Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a couplah things, pt. 42

1. I take back what I said about Tron Legacy. Not the part where I said I liked it, but the part where I said I didn't know what I'd do differently (I'm working on a new crappy plot synopsis/breakdown). I'm still not completely sure what would be different, BUT I can say for sure that it involves the internet. Also, unattainable goals.

2. Doing "research" oh various coaster car restraints, I can say with 100% certainty that lap bars are definitely the way to go for my roller coaster project based on the 1954 sci fi thriller "THEM!"

(this phase of research has been phenomenally fun)

3. Hats off to the team that designed this ride:


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tron Legacy mini review

I'm currently wired on caffine and can't sleep right now (it's a long story.) so why not be productive AND BLOG? B]

Tonight I saw Tron Legacy

First and foremost, I can't stress how gorgeous Tron Legacy is (see above pic for case and point). If you're going to see it, don't let me build up your expectations too much, but WOW. It's all eye candy. Delicious, delicious eye candy. The visuals are really what carried me through the movie, if anything else, and I can't say that for Avatar, at least for me.

Describing the soundtrack is impossible in family friendly terms, in the good way. Just listen:

Now, I've been reading a lot about the how the plot is boring and the movie is lengthy- these are partially true. At its core, Tron Legacy is an action movie with some father/son action built in. The pacing left something to be desired as well; The beginning of the movie is very action heavy, so when it gets to the middle part, it starts to slow down. Don't get me wrong, the slower stuff is absolutely essential to understanding the plot and the characters (and I loved it.), but the contrast between the balls-to-the-wall action sequences (Did I mention that this movie is gorgeous?) and then the slower middle bit makes it feel lethargic. This, unfortuantely, stretches out to the end as well, which isn't to say that the end is boring, but compared to the beginning, it's slower.

The problem, in my recent-college-grad opinion, is that it hits too hard too fast at the beginning. As a bad analogy, think of it like this:

You're going scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef. The moment you jump in, a huge school of manta rays, great whites, and the legendary Kracken form a school around you and shortly depart, leaving you with the reef. It's not that the reef itself isn't also beautiful, but compared to the sheer excitement of what you just saw, it kind of dampers it a bit.

That's how I felt about Tron Legacy; it's not that the middle and end are boring; they're paced like any other action movie would be. It's just that the opening is so exciting that, in comparison, the middle and end FEEL like they drag.

HOWEVER, having said that, I don't know how I would have done it any differently to make a more solid plot or a more solid pacing. The slower bits are, again, absolutely essential to understanding the world of the grid. The end wraps up everything and our heroes finally confront the villains. Besides maybe extending the conflict/fight at the end to make it more satisfying and add more tension, for all of its problems, I wouldn't change a thing about Tron Legacy. It's not the greatest script/plot in the world (the first Tron had a pretty cheesetastic script/plot as well), but it's still a very good movie.

I am going to see Tron Legacy again, perhaps twice. I rarely want to see movies in theaters more than once, but that's how good I think this movie is.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


So I bought minecraft.

And then the first thing I did (besides get blown to bits by an exploding zombie thingy) was to make myself fashionable. Like the Rocketeer.

(I am such a nerd)

Coming up with this was actually pretty hard, especially that helmet. For those of you that don't know, minecraft's player meshes are pretty much limited to just blocks- you can't actually add on anything on top of it for more detail. Also, textures are limited to a 64 by 32 pixel image, so any notion of details is pretty much out of the window.

texturing for something that small is almost like doing a really low poly model- each pixel counts and needs to display a hundred times more information than a pixel in a higher res image.

But, of course, limitations leads to creativity. Star Wars (the only 3 star wars movies ever made!) came up with some pretty damn ingenious methods to do effects (starfighter animation especially; moving a camera around a stationary object? BRILLIANT!) because they didn't have computers. The most distinct feature of the Rocketeer helmet was the fin; I actually ended up hacking a hair overlay to display the top part of the fin, which makes a huge difference in its sillouette from the front to 3/4 angles

Friday, December 10, 2010

Them! first layout

I can pretty much tell you off the bat that this layout isn't going to work/isn't final, but hey it's a start. I can't quite poinpoint WHY it won't work yet but once I start building the set in 3D I'll have to made changes to the track/path

Oh yeah I also need to calculate how fast this thing is going to go. And how many Gs this thing is going to pull. And if the human body can take those Gs (this is the part where I say "GEE I AM GLAD I PAID ATTENTION DURING MY PHYSICS CLASS!")

Updates are slowing down now because I'm busy juggling work, freelance stuff, lack of life, hopes, dreams, and this adorable baby image

Seriously look at that baby

Thursday, December 2, 2010

take a break and paint something

So I've been animating/illustrating for about 10 hours today. I decided to take a break and paint something

seriously what is wrong with my brain