Friday, 1 March 2013

TableTop Day

With the announcement of Geek&Sundry's International TableTop Day (March 30th) it is time to prep for the fun and games. It is interesting to have an event like this that is mostly about people coming together to enjoy a hobby under the banner of an event spawned from a hugely popular show. Now to work out what we should run on the day - tempted to fire up a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire tabletop RPG game - though if I muster lots of people maybe we just fill a big room with all manner of different board games all going at once. There are other places of course, the EYECON RPG Convention is on a this time and hosting an event already (quick work guys).

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Star Wars Posters and a LEGO Hogwarts

A simple post throwing a little spotlight on two pieces of cool art/design work. First up, a simply great poster for the Star Wars Entities exhibition in Canada by Bleublancrouge.

[Star Wars Entity poster via Laughing Squid]

Second a series of images of the vast and intricate LEGO Hogwarts, it is quite remarkable what can happen when you combine 12 months, 400,000 LEGO bricks and an Alice Finch. Thanks to COllider for the pointer to Alice's Flickr page that shows off this creation through a vast array of images - here are a few to entice you to go browse through more.

[Alice Finch LEGO Hogwarts via her Flickr page]

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Project Menu

I am the first to admit that my Masters of Digital Media hasn't just stalled, it is a cobweb-laden rusty heap on the side of the road. But that doesn't mean it isn't still much loved and with a little hard work can be racing along as it should have been. So where are we at, well to finish up I need to complete the grad project, I got stuck here originally as being a part-timer I was sailing along quite happily until the giant-final-immense-grad-course arrived. So after a hiatus it is time to take some regular leave from work, hunker down and get a worthy capstone project completed.

None of the project ideas are just a straight CG animated short which is the default position for the degree. I would at least want to dive into real-time technology or have a short/trailer be part of something more and not free-standing. While I think I know what I am dedicating my time to - I thought (even for my own clarity) I would lay out the options - a grad project menu if you will.

--- ENTRÉES ---

This Blog Post
Seeing the options laid out and ready to order


Investigation and Flesh
Add a little flesh to any of the Mains that need to be understood better before the call is made

--- MAINS ---

Valley of Wings
Can the Moth and Butterfly races overcome aeons of  war to save their forest from a new threat.
CryEngine environment and canned trailer.
3ds Max, CryEngine, Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Audition
Lots of concepts already done and they are cool
Forest world will translate very nicely to CryEngine


Loch Dreagan
A world of kilt eating mosters striving to win the heart of their Loch Maiden.
CG Trailer, Playable Board Game with 3D printing
3ds Max, CryEngine, Photoshop, Solidworks, Premiere, After Effects, Audition
Product will be useable and the theming is fun in video and physical form
Other people are keen to have the game and play


Narrative City Space
Story driven Visualisation of Architecture and City Planning
CryEngine environment/s revealing the designs and lighting exploration
CityEngine, 3ds Max, CryEngine, Rhino, Grasshopper, Photoshop, Premiere, Audition
Very useful project in work context - still with lotsa fun aspects


Real-Time World Explorer
Library interface that allows users to browse and enter real-time environments
Website with hosted Environments, Server, Promo Trailer.
CryEngine, HTML5, PHP, Photoshop, Python, Premiere, Audition
Super useful thing, but perhaps more of a resource than its own thing


Dance Spot
Performance capture of dance routines allowing various narratives to be overlaid.
CryEngine environment with mocap driven dance characters of various types plus trailer
CryEngine, 3ds Max, Mudbox, Motion Builder, Photoshop, Premiere, Audition
Community linked and technical with hardware and software


Immersive Anatomy
Learn through the exploration human anatomy from the perspective of a futuristic nanobot
CryEngine Environment, promo Trailer, supporting website
CryEngine, 3ds Max, Photoshop, Premiere, Audition
Good extension of the tools into related fields - fun to show off


Automagic Showreels
Bring a mass of tagged content to life in the form of generated showreels armed with narrative
Website with supporting tagged media library that generates video (research paper)
Premiere, After Effects, Python, PHP, HTML5
Holy Grail of leveraging student and staff content

--- DESSERTS ---

Oinkfrog Showreel
Craft up a new promo vid that shows off the project and whatever else I have done leading up to it.


Minimain Taster
Bring to life in a smaller way one or more of the other main courses, even as collaborative projects.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Humberto Ramos Spider-Man Inspiration

I was drawn to craft this little blog entry by Adam Sacco's post on 3DTotal with his 3D model of Spectacular Spider-Man inspired by the drawings of Humberto Ramos. We get Humberto's animalistic take on the comic hero translated into a highly stylised CG Model that really shows off the extreme posing and insect-like (or maybe arachnid-like is more accurate) anatomy.

[Adam Succo Spider-Man via 3DTotal]

Lets use the rest of this post to show a few pieces of Humberto's Spider-Man artwork from the comics and then soem vids of him sketching Spidey in 2010 - how wonderful would it be to be able to lay down pencil and ink on a page with such class...

Monday, 25 February 2013

City Data Visualisation

One of the inspired things our modern world facilitates is the coming together of data from various internet/web sources and some cool visualisation techniques to reveal patterns and meaning in that information.
Here are just a couple that we have been discussing here at UNSW Built Environment over the last week as they pertain to city data and how we can overlay other data onto very approachable city/map tools in our browsers.

The RichBlocksPoorBlocks site brings together Google's Map interface and some fascinating US Income and Rental data that quickly reveals the various neighbourhoods in some big US Cities. I found the rings of relative affluence around many cities quite intriguing (See Texas for good examples).

The Mapped Twitter Languages in New York was created using Twitter, Google Translate and R, which the site describes thus: "The R language (and open-source software) is the de facto standard among statisticians for the development of statistical software, and is widely used for statistical software development and data analysis".
Check the Twitter Tongues Map of London which beautifully shows the pockets of language speaking.Then came the Twitter NYC version which is just as nice.

Lastly just a quick look at the new SimCity (coming out next week) that looks simply gorgeous and as far as a fun way to visualise a city - hard to beat. I thought it was very interesting that EA also announced SimCityEDU which is all about taking the game platform into the classroom. The engine would allow for lessons covering much more than the obvious links to city planning, energy and the environment, transport, amenity and budgets - through the simulation more abstract ideas of complexity, competing demand management, design, function and a host more could be worked through leveraging the game. See the interview on SpliKick for more details leading up to the launch.

[SimCity Images via SplitKick]