Saturday, 16 January 2010

GameArtesan Inspiration

Looking at all the cool stuff on the GameArtesan site for the Comicon Challenges - I just had to have a little poke around at some of the other models and images - so much to inspire all around. Here are just a few worthy of bog cheers:

[Images of 2D and 3D wonders from the GameArtesan Challenges]

Friday, 15 January 2010

Comicon Wallpapers

Since we have been admiring the artistic splendours that come from the Comicon Challenge - lets have a quick look at some of their wallpapers. These certainly show off how far 3D has come in depicting the character of a comic hero.

[Comicon Challenge wallpapers via the official site]

Comicon Challengers Top 20 - 2D

At first I was expecting the 2D entries in the GameArtesans Comicon Challenge for 2009 to far outdo to the 3D ones. But the 3D entries are just so good. My favourite of the 2D entries is this cool medieval Batman.

[Comicon Challenge 2D entry by Jaaachu via the GameArtesans site]

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Comicon Challengers Top 20 - 3D

The ComiconChallenge site has their Top 20 3D pieces up for us all to admire (Details on These are the finalists in the 3D half of the challenge from 2009. They are all showing off not only some great modelling skills but also great injections of character, they are bursting with the individual identity of each figure.

Here are 6 of my favourites, It is really hard to narrow it down further. Below are3 images from each - their beauty shot, their model and their construction (Note I shrunk in quality them all a little to make them more download friendly for this blog). The entries are all worth a decent look - particularly as each shows even more detail of the model's construction/creation, texturing and such along with WIP images and commentary. Inspired stuff!!!

[Images from ONELUNG's entry for the ComiconChallenge 3D via the official site]
[I particularly like the more hand-drawn feel he manages to impart to the model/renders]

[Images from VALLEY RAIN's entry for the ComiconChallenge 3D via the official site]
[Lovely calm manga-rish simplicity]

[Images from EZ5K's entry for the ComiconChallenge 3D via the official site]
[Great detail and 'fleshing' out of the Judge]

[Images from BALLO's entry for the ComiconChallenge 3D via the official site]
[Nice design and creation with plenty of fun in the stylisation]

[Images from MADDAM's entry for the ComiconChallenge 3D via the official site]
[Just look at those muscles - I like the way the arm and wrist work]

[Images from GRUSH's entry for the ComiconChallenge 3D via the official site]
[Wonderful folds, painting and atmosphere]

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Avatar CG

CGSociety have an article on Avatar covering some of the technological advances required at WETA Digital to bring James Cameron's epic to life in 3D. I particularly like his virtual camera, the plant detail levels and luminescence, the 60,000 bugs and the very cool 'growing' jungle using Massive. The article has more stunning imagery from the film as well - groovy.

[Image from Avatar via CGSociety]

Lego Universe Pics

Following my enthusiasm with the info coming through on Lego Universe, here are 4 of the more promo-like images that really set the tone so well. I couldnt resist setting one as my desktop for a bit...

[Lego Universe promo desktops via the official site]

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Lego Universe - WOW

I havent been this excited by a trailer/concept for quite a while now. Lego Universe is an upcoming MMO using the lego concept in a wonderful way, the trailer encapsulating the idea with style that appeals to a wide audience. Here is the super trailer first:

That should inspire! There is some game info on the main site covering some of the logic of the game for us. Truthfully there isnt much to go on there, so I like the concept art section. See MMORPG for some cool coverage - but perhaps better yet - go to Gametrailers for their coverage of the CES walkthrough. Will it work for more mature players - I hope so, no levels or experience is kinda odd.

[2 screenshots from Lego Universe via the MMORPG site]

Unity 3D Vids

Looking around there are vids of a range of other interesting looking Unity3D projects. Note they seem a little light on characters, though that need not be a limitation of the engine so much as the developers for all I know. Here are a list of interesting ones to check out:

Kyrill : An RPG game under development using the Unity3D engine intended for the browser.

