Another greeting email that I have just sent off to the clients and vendors.
Oct 2, 2009
Sep 30, 2009
Did not manage to attend Siggraph at New Orleans this year?
Neither did I.
Fret not, Computer Graphics World put up a nifty collection of videos from the event, including presentations from ILM, Digital Domain and Autodesk, just to name a few.
Not to be missed by any CG geek!
Sep 28, 2009
Ever wanted to hold your 3D creations in your hands? There is rapid prototyping aka 3D printing which has became more affordable over the years. But if you still can't muster up the cash for those services (let alone buy one of those machines which costs at least $ 30,000 USD a piece for the lower end ones), you can always turn to papercraft, which only requires a printer, mastery in 3D modeling and paper-folding.
First, make a model in your favourite 3D program. There are certain rules to follow when modeling for paper. As each polygons represent a folded surface, you want to avoid tiny polygons unless you have tiny fingers to fold them. This depends greatly on you intended size for the final product.
3D model created in Lightwave in 15 minutes.
Three A4 size pages generated by Pepakura.
The final product is about 15 cm tall. Some parts looked "sorry" because the surfaces where tiny and difficult to fold, and we used cellophone tapes instead of glue to put it together. Notice the lack of the bell on his collar and his missing tail.
For more impressive feats of papercraft using Pepakura, follow this link (literally).
Sep 16, 2009
It's a sad day in journalism (even for tabloids) when news like "Gosselin changes her hair" makes the front page.
Is there nothing else happening in the world worth writing about more than a moron changing her hair?
What's next? "Kim Kardashian...umm...breaths??"
Sep 15, 2009
BESM gives you more control, but doesn't play well with textures (in fact, it totally ignores it) while Super Cel Shader has less controls and does not render edges.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can even fiddle with the node system to get you own custom cel shader, though I have little success in that aspect.
Other than the big honking watermark in the middle, the map of the planet was created entirely from procedural textures. The node system is a monster to learn, but it is already established that the degree of freedom it offers is enormous compared to pre-node versions.
This is just the node view. In each of the color nodes are layer upon layers of procedural textures and mattes.
Aug 21, 2009
At long last, the first teaser trailer of James Cameron's Avatar is released on apple.com . For those not in the know, there has been a lot of anticipation for Cameron's upcoming masterpiece. Judging from the reaction of those lucky enough to attend a screening of a short clip some few weeks ago, for good reason too.
The film was shot in 3D (As in stereoscopic), though I'm not sure I want to watch it with some thick, heavy polarized glasses after the less than pleasing experience with another 3D film.
Anyway, you can watch the trailer here, or just look at the screenshots below.
Aug 18, 2009
The Durian Project, another open movie project by the Blender Foundation, is now opened for pre-orders.
Considering the significant quality jump between their previous open movie projects: Elephants Dream (The Orange Project) and Big Buck Bunny (The Peach Project), I'll be eagerly following this new endeavor. Looks like this time around they will be going for a action-packed fantasy setting.
On a side note, Blender is shaping up to be a fantastic production tool.
On another side note, The working title is making me crave for durian.
Aug 17, 2009
The app is simple enough and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Just spend a few minutes with it and you'll be churning out trees in record time.
The resulting mesh can be exported as an OBJ file to be imported to the 3D app of your choice. The UVs are readily laid out so all you have to do is slap on the texture images with some minor tweaks to further tailor it to your heart's content. While it is perfectly capable of modeling leaves as well, it does slow down dramatically when you reach a certain level of branching, yet the leaves density is still not quite there yet. So I imported the mesh and used the branchs' vertices to clone cardboard leaves , duplicating to achieve the desired density.
Jul 29, 2009
After watching a trailer about a new Mechwarrior game in the making, I got my hands on MechCommander 2 (Which is free for download and legal, btw) to re-live the exhilaration of commanding those hulking mechs into battle.
While I was busy blowing shit up in the game, I thought about another robot-related franchise: Transformers. Then I thought: wouldn't it be awesome if somebody made a Transformers real-time strategy / tactical game.
Due to the limited numbers of characters in the franchise, I would imagine the gameplay to be similiar to MechCommander or even Warhammer 40K: Dawn Of War, for example:
- Instead of mining resources, the player capture resources points to call in more allies or equipment.
- No base-building. Installations, if any, shall be in the form of transformed robots that is mobile and capable of combat.
- Limited number of units per mission. Like a squad-based strategy or tactical game.
- Featuring battlefields in Cybertron as well as Earth, with differing priorities in the diverse environment for opposing forces.
- Active units can salvage parts from destroyed units.
- Diverse range of unit expertise, eg. Optimus Prime is excellent in melee fights, where as Ironhide is a long range expert etc. Skill points can be earned and distributed for each unit.
- Functional combat roles for the units alternate modes. In fact, some objectives can't be achieved without using their alternate mode.
Jul 26, 2009
Jul 25, 2009
For no apparent reason, I was overcame by an urge to do some miniature renders. So, I dug up some Homeworld 2 game models which were extracted from the game and converted by Fabio from Foundation 3D, place some props in the scene and rendered away.
Jul 23, 2009
They second day on Cameron Highlands started with an extended stay in the hotel toilet as I attempted to purge my stomach.
Cacti. This place almost have everything except, sadly, durian.
We also stopped by a fruit market and where the Malay fruit vendors speak cantonese, mandarin, Malay and English with equal fluency.
We called it a day and returned to the hotel, spending dinner time in the room eating cup noodles and peanuts.
Jul 22, 2009
Last Sunday Phoebe and I embarked on a long overdue vacation trip to Cameron Highlands. It was to be a 3 days 2 nights trip and we picked Cameron Highlands because Phoebe has never been there and I have been wanting to enjoy a hot steamboat meal there in the cold climate.
My dad was raised in Cameron Highlands, but when I did visit the place when I was a child, I spent most of the time around my Grandpa's place in Tringkap, which was nice and all but in retrospect it was probably boring as hell , I just didn't know it then.
Anyway, we started our trip from KL, drove all the way to Simpang Pulai, had a quick breakfast and continued our grueling trip up the mountainous roads to our hotel in Tanah Rata via Kampung Raja.
We passed by Tringkap, so I though I'd visit my Grandpa's house, which has been vacant since both my grandparents passed away.
Random flower shots on the way from Tringkap.
We arrived at the hotel around 11am, but we could only check in at 2pm. To pass the time, we travelled by foot through a broken trail from the hotel to a jungle trekking site. We didn't go in far, but just deep enough to get a shot of a small waterfall.
Another random shot along the trail.
We stayed at Century Pines hotel. The building looks like a cheap flat from the outside but the interior was a different story.
The room we stayed in was pretty spacious, almost too big for a two person room.
View from the balcony.
Of course, I won't be a CG geek without sampling some textures whenever I can.
The steamboat was nothing special. But enjoying a steaming hot bowl of food in the chilly climate was really something.
More pictures in the next post.