Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Amgen Bone Biology Site

I haven't posted about web design for a little while, so this is a good opportunity to cover the woes of the LMS and a stunning piece of web design for Amgen. With UNSW shifting the majority of its online course presence over to Moodle from Blackboard over the next year or so we have been looking closely at the features and interface 'quirks' for the new LMS (Learning Management System). One of the pieces of that puzzle we have been working on is how/whether we can bend Moodle to look and behave more like a website with more logical navigation and structure and a much better control over the interface and how the important pieces of courses are presented to students.

Anyhow, during this time I came across this simply gorgeous website from Amgen that provides information on Bone Biology:  We are not only treated to some cool CG eye candy of the interior of bones as the interface, but it also gives us the parallax scrolling and even focal distance shifts. Detailed info is then presented through video with more luscious imagery and high production value voice overs and editing. The entire site serves as a lovely example on how to present some detailed information in a highly approachable and engaging way on the web. We dont have interaction with discussion forums and blogs etc, but the principles here show that good design should be critical in the creation of an LMS platform and it implementation.

Technically the wizardry is done with Flash, though I assume HTML5 could do much of what we see. I am not sure who the creative team was who put this together, but doubtless it was a team with various specialists.

Here are a few screenshots of the site, which don't do it justice btw.

[Amgen Bone Biology site]

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pure White Paper

This Pure White Paper sculpture art by Li Hongbo is remarkable, what looks like a nice carving suddenly transforms into this fascinating stretchy touchable freaky thing.

It is fascinating just how fluid and plasticy, plastery it all looks.
Beautiful art, though it really needs to be tactile, which probably isnt going to be possible... Check out the video.

Monday, 11 February 2013


I just havent been keeping up on my skills around Cryengine and the modelling/texturing that supports crafting landscapes in the engine. My slowpokiness hasnt stopped these people from doing great and inspiring things with the same toolset and I am keen to create something wondrous like these as a trailer/short for my current board game project.

These works show off the range of the CryEngine and how it can impart different moods and character to lanscapes from the realistic to the creepy to the whimsical. The best source of casual inspiration is the CryDev Showcase Gallery!

The images below are from the following projects: Lovecraftian AsylumHydro PlantBamboo ForestStormy RocksSci Fi WalkwayDark PlaceBlocky Canyon

[Cryengine landscapes via the links above]

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Some Gamey Fun and Thinking

I have been really enjoying the board game resurgence, it may not be a global thing, but in my week it has a high profile and that makes for some great times with family and friends. I still enjoy a good computer game, that medium is very special and has lots of growth and excitement to come. Even computer gaming in the same room with friends still falls well short of the amount of payer interaction that board games deliver - so both have their place. I still hope to bring lots of digital creation to a board game project (more on this soon).

This week saw Small World hit the table again, great game as always. We tried our first game of Stone Age with the expansion and it was interesting having the trading and extra resources. With the arrival of our Warhammer 40K 6E rulebook we played a few test games as we explored the new rules and some of the interesting quirks they delivered. Beautiful book once again from Games Workshop - it inspired me to construct (customise) my Nobs, painboy, lootas and some extra burnas as well (lots of painting of the Orks to do). I like the way the GW games are more than just the game, the hobby aspects are very strong (if expensive) and add a great deal as a creative input for a tabletop game. For Chinese New Year the extended family enjoyed playing Labyrinth which is a very simple game, but surprisingly brain twisting and fun for a casual game. I wonder if the Lord of the Rings Labyrinth would be fun using the Master variant?

Lastly watching the first part of Tabletop roleplaying in Dragon Age has me really hankering for some RPing one day.