Thursday, 25 March 2010

Cartographer Place Concept Sketches

Here are two more concept pencil sketches showing how the Cartographer landscape works, with its lumpy hills, tower buildings, sculptures and of course the maps.

Cartographer doodles and chimes

First up, here is a fun little sketch I did during a meeting inspired by Cartographer...

Here is one of the many sketches for various ideas relating to the wind chime and streamer elements. I am looking at these to add another landscape audio element for the Sound Construction assignment. I quite like the idea of the streamers adding to the wind sound and also emulating the flapping of the maps in their way.

Alienware Beast

The guys at Hot Hardware have a nice review of the upgraded Alienware Area-51 desktop behemoth. With new intel chips and graphics solutions around, it is fun to see Alienware pull together machines like this that put this level of performance in the hands of people without the time or expertise to custom build a rig of this nature.

Alienware stuff is pretty cool and just look at the grunt of this machine! My poor MBP from a few years ago struggles with my little Unity map, I am sure this machine would just laugh and roll it's eyes at that level of work.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

New Grunty HPs

We are already anticipating the arrival of our first HP 8540w mobile workstations - still a few weeks away from actually arriving. In the meantime it looks like HP are set to unleash the revised versions of the 17" laptops, enter the HP 8740w. Take a look at Engadget's preview, where we see the hardware can sport nothing short of either an NVIDIA QuadroFX3800m or the new ATI Firepro M7820. I cant wait to see these rigs in action...

[HP8740w via Engadget]

Cartographer AV concept video

Here is a video proof of concept for some of the ideas for my audio piece for this session. I created a quick landscape in Unity3D, added the lush grass as per the concept sketches. After adding the maps and some little scripts to make them wobble I had enough to do a little capture moving around in the world. Bringing the video into ProTools I created some atmosphere with Reaktor on 3 tracks and worked them in with the simple act of being above and below the 'shoreline' of the maps.

I quite like this as a basis to move on with and to act as the backbone for a more complex exploration that will introduce more of the concepts, characters and landscape elements. There will need to be some editing as well, that can add some complexity to the middle, re-enforcing the audio narrative to come. I am looking at switching to CryEngine2 for the next phase, to get some more depth in the lighting, plus to make the animation of the maps less script driven.

Anyhow, here is the draft vid (not sure why youtube mangled the very beginning - but it makes an interesting effect)...

See other posts above and below for more Cartographer concept work.

Arch Viz and Viktor Fretyan

[Architectural Visualisation by Viktor Fretyan via]

With session in full swing here at Built Environment UNSW I feel drawn a little more to posts like this one on the blogosphere by Andrew Price who has drawn together 20 Architectural Renders from all over the place. Have a look through the range of imagery and particularly the role that light plays in them. The image that drew me to the post in the first place was the one above by Viktor Fretyan, that does everything right. If I was told it was a photo I would accept that it was a very nicely setup piece of architectural photography.

Here are a few others that I hope the students will aspire to over the coming weeks. These are all from Viktor's CGSociety Portfolio. (go to the site for the full size versions, these are shrunkerised)

[Architectural Visualisation by Viktor Fretyan via CGSociety]

Monday, 22 March 2010

Recycled & Garbage Sculptures

A less digital post today, though I see relationships between these works and what we do on the computer - lets let the craft here have its day. There is some very cool art around that makes use of all manner of discarded objects and waste. Inhabitat covered these by Sayaka Ganz who has created these wonderfully dynamic and complex forms. I love the complexity and layering that come through in these, very biological/technological hybrids.

[Sayaka Ganz sculptures via Inhabitat]


Chris Gilmore went for recycling vast amounts of cardboard in his sculptures.

[Chris Gilmore sculptures via Inhabitat]


Lets let Kris Kuksi have the last say with these remarkable constructs using discarded toys and other mechanical bits and pieces. Again we see remarkable complexity and the wonderful transformative nature of taking these found objects and creating something new.

[Kris Kukli sculptures via Inhabitat]