Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sketchup Modeler; Fight Night

Its going to be a while before I invest in 3dExchange 4 so I'm still working my way through various sketchup models.  One of my favorite modelers is IDW (Ian west) who has a varied array of high quality models good for all your sketchup needs.  Vintage Televisions, The S.S. Enterprise or Millineum Falcon, gates, street and railroad segments, cartoony wizards quarters, military barracks and bunks, bathtubs and a lot of main street urban buildings from his often used warehouse to this very cool lawyer office.  Even if you don't have a specific idea when you go looking through his models you might have one when you leave.

Heres a good version of Nemo's Nautilus for your League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie (hey part 2 of Century gets released soon I believe).  Then there's this unbelievable rendition of Edward Cooper's Nighthawks by jedicharles who also makes some pretty nifty futuristic transportation models (among other things).  You really should download it just to see it in 3d.  Very impressive.   I wish more people would recreate famous artworks.  Well, heres Hegel's Holiday (Magritte), and heres an attempt at Dali's Persitance of Memory.  Would love to see a 3d version of Guernica.  When I first started using Iclone I made a crappy sketchup version of Picasso's Guitar Model and slapped together a little scene.  Perhaps I should revisit it one day and see if its salvageable/watchable.  My own sketchup abilities are rudimentary to say the least but I manage (well I manage to get a one star review...hehe).  Well not much of interest here but my balloon model (all from scratch) gets some hits.  Its all just stuff I made for specific instances.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

And heres a recent Shorpy entry that I love.  Such magnificent mustaches and machismo.   Click it (or here) for the HiRes version.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Barcelona Redux, Flat Cars, Kickass Ripoff

As promised a ways back, heres a few shots from Barcelona.  Roman columns hidden within the city, buscars at Park Guel, me outside Sagrada Familiar, Mrsbiz in the Gothic Quarter.


Heres a quick shot from sketchup of an idea I was playing with.  More in the vein of the 2D/3D "sleeper" with the design a bit inspired from some stills at Cartoon Modern (see previous post).  Will have to put this away for a while while I try to get MotAA finished up by the July deadline (as a possible entry to the Reallusion Sci-Fi contest) but Im posting it here as a reminder for later.

Keeping to my usual all over the map motif, I went to see KickAss this weekend.  Fun play on comic book movies.  Production values looked a bit TV (video) to me but the story was fun, constantly and defiantly contradicting itself and it contained enough black humor to keep things lively.  However, I was disappointed to see a particular painting used in a key locale.  The print is of Andy Warhol's "Gun" which depicts the snub nose 22 pistol that Valerie Solanas used to shoot him in 1968.  The painting works well in the set.  My appointment stems from the fact I included this very same print in a set of "Monsters..." I shot 2 days before seeing the movie.  Arg!  The painting is prominent enough in Kickass that when you see it in my flick you would probably recognize it and think it was inspired by the movie, which it was not.  To re-shoot or to leave be...that is the question.  Sigh.

Also saw The Hangover this weekend.  Amusing but perhaps overhyped and as a result not as funny as I had hoped (though the rainman tribute was inspired).  In contrast to Kickass though this one looked very polished.  Lush, dark and glossy.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cartoon Modern and Transportation Future

Heres a fascinating Blog that ran for about 3 years called Cartoon Modern (which also served to promote the Cartoon Modern book).  It highlights the animation and design styles of the 1950's.  From Mary Blair to Tom Oreb theres a boatload of cool stuff here.  The blog then seems to have moved to Tumbler with a daily(ish) still shot.  I could spend a lot of time reading through this stuff.  Take a look see if you gots the time (below is a still from Ward Kimbal's Adventures in Music:Melody - 1953 and Mary Blair's concept for "The Little House" which reminds me of the Blade Runner Concept even further below).

