I stumbled across an article just before Christmas over at Newsweek (via Slashfilm) which detailed an exchange between Peter Jackson and James Cameron on their film-making and their use of CG in particular. It is most definitely worth the read. Cameron makes a comment that given the opportunity to introduce an increased amount of CG into his 1997 epic - he would, rather than the extensive sets that were used in places. This is all hindsight of course.

Apart from this and a discussion over using makeup v. cg there is an interesting little note that Jackson makes mention of that the loss of the smaller independent distributors is affecting the film industry. Especially in the way of producing a medium budget film and the problem with the fact that the industry is producing blockbuster after blockbuster and it is almost irrelevant if it is a quality film.

Anyway, check out the article. It's well worth it.


Portfolio site V8.5 has been online for almost a week now. Go and check it out at With this complete and fully functional I have finally been able to move on from that (revisiting for the occasional update) to working on some vfx for my new showreel. You know, the sort of stuff that I have saying and been meaning to do for the past 4 years whilst at uni but when it comes to doing it my inspiration wavers to the point of non-existance. Uni Holidays will do that to you. So I spent a bit of time scouring through old backups of projects, both uni and personal - looking for things that need starting/finishing/touching up. One that I am focusing on at the moment is a re-envisioning of Nick and my zombie short film disaster 'Perennial' from first semester 3rd Year (2008). I was abysmally disappointed by the project, possibly due to a combination of my not taking charge as I possibly should have and letting Nick take the reigns. Mind you, I am equally at fault as he is. So you could call what I am now doing MY version of one of the scenes. Mind you, the footage isn't the ideal for this sort of work. Nor are the actor's non-existant makeup.

A brief history; Perennial originnaly appeared as a rotoscoped piece with digital backgrounds insterted and lighting added later on. It turned out ok, but not fantastic in my books. So here I am nearly 2 years later attempting something that may or may not work with the footage. I am still going to attempt digital backgrounds - which in itself makes my job harder, despite the fact that we filmed in the blue/greenscreen studio down in TV Land at CSU Wagga we were making use of the space opposed to the bluescreen itself. Thus my first hurdle - keying out the background manually using masks is a hug task, and as is attempting to get the optimum "key" from the background as is possible.

Original Footage:

Masked Footage:

So you can see there that I am getting a decent result, but I have no hope of handling that hair better than I have in the above shot. But I think once it's all blended in it may be reasonable. The major issue that I have is that obviously the actors are lacking in the appropriate makeup - due to the rotoscoping there was no reason for us to worry about makeup - time saving back then, painful now. I have a number of options however - go for the 80's Dawn of the Dead style zombies which could be achieved very easily by playing with the saturation and colour balance, or of course there is a bigger transformation that would require essentially frame by frame edits of the actors into zombies via photoshop and some motion tracking. It's not the worst idea in the world, but time-consuming and my aim is to have this completed somewhere in the week of the 11th - 17th of January. Which is also something that may or may not happen with me moving to Sydney on this coming Tuesday. We'll see. I am hoping that the masking of at least these 3 actors will be done before I move - hard push but it could be possible. After that it is a bit more straight forward (in regards to the masking). For those interested here is what the original styling looked like;

This is just one of the things that I am doing in attempts to improve on both my skills and the work that will be shown to potential employers. I am slowly making my way through the VideoCopilot tutes as well, which are great for learning and relearning quickly. We'll see how I go.


I have been trying to type this entry for two days now, and I am at the point that I want to do a few other posts so I really have to get on with this.

I came across an article on Phillip Bloom on Monday night. It was on his recent visit to Skywalker Ranch to demo some camera's to the Lucasfilm crew out there, namely George Lucas, Rick McCallum and Mike Blanchard. The camera's that he was giving the run down on were the Canon 5DmkII and the Canon 7D - but focusing on their potential for use in film as opposed to still photography. As someone who is looking to make a short film over the next 2 years (Master of Arts Practice project) I was very quickly very interested in this article and followed it to Bloom's personal blog which went more in depth into what he did whilst out at the Ranch for 5 days.

