UNSW Atoll, DCS09, SL and the iPhone

The Digital Computation Studio (DCS09) students are creating all manner of dramatic spaces in Second Life now at the UNSW Atoll. Things started out with a 'paper city' the students are in the midst of defining their region and then will then bring their own piece of that to life.

Here is the SLURL if you want to check out the fun:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/UNSW%20Atoll/136/136/26

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The idea of running Second Life on the iPhone seems like a cool idea. Though there isnt any way to do this in any native kinda way. There are folk working on other ways like this one covered on Tech Digest:


Avril Sketching

Here are a heap more of the Avril the Yawnosaur character sketches destined to go on the walls in the short film. Here you will find odd foliage of various sorts, the Stompadon, the Poposaurususes, the Pteranoscreech and the Yawnosaur herself.


Clouds and Reality vs CG

I came via this image via Twitter (thanks Tom O'Reilly) showing some pretty amazing cloud formations, see the article on WIRED. Apart from it being a very cool piece of meteorology it highlights for me that clouds are one of the key things I think peoples idea in their heads of what they look like is very narrow compared to actual reality. Thus I feel clouds are something that you probably need to play safe with in a CG environment to not have the viewer questioning their reality...


[Stunning cloud formation, photo via WIRED]


SW TOP Creation of Coruscant

MMORPG.com have a nice interview with the creative team working on the Star Wars: The Old Republic game. They work through the design and implementation of the vast city world of Curoscant and we even see some shots of them generating the world in some kind of editor.


3D screens

Looking further at 3D screens and technologies, things are hotting up. Panasonic's 50" 3D screen looks pretty good and is really showing that this tech is coming for us all. Engadget's look at the TV seems positive and has more pics of it doing 3D fun.


[Panasonic 50" 3D tv via Engadget]

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Actually, for more info on the fun at Japan's CEATEC show, lets let Switched's Tom Similjan do the deed: VIDLINK
Oh and check the nice video showing off the 155" scalable Mitsubishi screen.


Avril Shooting

Principle shooting for Avril the Yawnosaur was last night and was a fascinating process for us, working with script, lighting, cameras and our two actors - great work Peter and Alicia. I took the Video Construction course knowing it would be out of my comfort zone and teaching me alot and that is very true.

v8 of the script worked like a charm, the only real change being that reaching to Avril's forehead at the end was too far, so we went with stroking her hand...

I am busily creating more dino-creature sketches while the team are capturing and compiling the footage. I will start working more on the audio track now, as it is a critical element of the piece.

I should have grabbed some stills of the shoot - that was silly of me.


3D camera for us all

I have been looking at how to get some decent 3D stereoscopic viewing for our games and imagery and thus have been referring to the excellent resources on the subject at Meant to be Seen. The site has details on all manner of current technologies and options for viewing in 3D today. One of the recent articles was on Fuji's new consumer stereoscopic still and video camera!


[images of the Fuji FinePix Real 3D W1 via the FujiFilm site]

There are reviews and writeups for this very cool looking piece of kit all over the place as it is certainly garnering some attention. Stereo imaging is hotting up off the backs of some big films like Monsters vs Aliens and the juggernaut that is Avatar. More info on the Fuji FinePix Real 3D W1 S-3D Camera at: FujiFilm, DPReview, dphotojournal and the enthusiasm at GIZMODO.


Avril the Yawnosaur Script v8

Well here is the current edit for Avril the Yawnosaur. Principal shooting is tomorrow night and having not done this before, I am really looking forward to it.

Avril the Yawnosaur (v8)

By

Graham Hannah
(With Kylie, Olivia and Ying)

INT.WIRK_FRONT_ROOM

MID FROM INSIDE OF FRONT DOOR AT NIGHT

Darren Wirk enters from outside in business suit, carrying
folders and papers while talking on his mobile phone. He
dumps a pile on cabinet beside door.

DARREN
(frustrated)
Ok, ok ... fine ... I’ll be back in
the office soon.

Darren looks upset at phone as he hangs up emphatically.

OPENING TITLE

GOKY Pictures

Avril the Yawnosaur

INT.AVRILS_BEDROOM

WIDE: ESTABLISHING SHOT OF BED AND AVRIL

Avril is listening, hearing her father’s footsteps, bringing
up her bedside light slowly.
Darren enters.

