Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Guild and BoinxTV

Just finished watching The Guild season 2. I think I always controlled my gaming pretty well, but I am sure the show would cut waaay too close to home for lotsa people.
I also like it from the perspective of my Video Construction course this session - crafting together characters, scripts, camera production and editing etc. I had a great time watching it and seeing all the gaming references applied to their lives : "ding".

[The Guild pic via the official site]


Speaking of video - have to find the time to have a play with BoinxTV. This app allows for the generation of a live edit and looks like it would be a pretty cool way to generate video without doing a full edit.

There are quite a few videos of the app in action or reviews - here's one:

Friday, 28 August 2009

Tara McPherson Art

[Tara McPherson art images vis her site]

Tara's work seemed to spring forth for me from a variety of sources over the last few days. I hadnt previously linked them all together, but I am glad to put an name and face to these great pieces now. Tara McPherson is a NY artist - traditional media for the most part, but with such a clarity and elegance that it translates very well when she does the same work with more digital lineart techniques etc.

Tare is the subject of the Artist Portfolio feature in my nice new copy of ImagineFX (love getting my mag each month). We get to read about and see her work for band gig posters, comic covers and other pop culture spots. She is also the newest artist to grace Sketchtheatre where we see her creating a beautiful little sketch in her signature style (WATCH IT). She brings such an innocent clarity to the surreal pieces which often feature more macabre oddities. She also has her art on Gelaskins and if you check the blog part of her site, the work features in plenty of tattoos as well.

[Tara McPherson art images vis her site]

I like her covers for The Witching, a DC/Vertigo comic that I might have a look for next time I am in Kings etc. I think the girls would fit nicely into my Elemental's concept pieces - wish I could draw that well...

Hopefully I am inspired enough to do some more this weekend - or will I be doing websites or any one of the zillion other things I need to work on... I really love the cover above with the lollypop and the sunnies - super.

[edit : accidently did the title with her name spelt McPherspn - just as in being pwned :-) ]

Doco Screening

Last night was our group's screening of our 5 minute documentary, iCinema : La Dispersion du Fils, and it went down very well. I handed Matt his copy today, hopefully we will get some good feedback from both the tutor and the star soon. I would love to be able to put the vid onto youtube - but we need their permission for that first - time will tell.

While we were waiting for things to get ready for the screenings, our tutor was showing off the fun of things like the AVATAR trailer and a few others - coool.
The lecture was really interesting as well, looking at narrative structures and a range of theories disecting them. Tom analysed The Shawshank Redemption for us as the major case (following from many Star Wars, Matrix and Disney references)

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Casual Games Lecture

Guest lecture today at uni titled The Business of Casual Games presented by Colin Cardwell, CEO 3RDSENSE.

3RDSENSE is a Sydney based company focusing on the creation and delivery of casual games. Colin characterised 'casual games' as being focused on fun rather than technology (hardware, graphics and such). They have over 100 game engines under their belt which is neat and they have their own gaming portal, The company has around 6 Flash game designers/developers, 8 web design folk and a few full-time illustrators that work to develop content for themselves and others.

Colin presented some interesting perspectives on the demographics of gamers. I like his analogy of Hard-Core gamers being like a bif blockbuster movie, Aliens/Silence of the Lambs while the 'casual games' are more analogous to things like Sex and the City, ER or friends. The 'casual games' industry is now a 10 billion PA entity and big players like EA are investing heavily in the area.

One key piece of advice was to make the casual games approachable, easy to learn and easy to play at first. Colin finished up speaking fair bit about the Business model of casual games which is fascinating. I liked talking to him afterwards about thinks like Club Penguin and Evony.

One nice comment he made in answering a student question was that games need to be fun without all the graphics. This is clearly good thinking and shows that good game design is revealed at several levels.

Here are some of the examples he used in the lecture:
thebox for UTS, cute user content and auto twitter feed as well.
bejeweled from PopCap
Plus several games on Fizzy like Lightning Pool and Swords and Sandals

Monday, 24 August 2009

Avatar Trailer

Yes yes yes, I should have dived into the Avatar hype before now, but having just watched the trailer, I am happy to jump on now. James Cameron looks to have created an amazing world with some beautifully integrated effects work that is well above the bar.

Amazing as this trailer is, just try to imaging it up on the BIG screen all in 3D. The design work on Avatar looks very well realised and brings some real depth of character to both sides of the story, human and alien alike. I wish there was more on the process and design, but it is all a little secretive still...

[Jake in Jungle from Avatar via the Wikipedia entry]

V-Ray for Maya

The guys at Chaosgroup have been releasing interesting things of late. V-Ray is the complete standard for Architectural rendering and the RT version looks set to make a real change in how renderers are used. Now Chaosgroup have released V-Ray for Maya as well, which will add a whole range of new uses for the renderer, or indeed bring Maya over to more Architectural uses as well.

[Images of V-Ray for Maya via the Chaosgroup site gallery]

Sunday, 23 August 2009

iCinema LDDF Editing

I and the team spent plenty of time over the weekend on FinalCutPro (and some ProTools for audio) editing together our 5 minute doco on Matt McGinity's latest project at iCinema, La Dispersion du Fils. Check the site for more info.

[promo pic from La Dispersion du Fils via the iCinema site]