September 24, 2007

To Fly Free in Space


At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was further out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space. McCandless and fellow NASA astronaut Robert Stewart were the first to experience such an "untethered space walk" during Space Shuttle mission 41-B in 1984. The MMU works by shooting jets of nitrogen and has since been used to help deploy and retrieve satellites. With a mass over 140 kilograms, an MMU is heavy on Earth, but, like everything, is weightless when drifting in orbit.

Lapetus- 3D Equatorial Ridge

This bizarre, equatorial ridge extending across and beyond the dark, leading hemisphere of Iapetus gives the two-toned Saturnian moon a distinct walnut shape. With red/blue glasses you can check out a remarkable stereo composition of this extraordinary feature -- based on close-up images from this week's Cassini spacecraft flyby. In fact, the ridge's combination of equatorial symmetry and scale, about 20 kilometers wide and reaching up to 20 kilometers above the surface, is not known to be duplicated anywhere else in our solar system. The unique feature was discovered in Cassini images from 2004 (seen below). It appears to be heavily cratered and therefore ancient, but the origin of the equatorial ridge on Iapetus remains a mystery.

Masi Oka


Oka landed his first job after graduation at Industrial Light & Magic, George Lucas's motion picture visual special effects company, with the hope of one day earning an Oscar for technical work on a motion picture. His first major project was co-developing a computer program to generate water effects, which was first used for A Perfect Storm but also used in later films such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. He later created programs for computational fluid dynamics and surface-tracking, which also became used in multiple projects. He has also worked on the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

September 20, 2007

Taste Visualization for Pixar's Ratatouille

Click the image to see the full Michel Gagne article
on how the FX for this sequence were developed:
Thanks to Leisl for finding it!

Waterbed Testing

September 19, 2007

Tungurahua Erupts

Volcano Tungurahua erupted spectacularly last year. Pictured above, molten rock so hot it glows visibly pours down the sides of the 5,000-meter high Tungurahua, while a cloud of dark ash is seen being ejected toward the left. Wispy white clouds flow around the lava-lit peak, while a star-lit sky shines in the distance. The above image was captured last year as ash fell around the adventurous photographer. Located in Ecuador, Tungurahua has become active roughly every 90 years since for the last 1,300 years. Volcano Tungurahua has started erupting again this year and continues erupting at a lower level even today.

New "Old School" DVD set!

Sesame Workshop plans to release "Sesame Street: Old School - Volume 2" on November 6, 2007. The three-disc DVD box set is full of classic Sesame Street, focusing exclusively on the second five years set of show (1975-1979).

The DVD set will include five complete hour-long episodes from the series (the five season premieres) plus a collection of more than 57 additional clips from each season. There are featured appearances by Judy Collins, Henry Winkler, Paul Simon, Lily Tomlin, plus the first episode featuring Roscoe Orman as Gordon, "Telephone Rock!," "What's the Name of That Song?," "Pinball Number Count", Guy Smiley, Harvey Kneeslapper, Biff and Sully, Chris and the Alphabeats, and much more! Additional bonus features on the set include the first Sesame Street episode created (one of the many unaired pilots), a 12-page booklet full of behind-the-scenes information and phots, plus a collectible "Pinball Number Count" animation cel in every box

The total running time for the three-disc set is over 8-hours in total.

Via Muppet News Flash

September 18, 2007

Traffic Camera



Believe it or not the man in the intersection lived! He was saved by the imprint that the PT Cruiser left in the driver's side of the Subaru. When the Subaru went over him it came down on him right where the dent in the car was made and did not crush him.

September 16, 2007

Jedi Trash

Interesting Web Links...

Human World, interesting collection of questionable facts.

The Latest Darwin Awards.

World's Weirdest Animals.

Treasure Box, a nice visual mind puzzle.

Facts on Farts.

Absolutely Amazing Ping Pong Video.

Golden Eagle Carries Fox Away.

Circoripopolo, Very interesting and amusing use
of javascript resizing of window to go with video content.


LEAVE CHRIS CROCKER ALONE!

Paddington



I can't find an English version episode, but I do remember watching this in preschool and loving it. In the books, Paddington Bear was found at Paddington Station wearing a duffle coat, hat and Wellington boots, carrying a suitcase containing an empty jar of marmalade and wearing a label around his neck that reads "Please look after this bear, thank you."

