Thursday, 2 June 2011

CryEngine and Offset

Well, without these real-time engine posts, where would this humble blog be. Here is another superb video showing off the capability of the CryEngine3 and the artists of course. The vid isnt new, but I just love those shots of the girl in the Autumn woods, with the lighting, leaves and mood.



Ok, here is a vid from Project Offset (which isnt going ahead) but they were certainly setting the visual bar very high indeed for a game. This isnt new either, but another lush example of what these realtime rendering solutions can deliver when they get to play on the cool hardware now available. The guys behind the glory below are now Fractiv and their gunsmith game has an interesting look already, but quite a different rendering objective.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Asus Slate and Tablets

In my growing quest to replace my iPad with a similarly portable yet more computer-ish device - today I look at the ASUS Slate and the ASUS T101.

ASUS Slate
Here we are graced with a full tablet running Windows7 with the i5 grunt and some decent WACOM goodness - the Asus Eee Slate EP121. While it is a fair way short of a Cintiq, this does look as though it can be a portable graphics device and handle all the apps I would want to follow me around (the real apps I might add). I will have to learn to live in 64GB, using the SD perhaps and the ports and connectivity are super.
The weight is only a touch over the Macbook Air - though need to add a little for the keyboard (and the case). Battery is a liability perhaps with only a handful of hours - will need to manage that rather than just not worrying about it.




There how cool is that. The full review on MobileTechReview has more info again.

[Asus Eee Slate EP121 promo images via Asus site]

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While we are here it is worth having a peek at these babies, though I am perhaps so keen on the Slate that these seem rather hohum: ASUS T101MT (Netvertible) and the Eee Pad Transformer TF101 (honeycomb gadget) - super honeycomb example (though I am hunting for a full OS experience these days) - still uber-nifty:

Monday, 30 May 2011

3D bits

Time to take a little peek at a few pieces of 3D and GPU news. First it is always great to see new mobile graphics upgrades - I am a real laptop fan, I like that our computers, setup, software, digital lives can follow us around. That said I also like grunt - superb 3D real-time performance and more.

Here is a promo vid for NVIDIA's new GTX 560M which wields 192 CUDA cores and MHz in all directions. While in FBE we have shifted of late to the Workstation class graphics because of our vendor relationships (currently HP) - we do have some of these class of GPUs and the hardware is fun.



Seeing these laptops with built in 3D is groovy, NVIDIA now have their glasses a little cheaper if we give up the wireless versions (article). The Engadget mini-report on the 560M has some nice specs and comparisons as well.

I have to say that I have only watched a handful of movies and done a little bit of gaming and 3D visualisation in 3D. So far it is still powerful and a real leap forward in the immersion. Just to keep my enthusiasm in check, here is an interesting article on 'Why 3D doesn't work and never will. Case closed' by Roger Ebert.

--EDIT--

Just adding a link to this video today which shows off what NVIDIA is doing in the more mobile arena. This video showing dynamic lighting and cloth effects on 4 cores under Honeycomb:

Couple'a'vids

A kinda miscellaneous post with a handful of videos that I have found interesting over the last few days - what better reason to blog a little and add a comment or two.

Flottille (detail) from Etienne Cliquet on Vimeo.

There, wasnt that serene. Apart from the slightly over-zen nature, this is a lovely example of physics in action. Plus it uses the imperfections in the real world to great effect, much like the superb JILA mint cardboard box, here the width of the paper is important.



More glorious astronomy, maybe more physics actually - the rotation of the earth spreading the stars in their wide arcs.



Lets call this more physics just to keep the theme going, but here we are treated to digital physics inside Unity - flames and fun all around.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Itty Computer Thinking

I am still trying to work out what sort of itty computer I should wield when zipping about to meetings all over UNSW Campus. Looking after IT for Arts, Built Environment and Law now, plus all the central IT gatherings means I need something small and light. I take my iPad atm, but it is a wonderous toy, but no replacement for a computer really.

Here are is a mess of images and then links:



HP2560P : AIR : Lifebook : Samsung9 : HPmini etc

Astronomical Beauty

I love getting the pointers to the stunning imagery from NASA and other sources that come through on twitter etc. Here are a few of the images and videos of late that really captured my attention:

Mountains of the Moon
While it is cool to see the mountains silhouetted against the sun, for me, seeing our sun as this vast tumultuous globe is remarkable - rather than the untra-bright disk we are used to. The image comes courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams. LINK

[Mountains of the Moon via Lights_in_the_Dark on Flickr]

The Lagoon Nebula
Here is a portion of the Lagoon nebula imaged by Argentinean astronomers Julia Arias and Rodolfo Barbá using the Gemini South telescope with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph. Not only wonderfully beautiful and complex, but vast. LINK

[Lagoon Nebula via the Gemini website]

Bret Webster Milky Way
These images are part of a set by Bret Webster showing the sweep of lights of the milky way set behind the rocks and ancient paintings of the desert rocks in Utah. LINK

[Bret Webster Milky Way Photos via the Telegraph website]

Lastly, check out Bye Bye Comet.

CryEngine Tech Demo Screens

I have been doing a shocking job of keeping the blog ticking of late - so lets back back into the swing with some juicy screenshots from this years CryEngine 3 Tech Demo. These come courtesy of Pierre-Yves Donzallaz blog (and also inCrysis) and we get to see the wonders that this real-time engine can deliver for us.



[CryEngine 3 Tech Demo lighting Images via Pierre-Yves Donzallaz blog]