Saturday, 3 April 2010

Skep the Cartographer

Skep has been popping up in a suite of sketches of late, here are a few of them showing options and evolutions. The newest ones are sporting map tubes and continue to have the compasses and such. I feel she needs to have an innocent feel, not caught up in her beauty, but be attractive anyhow. I like the pouches and bags, good for an explorer...

Friday, 2 April 2010

Guild Wars 2 Concept Art

I havent looked much into Guild Wars, it seems a wholly PvP-centric game, which isnt really for me. But I love good concept art and the works being created by the their creative team for Guild Wars 2 is gorgeous. There are so many ideas being fleshed out by their art department, creating worlds, flora, creatures, places, weapons, characters, robots and atmosphere. have the concept art videos used by Daniel Dociu at GDC on their site, here they are (audio is worth ignoring). The visuals here are an inspiration, they are bursting with depth and character, bringing forth a wealth if ideas. (Video is in 3 parts - please excuse the format here if these embeds leave silly gaps...)

One of the interesting things they did here and there was use the concept art with simple animation, this is also used in this teaser trailer:

The Guild Wars 2 site does have lots of concept art for us to draw inspiration from, which is great. Jamie Jones, Daniel Dociu and Kekai Kotaki all have work there. Here is a selection that draws me in with some depth of thinking and all that implied detail:

[Concept Art for Guild Wars 2 via the official site]

Would love to have the Art Book!

While we are here, some wallpapers as well.

[Wallpaper Art for Guild Wars 2 via the official site]

Thursday, 1 April 2010

iPad and Comics as well

I am really looking forward to the joy that will come from the iPad interface, I fully expect it to take the wonderful iPhone concept to a new level. Clearly for book reading it has potential, but the screen can deliver a whole new way for us to enjoy comics. While getting comics is just too much hassle now, armed with one of these, it should bring the 'hobby' back to life.
We get a glimpse of the Marvel App in this PCMAG review:

PCMag: Apple iPad video review from Reviews on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

NVIDIA and AMD graphics

The long awaited new Fermi chips are on our doorstep from NVIDIA and the battle is on again with AMD. Anandtech have a great review of the current state of play, with the new GTX480 and GTX470 being put through their paces along with the 5870 and 5970 (plus the dual card configs as well).
Apart from learning the ins-and-outs of the technologies and how we got to this point (think delays) we get lots of graphs of the cards in action, including Crysis Warhead. While I am seriously looking forward to seeing the new NVIDIA GPUs put to some rendering and analysis calculation crunching, as real-time graphics solutions they are rather underwealming. They are fast, but we had fast with the GTX295, maybe we can believe that some 'tweaking' will give us the performance jump we should get from a new series.

[graph from the Anandtech GPU article]

LHC Screeniness

Just had to post following last nights fun as the LCH team broadcast from their various control rooms as the massive collider did its thing. The science is incredible, the engineering astounding and the volume of specialists involved staggering. Given all that, I really loved how many screens they had running in each control room, layers of them surrounding everyone - great to see.

[Shot of the main control room for the LHC and all the screens via the CERN/LHC site]

The event was being broadcast over the web and with a fair bit of twittering around that. They have uploaded videos of the evening as well. Anyhow, I really need more screens, or at least a nicer second screen...

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Autodesk Show Reel 2010

I love a good showreel, and with everyone using the 3D creative tools from Autodesk, it must actually be quite hard to narrow down the choices to a short video. Well, here it is, covering plenty of design visualisation as well as entertainment:

Art books and the Parkablog

One of the things I like most about getting my copy of ImagineFX each month is the admiration and inspiration - great art by talented people. I dont have many 'Art of' books but I do love to leaf through them at the bookshop or get a brief glimpse of the content via the web. Alas, they are generally just too expensive to indulge in.

Enter Parka and his wonderful blog, Parka Blogs. Here Parka delves into a vast array of film, comic and art books with images and video for us to drool over. Well this post is really just an excuse to show some of the images and videos from the site from books I would really love to have:

[Art book images from various reviews on Parkablogs]

Alice in 3D

Had a great time with the kids watching Tim Burton's 3D take Alice in Wonderland. As always with his films, a real visual treat wound between a suite of interesting characters and the dynamics between them.

[Poster for Alice in Wonderland via the Official Site]

The whole thing has an exuberance and child-like quality that is quite nice, though a little melodramatic. I enjoyed the use of the 3D, for the most part it just being there - adding to the immersion and here and there playing with the new toy. Technically the integration of the live action and digital was well done, given the hyper-colour-feel of Wonderland. The world feels consistent throughout from character to character, which was pretty important to make the whole thing work. But the world is so much more than that, the actual places are great great great.

Here is the trailer in all its glory:

Monday, 29 March 2010

Cartographer Unity Landscape 2

I have done a bit more work on the Unity 3D landscape for my Cartographer audio piece. This is a critical element upon which the audio sits and presents the above and below map themes. It also serves as the binding narrative upon which the character concepts are played.
The changes from the previous version are a much denser grass environment that copes better with the hillocks that arent right next to the player. There are now many more maps with better wobble scripts which make the real-time experience nicer. Well to be truthful my machine is starting to struggle with running the map and that is without me going crazy and setting the detail distance to 2000.

Here are a few still shots of things:

check around here on the blog for more on Cartographer, I really should start using TAGS !!