AVRIL
Daddy, you’re back.

DAD
Hi Little one, are you still awake?

Dad moving to the bed.

AVRIL
I couldn’t sleep

Dad sits on the edge of the bed, shifting a fluffy toy

CUTTING NOW BETWEEN TWO CHARACTERS MID AND CLOSE-UP

AVRIL
Can you tell me a story?

DAD
really??

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: 2.

AVRIL
please, the Yawnosaur one.

DAD
(smiling)
ah, ok then.

Avril nestles down and Dad tells the story with facial
animation, actions (sound effects are layered on as effects)

As the story is told, cartoon sketch-like images of the
creatures appear and move about on the walls of the room -
showing Avril’s imagination playing out there.

DARREN
Lets see, on this very night,
little Avril the Yawnosaur just
couldn’t get to sleep. There were
lots wierd noises in the jungle
made by an equally strange array of
creatures.

There were the thundering footsteps
of the gigantic hairy Stompadon,
stomping around looking for his
comb.

The loving pair of Poposaurususes
were singing to each other in their
’special’ way - leaves being popped
from the trees.

But it was the Pteranoscreech
swooping and squealing high above
the jungle canopy that really kept
her awake.
Pteranoscreeches learn to
squawk to each other by scraping
their claws on blackrocks. By the
sound of it, this one had done lots
of practice.

Avril yawned

YAAWN

Avril joins in for each yawn automatically.

DARREN
As she suspected, nothing changed,
nothing worked for her in class
either and she wasn’t any closer to
sleeping.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: 3.

This time she closed her eyes,
looked into her heart and did a
huge yawn.

YAAAAAWN

For a moment things seemed the
same, but then Avril heard the
sound of the huge Stompadon
nestling down to sleep ... no more
stomping.

Avril then heard a strange pooooop
sound as the Poposaurususes also
drifted off to sleep and no more
leaves fell around her.

Then, just when things seemed
peaceful, the jungle was split by
that horrid screech. How all the
other creatures could sleep at all,
Avril didnt kn...

Darren’s phone vibrates next to him.
The sketch creatures on the wall fade.
Darren looks at the phone and quickly rejects the call.
The sketch creatures return to full strength and Darren
continues, trying to ignore the interruption.

DARREN
Soooo, little Avril still couldn’t
sleep, but she had somehow found a
new inner strength.

The Pteranoscreech was far far
away, so she gave a wriggle to get
ready and let out the biggest yawn
the jungle would ever see.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAWN

Whew, with her head now resting on
her mossy pillow she listened hard
for the sound of the Pteranoscreech
- feeling sleepier and sleepier.

Avril looking contented - closing eyes, Dad talking more
quietly.

DAD
The jungle was now quiet, no more
stomps, pops or screeching could be
heard and little Avril dreamed of
yawning, lots of yawning.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: 4.

Dad slides a loose hair across Avril’s forehead

DAD
(whispering)
sweet dreams my little creature.

CREDITS

FADE AWAY (BACKING MUSIC CONTINUES)

CLOSE UP: DARREN’S PHONE JUST VISIBLE NESTLED AMONGST THE
FLUFFY TOYS.

CREDITS ROLL PAST OVER THE SHOT

INT.AVRILS_BEDROOM

The cartoon Pteranoscreech plummets to the ground with a
thud, still sleeping soundly :-)


Video Construction

We are in the home stretch for our COFA course. We got some positive feedback in the tute for Avril the Yawnosaur and with principle shooting on Saturday, things are in full swing.

The lecture was fun as always, looking at Genres this time, with plenty of time spent on the Western in all its forms and derivations. I do like a good western, so I was having a great time and we finished up looking at comedy and how hard it is. I did chuckle at the Monty Python sketch where the two documentary hosts are fighting over the one microphone (is that car sequence real??)

Here is the trailer for Westworld from 1973, cool Sci Fi Western from my youth...


