Saturday, 7 March 2009

Blurst


[Blurst Logo via their website]

Since I was looking at cute games like Fieldrunners and the Unity3D engine, take a look at Blurst. They (Flashbang Studios) have created a handful of games using the Unity3D engine which look pretty cool. I havent had a chance to explore them much at all yet, but there are some nice developer diary/blogs covering their games to enjoy.


Blush Trailer from Flashbang Studios on Vimeo.

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Drawlogic have a cool article on their games and a pile of others using the same engine as well - I am looking forward to see more from Unity3D developers.

Fieldrunners


[Fieldrunners logo art from their website]

I (and everyone who can get their hands on myiPhone) have become a little addicted to the tower defence game Fieldrunners by Subatomic Studios. The production quality is first rate and the integration into the iPhone very nicely done. Graphically it is a joy (just 2.5D though) - the towers have a fair bit of life to them, considering they are just towers. I also like the splash and other screens, their is some cute art to flesh out the character of the game (like the one above).


[two of the screenshots of Fieldrunners via their website]

There are heaps of videos of the game in action. The only bug I am seeing is when we get through the 100 levels we dont always get the VICTORY and it just sits there an we dont get to the scoreboard. The screenshots shown here only show the four basic towers, we like playing with the extras like the flamer, which give a bit more variety to things.

Friday, 6 March 2009

FBE glowing Labs

The new SLI Dell XPS730 labs went in over the last two days here in FBE and they look pretty oppressive/impressive/excessive. They are still coming online with the large application set (0ver 70GB worth) but they are already performing quite nicely and certainly look the part.

In at work late last night I was enthused by how the lab looked in the dark - lights glowing in all directions. I took a few pics and have included 2 here:




At some points we have liked the idea of having 24" iMacs in there for their clean looks (and having no cases at all - unlike our giant wall of silver), but the sheer bang for buck we are getting with these beasts we cant go past in a lab like this where the real-time visualisation really pushes things - esp since the student architectural models arent optimised in the same way professional game levels are.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Digital Effects Industry Forum

The SYDNEY ACM SIGGRAPH held a neat little a forum moderated by Shilo McClean at COFA today (a little while after the week-0 intro from the MDM staff). The topic was "The Working Artist: career info for DVFx artists" and had a suite of industry folk from freelancers to big production houses like Animal Logic and Dr. D.

Apart from the discussions and questions we saw a few showreels from current professionals and from successful Traineeship applicants.

I am hoping to get a bit more involved with our local SIGGRAPH chapter now - great bunch of people. The next event at COFA looks like being "Acting for Animators" which should be fun.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Mayaing, Movies and Midnight Cometh

Spent some time doing Maya tutorials and at the same time watched a heap of the extras on the Wall-E DVD. I love hearing how the story, shots and details evolve over time to better the story. I liked Burn-E and watching Presto again. Also watched Spirit - great little film full of emotion and a clever intersection of drawing and CG. Plus couldnt help but watch Kung-Fu Panda again - still loving it.

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Dont forget - the Watchmen cometh - no idea if the film can live up to the book and the hype though... Check out the running Watchmen Blog for the videos showing the creation of the film. We see details from Rorsarch's mask and other costuming elements to the character developments and effects that bring giants like Dr Manhattan to life. The production is certainly nothing if not epic!

Here is one image from the blog showing Night Owl's ship emersed in period details and some of Zack's storyboards - a credit to a director to take that much time to map out everything in boards like this.



[images from the Watchmen blog]

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Maya Tutes and AWNtv

I got back into the Maya book a little and the one thing that is being driven home most clearly is the art of writing a tutorial. Things that just work in the book - often done work so smoothly for me trying to follow the steps :-) Being able to convey the critical little pieces of the puzzle are tricky and one way that in-person tutes still have a very real place.

I am looking forward to the 2 Maya COFA courses this session. I was going to be doing just 1 with Sound Construction 2, but after talking with them, picking up the character rigging course seemed sensible - cant wait.

And with some more of the Autodesk stable coming to the Mac in March - should be a fun year.

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Plus, I found another new site to explore all manner of CG and other forms of animation video, the AnimationWorldNetwork AWNtv.It is fun to browse around...