Saturday, 3 October 2009

Yawn Sketches

I spent some time already today doing a suite of new sketches for the walls of the Avril the Yawnosaur piece. I did a range, including plants and such, but here are two of little Avril.


Also found time to watch Monsters vs Aliens on DVD (not ours), so much fun and overflowing with references as are all these Dreamworks films. Tempted to get it on Blu-Ray...

Friday, 2 October 2009

iPhone Projectors

[Mili Evolution iPhone Projector via Pico-Projectors]

I do like a gadget and one of the new set that is starting to appear are some very cool little iPhone projectors. The MiLi Evolution Mini Power Projector is perhaps the most exciting, it is not only pretty, but the seems to have some nice specs for something soo teensie. See info on Engadget and Pico-Projectors.

[Mili Evolution iPhone Projector via Engadget]

There are others though like this one via iPhone0Wiki which certainly looks gorgeous as well.

[Mili Evolution iPhone Projector via Pico-Projectors]

While we are at it, lets do a video of another:


Baby projectors arent only for the iPhone of course, check out the Pico-Projectors site for a heap more micro goodness. Hopefully I will get a chance to play with something mini and projectorish sometime soon. One that caught my eye on City-Software was the Aiptek T20...

Avril the Yawnosaur Script v6

Well, our group got a solid critique last night. So that prompted a revised script that is now being reviewed. This version is dripping with symbolism and the father's work/life balance struggle. The full thing is now just over 4 pages and thus can be well under 5 mins unless we take our time in places which is also good. If this gets lotsa thumbs-up then I will try and get some amount of storyboarding done. There is still scope for adding in more of the story narrative from v4 and v5 if we need it.

Avril the Yawnosaur (v6)


Graham Hannah
(With Kylie, Olivia and Ying)



Darren Wirk enters from outside in business suit, carrying
folders and papers while talking on his mobile phone. He
dumps a pile on cabinet beside door.

Ok, ok, I’ll be back in soon then

Darren looks at watch


GOKY Pictures

Avril the Yawnosaur



Darren Entering, Avril bringing up her bedside light slowly.

Daddy, you’re back.

Hi Little one, are you still awake?

Dad moving to the bed.

I couldn’t sleep

Dad sits on the edge of the bed, shifty a fluffy toy


Can you tell me a story?


please, the Yawnosaur one.



ah, ok then.

Avril nestles down and Dad tells the story with facial
animation, actions (sound effects are layered on as effects)

As the story is told, cartoon-like images of the creatures
appear and move about on the walls of the room - showing
Avril’s imagination playing out there.

Lets see, on this very night,
little Avril the Yawnosaur just
couldn’t get to sleep. There were
lots wierd noises in the jungle
made by an equally amazing array of
creatures. But it was the
Pteranoscreech swooping and
squeeling high above the jungle
canopy that kept her awake.

She knew that Pteranoscreeches
learned to talk to each other over
vast distances by scraping their
claws on blackrocks. By the sound
of it, this one had done lots of

Avril knew that yawning should help
her. She always felt she had a
talent for it, but just couldn’t
ever get it right in class.

But, she gave yawning a try


Avril joins in for each yawn automatically.

As she suspected, nothing changed.
She wasnt any closer to sleeping.

This time she closed her eyes,
looked into her heart and did a
huge yawn.


For a moment things seemed the
same, but then Avril heard the
sound of the gigantic hairy


DARREN (cont’d)
stompadon nestling down to sleep,
no more stomping.

Then the strange popping noises
from high up the trees stopped as
well. The Poposaurususes must have
gone to sleep.

Then, just when things seemed
peaceful, the jungle was split by
that horrid screech. How all the
other creatures could sleep at all,
Avril didnt kn...

Darren’s phone vibrates, ringing softly. Avril looks
deflated and the cartoon imagery fades. Darren looks at his
pocket, cant face his daughter ... long pause (quiet but
screechy audio) ... he breathes hard ... looks up resigned
but silences his phone without even looking at it.