Skywalker Ranch from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

It's amazing what can be done with a digital slr, I must say that i was unprepared for the superb quality of the video. No wonder ILM/Lucasfilm are looking into the cameras, moreso Lucasfilm than ILM. Lucasfilm just finished up principle photography on Red Tails and are looking into the cameras for use in shooting some cockpit scenes (WWII Fighters) which sounds as though they are once again moving ahead of the times. The maneuverability within a cockpit with a slr opposed to a full size film camera is of a definite advantage to the film maker - obviously allowing them the freedom for new angles, perspectives and techniques that the physical size of film cameras immediately dismiss. As Bloom mentions in his blog, they are also considering the cameras for some work on the upcoming live-action TV Series; which I am very curious to hear/see more about but that will not be appearing on our radar for a while longer. Obviously the range of the applications for these camera's is of obvious interest to those in the film industry looking to further the techniques of filming, or at least alternative methods.

Following this train of research has given me something to think about in regards to my Master's Short Film. There is an accompanying seminar that is to be written and given in the latter part of the course's duration which focuses on your project and area of focus. I think I will look into new and alternative methods of filming and incorporating visual effects. The specialisation of My Master of Art Practice is Visual Effects, which will focus on digital sets, set extensions and the like.


This looks very cool. A modern (if not futuristic) reimagining of the Alice in Wonderland tale. It intrigues me to see this take on the story in comparison to what Tim Burton's take is shaping up to look like. The story of Alice in Wonderland has always been interesting to me, but as a child I was often drawn to stories which probably were not of much interest to those of my generation.

Things like the Famous Five, which my parents grew up on and thus I was introduced to them, but not only these but stories that I stumbled across on my very own; Robinson Crusoe is one. I really enjoyed the tale of the man shipwrecked on an island with no one but Friday (eventually) accompany him. I heard around this time last year that they were developing a television series and I was very excited for it, but it only started airing in Australia last week i think - and I missed the first episode, so I think I may have to wait for the dvd release. Other than that I was intrigued by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne which is something that I still discuss with my grandmother to this day. In fact we spoke about it when i last saw her a few months ago. The fact that she read the novel when she was young and in that day and age the things described were ridiculous fantasy, whereas now they are fact. It's this reality that makes you wonder whether the space age tales of today will be reality in 60 years, or whether they are too fantastical. We'll just have to wait and see i suppose.


I am working on Version 8.3 of my portfolio as we speak. The current site was always meant to be a placeholder until i finished uni and found the time to create one with my entire portfolio available. That time has come. I actually bought a template and am customising it to suit my needs, which is so much faster than created one from scratch - and right now I just need something up there. Looking back about a year when I had completed Version 1 (which was quickly superseded by consequent versions) it's come a pretty long way. All that there is left to do now is fill out the site with content, which I am in the process of right this moment - it just takes a bit of time sorting through a few years worth of work, making it web friendly and creating some sort of blurb to accompany it. Not that the latter really requires too much anyway.

The plan (as it stands) is to have this site active and online by the end of next week, which is a very attainable goal. The only thing that is really going to slow it down is my moving from Wagga to Young on Monday. So basically I won't be working on the site Sunday/Monday, but there is a reasonable chance that depending on what I am doing in between now and then that it may be completed by then anyway.


A hilariously dark little animated series that I stumbled across today. Very simple models and style, but executed very effectively. The styling and characters remind me of De Blob (Wii). These were created by Studio AKA in London, check out their site. It's pretty damn cool;


I just stumbled across the Animation Reel of a Swedish Studio called Meindbender on Vimeo. They do some pretty wicked stuff.

Meindbender Showreel 2010 from Meindbender on Vimeo.

I was very interested in The Duplicators clips and made a trip over to their website and checked out all their work. I was disappointed to see discover that what I had thought was stop-motion was actually cgi (created to appear stop motion). Knowing that it was created through cgi took away the fascination about how it was done and took a little of the fun out of it. But that's a personal stand point, it remains an awesome example of their work;

The Duplicators - Cartoon Network ID shortie from Meindbender on Vimeo.


I have been looking forward to seeing The Time Traveller's Wife so I was pretty happy to agree to go and see it tonight when Liz messaged me and asked if I wanted to go.

I loved it! Great film, I particularly enjoyed the underplayed nature of the time traveling itself - there was no noise or attention demanding aspect to the travelling. Even the visual effect of Henry's disappearing was in no way gratuitous, it was appropriately understated because of the lack of control that he has - he just simply disappears. I expected the jumping between times to be an unnerving in relation to the storytelling experience for the audience but I did not think that it was, you were very aware of the time in which he was in based off what drew him there and the same was about the other versions of Henry that sometimes visited the 'present'.

Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams made a fantastic on-screen couple; their chemistry was undeniable. The obvious respect and admiration *professionally* that the two actors have for each other is evident throughout the film, and reiterated in interviews that they have done for publicity for the film. My uni degree has made me incredibly critical of the films that I see, but I cannot find fault in this film - both actors performances were fantastic, as was their supporting cast who carried their weight as necessary. The effects were simple and understated, the story was solid - all I have to do now is read the book and see what was understandably lost in the adaptation process.

Oscar-nomination worthy, that is for sure.


It's a sad commentary on our society that nothing can be done face-to-face anymore. I have been sorting out things in preparation for my departure from Wagga Wagga and through this process in the past few days I have discovered that so many things have to be dealt with over the phone. Example, I went into the Telstra shop to sort out my latest bill only to be told that I had to do it over the phone which seems ridiculous. The same happened at fixing some details up with CSU (though this process also included an required a supporting email to be sent) and apparently you cannot make a claim at Centrelink without phoning up first. Its appalling really. Removing the face-to-face contact from such menial tasks such as fixing a phone bill really de-humanises the whole process and creates something that is void of humanity. The only relief from this process is that for the most part it is a real human being that you speak to at the end of the day over the phone, once you wade your way through the murky 'Press 1 for Accounting Services, Press 2 for Human Resources' blah blah that is computer operators. As much of a technocrat that I am and as much as I long for the day when there is artificial intelligence in a large scale capacity, I do not want the human factor to be removed completely from the systems. It is so much easier to talk to someone face-to-face than on the phone, quicker as well.

More Things to Look Forward To!

Continuation of my List;

Tim Burton Exhibition 2010

I went to a PIXAR Exhibit at the ACMI in Melbourne in 2007 with a group of friends, it was amazing. Hopefully the Tim Burton Exhibit will be just as fantastic; it includes personal works and works from the upcoming Alice in Wonderland! I must say i am mostly excited for seeing the stop motion puppets =)


Quick list of trailers of upcoming movies that excite me =)

There's more.. Get back to you later

Points of Interest

Just a quick posts about a few things that are coming up shortly that are of interest of me;

Scrubs Season 9

I still retain uncertainties about the next generation of Scrubs. So far the advertising seems to be taking a sneaky approach. Why is it that all advertising includes a rather large focus on Zach Braff - who is no longer a series regular, nor the main focus of the show and only appearing in 6 episodes of the season. Apparently he will still be receiving the same billing as a series regular. This combined with ABC's apparent refusal to allow the show's producers to alter the name, wanting the Scrubs 'badge' to remain. Is this so that those many many people against the show's continuation would not watch the show without the name? Admittedly i was initially amongst those numbers, i came to the realisation that a true fan of the show accepts change (hopefully for the better).

Assassin's Creed 2

I am looking forward to the 19th of this month. Couple of reasons (refer to following topics) but Assassin's Creed 2 is one of the reasons. My very shiney Black Edition!!!

So far it looks wonderful on all appearances, i have been replaying the first game and i am sincerely hoping that this game is not as repetitive as the the first. Although i would say that the fact the combat system has been worked on and the fact that you can use more than just your sword, knife and quickblade is a relief. A master assassin should be proficient in all forms of combat and weaponry after all.

And of course the addition of being able to swim will make for better gameplay. The frustration that i feel everytime my master assassin cannot perform a simple task such as swimming is reminscent of a similar experience of GTA Vice City. So a screenshot such as this make me very happy;

I have been trying to not research it too much so that there are suprises, screenshots as the one below intrigue me though;

Graphic Design Grad Show

Finally my 4 year tenure at Charles Sturt University is coming to an end. This Grad Show on the 19th will signal the end, which is a relief and yet something that has gone far far too quickly. I'm ready to work though, excited about it even. There's not too much to say about the Grad Show until it's over really. I have pretty much organised the entire thing, organising someone to open the exhibition, the printing of business cards and the grad publication, figuring out the layout of the displayed works etc etc. It has been hectic and after doing a similar thing last year for Multimedia i had hoped to avoid it but unfortunately people relied too much on some else (*me*) doing it.

There is more, so i will continue to update this blog later. And more often! No longer am i as busy so it will be good to be able to get back to blogging.

