Saturday, 23 October 2010

Peripherals and bits

With the date getting closer for the arrival of our new HP 8740w machines one starts looking at peripherals even more. I am looking forward to some heavy dev time in CryEngine and the modelling and audio applications along with the image and video software.
So with the basic machine sorted, what about all the extra bits. Window-shopping via the browser leads to places with cool things that I should walk past... While there are heaps o options I am liking the idea of the Logitech G700 wireless mouse with all its buttons which should prove handy for modelling as well. Wireless surround sound headset, lets let Logitech take that one as well with the giant G930. Then lets pack it all away in the Booq Mamba backpack, style and size. Engadget have a review of the G700 and G930 at the same time eve. Yes, all too extravagant, but one can dream and there are much more extravagant options out there :-)

[Hardware goodies]

I also like the Roccat Pyra and these guys make a nice surround headset as well!

Slate late slate

Yes, the long awaited HP Slate looks like it might actually make its grand appearance and it looks to be far from a toy. I am keen to see how nice the WACOM screen is, being able to sketch with finger or pen and have a full Win7 experience on a tablet seems pretty hard to top.
Whether it will live up to this build-up we shall see, but I have visions of this transforming the way we do sketching (great for COFA and FBE ... and me = drool).

[Some imagery of the HP Slate via Engadget]

Here is Engadgets intro video:

Friday, 22 October 2010

Sharp Air

The new 11" and 13" Macbook Air models came out the other day and I was hoping to see one in the flesh, alas they seem to be taking their time getting into stores. With the usual slick presentation, Apple show off the wafer thin laptop on the site. It certainly looks the part, light, thin and running MacOS which is a step up in capability from the iPad. Check out the promo imagery - very nice, plus the Apple site looks great with the image coming up then the rest of the site fading in afterwards (like the Google page).

[Macbook Air images via the Apple site]

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Cataclysm Nears

With the first major patch set for World of Warcraft Cataclysm arriving over the weekend we had our fist taste of all the spell and talent changes. The patch and changes are extensive already, so the full extent of what is to come should be exciting.

Blizzard are masters at the cinematic trailer, we are treated to the grandest of high fantasy overflowing with references to the world, the lore, the characters and all in the super CG package.
The effects, modelling, animation, cinematography, sound and editing all combine to inspire people about this next instalment of WoW.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Artist: Daniel Simon

[Daniel Simon imagery via]

I came across the mighty works of Daniel Simon again the other day and his design work and sketches are a true inspiration. The vehicle designs are great, they ooze functionality and detail while bringing a specific unique or quirky take in their shape, volume, lines and such. They range from military to recreational bringing a certain sexy feel to things...

Here is Daniel's Trailer for his book Cosmic Motors, pretty good example of mixing simple animated sequences and stills of his work.

I wish his site had a larger gallery/portfolio for us to wade through, what is there is super and here are a few examples:

[Daniel Simon imagery via]

Autodesk Labs

I like the trend of big software companies to expose some of their development projects for us to not only follow, but test and use. Yet another step towards us using beta software all the time for everything perhaps, we want new things fast and this is the result - in most cases very cool.
Autodesk Labs offer a suite of tools and smaller applications all pushing some kind of boundary, be it in integration, functionality or collaboration. Here are some of the intersting ones (wish I had time to try them all out):

Photo Scene Editor (Project Firefly)

New software to convert photos into 3D models for ImageModeller
The myriad of ways that exist to convert our real world into a digital model are all still works in progress, this adds to that set and looks to be making it very approachable for the Autodesk software users. And it certainly looks very cool in the video.

Project Newport

Real-time interaction and visualisation of models and spaces.
The almost AR interface that is used in this video showing off the Newport tech is interesting, abstracting the interface like this almost seems like a step backwards, but it does start to re-enforce the link between the architectural plans and what they represent for the customer.

Point Cloud Tool (Project Helix)

Point Cloud import and manipulation toolset for 3ds Max.
Like Project Firefly we get a toolset that enables us to work with imported data, instead of photos we are going straight to point clouds here and using the 3ds Max environment to have our fun.

Plus here are a few that I would love to see more of here in FBE, for education and discipline specific reasons:
Project Neon : Rendering via the cloud.
Multitouch : their huge mutitouch screen tech.
STL Exporter : Getting Architectural elements into 3D printers and laser-cutters = neato.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

MvB - Butterfly Weapon Studies

As part of fleshing out not only the world for Moths vs Butterflies and also detailing what models I will need to create to bring into the engine - here are a series of Butterfly Weaponry concept studies. The Butterflies are all about sharp weapons for piercing and slicing and show off their craftsmanship and sleek lines. The weapons are adorned with cut gems, runes and script that present their cultural direction and some sun inspired elements as well.

I did all this in a sketchy way straight in photoshop using my normal WACOM tablet, the hand-eye thing still isnt like using the Cintiq's. Before long drawing on screens directly will just be completely standard ... one day soon I hope. I was a little nervous that working in white on black like this would be hard on my eyes (like reading white text on black), but all was well. So now I just need to wage the war against all those websites and blogs that continue to torture me.

Plus, being on layers in my photoshop file, I could merge the sets together - looks cool like this.