Autodesk Roadshow Event

I spent much of today at one of Autodesk's Media and Entertainment roadshow events where we had talks, demos and presentations from a range of industry professionals and Autodesk guys. There were demos of the 2010 versions of Mudbox, Motionbuilder, Matchmover and bits from Maya Composite etc along the way.
There were very cool presentations from Rising Sun Pictures, IMAGI and ILM all showing the amazing things that can be done with the Autodesk suite these days. I liked some of the stats from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Some of their frames took them 72 hours of render-time, but a modern home PC would have taken 16,000 years to render off the whole film. Apart from Transformers we were treated to breakdowns from a whole host of films including Astroboy, Australia, Terminator Salvation and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Plus, need to check out Project Dragonfly and Project Newport.


ATI Multi-Displays

Just a quick post to keep an eye on ATI and their graphics solutions as well as the NVIDIA guys. The new Eyefinity multi-display technology seems like a completely sensible thing for graphics hardware to deal with for us - good stuff.

Read more: Hardocp, Vizworld, FiringSquad, Vizworld again.


UNSW SL Atoll growing

The UNSW Second Life island (UNSW Atoll) has a 'paper-based' city for the Digital Computation Studio students to work within. They have been generating form from metaphor, rules, patterns and are starting to explore ideas on the site in their precinct groups.

Hopefully the island will be open soon and people can browse around their current creations and the script empowered ones to come in the next few weeks.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit on DVD

Dating way back now to 1988, Spielberg and Zemeckis' Who Framed Roger Rabbit has fond memories for me. There are some classic little bits, from the cartoon gun, Jessica and I always loved the way Dr Doom says "maniacal toon vehicle".

The integration of the 2D animation and live action is not perfect, but is it still great. I have some special features to watch now as well, that should be fun. The kids seemed to enjoy it, though the plot is actually kinda complex for the younger audience. With the complexity of how a will works, and lotsa references to things like prohibition etc etc.

It is very cool, that they got Disney and WB to allow all their characters to appear. Check the interview on AWN with some of the key animation guys for the 20th anniversary of the film.


Yawnosaur Plants

Here are a few sketches of the type of plant that will go in the walls around the various creatures like Avril the Yawnosaur...



Yawn Sketches

I spent some time already today doing a suite of new sketches for the walls of the Avril the Yawnosaur piece. I did a range, including plants and such, but here are two of little Avril.

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Also found time to watch Monsters vs Aliens on DVD (not ours), so much fun and overflowing with references as are all these Dreamworks films. Tempted to get it on Blu-Ray...


iPhone Projectors


[Mili Evolution iPhone Projector via Pico-Projectors]

I do like a gadget and one of the new set that is starting to appear are some very cool little iPhone projectors. The MiLi Evolution Mini Power Projector is perhaps the most exciting, it is not only pretty, but the seems to have some nice specs for something soo teensie. See info on Engadget and Pico-Projectors.


[Mili Evolution iPhone Projector via Engadget]

There are others though like this one via iPhone0Wiki which certainly looks gorgeous as well.


[Mili Evolution iPhone Projector via Pico-Projectors]

While we are at it, lets do a video of another:

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Baby projectors arent only for the iPhone of course, check out the Pico-Projectors site for a heap more micro goodness. Hopefully I will get a chance to play with something mini and projectorish sometime soon. One that caught my eye on City-Software was the Aiptek T20...


Avril the Yawnosaur Script v6

Well, our group got a solid critique last night. So that prompted a revised script that is now being reviewed. This version is dripping with symbolism and the father's work/life balance struggle. The full thing is now just over 4 pages and thus can be well under 5 mins unless we take our time in places which is also good. If this gets lotsa thumbs-up then I will try and get some amount of storyboarding done. There is still scope for adding in more of the story narrative from v4 and v5 if we need it.

Avril the Yawnosaur (v6)

By

Graham Hannah
(With Kylie, Olivia and Ying)

INT.WIRK_FRONT_ROOM

MID FROM INSIDE OF FRONT DOOR AT NIGHT

Darren Wirk enters from outside in business suit, carrying
folders and papers while talking on his mobile phone. He
dumps a pile on cabinet beside door.

DARREN
(frustrated)
Ok, ok, I’ll be back in soon then

Darren looks at watch

OPENING TITLE

GOKY Pictures

Avril the Yawnosaur

INT.AVRILS_BEDROOM

WIDE: ESTABLISHING SHOT OF BED AND DOORWAY

Darren Entering, Avril bringing up her bedside light slowly.