Avril smiles and the cartoons return.

Soooo, Avril still couldnt sleep,
but she had somehow found a new
inner strength. The Pteranoscreech
was far far away, so she gave a
wriggle and let out the biggest
yawn the jungle would ever see.


She was exhausted now, with her
head on her mossy pillow she
listened for the sound of the
Pteranoscreech - feeling sleepier
and sleepier.

Avril looking contented - closing eyes, Dad talking more

The jungle was now quiet, no more
stomps, pops or screeching could be
heard and little Avril dreamed of
yawning, lots of yawning.

Dad slides a loose hair across Avril’s forehead

sweet dreams my little creature.







The cartoon Pteranoscreech plummets to the ground with a
thud, still sleeping soundly :-)

Yawnosaur Pitch and Wilhelm Screams

Our class all pitched their treatments for their various video projects that will all come together over this last 3 weeks of the session. As expected there were an interesting array of ideas and many technical and narrative complications for everyone to deal with.

Tom was pretty hard on everyone I think, making sure that we all see the problems that are before us. We are exploring a few changes to the script now and there will be a further update in the next day or so.

The lecture was all about sound in film which was great, I particularly liked the little reference to Blazing Saddles and the band in the desert. That said, the funniest bit was the Wilhelm Scream - lets let the video speak for itself:

Another vid covering the history of the Wilhelm Scream.


Plus for those interested in following up a little on Tom Ellard our lecturer, check out his Wikipedia entry or his own site and blog.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Digital Sheep

At first this video might not seem very 'digital' but in a way they are being used her as pixels on a screen, we even get Pong! You just have to watch to be amazed. I am not sure how much editing was required here, but it is mighty clever however it is done:

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Avril Sketch

Here is another little Avril the Yawnosaur sketch. I will need to do some final images of her and her dino friends soon as well. We have our pitch on Thursday - should be fun to present the idea and to see what the other groups are upto.

UBER Graphics visualisation grants

Vizworld has reported on two very big grants in the US to create simply enormous rendering hardware facilities. The $7mil TACC project and the $10mil RDAV centre both have hardware specs that just make your jaw drop. I dont know if we mere mortals will ever get to experience things like this in the near-term, but the numbers below make for wild reading in their own:

The Texas Advanced Computing Centre's Longhorn beast specs:
Longhorn System Capabilities
  • Total Peak Performance (CPUs): 20.7 teraflops.
  • Total Peak Performance (GPUs): 500 teraflops single precision floating point operations.
  • Total Peak Rendering Performance: 154 billion triangles/sec.
  • Total Memory: 13.5 terabytes.
  • Total Disk: 210 terabyte global file system.

System Components and Technologies

  • 256 Dell R610 and R710 servers each with two Intel Xeon 5500 processors.
  • 512 CPUs with 2,048 Intel “Nehalem” (2.53GHz) quad-core processors.
  • 128 NVIDIA Quadroplex 2200 S4 units each with four Quadro FX 5800 GPUs with 122,880 CUDA processor cores; 2,048 gigabytes (two terabytes) of distributed graphics RAM.

CryEngine 3

I am still seriously in love with the Crysis Engine (CryEngine 2), so I am one of many looking forward to CryEngine 3. Crytech dont have much in the way of official stuff for it yet, but videos like this one really show off what is to come. The GI on display here, in real-time no less, is stunning.

The stuff revealed for CE3 at GDC was very impressive for other reasons of course. All the console support will enthuse many and if it brings more developers to the engine, that is a good thing. I wonder if they can do a Mac port of the engine as well then (that would be interesting).
There is lots to love about the quality on display here, the water is beautiful, the environments so rich. The waterfall dynamics is gorgeous and it is so cinematic and realistic for a real-time engine, this has got to have a ripple effect through other industries soon enough...

Here are a few stills from the InCrysis post by Mocib2 - via their CE3 brochure.

[Images of CryEngine 3 in action via InCrysis - recompressed in photoshop]