Saturday, 27 November 2010

COFA Annual

Spent a nice morning at CarriageWorks where the COFA Graduation Exhibition (Annual) is in full flight. It was wonderful to see all the various programs exhibiting together and intermingled, digital media next to painting, next to video art, photography and more.

First it was great to see James' FiT-iN, having its own little stand and looking good. Other people graduating that I spent time with include Kylie and Natvatoo,

I really enjoyed exploring some of the painting and digital photography works, but one of the key reasons for going was to see what my fellow Digital Media students achieved. Sabrina was the only one with a real-time immersive digital environment of some kind. So I am confident that Moths vs Butterflies will still be pretty unique. It looks like many of the digital media students struggled to complete their works given the low numbers on display.

Here are some images I took on the day of the place, markets and works:

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Unity Uberstrike

This game doesnt appeal to me, but it does look like a pretty exciting development running on Unity3D across a whole range of platforms including Facebook, Mac, Windows and more. Uberstrike is an FPS with a suite of items and such that may well keep masses of people busy if it catches on. Either way, it looks like a classy use of the Unity 3D engine and shows what the current engine can do...

Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time dvd

I had been looking forward to seeing this movie adaptation of the game, the production values and the team behind the The Prince of Persia - Sands of Time gave me high hopes. Well, after two viewings and some special features I am still enjoying this one.

Jerry Bruckheimer with Disney have created an incredible world for the events of the film to live within. The huge sets are wonderfully detailed, bringing out the character of each city/location and their inhabitants. Creating a world like this delivers a much higher level of immersion, we are taken away to this believable place that hits all the right notes for our imaginations. This is all supported by Harry Gregson-William's score and lighting that really shows off everything.

[Prince of Persia posters via]

The costumes and physical propwork is a delight to behold, seeing the detail and flair of every piece of armour, dress, armband and saddle really lifts the cool factor for me. There is CG and special effects work of course, the battle sequences and other-worldly elements require them, but for the most part the screen is filled with real things.

It was great to see our hero bringing so many computer game moves to the screen, they bring things to an almost superhero like level, but making it still believable - he is just that good. The whole experience is like seeing a fusion of The Mummy, Pirates of the Caribbean and Tomb Raider = pretty fun.

The movie isnt flawless, but there are so many cool bits that it holds together for me, it is a huge extravaganza bringing us mystery, betrayal, vast empires, snakes, crumbling temples, vast deserts, curved blades, cavalry, heroics and ostriches. It may lack a little charm in places and doesnt offer up any plot surprises or really unique character concepts or moments - but I still found it good fun and it looks superb.


I like this kind of film. I was going to rant on a little here about being in the right mood for different types of movie before donning a critic's hat. Maybe it isnt just a mood thing, but rather allowing films to live in their scope and enjoying them for that. Can a comedy win the Oscar for best picture or a comedic actor get one - I think not. Are they harder to make or require more acting talent?? Complex...

Toy Story 3

I already mentioned some of the nifty Special Features on the Toy Story 3 BluRay, now for a quick look at the film. John Lassiter and the gods of animation at Pixar deliver us another wonderful tale from the Toy Story universe. The animation itself is remarkable in many places, such style and precision even under very complex scenes. Each character's movement reinforces their individuality and when characters come together in combat, dance or otherwise the contrasts are lovely to see. I loved the interaction between Jessie and Buzz (in his various states) and the animation is a standout for me.

The tale we run with brings us new antagonists and really makes me feel for the characters. The toys are actually quite tragic, their fun is derived from being played with, they struggle to have fun outside that (with only a few exceptions). With this premise there are many causes for their conflict as their world is so tightly bound to human foibles and we humans dont know there are feelings to be hurt.

[Toy Story 3 images via]

The CG is flawless, while still completely cartoony, every element is refined to that aesthetic. The effects and fur are beautiful, like seeing the raindrops fall on Lotso. The rigs inside all these characters must be very clever, empowering those animators with all the controls they need to deliver the body and facial animations that reveal all the character's emotions and physical gags.
All up another superb movie from the Pixarians and their biggest franchise. It loses some of its edge from being another sequel, but still wonderful to join these characters again.