AVRIL
Daddy, you’re back.

DAD
Hi Little one, are you still awake?

Dad moving to the bed.

AVRIL
I couldn’t sleep

Dad sits on the edge of the bed, shifty a fluffy toy

CUTTING NOW BETWEEN TWO CHARACTERS MID AND CLOSE-UP

AVRIL
Can you tell me a story?

DAD
really??

AVRIL
please, the Yawnosaur one.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: 2.

DAD
(smiling)
ah, ok then.

Avril nestles down and Dad tells the story with facial
animation, actions (sound effects are layered on as effects)

As the story is told, cartoon-like images of the creatures
appear and move about on the walls of the room - showing
Avril’s imagination playing out there.

DARREN
Lets see, on this very night,
little Avril the Yawnosaur just
couldn’t get to sleep. There were
lots wierd noises in the jungle
made by an equally amazing array of
creatures. But it was the
Pteranoscreech swooping and
squeeling high above the jungle
canopy that kept her awake.

She knew that Pteranoscreeches
learned to talk to each other over
vast distances by scraping their
claws on blackrocks. By the sound
of it, this one had done lots of
practice.

Avril knew that yawning should help
her. She always felt she had a
talent for it, but just couldn’t
ever get it right in class.

But, she gave yawning a try

YAAWN

Avril joins in for each yawn automatically.

DARREN
As she suspected, nothing changed.
She wasnt any closer to sleeping.

This time she closed her eyes,
looked into her heart and did a
huge yawn.

YAAAAAWN

For a moment things seemed the
same, but then Avril heard the
sound of the gigantic hairy
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: 3.

DARREN (cont’d)
stompadon nestling down to sleep,
no more stomping.

Then the strange popping noises
from high up the trees stopped as
well. The Poposaurususes must have
gone to sleep.

Then, just when things seemed
peaceful, the jungle was split by
that horrid screech. How all the
other creatures could sleep at all,
Avril didnt kn...

Darren’s phone vibrates, ringing softly. Avril looks
deflated and the cartoon imagery fades. Darren looks at his
pocket, cant face his daughter ... long pause (quiet but
screechy audio) ... he breathes hard ... looks up resigned
but silences his phone without even looking at it.

Avril smiles and the cartoons return.

DARREN
Soooo, Avril still couldnt sleep,
but she had somehow found a new
inner strength. The Pteranoscreech
was far far away, so she gave a
wriggle and let out the biggest
yawn the jungle would ever see.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAWN

She was exhausted now, with her
head on her mossy pillow she
listened for the sound of the
Pteranoscreech - feeling sleepier
and sleepier.

Avril looking contented - closing eyes, Dad talking more
quietly.

DAD
The jungle was now quiet, no more
stomps, pops or screeching could be
heard and little Avril dreamed of
yawning, lots of yawning.

Dad slides a loose hair across Avril’s forehead

DAD
(whispering)
sweet dreams my little creature.

4.

CREDITS

FADE AWAY (BACKING MUSIC CONTINUES)

CLOSE UP: WASTE-PAPER BIN WITH DARRENS PHONE IN IT.

CREDITS ROLL PAST WITH BIN IN SHOT

INT.AVRILS_BEDROOM

The cartoon Pteranoscreech plummets to the ground with a
thud, still sleeping soundly :-)


Yawnosaur Pitch and Wilhelm Screams

Our class all pitched their treatments for their various video projects that will all come together over this last 3 weeks of the session. As expected there were an interesting array of ideas and many technical and narrative complications for everyone to deal with.

Tom was pretty hard on everyone I think, making sure that we all see the problems that are before us. We are exploring a few changes to the script now and there will be a further update in the next day or so.

The lecture was all about sound in film which was great, I particularly liked the little reference to Blazing Saddles and the band in the desert. That said, the funniest bit was the Wilhelm Scream - lets let the video speak for itself:

Another vid covering the history of the Wilhelm Scream.

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Plus for those interested in following up a little on Tom Ellard our lecturer, check out his Wikipedia entry or his own site and blog.