Friday, 9 March 2012


After seeing some of the work done at breakneck speed by the DigitalUrban guys with CityEngine and the super trailer below we are looking at licensing with ESRI while people check out the trial. This sort of software fits in very well with our parametrics and experimental modelling courses (and research) here in FBE.

There are examples from a while ago of people bringing CityEngine builds into CryEngine as well - definitely something I will be keen to try out. There are a suite of features for urban planning GIS and BIM type functions, many of which will be interesting to see how they plug into our current pipelines and thinking. We just need to fund the time to explore more fully...

[Screenshots of CityEngine in action via the official site]

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Crytek CineBox & GDC News

With the activity at GDC 2012 (see Gamesutra's coverage for all the details) from Crytek we have snippets of news to keep us enthused. The most interesting for me is the newly named CineBox version of the CryEngine with all the tools for cinematic work (previs, pitchvis, postvis, etc). This toolset may even be nicer for some of the simulation and visualisation work done here in UNSW Built Environment using the standard engine at present.
The release from Crytek on CryEngine 3 CineBox (Cinema Sandbox) says they are gearing up for a commercial release in mid-2012 which is temptingly close now (assuming it happens). Some of the nice things listed include: FBX import, DX11+, Area lights, Rendered Output, Realistic cameras and Maya Scene LiveSync.
Plus for GDC Crytek will be covering "next-generation DX 11 graphics and tools upgrades, Cinebox, creating characters for CryENGINE, AI Systems, UI Actions and Flow Graph and After Action feature set for Serious Games."

Here is the 2011 trailer (from a year ago now) - but still looking amazing:

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Danger Planet

The grad project from Justin Burks and team from SAU in Tennessee, Danger Planet, is another lovely little 3D animation with a feel that reminds me of many cartoons. One of the coolest things here is that we have a tiny blog for the project plus the making of video and trailer to go with the final work.
Seeing behind the scenes makes the work quality, process and size all the more concrete for us.

Here are a few stills that show off the design, modelling matte painting, rendering, lighting and compositing. I so so want to find the time/energy to dive into my grad project, be it the wonders of MvB or something similar...

[Danger Planet stills via the project blog]

Monday, 5 March 2012

Farewell Ralph

Now legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie passed away on March 3rd. Over his 82 years he made a significant and inspired contribution to a range of films from Cocoon, ET and Battlestar Galactica to the signature work on Star Wars. His design work on Star Wars brought to life the conceptual words of George Lucas in such a powerful way. Be it Darth Vader, droids or the x-wing - we all all indebted. Check the DayoftheJedi article for a gorgeous collection.


Here are a few pieces to revel in:

[Ralph McQuarrie artwork for Star Wars via the DayoftheJedi article]