Thursday, 15 April 2010

New MacbookPro Models

Yes, the revis of the MacbookPro line is here after what seemed like a long wait. There is plenty of cool upgrades inside the still beautiful cases. We get i7 which is good, SSDs are cool and we get the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M which if we look at NotebookCheck's chart is actually pretty grunty. The spec sheet for the machines is actually very solid and for anyone who wants some Apple grunty goodness they are a welcome thing indeed. The question then is Mac vs Windows and what the same investment delivers from Dell/HP/Asus/etc. Windows7.64 makes the platform more attractive from the OS side as well and with fewer apps only on the Mac side it is still a complex decision...
Some notable omissions or shortcomings include: we dont quite get to full HD res on the panel, still no BluRay etc, only mini-displayport and once you spec it up it does start costing real money (even without the SSD I am over $4K). I am not sure whether they should have an OpenGL card option or not, if they had found a way to put a 3800 in there, that would have been cool.


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Stunning CryEngine Clip

The guys creating Raining Fire have a simply stunning video created with CryEngine 2:

Needless to say this is beautiful stuff for any real-time engine, people rendering would be very proud of this. Just goes to show what talent can create with a tool like this.

New Moon BR

I worked my way through the book not long ago and was keen to see this next film and the Wolves doing there thing. While the fur and modelling of da wolves was great, the animation could have been stronger, somehow the wolves never quite felt as integrated and believable as I hoped.

Anyhow, I am still enjoying the series. The romance is pushed so far it is like an Action Romance... The film looks great in BluRay and the sound adds a massive amount to the whole depth of the film. Certainly a great distraction from my work on the Cartographer project.

trailer time:

Cartographer Unity Landscape 3

With my decision to attempt to create a real-time audio landscape where the audio pieces created in Pro Tools come together within the Unity environment - plenty of work to be done. I havent done much on the actual landscape yet, not sure whether to rebuild it yet even, but it is serving as a good base for my audio experimentation.

First I spent quite a bit of time generating, combining, sourcing and creating audio pieces to bring into Unity. Pro Tools armed with plugins is a very cool piece of software. I still feel like something of a novice working with sound, but I am enjoying working with footsteps, heartbeats, breathing and the elements along with more musical elements to create specific audio layers.

Some things I have working now include: grassy footsteps playing when I walk, even going down steep slopes; fading in and out map-breathing-effect audio near the boundary of the maps; multiple positional wind areas. My TODO list is a bit ominous, but as I tackle each thing that becomes a range of things that need solving, often with scripts, but they are getting done.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

CS5 is alive

I havent had too much of a close look at Adobe Cs5 yet, it is hot off the presses though and I am keen to see what Adobe have gifted us with - exciting!

As I heard, the video apps have gone 64bit only:
Q. Why did Adobe make the decision to support only 64-bit operating systems with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and After Effects CS5?
A. By optimizing code for 64-bit operating systems, Adobe is able to deliver the performance gains video professionals require. Creative Suite customers benefit from working on the latest hardware and operating systems, and the majority of video professionals have already transitioned to 64-bit capable systems, such as Mac OS X Leopard, Snow Leopard, or 64-bit versions of Windows (Vista, Windows 7). After optimizing and architecting three versions of Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects software for 64-bit systems, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and After Effects CS5 now offer native support for 64-bit operating systems. Because 64-bit operating systems offer superior performance, CS5 and future releases of these products will not support 32-bit operating systems. For an up-to-date list of 64-bit 3rd party plug-ins for After Effects, visit
Armed with maintenance for our labs here at FBE and FX3800 graphics cards, I am keen to see the proformance boost with Win7.64 for us in there. I am continually impressed with how Adobe continues to raise the bar and doing so without playing catchup with smaller outfits, they are the ones extending features and driving things forwards.

Check out the video at

Be prepared to be amazed!!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Clash of the Titans 3D

I have been looking forward to seeing the latest action 3D extravaganza at the cinema, yesterday was the day. I have fond memories of the original Clash of the Titans, this new action packed 3D version of Clash of the Titans has plenty to live upto, esp with us sliding into comparisons with Avatar.

First some criticisms. The 3D was off, it was like they had turned up the 3Dness too high and characters that were right next to each other felt too far apart. Different elements of the shots felt like they were on cards floating in front of each other. So the 3D want so hot. The plot was interesting but not as gripping as perhaps it could have been, the logic seemed a little flat as to who won in the end and how even...

Now onto the fun bits, I did like the film. I think I will have a great time with it at home when it is released. I am pretty sure this is a film that will grow on me actually. There is something very cool about Perseus taking on Medusa with the petty squabbling Gods above them.

Here are the trailers for both films :-)

And a few promo images from the Clash of the Titans official site:

[Promo wallpapers for Clash of the Titans via the official site]

--- EDIT ---

I forgot to mention my favourite part of the film. The opening sequence is a piece of exposition covering the gods, titans and such, narrated over some beautiful visuals of the stars, gas clouds and constellations making up the characters in these larger than life myths.

Note that despite the relatively poor 3D effect here, I still think that 3D is the way to go for cinematic viewing - such a great step forward I feel in the immersion and big-screen 'specialness' that we need at the venue.

--- EDIT AGAIN ---

More on this now that I have read the article in the latest 3D World mag covering the CG work on the film. The side-bar on the View-D process explains briefly how the film was shot in 2D actually and converted using the software into 3D. This might be a great idea for some applications but shouldnt be confused with movies created properly in 3D in my opinion.

bit more info in this 3D-World snippet.