Sands of Time

Finally there is a Prince of Persia film trailer!

I have been waiting a long time for this, and my impatience has been rising in the past week because all the relevant film sites were reporting that they had seen it and were raving about it. Here it is;

They are obviously taking more inspiration from the Art Direction of Warrior Within and Two Thrones opposed to The Sands of Time - which isnt a bad thing in my mind. I have high hopes for the film; i know its early but it has the potential to succeed on its own, as opposed to 'the game being better'. It seems to retain the key aspects of the legend and story enough to keep fans happy.

Windows 7

I must say that I really REALLY want W7. For my mac, ironically. Boot Camp!!! Soon very soon.

Major Heroes Death?

There has been announcement that one of the original male cast of Heroes will be killed off this season. The question remains who?

Looking at the image above the original male cast was Peter, Nathan, Hiro, Mohinder, Noah, Parkman, Isaac and DL.

When it comes down to it Isaac, DL and Nathan are already gone - despite the fact that Adrian Pasdar remains as Sylar/Nathan Nathan himself is dead. Unless of course they bring him back to life with Claire's blood (something so terribly obvious that they did not do). So let's call Nathan an enigma and throw him into the category of unsolved mysteries.

That leaves Mohinder, Noah, Peter, Parkman and Hiro.

Mohinder is yet to appear in the 4th Season (6 episodes in) which is of interest, but also i they kill him i would not care purely based on his absence going on for so long and his character has fulfilled his original purpose. Parkman is an interesting character, but i would far prefer him to go bad (more bad-ass than his dad did) as opposed to being killed off. I have always said the characters that they will never kill are Peter, Hiro and Claire. But as we all know Hiro is dying aready, is this a case of Charlie in Lost? Build up his death so much that you do not expect it to happen, but it does anyway? I feel that it would result in a similar reaction to Charlie's passing (Lost) - people would actually care if the time traveller was knocked off.

Peter is essentially the main character in an ensemble cast. I do wish his character would regain his original power, whether or not he will remains unanswered. Peter has always been the jack of many trades, master of none. It would be a shame if they killed his character, leaving questions such as the scar unanswered. Yes i know that there is no assurance the scar will ever occur, but both alternate versions of Peter have had the scar. They both also had Peter's original power, opposed to the cheapened replacement. Who knows? I feel like the scar is inevitable, every time there is something that could plausibly give it to him it quirks my interest. He obviously has to gain it whilst lacking Claire's power. Let's see what happens.

Lastly, Noah. Possibly still one of the better characters it would be a shame to kill of the only member of the main cast who remains powerless. He provides a certain balance - knowing more than many empowered about their abilities, and yet having none.

I'm not going to provide a prediction as to which character is going to die. All i know is that the actor was suprised to find out - so that's always a good sign.

Tim Burton - The Exhibition

I found this article today online;

From the
24th June - 10th October 2010 the exhibition will be hosted by the ACMI in Melbourne, which i went to a very enjoyable (and cheap!) exhibition of the History of Pixar back in 2007. So I am rather psyched for this coming attraction. Apparently the exhibition will have both professional and personal works of his on display including artwork, sketches, storyboards and most awesomely puppets!!!!! It is also going to include works from the upcoming Alice in Wonderland which is fantastic. So expect me to attend at some point next year whilst its here.

Heroes Promo

Can anyone guess why I have put this here, apart from the return of Sylar?

Hint: Who ya gonna call?


Having been a long time fan of Stargate I have been impatiently waiting for the lastest chapter in the story - Stargate Universe (or SGU). I have watched Stargate since the original Stargate film and then SG-1 and then Atlantis and I must say that this series shows the potential to move Stargate in a new direction, or it may have very well done it already.

Finally a Stargate that isn't afraid to blur the lines between good and evil, removing the constant obvious segregation of the two that both SG-1 and Atlantis displayed. The main character (as far as i can assess from 2 episodes) of Doctor Nicholas Rush is a flawed character. Good? Yes, but obviously to a degree which there is (for once) leniency to the character to make mistakes, or selfish choices. The other characters seem interesting enough, unlike the original Atlantis team they are not carbon copies of the SG-1 team. Rush is unique, Eli Wallace brings to mind a nice mixture of a SG-1 Season 1 Daniel Jackson combined with Rodney McKay. Except the main difference between these 3 and Eli is that he is an 'accidental' genius - he just played a video game and happened to understand some pretty heavy equations (from what we have seen) and grasp the basics of the Ancient language.

