Friday, August 10, 2007

Shadowline: The Art of Iain McCaig

McCaig is best known for his work as a principal designer on the three Star Wars prequels, including the iconic characters Queen Amidala and Darth Maul, as well as his work on many major motion pictures, television, and video games. His work can be seen in such acclaimed films as Terminator 2, Hook, Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Some examples of his work are published on the Gnomon Workshop website.

The Book includes the following special features:

* A rare portfolio of more than two decades of McCaig’s masterful concept designs and storyboards
* Iain McCaig's private sketchbooks, personal paintings and more!

Order the book at AMAZON

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ryan Larkin †2007

Ryan Larkin was a Canadian animator who rose to fame with the psychedelic 1969 Oscar-nominated short Walking and the acclaimed Street Musique (1972).

At the National Film Board of Canada, Ryan learned animation techniques from the ground-breaking and award-winning animator, Norman McLaren. He made two acclaimed short animated films, Cityscape and Syrinx, before going on to create Walking and Street Musique.

In recent years Ryan was plagued by a downward spiral of drug abuse, alcoholism and homelessness, but recently found himself back in the limelight when a 14-minute computer-animated documentary on his life, Ryan by fellow Canadian animator Chris Landreth, won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film and screened to acclaim at film festivals around the world. Alter Egos (2004), directed by Laurence Green, is a documentary about the making of Ryan that includes interviews with both Larkin and Chris Landreth as well as with various people who knew Ryan at the peak of his own success.

Ryan's Website, at Wikipedia, at CBC News

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tech 5 Engine

As an introduction to Tech 5 Carmack shows a quick demo loop of Rage in action, showcasing the texture work and graphical direction created entirely with Tech 5. The program, which is being developed hand-in-hand with Rage, focuses on what Carmack calls a "megatexture," which is essentially a term for the ability to mask an entire world with a unique, non-tiled texture system.

A developer can model the world, free-hand an entire massive piece of art, and lay it over the world itself, freeing up the processing power that goes to loading textures and pushing general graphical limits on the fly. From there developers can go into a new id-developed tool and work in a layer-based program to add unique features to their megatexture, clean up specific or entire chunks of the world, tweak bump/normal maps, and improve on the overall graphical output of the game.

Find a high res version of this video at

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Spidey's back

Kids' WB! has provided a first look at artwork from its upcoming The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series.

The series originally had the working title of Amazing Spider-Man, and the official announcement of the "Spectacular" title came the same week Marvel Comics announced the reduction of its Spider-Man ongoing titles to just Amazing.

Spectacular Spider-Man was a title that ran for more than 200 issues.

Here is the trailer for the upcoming Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Series from San Diego Comic Con 2007