Saturday, 6 October 2012


Family had super seats for Cirque du Soleil OVO yesterday afternoon as I am pretty sure I spent the majority of the show with my mouth hanging open. The insect theming really suited the circus acrobatics and so much attention went into this side of things that the spectacle was all the more memorable. Having all the different parts of the troupe as different types of insect with the grand costumes let us talk about our particular favourite elements or parts of the show, be it the spiders, firefly, crickets, ants etc etc. All the little insecty movements that the performers use throughout their routines and as they move/dance about the stage helps cement this illusion for us.

[Cirque du Soleil OVO images via the official site]

The storyline characters were lotsa fun as well and with the complex music and lighting to draw it all together I couldnt recommend the show enough! It is quite inspirational to see a whole set of people this dedicated to their craft that they are this exceptional at what they do (makes me feel a little inadequate actually :-)

I dont actually want to fill this post with videos etc actually as I quite liked being surprised on the day and dont want to spoil things for anyone who might read this. The main OVO site does have a suite of videos that explore the costume design and such - seeing behind the scenes is something I really enjoy.

Friday, 5 October 2012

LEGO Trees and Walkers

I wish I had been plugged into the right info at the time, so I could have popped into the city and seen these classic LEGO trees and flowers. They are certainly iconic and super playful at any scale as you can see in these images from the Festival of Play with the LEGO forest in Martin Place back in April. I think having a set of these in my front yard would look stunning!

[LEGO Forest in Sydney for Festival of Play]

There are plenty of sets of LEGO that I wish I could sit there on the shelf for all to admire. The one I have been drooling over most is from the Star Wars range, the AT-AT Walker (set 8129) which would just look superb proudly standing there.

[LEGO set 8129 AT-AT Walker]

While that would be cool, how about this masterpiece by Rocko which is a stunning rendition of the classic walker (even if it isnt articulated)

[Custom LEGO AT-AT Walker by Rocko via Flickr]

The Brick Life's Lego Australia – Where To Buy Cheap Lego page keeps us up to date on where to get LEGO at a sane price here in Oz.

Actually, maybe a star destroyer might be the ultimate kit - look at all that light grey (3100 pieces in the 10030 kit) See groovy pics of GABURU's kit.

[ LEGO Star Destroyer 10030 pic via GABURU]

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Spider Projection

Friedrich van Schoor has created a couple of interesting video projections of late. The videos below show off a more traditional version done indoors but with some very potent realisation of the illusion. The top one though is lotsa fun, the video shows how he went about creating the impression that this large building floor has two enormous spiders trapped inside. Somehow something like this, even if we know it isnt real still has some power to creep us out!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

IDES Year 1 Lighting

There is a neato little exhibition in the Red Centre Gallery at the moment that shows off the work of a set of first year Industrial Design students here at UNSW. This assignment required them to design and then craft a light using a single 1w LED Module and sheet materials. Things look interesting during the day, but the quality and character of the designs really shine at night time as these shots attest.

Check the BE site, IDsydney and Joshua Flowers Flickr pages for more info and images.

[IDES 1st Year Lighting photos via Joshua Flowers Flickr]

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Human AI Bots and Gooey Architecture

I am not sure what brings these two little pieces of news together, maybe it is their lack of overlapping spheres of influence that prompted this post.

Human AI Bots
The idea of programming bots in computer games is nothing new, making them act like humans is no doubt important for game creators as well as the seedier underbelly of bot makers. The 2K BotPrize competition has been running with Unreal Tournament (UT2004) since 2008, challenging programmers to make bots act like human players. This year they have 2 winners, both clocking up more points than many actual human players.

[UT2004 bots going at it via the UTexas News]

The article on ArsTechnica covers the winners: computer scientist Mihai Polceanu and a team from the University of Texas as well as more of the details. For me, the next step is to encompass all the elements that a player can do in a game (even if we don't have all the chat possibilities, there should be some rudimentary coverage of this). I wonder how many selfless acts the bots performed, they were probably free-for-all games, can we tell more with a 'better' game with more scope to judge. Maybe it is easier to make a human-like opponent for online chess than it is to make one for a modern MMO - just because the number of options at any point is so much greater...

Melty Architecture
There is something very tactile looking (perhaps tasty) about this Visitor's Centre by French artists Christophe Berdaguer and Marie PĂ©jus. The DeZeen article details some of the thinking behind the very organic result - it looks like we dipped the old house in heated marshmallow before plonking it in the French landscape.

[Gue(ho)st House via DeZeen]

I am sure many people wont like this, but I think it is plenty of fun and certainly looks cool in its pristine white state against the blue sky and green grass.