I'll see how the next few episodes play out but it has well and truly sucked me back in - i may even go watch the 10 seasons of SG-1 i have sitting on my shelf. Or at least an episode or two.

Motion. Stop. Motion.

La Boite Concept (arcade multimedia) HD from La Boite Concept on Vimeo.

Big fan of this video. I have been working on a Stop-Motion concept for a while now, it may be something that also takes place after u finish uni as a part of my 'i have nothing to do now' regime for a couple of months. =p

Photo-graphy (+ misc)

I have always been interested in photography... mostly i like the idea of capturing a very honest view of the world. Unfortunately it's not a talent that i have naturally and would take time that i just do not have to nurture. Perhaps after I am done with uni (6 weeks!) I will explore the world of photography and cameras.

There is nothing that i am looking forward to more than completing my degree, it's a 4 year degree so it's a decent amount of time to spend doing the same thing. Honestly I am completely over uni and having to meet someone else's expectations for my own work - as long as i am happy with my work and it meets the basic assessment requirements i do not see the issue. Apparently I am missing something. I understand that this is what i will have to deal with in the industry, but I feel that there are different circumstances there - someone will be paying me to do what they want so it is fair enough that they push you towards what they want to see and also I will be hopefully working as part of a team - not expected to do everything 100% on my own.

I suppose the frustration for comes from a number of things. I am very over living in Wagga, I will miss old 332 Edward when i move but the town itself drags. For me it is no different than home (Young) which is only an hour and a half away and there is always the fact that yes it is a bigger center, but there isn't necessarily ore to do here. The nature of uni is causing me nothing but frustration - as i said before, I do not care for other people telling how my work should be, as opposed to the suggestions that should be given as an option; not an expectation or demand.

Oh well. I just have to stick it out for 6 weeks, the first of which is this week! Public holiday today means i do not have class until Thursday - so this extra time will be well spent. Right after i finish this blog post.

Done. =p

Tights, Capes and Night Vision

I have finished 2 of my new games recently and my beautiful girlfriend spoilt me today and bought me the Wolverine game just beacuse she wanted to and i was going to buy it myself anyway. Made my day =p It's pretty damn good, no Arkham Asylum - but still good. You really feel the power of Wolverine when you literally rip people to pieces, especially the regeneration that you can watch as the bullet holes fill themselves in. It's wonderful to watch. Oh and HUGH JACKMAN!

Anyway let's see...

Batman Arkham Asylum is honestly the best game i have played in years. Everything about it was spectacular; the voice acting, models, level design, gameplay, sound design - the whole damn thing was worthy of the Batman name. I sincerely hope that there is a sequel along the lines of 'Batman Gotham City' - it leaves an opening there for it to happen. *please* Now to attack the challenge mode and see what downloadable content there is.

I finished it on the hardest difficulty the other night, one night after i completed ODST (Which i have raved about in a previous post) - it was an ending that i was quite satisfied with, especially the Legendary-exclusive epilogue.


Funny video on

Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?

Brave Advertising

We all know Pepsi don't we?

You know - Pepsi the soft drink. Pepsi the only major competitor to Coca-Cola in the soft drink game. Pepsi that plasters their (sometimes tacky) image everywhere so that their presence is well-know throughout the world. Well Pepsi is about to change their game, 'forever'.

It was announced on Monday (28th Sept) that PepsiCo would cease all advertising for it's flagship product immediately and instead rely upon consumer opinion, demand and it's current standing in the market to advertise for itself. They want to focus on making soft drinks as opposed to playing the marketing game - stating that a company such as themselves should not be focusing on advertising but rather on making beverages because afterall that is what the company is all about. My thought is that this is an incredibly brave and just move - making an attempt to get back to basics and reinvigorate the company with enthusiasm and focus. Having said this there is the fact that this itself could be an advertising ploy and if not i think by this point there is enough existing market opinion(s) that make advertising for Pepsi (and Coca-Cola) unnecessary. Everyone know that these 2 companies are the big names in the industry and that they are really only in competition with each other and seemingly even within the borders of their own companies (Mount Franklin v. PUMP? They're both owned by Coke!). It will be interesting to see what Coke's opinion on this is.