Unfortunately, Warner Bros. and Harry Potter producer David Heyman have announced plans to bring the children's book star Paddington Bear to screens. Variety says the production will likely blend live-action with a CGI Paddington in the same style as such cinematic classics as Garfield, Stuart Little, and Garfield. Which should lend the character a nightmarishly disturbing, not-quite-real quality.

UFOs





Created by Barzolff is a 35-year-old professional animator who attended one of the most prestigious art schools in France and has a decade of experience with computer graphics and commercial animation.

It took Barzolff a total of 17 hours to make both the Haiti and Dominican Republic videos. He did it all by himself using a MacBook Pro and a suite of commercially available 3-D animation programs, including Vue 6. The videos are 100% computer-generated.

The videos, he said, were intended as research for a feature film project he's been working on with Partizan, the France-based production company responsible for, among others, Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

When contacted to verify the story, "Eternal Sunshine" producer Georges Bermann said it was all true, and that Barzolff was "an absolute genius" who could "make anything look entirely real."

To prove that he was truly behind the videos, Barzolff agreed to provide the L.A. Times with a new spacecraft video. Called "Proof," the video depicts a small version of one of the spacecraft floating above a Paris street. As the camera pans over, the viewer sees two elderly women at a cafe. One of whom is holding a remote control device. Humorously, of course, this video makes use of computer graphics as well.

The movie Barzolff is working on for the big screen is about two guys who create a UFO hoax so realistic that it spirals out of their control. "For better or worse," said Barzolff, who cited being "overwhelmed" by the response to his video as one of the reasons he didn't want to go public with his name.

Barzolff stressed the videos were not intended as a viral marketing ploy. His movie is still in the idea phase, and he created the hoax strictly as a "sociological experiment" — in other words, just to see what would happen.

I love UFO footage and there's tons of it on YouTube and it's easier than ever to create your own with an inexpensive digital camera and free 3D software available any where, it's awesome!

September 15, 2007

300 meets Transformers

Superhumans

Just who are these 'super humans?' In Switzerland, meet a woman who combines senses so that she can 'taste' music; in Turkey, a painter compared with Renaissance master Brunelleschi, was born without eyes; and in the Netherlands, a man who possesses the inexplicable power to withstand extreme cold - but how?

Is it possible for karate masters to zap each other with invisible energy? Can Indian "miracle men" and Sufi mystics mutilate their bodies and feel no pain? Can masters of Hindu Transcendental Meditation fly? Do superpowers really exist?

These super powers seemingly transcend what it means to be human, how we use our natural senses and our physical limitations, watch this new series to see incredible footage on these individuals and their stories.

PREMIERES NOVEMBER 4 @ 8:00 PM/ET on the Discovery Channel.

Longest Swing Ever!

My 1,000th Post!!!


Thank you all for all the visits, all the cool stuff everyone finds on the interweb for me to post and the continued support for this wacky little blog.
Here's to a thousand more posts and 60,000 more hits!

Kris Holm - Part 3

Kris Holm - Part 2

Kris Holm - Part 1

Light Bright 6000

iPhone Parody

Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina

The Ulitmate Prank.... Hilarious!

Bike Jumps!

The Best Britney Interview Ever!

Minesweeper The Movie

September 14, 2007

Fox News Reporter gets Animated in Flash!

Rough Animatic by Seth Kearsley.


Here's the finished version.
Cleaned up by Rafael Hurtado and the Flash work was done by Robert Etchingham.


In Hollywood, everyone thought old-school, "2D animation" was dead... Killed by computer animation, but "The Simpsons Movie" proved that wrong. Hal Eisner visits with some of the animators who couldn't be happier about the 2D comeback.
Here's the whole newsclip via Cold Hard Flash:

September 12, 2007

Heavy Metal Guy

A long time ago, Mondo Media made these short-lived webisodes
of this awesome character, here they are for download:

TRON 2 GETS NEW LIFE WITH NEW DIRECTOR


Walt Disney Pictures is in final talks with commercial helmer Joseph Kosinski to develop and direct "the next chapter" of TRON, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Live Planet's Sean Bailey is producing, along with the original's co-writer and director Steven Lisberger, who will oversee visual and script development.

