Not new, but new to me, this is Greg Nicotero’s short newsreel style film about the shocking truth behind the monster movies of decades past, in which the monsters were working for scale. In scale. in a full-scale Hollywood talent agency that barely trained them, shot them full of tranquilizers at the end of each scene, and usually managed to feed them without losing an arm and a leg.
Nicotero’s the special effects makeup designer behind AMC’s The Walking Dead, and he’s one of the criminal masterminds behind KNB EFX Group (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the Syfy Dune, and so on).
Honestly, this is pretty much what I figure was really going on. It must have been pretty difficult. You only get one take for the Wolfman scene!
Next week, Autodesk will be releasing its free photo to 3D application Photofly. This video shows how it works. You’ll see they’re getting pretty respectable results without a sophisticated camera setup, so that it’s possible to take all the photographs for a building model by simply walking around the building, or of a head by moving around the person and taking pictures from a variety of angles without any kind of carousel for the subject or a fixed array of cameras.
The system uses a local Windows application called the Photo Scene Editor to assemble all the reference pictures and submit them to Autodesk’s servers for processing. Within the editor you can make some changes to your geometry based on entered measurements. Some amount of cleanup is also possible in the Editor. You can see more about the Editor’s features in the video below.
Any system for 3D digitizing gives you some crazy topology that has to be cleaned up. In earlier studio systems this was always combined with way too much geometry; here you can see that the triangular polygons, whose numbers are comparatively restrained, are still constructed with a bit of eccentricity.
The environmental models could probably be used as-is: the same goes for static props. But for character work you’d really need to retopologize the model so it’d animate well.
As I’ve watched these (and some other demos), I’ve been thinking about how well this might work for digitizing costume bits, clothing, and even plants – naturally draped and shaped objects that are difficult to create with polygon modeling. I think the possibilities for clothing and costume parts are especially interesting, given how many steampunk fans go completely mad with their costume work. Neat!
There’s recently been a lot of interest in adapting Microsoft’s Kinect into homebrewed 3D digitizing systems: but this, which is first of all free, and secondly requires only a digital camera, looks awfully promising. I guess we’ll find out in a week or so at the Photofly site.
While The Lair of the Clockwork Book isn’t exactly headed off into the sunset, I am just now finishing the last illustration for its upcoming story; you’ll be seeing the new pages over a sixteen week period starting in early June. I’m really pleased with this new series of illustrations and, naturally enough, I hope that you will be, too.
Over the next week I’ll be entering the story data for those weeks’ worth of updates and I plan to revisit two of the pictures that I still think could be made a bit better.
This second series will begin to appear (on schedule!) on June 2. But I’m not quite done in there yet because before I can rewire my brain for Part Two of The Toaster With TWO BRAINS I need to make sure that the Clockwork Book buffer is around 32 updates ahead of what’s appeared so far on the site. In a Zenolike bit of scheduling, that’s a moving target: the longer it takes me to fill the buffer, the longer I have to keep at it because the pages are updating as I go. I do expect to catch up to the tortoise before the middle of June. But then I’m no Achilles, am I?
I’m just two illustrations away from completing the next story for The Lair of the Clockwork Book. Okay, make that one-and-a-somethingth illustrations: my computer’s rendering away as I type this.
I’m still not really on schedule; I’ve got a dozen or so more to do before I’ve got enough pages in my buffer that I’ll be able to go back to The Toaster With TWO BRAINS. But I think I’ve made up some of the time I lost when I took about a week each to do two (yep, two) of these pictures. I’m not completely sure why that happened… but there were technical problems, stubborn lighting issues, and what all, which in this case meant that I got ill for a few days in the middle of everything. Those two pictures could be the whole reason I’m running late.
In fact, I want to go back and rework two more before they start to go live at the Thrilling Tales site. Next week will be a busy one, though I realize that doesn’t actually mean it’ll be different from, say, this week.
This won’t show at all to you, of course. It just means that I’ll stick with the Clockwork Book for a bit longer than I’d planned in this part of the schedule, for however long it takes for me to get 32 pages ahead of what’s been published at the site.
As far as what you can see of The Lair of the Clockwork Book, we’re nearly through the story of Osgood Finnegan (which is the first story of Osgood Finnegan, as you’ll see later). I rewrote large parts of that one just before I added it to the site and I’m still a little worried about the fact that it’s different in tone… for reasons that are quite necessary, but which still worry me a little. I’ll feel a little more comfortable when we get started on the one pictured here since it’s back in the "present" of 2039, where I feel a little more at home.