A chosen quote from the CEO;

"Vying for the greatest market share shouldn't be a soft drink company's be-all and end-all,"

Damn straight it shouldn't be. Read the article after the jump.

Seth Green on WWE

Random video i stumbled across as i search the internet.

Goodbye iSnack 2.0, you were awful.

Kraft have responded to the general consensus that the name for the new Vegemite is god awful and have thus retracted the brand. There is a snapshot of an article below. Follow the link to the full article;

"Kraft has bowed to public pressure and ditched the name iSnack2.0 for its new Vegemite-cream cheese blend.

“We have been overwhelmed by the passion for Vegemite and the new product. The new name has simply not resonated with Australians. Particularly the modern technical aspects associated with,’’ said Kraft spokesman Simon Talbot.

In a statement this afternoon, the company said it would once again throw open the challenge to Australians to come up with a new name.

But the company denied it had all been a publicity stunt.

"At no point in time has the new Vegemite name been about initiating a media publicity stunt," Mr Talbot, said. "We are proud custodians of Vegemite and have always been aware that it is the people's brand and a national icon."

Thousands of the jars with the new name will be distributed to supermarkets ready to go on sale, ensuring that the soon to be scrapped name will quickly become a collectors' item.

"Our Kraft Foods storeroom currently has thousands of jars of the iSnack2.0 named Vegemite. This product will be distributed around Australia, and will continue to be sold in supermarkets for months to come - until Australia decides upon a new name," Mr Talbot said."

Blogging ala. Time Filler/Killer

I am sitting here desperately trying to think of a tagline for part of a advertising campaign for a new (completely fictitious) caffeine-free/sugar-free energy drink for uni. I had the perfect tagline once upon a time but i forgot to write it down thinking - yeh sure i'll remember that. Oh well. The concept is there, it is just a matter of nailing that one line. Here's a work in progress shot of part of the campaign (print side);

Sorry for the blue there in the image. It's not as horribly vibrant in actuality as it is there, cmyk on the web you know.. =p The general idea behind the concept is that the drink ('Now') allows you to revitalize yourself in a healthier way than say red bull, v, mother etc. and give yourself that boost of energy without the adverse effects of high levels of caffeine and sugar which is degrading to your general health. The idea that this new drink takes you out of the moment and transports you into your 'fantasy' - allowing your mind to relax whilst your body catches up, recharges - gets that boost of energy.

So there's the idea, now how to put it into a cohesive, concise sentence that is both catchy and straight to the point.

Anyway, that's where my mind is at currently. I am struggling to come up with a decent line so i thought blogging may be a nice alternative. Let my own mind wander a bit as i attempt to resolve the issue. A few of my current tagline thoughts follow;


Not really happy with most of these. There's potential there however.

I came across this trailer moments ago;

Looks quite good, although admittedly i am a sucker for post-apocalyptic films - it is nice to see Mila Kunis getting her action star boots on, i have always been a fan of her since That 70s Show. It's also fantastic to see Gary Oldman back as a villain.

Ummmm. What else was i going to mention? Ah yes, so this is the final week of my final uni holidays and it is strange to think that after this there will be no regimented holidays or schedules that dictate my year as such. No month gaps of leisure that are pre-determined and organised by others - it will all be reliant upon my employment (status) and other circumstance *cough* money *cough*. I am positive that i will be completely unsure as to what to do with myself at the end of this year. Although i do have a solid plan for moving from Wagga, i shall be departing permanently when i go home for Christmas (whenever that may) and then hopefully between Christmas and New Years I shall wander up to my temporary accommodation in which i will be staying until Liz and I can get ourselves sorted and set up. Which will also hopefully be relatively hassle-free (although i have my doubts). Some random cool videos that i want to remember about rather than having a billion bookmarks.

Also a picture of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's upcoming film that i am sure i have mentioned, Paul - i found these over at;

Neon Skaters

Awesome video. Would love to do something like this.



Earlier this week meant the arrival of yet another Halo game, Halo 3: ODST - which has grown from its humble beginnings as an expansion to a full-blown game. My interest in the Halo universe has dwindled since the release of Halo 3 and with the exception of the past few weeks i doubt that i have even touched it in roughly a year. Halo Wars came and went unnoticed, only playing my brother's copy for half an hour or so.