Another interesting man of style (futurist) is Syd Mead, famous for his concept designs for Blade Runner, Tron and a host of others.  I wasn't familiar with Mead till read about the NVArt5 competition on the myclone blog this morning.  Cool competition.  An even cooler guy.  Run a google image search on him and you will find more than a little bit of super stylish futuristic design (like this concept still from blade runner below).  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Google Earth as AnyMation Tool?

Am I off in thinking that Google Earth would be a pretty useful tool for some anymation projects?  Pretty cool camera control, path creation and the ability to import sketchup models (your own or someone elses) into your local version of the software.  The free version could be screen captured for use in a host of scenarios from flying (superhero, plane, ect) to boating to perhaps a fly in intro (greenscreen or video textures).  The level of detail for some of the larger urban areas is fun and impressive (see Manhattan as an example).  The pay version (300$) allows you to record as wmv.  Oh, and theres a fun flight simulator built into the free version.  Admittedly, you probably wont be doing any walk-throughs as it often loses its effectiveness up close (though the topography for natural sites is pretty solid).  

And even if you dont come up with any movie ideas, its a very cool tool to explore locales you might never otherwise see in 3d (Grand Canyon for example).  Might want to be careful about the TOS though if your using it for a project.


Vegas Baby!  Vegas!

Hoover Dam

The Grand Canyon

London Eye

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New York Destroyed by 1980s Video Games

Nice!  I especially like the tetrisized buildings and the overall effects.  I would wonder about the budget but always feel cheated by the answer (for instance a production that supposedly is made on no budget or 5-10K by someone who possesses many of the required skills to pull something like this off would cost the average unskilled person - say a producer - 50K to pay the talent).  Just a thought.  Feels a little in the same vein as Panic Attack.  A fine view.

Uploaded by onemoreprod. - Independent web videos.

Further, looking at inspiration for Monsters of the Atomic Age materials and came across this excellent movie poster for my favorite Andy Griffith flick (coutesy of "If Charlie Parker were a Gunslinger..."'s Art of Cinema series.).  Mmmmm, bourbon, sin and blood.  Also really love the shot of the outstreched hands of Lonesome Jones across America.  If you've never caught A Face in the Crowd its well worth adding to your netflix queue.  Some sort of premonition to Network (another 5 star flick) and stars a super evil version of the sheriff of Mayberry.  Big thumbs up.  Was recently thinking about how the "Hudsucker Proxy" is kind of the antithesis of Face in the Crowd (though they both contain that "Going Down" elevator scene).  OK, enough babble.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another Time, Another Place

Just returned from a brief trip to Barcelona.  My first time in Europe.  Good times were had.  Perhaps a picture in the next few days.  

One of more interesting things about the trip was the daily calls to Kid Millions (who stayed home in the able hands of Grandma and Grandpa).  With a 6 hour time difference it was a bit surreal being constantly reminded of how the life I live 98% of the time exists on a totally different time plane.  While me and Mrsbiz are wrapping up a day of sightseeing and getting ready for dinner and drinks, the boy is just getting his day started.  Felt like an alternate reality of sorts.  

Anywho, was great to get out.  Was even better to return.  

And while Im on a completely different subject, three short reviews for movies recently seen.

Alice in Wonderland - Almost managed to be entertaining until the ending came along and absolutely ruined any good will it had managed to build.  If Tim Burton allowed that JarJarBanks moment of stupidity at the end with less protest than than I imagine....well...color me disappointed.  Perhaps he should stick with stop motion and stop employing Mr. Depp (though his wife was solidly amusing as ever).

Sherlock Holmes - Saw it on the plane on a 6" screen about 6" from my face.  Surprisingly enjoyable me thought.  Plot was garbage but characters and scenarios were thoroughly amusing.  Part 2 with a less scoffable storyline?  One can hope.

Public Enemies - Surprisingly boring with characters that failed to engage me in any way.  A long plane ride seemed even longer.  Well at least Johnny didn't dance a jig at the end.