The new take on the franchise will be penned by LOST writers Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. The 1982 film chronicled the adventures of a computer programmer who is sucked into a computer and forced to participate in the deadly virtual games he helped create. The film was a landmark of visual effects, being the first to use CG.
Brigham Taylor is shepherding for Disney.

Kosinski, who hasn't helmed a film since 1989, earlier in the year signed on to direct Warner Bros. remake of LOGAN'S RUN.

Courtesy of the Animation Flash Newsletter - Dan Sarto

Six Rainbows!

Best Bathroom Tiles Ever



Why Girls Love Cartoonists

Life of an Animator

Commerial Artist

Dynamic Barbie

September 10, 2007

Curtis & Whitey have a Podcast!



The Voyagers' Message in a Bottle

Launched thirty years ago, NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are now respectively 15 billion and 12.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, equivalent to about 14 and 11.5 light-hours distant. Still functioning, the Voyagers are being tracked and commanded through the Deep Space Network. Having traveled beyond the outer planets, they are only the third and fourth spacecraft from planet Earth to escape toward interstellar space, following in the footsteps of Pioneer 10 and 11. A 12-inch gold plated copper disk (a phonograph record) containing recorded sounds and images representing human cultures and life on Earth, is affixed to each Voyager - a message in a bottle cast into the cosmic sea. The recorded material was selected by a committee chaired by astronomer Carl Sagan. Simple diagrams on the cover symbolically represent the spacecraft's origin and give instructions for playing the disk. The exotic construction of the disks should provide them with a long lifetime as they coast through interstellar space.

September 08, 2007

I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With

Maguire Climbing in Robotech Uniform


After slipping on a mask for Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire might be slipping into a giant robot for "Robotech."

After a lengthy negotiation, Warner Bros. Pictures has picked up the rights to bring anime classic "Robotech," which featured giant robots known as mechas, to the big screen. Maguire is producing through his Maguire Entertainment banner and is eyeing the lead role in what the studio plans on being a tentpole sci-fi franchise.

"We are very excited to bring 'Robotech' to the big screen," Maguire said. "There is a rich mythology that will be a great foundation for a sophisticated, smart and entertaining film."

Drew Crevello also is producing through his Supercool Hollywood BigTime Prods. Craig Zahler ("The Brigands of Rattleborge") has been tapped to write the screenplay.

"Robotech" was a cartoon series during the 1980s from Harmony Gold USA and Tatsunoko Prods. It was re-edited and re-dialogued to combine three Japanese anime series to give the producers enough episodes to air as a daily syndicated series.

A sprawling sci-fi epic, "Robotech" takes place at a time when Earth has developed giant robots from the technology on an alien spacecraft that crashed on a South Pacific isle. Mankind is forced to use the technology to fend off three successive waves of alien invasions. The first invasion concerns a battle with a race of giant warriors who seek to retrieve their flagship's energy source known as "protoculture," and the planet's survival ends up in the hands of two young pilots.

Frank Agrama of rights-holder Harmony Gold will exec produce; Jason Netter will serve in a producer capacity.

Matthew Reilly brought the project to Warners and is overseeing. Daniel Shafer brought the project to Maguire and will shepherd for the company.

The success of DreamWorks/Paramount's $311 million-grossing "Transformers" has other studios looking to assemble a giant robot movie of their own. Last month, Regency picked up 1980s Japanese anime series "Voltron," with Mark Gordon attached to produce. Ironically, Warners had the first giant robot movie back in 1999: Brad Bird's animated feature "The Iron Giant", which is my favorite giant robot movie to date.

I was a big fan of Robotech as a kid. Many believe this series was the first ground-breakin g Anime to come from japan to be translated in North America and paved the way for hundreds of others to come.

Via The Hollywood Reporter.

September 07, 2007

September 06, 2007

Cliff's Ninja Cat!




Ouch!

Dude charged for extorting $20,000 from his mom by threatening to kidnap her cat

A man has been charged with extorting more than $20,000 from his elderly mother by repeatedly threatening to kidnap her beloved cat and demanding ransom, police said. Garry Lamar, 47, was arrested Friday and released on $200 bail. He has been ordered to stay away from his 78-year-old mother, Mary Lamar Grancher.