Temple of Zante : Student work

Rig and Locomotion System : tools for character motion

One Night : AFTRS Ian Brown Game prototype

Digital Urban : They throw their city models etc into Unity

Not sure why there arent any Unity3D machinima though...

Monday, 11 January 2010

Avert Fate in Unity3D

Looking at Game Engines, esp with their possible use for my grad project (and Collab Studio as well). Here is a short game using the Unity3D engine called Avert Fate. The Unity3D engine may not have the same luschious beauty as Unreal3 or particularly CryEngine2/3 but it can publish to the Windows, Mac, Web, Wii and iPhone no less and looks pretty good considering.

Back to Avert Fate, it is built to run on Windows and Mac and is pretty nice, though the environment is pretty simple. I do like the apparently simple link between 3ds Max and the engine and the ability to have lots of people experience the environment in real-time. Can the quality lure of the higher-end engines win the day for me...

In this recent article on rating of the Top 10 Game Engines, Unity3D was listed 4th - though the playing field isnt level of course. Oh and here is Gaspedal's attempt at a nice Crysis-like island using Unity3D: Ultimate Island.
Anyhow, check out Avert Fate - it downloaded and installed in a jiffy.

[image from Avert Fate via their website]


One of the things I couldnt resist at the 20% off sale at JB HiFi on the weekend was a box with all the Alien and Predator films together. Watched the original Alien tonight from way back in 1979. The Directors Cut intro'd by Ridley Scott himself is actually shorter than the theatrical version apparently - recut to improve pacing etc.

The film clearly dates, but is still very enjoyable and just as much for the creation of a new genre defining film. I like elements like Jones the cat who ads some clever distraction as well as its fair share of frights as well. Ripley and Ash are cool characters and Giger's alien creations are very special.

[Image of the Alien craft interior from Alien via AllMoviePhoto]

Virtual World Value

There is an interesting article on the Guardian site by Tom Chatfield called Why playing in the virtual world has an awful lot to teach children. The article starts off with some groundwork around yet more studies showing the possible harm that too much gaming can do developmentally and then explores some of the highly complex interactions that do indeed take place in and around these gaming worlds. While I do like to see this side explored, what is missing for me are are some simple checks that we are comparing the same things. When we look at young kids playing games, they often arent these large complex worlds, they are 2 characters spin-kicking each other, or a being one of a small band lobbing grenades at each other - plus the vast number of simpler games on mobiles, and consoles everywhere. This is a very different place to the complex social and political world that does exist in EVE and similar games. The complexity that arises there is generated primarily by much more mature players, it is adults that perform the analysis and create models like the DKP.
So - it would have been nice to see a clear distinction made between some 10 year olds all glued to their respective mobile gaming platforms vs the adults in their homes doing complex evaluations of strategy and statistics in the context of a player organisation with roots in-game and on the internet. Most of these other games have no form of in-game communication and dont generate (due to simplicity) the same level of discussion outside of the game. 2 WoW players can talk for hours about their respective experiences, while 2 minesweeper players cant really (insert one of many such games btw).

Oh and just one more thing, Lots of those "tens of thousands of comments" in the forums are from kids with not alot more helpful to say than "my lock pwns your class loser" or "pff I solo that dragon 40" - quality, not just quantity is the argument of the article - or should be.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

TMNT Sculpt

Here is a 3D model of Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - looking straight out of the comic (fond memories there). This is Nikita Volobuev's take on the classic tutles on She doesnt give us any info on the project - but is it pretty cool.

[Images of Nikita Volobuev's TMNT 3D sculpt]

Nausicaa DVD

The slow extension of my Ghibli collection added the wonderful Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. I hadnt seen this for many years and the 1984 classic is still beautiful and inspirational today. I love the almost casual presentation of an original world and all its elements, combined with the visual language.

Here are a few images of various elements of the visual design and concepts that I like, the animation (see in trailer above) also adds to these, esp the flight of her glider and the insect's legs. Here are a suite of images from the collection at

[Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind images via]