So i wasn't too excited about ODST. Yes i had preordered it and looked into the previews, but there was no real anticipation or excitement towards the new game. I actually played Halo 3 on Live a fair bit over the weekend which actually assisted in raising some enthusiasm for this new game. Early reviews spoke of how disappointed they were in the fact that the campaign only lasted 4 - 6 hours on average. Perhaps reviewers should actually go through and play the game on Legendary and take the time to wander around the streets of New Mombassa and explore the content as much as possible.

Personally I have found the game incredibly enjoyable. The game is actually more difficult and far closer to the original Halo as opposed to Halo 2 or 3, in which you so ridiculously overpowered that you cruised through the game without a second thought that you may actually die if you try and take on those 10 guys by pistol whipping them to death. Speaking of pistols, it is nice to see the pistol back in a capacity that makes it my go-to weapon once again. As we all know Halo 1's pistol was incredible. Ridiculously overpowered, but still fantastic. After realising how ridiculous it was Bungie dumbed it down to the point that it was not usable (except in desperation). So that was a thrill, as was Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin and Alan Tyduk voicing 3 members of your squad (being a Firefly/Chuck/Castle fan it is glorious). I was suprised to see that Fillion's character was actually modelled after himself, especially since Adam Baldwin did not appear as himself.

There is alot to adjust to in the game, such as Hunters finally providing the challenge that i feel they were always supposed to. No Battle Rifle, no bubble shields (etc) and the inability to take over Wraiths and Banshee's after boarding. These seemed like steps backwards, but after some thought i came to the conclusion that all these were reasons why the game was more challenging - which is something that i value. There is the bonus that you can carry soooo many more grenades which accounts for alot of these.

Despite the age of the Halo 3 engine the game looks amazing - the Art Direction was fantastic. The stark contrast between the night and day levels is magical, the music most definately adding to it all. The feeling of intense loneliness at night when playing as the Rookie is breath taking and the fact that you are actually on Earth for the whole game is always a bonus.

Overall, although I am yet to complete the game I am very satisfied with the game. Especially since the 2nd Disc includes all new multiplayer maps for Halo 3. One disappointment is the fact that apart from the Firefight Mode (which is fantastic, but not quite as good Horde in Gears of War 2) and Co-op there is no stand alone mutliplayer - i believe that free for all multiplayer would have been a fantastic alternative to Halo 3.


Is it just me or did Zachary Quinto's inflection on the word 'life' at the end there reek of similarities to Heath Ledger's Joker?

Quinto always does an amazing job, especially when he is given the freedom to play around with the role of Sylar and let him be both threatening, hilarious and all out terrifying.

On another note, it would appear as though a meeting between Hiro and Peter is coming - the 2 heroes in the show that have lost their original abilities only to have them replaced with lesser equivalents - Hiro may only freeze time (and even that nearly kills him) and Peter may only take a single power through physical contact). Some of my favourite moments have been when Peter and Hiro are together, which from memory happens very irregularly;

Season 1 - on the train (Future Hiro), somewhere in Texas(?), the Future and Kirby Plaza.
Season 2 - Primatech Paper(?)
Season 3 - Government Plane & aftermath.

That's all that springs to mind.

Luxo Lawsuit

Reposted from over at the Pixar Blog;

" Lampmaker Luxo ASA, creators of the original Luxo desk lamp, unexpectedly filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Pixar in U.S. federal court* on Friday, ending some twenty-three years of amicable relations between the two companies.

The lawsuit stems from Luxo's discontent at the soon-to-be-released Luxo Jr. Premium Combo Pack of the Up Blu-ray, which will include a working replica Luxo Jr. lamp and also the giant audio-animatronic Luxo Jr. at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Pixar's c. 1986 agreement with the Norway-based lamp manufacturer has long allowed the studio to use the Luxo name in connection with the character from Pixar's first short film Luxo Jr. and to use the character in its logo. But Luxo holds that the making of actual goods, especially functioning lamps, with the name is an infringement on their trademark not covered by the agreement.

While Luxo's statement in their complaint that the Luxo Jr. replicas will "cause devastating damage to Luxo and dilute the goodwill which Luxo has built up" is utter nonsense, someone at Disney's legal department really should have checked with the company as to whether they had any objection to the expanded uses for the character.

Interested to see how this will play out in court...