He started threatening to kidnap his the cat just over a year ago, after his mother kicked him out of her home, accusing him of abuse, Police Sgt. Daniel Ormond said.

"This isn't just a family cat," Ormond said. "She actually called this cat her companion since she lived alone." During the past year, Lamar allegedly kidnapped the cat once and made kidnapping threats on an almost weekly basis, Ormond said. Police don't believe the cat was harmed but are continuing to investigate.

Grancher made at least two dozen payments totaling more than $20,000 in cash and checks to her son. Authorities are still sorting through her financial records to determine the precise amount. » Article here
Via Across-The-Board

9-year-old math prodigy says university too easy

A nine-year-old mathematics prodigy has become Hong Kong's youngest undergraduate, waltzing through his first day at university saying classes were too easy.

March Boedihardjo, was accepted by Hong Kong's Baptist University to study for a master's degree after gaining straight As in entrance A-level exams usually taken at 17 or 18.

"It was too easy," Boedihardjo told reporters after attending a convocation ceremony in a pint-sized black-gown and his first day of classes Tuesday, adding that he'd already learnt the subject matter a year or two ago.

The university has designed a five-year program for the child, but it has stirred controversy among some education experts who say he might experience stunted personal and social development as a result. » Article here

Via Across-The-Board

September 04, 2007

Dark Lunar Eclipse

The Moon passed close to the center of Earth's shadow on August 28th. Seen best by skywatchers in western North America, and the Pacific region, the resulting total lunar eclipse was a dark one, lasting about 90 minutes. In this telescopic image taken near mid totality from Yass, NSW Australia, the 85 kilometer wide ray crater Tycho lies near the top right of the shadowed lunar surface. Of course, even during a total lunar eclipse,the Moon is not completely dark. Instead the Moon remains visible during totality, reflecting reddened light filtering into the Earth's shadow. The light comes from all the sunsets and sunrises, as seen from the lunar perspective, around the edges of a silhouetted Earth.

Lunation

Our Moon's appearance changes nightly. This time-lapse sequence shows what our Moon looks like during a lunation, a complete lunar cycle. As the Moon orbits the Earth, the half illuminated by the Sun first becomes increasingly visible, then decreasingly visible. The Moon always keeps the same face toward the Earth. The Moon's apparent size changes slightly, though, and a slight wobble called a libration is discernable as it progresses along its elliptical orbit. During the cycle, sunlight reflects from the Moon at different angles, and so illuminates different features differently. A full lunation takes about 29.5 days, just under a month (moon-th). Click on the picture to view the animated gif file.

Dr. Tran

Can Cartoonists Make Money With The Internet?

I received an e-mail wanting to discuss this topic, so here it is, let's open a discussion! : )
I've recently met a man by the name of Mark Oakely, self-publisher/writer/artist of the popular Thieves & Kings comic book series. Though he hasn't posted his works online he is very successful at producing his own stories his own way, all in print publishing... every creative artist/author's dream.

Is it possible to be successful in comics or cartoons these days?

Certainly. In recent years a few have become quite successful, thanks to the internet. The internet is opening brand new doors for comics creators to explore. Some doorways eventually lead to success, but many others are proving to be dead ends. With the internet still in its infancy and technology changing so rapidly, there is not yet a well-trodden path that cartoonists can follow to digital success.

Can you make money posting your cartoons online? Here's an interesting interview about comics and micropayments.

PVP creator Scott Kurtz discusses the current syndicate system and why it is harmful for artists.

Here's a blog totally devoted to helping artists make money with their webcomics. I don't know whether the advice is good or bad, but it seems worth a read.

Comics guru and author Scott McCloud is trying some fascinating new things at his website. He writes that information wants to be cheap and briefly discusses Reinventing Web Comics.

Anyone have any comments on the subject or other links/articles to recommend?

Sources and Samples:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/
http://www.thewebcomiclist.com/
http://topwebcomics.com/
http://webcomicsreview.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_webcomics
http://www.thecomicportal.com/
http://www.onlinecomics.net/pages/
http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/050301glaser/
http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=39;t=000104