29 June, 2009

Transformers 2 for PS3 & XBox 360

The trailer for this game looks pretty cool. Interesting to see are the side by side comparisons between the PS3 and 360 platforms, and at first glance, it looks like 360 looks better.

I'm also a big fan of interface and HUD design and in this game, it looks really tight. Also below are a few shots from the in-game cinematics. Enjoy the trailer, or better yet, play the game.

25 June, 2009

Last Airbender Trailer

We've been waiting a long time for this trailer. We're wondering however, why "Avatar" isn't in the title? From what we see here however, the look of the film looks great. The film looks like its going to be loaded with plenty of martial arts and tons of CG...(the Fire Nation in this clip looks pretty dart awesome)...just the way we like. The only thing this needs now, is a tight story and great character acting. Hopefully the director, Shyamalan, a story driven director, will pull through and make this one of his best films, I really like his work. Below is the trailer, and underneath that is an interview clip with the director M.Night.Shyamalan.

One controversy surrounding the Last Airbender film, is an issue surrounding race. It came up many many months ago as news of the film spread. In my classes, rumors were floating around about casting "white" actors to play the main characters of the animation. Many people were upset because the characters in the film were descendant from a multicultural society with a predominantly asian influence. So far, the main Avatar character featured in the trailer not only looks this part, but also has pretty slick bow staff moves.

And of course, for those of you who have a bo staff, but don't know how to twirl or strike with it (like me), here's a video that teaches you how to do it.

23 June, 2009

Transformers Franchise History

Here's a little documentary that we stumbled upon about the Transformers franchise. With the premiere of Transformers 2 fast approaching we thought a little history lesson would wet your appetite. For those of you who remember the very time the toys came out, you would have to agree that these were the greatest baby sitters, keeping all of us out of trouble, but also away from "the girls", which is okay, its just that some of us haven't grown out of the toys yet.

This documentary features its Japanese origins, the first Transformers toy commercial premiere, information about the different generations (Transformers Generation I and II), clips from the various animated series (Dinobots), and its transition into the 2007 live action piece. Its a nice little hit that's well worth checking out.

My favorite part of this clip, was seeing Soundwave. The cool "Walkman" style Decepticon who had the two cassette tapes that would launch and transform into a Buzzsaw and Ravage. I'll have to admit that I lost interest after the Dinobots, but in the film, we can see how the remnants of those types of ideas play a huge role in giving the robots variety.

Check out the film when it comes out.

See you at the concession stand.

Fire it up!

20 June, 2009

Assassin's Creed II Trailer in HD

Dude, the ingame cinematics look like live action, great camera work, MOCAP, lighting and texturing. These guys could seriously come out with a movie, but these days, as all of you know, games make millions of dollars more than movies. Watch the trailer and prepare to be amazed.

When you are though with that, check out the gameplay. We have way better weapons use even ones created by Leonardo Da Vinci. This gameplay clip was taken from this year's E3 convention.

Fire it Up!

- Randolf

18 June, 2009

Baby Breakdance

As animation and vfx nerds, you got to think about how this clip was put together.

This kid's got some mad skills.


10 June, 2009

Team Fortress 2: "Meet the..." Animations

Team Fortress 2 is the sequel the successful online PC game created by the Valve Corporation. In my classes, we were hooked on watching the "Meet The..." animations that featured a character from the game. These animations run about a minute and a half and were extremely entertaining. Seriously, we wasted a good hour on finding these clips, but the time spent was well worth it...we'll call it "research". :-)

They feature great art direction, character animation, nice clean styling and execution. The nostalgic design themes also add to the storyline.

We are animation nerds, so I've placed all of the available animations on this page so you don't have to search, leaving room for the last characters...Pyro and Medic. Once they are posted, we shall post them on this page for future inspiration and reference, until then, enjoy these, beginning with my favorite...The Heavy.

"I have yet to meet anyone who can outsmart bullet." - the Heavy

So which guy do you like? - Enjoy!

08 June, 2009

Thaddeus Maharaj - Modeling Reel

This reel by Thaddeus is pretty complete. He shows clean, organized modeling of different styles ranging from cartoony to super realistic. His opening model, pictured above is simply insane, nice work, I think everybody's jaw drops when they see it, a fantastic way to open your reel. Good job!

Throughout the reel, Thadeus also shows his rigging skills, UI set up in Maya, and a nice feel for timing, pacing, design and layout. Nice work, if you come across this post Thaddeus, chime in below and let us know how you are doing, and end up.

You can visit Thaddues Maharaj's site here.

Enjoy and Fire it Up!


04 June, 2009

Smashing Magazine : Web and Graphic Design Resource

Smashing Magazine is a resource for web designers and graphic designers who design on the web. It feautures hundreds of tutorials on CSS, HTML templates, resources on good design, links to well designed portfolios, that will inspire you and get you out of your creative rut.

The site is worth checking out, and I'm keeping it bookmarked on this blog so that I can refer to it in the future. For us animators and visual fx freaks who don't have that much design or web mileage, this is for you. I check the site often to stay updated as the web changes like water, you never know when your site will need a cool design upgrade.

Paul T., thanks for sharing, this resource is awesome.

Fire it up!

02 June, 2009

"Evolution of Technology" - Animation

This piece came up in class this week and is all agree, that it is extremely exceptional. It was created for Saturn Technologies, a German electronics retailer and from what I had found was put together by a group called BLR (Big Lazy Robot) and Furia, a Barcelona based VFX firm. What's cool, is that it looks as though BLR found work on the Transformers Movie too, good job guys.

The piece is carried by a clever concept that is well executed. It has great lighting, texturing, slick animal animation and superb water dynamics (bubbles). The colors, mood and overall look and feel add to the intensity created through this unique concept of evolution where only the strong survive. When you get a chance, try to watch this in HQ, its worth it.

Hey Isaac, thanks for sharing and the heads up!

Fire it UP and Enjoy!