(via Bloomberg)

*For the legally inclined, the case is officially Luxo ASA vs. Walt Disney Co., 09-cv-7689, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)"


Piece from selfburning on Vimeo.

Another video i've come across today.

The Forest

The Forest from David Scharf on Vimeo.

I came across this video today on Vimeo, i really like the style and the way that it is animated is very impacting - check it out. Synopsis follows;

"Antonia is a 12 year old girl. She often has daydreams, in which she wanders of in to a magical far away forest, were she hides from the problems of the real world. One day, however, her father takes drastic measures and she has to face a decision.

Is your inner peace an utopian state until you have finally escaped the grip of the society and its rules? Or is affirmation a faster way to your personal luck? And what are you supposed to do, if you have to answer this question at the age of 12?

In the Animated Short "The Forest" by David Scharf, the protagonist has to cope with this question and her hostile environment and finds a simple but radical solution."

My New Face?

Could this be the new face of Scrubs?

Sources have hinted as such, that Kerry Bishe's role in the 9th Season of Scrubs will to provide narrative to a story that would be lost without it. Good news? Who knows. I am still undecided about how i feel about Scrubs continuing when it had such a beautiful ending (if not a few seasons late). I don't mind the idea of trying to transition the show into an ER type show with a continual changing cast, but isn't it 8 years too late to think of doing that? Veteran's Johnny C (Cox) and Donald Faison (Turk) are back, filling their roles as Chief of Medicine and Chief of Surgery respectively in what has been described as a 'Med School' - which is what the show will become. It makes sense, because that is what the show has always been about; teaching. But i do think that the absence of Carla will be something that they can't make up for through guest appearances. Even the shows recurring cast are in almost every episode *cough* Ted *cough* so i remain curious.

Zach Braff has confirmed he will be back for 6 episodes to assist with the transition, which in some ways disappoints me - they were all so ready to depart Scrubs and say goodbye and yet here they are. Neil Flynn (Janitor) has stated that he will not be returning, for his part Scrubs is done - though he did say he may appear to give closure to his character. I am at a loss, i don't know whether to watch it or not - i loved scrubs and i loved the ending, but i just don't know where it's going. There was talk of rebranding the show (Scrubs: Med School) but ABC clamped down on that saying that the name was 'a badge' (ala. the show wouldn't survive without the name and therefore ABC would have wasted their time and money, couldn't have that).

It just.. uh... frustrating.

nb. I jsut read that they're also not filming at the hospital??? WHAT THE HELL? You can't change the setting for the show, that was part of the essence of the show. Damn people. Let things die when they're supposed to.

A Beautiful Week Awaits

\ This week hold so many fun things for me to do;

I still have Episode 2 of Tales of Monkey Island to finish as well as the Special Ed of the Secret of Monkey Island. So far this episode of Tales of Monkey Island is feeling a little repetitive and not as polished as the first episode – some poor animation in parts involving Elaine just sliding across the screen.

Today I downloaded the first part of the Ultimate Sith Edition Expansion for The Force Unleashed. I must say it was fantastic, not overly long only took an hour or so but the level design was rather fantastic – capturing the feel of Jabba the Hutt’s dungeon beautifully from Return of the Jedi. It really makes you feel like you are playing through an alternate version of the original trilogy – complete with the music and Ben Kenobi.

Adrian’s purchase of the Ghostbusters game (PS3) at some point this week means that I will be paying him a visit and we shall bust ghosts together – it will be beautiful, proton beams flying everywhere in glory. As will the release of Batman Arkham Asylum on Thursday although I noticed a copy of the Batarang in EB today and it looked like arse. Obviously a mass-produced moulded plastic thing.. I’ll get a closer look on Thursday so I’ll let you know how the Collector’s Edition goes.

I’m also heading home for the weekend so that will be a nice getaway from Wagga. Never thought I would say that about Young =p

Oh and the recent news of Disney buying Marvel has given birth to rumours/hopes for Pixar to do a Marvel movie or an Incredibles sequel that involves Marvel characters.. My thoughts?


Which idea am I talking about? Both. Pixar makes original films – that is what they have always had going for them, I am certainly hoping Disney keeps their meddling hands out of that one, they have already done enough by demanding sequels to a few Pixar films that could do without.

Oh and some videos I watched today included Halo 3 ODST footage, see Halo like you’ve never seen it before;