UNSW video covering UNSW College of Fine Arts lecturer Michael Esson's workshops with plastic surgeons designed to help them understand human form better. The idea being that they will be better equiped to perform reconstructions. I like the idea of bringing a more creative and artistic feel to fields like this - lots of others could use it.

Secondly, I just saw this awesome new ad for Leggo's tomato paste - rather extravagant for such a thing perhaps, but the end result is a lovely blend of audio and red. Looking a touch closer via the Great-Ads blog the ad is actually called Rhapsody in Red. Saw the ad while watching JAWS on tv - awesome film.

Trailers, trailers, trailers

Here are a few trailers for some upcoming pieces of cinema etc that are flat out going to be awesome. The effects, animation and production values on display are jaw-dropping and I really like the trailer format - just a few minutes to tell a different little story from the pieces of the main work.

Though you can watch these here - I recommend the high-res versions on youtube!!

I am still sitting here not having made a trailer or showreel for myself or any other projects for that matter. I am really looking forward to getting into this side of things this year.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Rocket Man Project

[WIP image from the Rocket Man short film via their blog]

There is an awesome blog by a group of students doing their grad CG animation project - Rocket Man. The blog has contributions from the team which follow the progress of the project from its initial project planning and concept work, through story-boards, modelling, animation and more with progress reports and commentary. This is a great resource for how these projects work and shows us how a small team can pull off a great little video.

[WIP images from the Rocket Man short film via their blog]

I love the modelling on the project, the landscape, bike and their texturing, lighting and character are great to see. If you check out the original boards, there were some nice ideas of blending the 'book' with the story as well which were edited out, but would make for a fun idea to see as well (with the balloon).

[WIP image from the Rocket Man short film via their blog]

Make sure you watch the final video.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Blade Runner

Took some time to watch our Blade Runner Director's Cut DVD. Ridley Scott's masterpiece is just as cool as I recalled from seeing it quite some time ago. The effects were still grand and helped create the lavish environment for the tale - it certainly is one of the signature elements of the film. There didnt seem to be that many changes from the original release, though I actually miss Deckard's voice over. The characters are wonderful and the tale full of thought and meaning - just as I recalled. It is often the simple things that stick though, Deckard's broken fingers and him clambering up onto the roof in the rain - stuck forever!!

Love the film.

[Blade Runner image via the CinePhilliss blog]

Monday, 16 February 2009

Game Counter Interface Sample

To illustrate a game interface idea I threw this little image together that shows how things like 'counters' can be used to drive a game. Introducing counters lets the interface play with things like flipping, stacking and animations of circles rather than full characters to add life.

Inhabitat Green Kidgadgets

The Inhabitat site is always fun to visit and there have been a few cute little green gadgets of late that are worth a little look. I like how some nice 3D design merged with a cute aesthetic and some serious thinking about sustainability all come together in the middle to create these: bugplug; powerhog.

[images of the green gadgets via the Inhabitat blog]

Oh, and they cover fast as well - here is a quick article on Mission One the worlds fastest electric motorcycle.

[images of the Mission One cycle via the Inhabitat blog]

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Beach Assault Menu

I felt like exploring some more of the Cintiq 12WX and Sketchbook Pro - so I thought I might see what I could create with the tools for Touch Strategy and Beach Assault. They are after some screens, so here is one that could work for the opening menu. This pic is iPhone res and only hints at the game within and there is plenty of room for menu items as well.


Was working on some Congratulations banners - here are some of the WIPs. There are a few variants on the swishy one and a slightly odd paper-plane concept :-)


Did some major catching up on Heroes Season 3, having a ball with the characters still. There are comics and all manner of other bits and pieces of course. Check out HeroesTheSeries for lots more. I like the artwork that actually plays an important part in the series itself as well and the integration of the comic into things as well is very cool indeed - reminds me of the Watchmen.
Isaac Mendez paintings were done by Tim Sale, though now we have Parkman and others delving into the future this way and so we may have other contributors.

[a few of the art/sketch pieces used in the Heroes series via]


Last night we went off to see the multi-nominated Curious Case of Benjamin Button which is up for the VFX Oscar along with Iron Man and The Dark Knight (see the CGSociety feature for more on their nominations). Following in that vain, there is a cool feature on CGSociety covering Digital Domain's work on the revolutionary CG effects work required to pull off the film. Watching, you know that there must be lots of wizardry going on, but where it switches from real to CG to something else is mystical.

The CG work has plenty to inspire, the complexity of the pipeline in generating these shots isnt for the light hearted, but what is really hard now will be easier and easier going forward. Here are a few images from the article showing off the beautifully integrated CG characters.

[Images from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button via the CGSociety feature]

The film itself is a majestic piece, which gently explores the tale. It has many parallels with Forest Gump (which also broke CG ground in its day), plus it has an old-school calmness and patience which works. I enjoyed the poetry of the film, and it really does set up plenty of thinking about how we age and how life works.

Here's the trailer via youtube (how cool does Brad look on the bike):