Got bored, made a wallpaper

Hey all,

 

got a little bored on a Saturday arvo, took twenty minutes to make a HD wallpaper for my favourite dub artist, Skrillex.

1920x1200 Wallpaper of the Skrillex Logo

1920x1200 Wallpaper of the Skrillex Logo

Simple, but I like it.
The background needs work, but for now it’ll do.

 

-B

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Modelling: Hand

Hey all!

Over the past 2 days I followed this great tutorial series on youtube by Andrew Klein, showing how to model a basic polygon hand. I finished these, and the product currently looks like this:

This is only stage one though, as next I’m going to drag the hand through Mudbox to edit the fine details and paint it. Stay tuned for realism.

-B

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Maya: Simple Gear Cog

Hey all!

Modelled a polygon gear cog today, and rendered a few stills of it:

This was mostly an exercise in lighting and rendering. I put a HDRI map over the gear, so that it reflects a set image (rather than just the elements around it in physical space). Very handy for creating a sense of atmosphere without modelling everything that’s not even going to be in the shot anyway.

Oh yeah, I put a Depth of Field lens on the camera, to make the background elements blur out, much more realistic when rendering stills.

Many thanks to CreativeCrash for providing this tutorial.

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Maya: Screwdriver

Hey all!

Been getting into Autodesk Maya again lately, today I modelled a screwdriver. I took a few renders, here they are:

Besides flaring my interest in modelling again, this exercise did help me realise that I need practice with my lighting and rendering skills. The plastic handle should be more transparent and cast color light on the ground, the metal should be more reflective of its surroundings, and the shadow should be more diffused/less pronounced.

Thanks to creativecrash.com for creating this tutorial.

-B

Posted in Maya, Modelling | 1 Comment

Review: ‘Funny People’ (2009)

I watched this movie yesterday after hearing a lot of good things about it. I cuddled myself up in bed, put the movie on, and prepared myself for a few hours of laughs.

What I should have prepared for was a 146-minute bipolar tragedy.

Don’t get me wrong, the first hour of the movie had me laughing, and I really liked the whole ‘average Joe meets his hero and they form a special relationship’ thing it had going on. Unfortunately, that was the problem. Somewhere around the sixty minute mark, the film suddenly turned into the story of Adam Sandlers’ character trying to reconcile his mistakes with the love of his life before he dies. At this point I thought ‘Oh OK, he’ll get back together with her and everyone will learn a valuable life lesson before he dies.’ But no, if only it was that simple.

The film just dragged on and on towards the end, pouring more conflicts onto the already overflowing pile of issues the film was supposed to be addressing. First Adam Sandler was the good guy who wants to save his woman from the evil cheating husband, but then we find out the husband’s actually a decent bloke who really loves his family, thus making Sandler look like a total jerk. Then we get Seth Rogen’s character interfering, causing problems between the two. In the end, all three wind up on a backyard having a 3 way boxing-slash-therapy session, of which the only decent outcome would be if all three walked away happily into the sunset to get a sundae, or if they all died.
Instead, we get the family being left as it was, Sandler walking away without his woman, and the conflict between Rogen and Sandler still raging. Goodie, this means we get another fifteen minutes before they solve their differences! (/sarcasm)

To sum up the narrative I would advise picturing a four year old taking the square peg and ramming it into the round hole: They shouldn’t go together, and even if you make them fit, the result doesn’t look pretty.

This film did have some funny parts, but the way over-used ball jokes, terrible story, and references to Seth Rogen’s penis makes this film a forgettable endeavour. I’ll give this film a disappointing 2/5 stars, and if you MUST watch this movie, I would advise having the remote handy and pressing stop right around the point where they play the peanut butter game.

Seriously.

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Review: ‘Moon’ (2009)

Moon, directed by virtually-unknown director Duncan Jones, is a story of isolation, loneliness, and self-reflection. In a futuristic world where most of the Earth’s energy is harvested from radiation-soaked rocks on the moons bright side, we are shown the closed world of one Sam, the only inhabitant of the moon base. It sounds like a lonely life, and from what we see, it is. Sam spends most of his free time building models and talking to his AI buddy.

The film is very imaginative, taking a unique angle on the future of technology and man, but it is very derogatory of many science fiction pieces that have come before it. The boldest example is the re-imagining of 2001′s HAL, who in this film is, believe it or not, a friendly AI. It goes by the name GERTY, and resembles HAL both in the monotonous voice, and the intrusive, all-seeing single-lens ‘eye’. In Moon, GERTY has the ability to physically interact with the base by way of a robotic arm, a feature which to me makes him even more threatening than HAL. However, the AI is not the bad guy here. This makes a nice change of pace, even though I was waiting until the very end of the film for a twist where the AI kills everyone and reveals its secret motives, but I suppose that’s just years of anti-technology-film experience.

The only real character shown in the film is Sam, recently-single loner who signed a three year contract to work on the moon base. Sam Rockwell does a terrific job of showing this character’s isolation and social-awkwardness.

The only real downside to this film is that it drags on a little, and the story could have been pushed together a tad. I realise that the slow progression is a statement about life on the moon, and maybe this viewer is just an easily-distracted product of Gen Y, but the film did have a sluggish feel to it. However, don’t let that deter you; Moon is definitely worth watching, and worth watching again.

In an age where legitimate AI is becoming a reality, and the notion of self is becoming irrelevant, Moon actually has quite a bit to say. Jones does a fantastic job of isolating the audience right there on the surface with Sam. Between the ethical implications, the consistent tone, and the imagery of space, I’d give this one 4/5 moons.

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Review: ‘Vanilla Sky’ (2001)

I must admit, I went into Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky skeptically, partially due to my preconceived notions of it being a strange and ridiculous film, and partially due to my previous dislike of Tom Cruise. I had low hopes for this film. Let me sum up my current views for this film in one sentence:

IT WAS FANTASTIC.

Vanilla Sky is one of those ultra-rare films which:

a) Is intelligent,
b) Needs to be watched more than once,
c) Leaves you guessing until the very end, and
d) Leaves you thinking long after it finishes.

I have only seen a few films like this in my time on this Earth, such as Fight Club (1999) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). If you liked either of those films, you should definitely check this one out.

I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that in the surreal world of David (Cruise), nothing is as it seems as a man struggles with his past and his reality.

The film tends to jump around a bit, showing two different timelines for the same character simultaneously, but is done fantastically. I would advise paying particular attention to the sound also, as it is a crucial part of the plot’s overall structure, and clues can be heard throughout the films (as well as a few cheeky winks regarding the truth).

Crowe does what so few directors aim to do thesedays: create something original, which challenges the viewer to think about it. Tragically, most films are fated to suit the general population who, for the most part, are idiots. This film does not. If you do not fully grasp this film (and believe me, you’ll be left in thought when the credits roll) then watch it again.

Here I would try to think of any elements of the film which I dislike, but honestly, I can’t. The most obvious would be it’s open-for-interpretation narrative, but frankly, I love that. Film is about expression, about art, and Crowe has that in spades. If your the kind of person who likes to really think about films, rather than have the plot spoon-fed to you, then give this one a watch.

I’d happily give Vanilla Sky 4.5/5 stars, and trust me when I say it’s definitely worth watching.
Twice.

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