Monday, October 27, 2008

The power of D.O.F.

"This is the last of my Sydney Harbor scenes for a while as I need to focus on getting some more beach, and people scenes.. I hope you enjoy this one! - Keith."

Music "Pontiac Firebird 82" by Sonido Lasser Drakar. Original Knightrider Soundtrack composed by Stu Phillips.

Bathtub III from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

The making of MGS4

"June 12, 2008 saw the simultaneous worldwide release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (MGS4) for the PlayStation 3. Gamers all over the world were waiting eagerly for this ultimate stealth mission game. No doubt they have already been captivated by its powerful gameplay.

MGS4 was a huge project that took Hideo Kojima, the virtuoso director, about three and a half years to complete. The Metal Gear series has been around for 21 years, with many people regarding it as a masterpiece in terms of its scenarios, gameplay and realism. Making a particular impact is its world-class graphics that go beyond the boundaries of a conventional game. These graphics give the action such realism and immediacy that players feel like they have been transported to a real battlefield.

In the development of MGS4, about 100 staff members were involved in the 3D content production. Extra personnel were added during busy periods, and by the final phase of development over 180 people were working on the project. By the end there were as many 40 programmers working on MGS4, including the work required for online compatibility. From the fact that such a large number of people were involved and it took three and a half years to finish, we can see that MGS4 truly was a mega-project.

The main tool used in this game with its world-class video graphics was SOFTIMAGE|XSI. We interviewed the Kojima Productions team after they had finished development and as the release date for MGS4 was approaching. In this interview, we were lucky to be able to speak with staff from all the major development units, including characters, background, machines, 2D, event demos, motions and programming. We learned a lot of interesting information, so this article has been split into two parts" - Source Yoshiyuki Watanabe

The article is about 2 pages long but manages to cover almost every thing from artdirection, animation to tips and tricks of the trade. A MUST read if your are at all interested in the inner-workings of this magnificent game or just curious about game process in general.

Read it here:

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Movie review: The Dark Knight

Took its time but here is a new review. This time its the caped crusader, the dark defender and the lonly billionaire who dones the Batman suit and takes flight again (BAT-SPOILERS!!)

"Plot: Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker. "

So the bat is back in black. Ive been following the rise of this movie ever since Nolans first announced that he would do a sequel with great suspence and although I thought that there was supposed to be more backstory to people, this movie was more about the mundane life in Gotham.

Christian Bale/Batman did a good preformance in Batman Begins. Seeing the evolution of a tortured hero and his ways of turning fear against his adversaries thus becoming the Bat, was a true joy (as well as getting weapons, building caves, etc..) but in this movie he almost dosent have anything to do with the movie. I almost felt that everyone else got more screentime then him. He was cool enough as the playboy Wayne but his throatcancerish "I'm Batman" voice didn't cut it. I actually found this voice silly pretty quick and his character way to weak in this one. Why did he change his voice? He dident talk this bad in the first one.

Maggie Gyllenhaal/Rachel Dawes takes over for Katie Holmes. Although I liked her preformance better then Katies, her character dosent really add anything to the movie. Her entire point here seemed to be to act as bait and to give Harvey Dent a reason to turn bad at the end of it all (as well as breaking up the sausage-feast)

Harvey Dent / Aaron Eckhart - Conceptually, not a bad character as a way of talking about virtuous and the sheer goodness of people, but I kind of just didn't care that much for his character or plot. All the other characters where talking about how great he was and such every fifth minute but to me he never did anything the seemed to be beyond what anyone else in his job should be doing. He just did his part. pluss his transformation to two-face seemed way to far-fetched and unjusted. He also seems horribly out of place for a movie that goes for realism

To me, this movie was all about the Joker. Although the most visualy demented character in the movie, he is also the only induvidual that is in total control. A clear indication of this is the opening sequence where you can see how he turns everyone against themselves. (pure cinema joy, that was) I also loved the fact that he never really explaines his facial-scars. I was really worried the first time he startet jabbringing about them. I was thinking.. "noo, I dont want to know!" and I was deligthed when he changed the story again later on. (and again) This behavior was just adding to his plan and this to me was also the best parts of the movie. The less I know about him the more facinating it was to watch him. My fav moment was when batman just stood over him completely lost of what to do with Joker. This is a man who dosent have any rules and batman cant read him at all. Powerfull stuff. Just seeing him unravel the scheme and watching the players falling straight in one by one, had me in utter suspence.

The fight scenes in The Dark Knight are for the most parts, a blur. Its impossible to see the fight. You kinda know his winning but you dont know how..Yes, it's called the Dark Knight and his thing is all about being dark, ninjalike and mainly coming out at night but I wouldn't mind actually seeing him do something for more than a second.

In all the previous batman films the city is its own character but here it couldent be more neutral. It’s been said that Gotham is Chicago, but this Gotham is missing the Gothic that Tim Burton had worked so hard to establish. It’s even been stripped of the stylistic CG imagery seen in “Batman Begins.” To me this is going away from the purpose that is Batman. Thats what he does. He defendes his city. Why is it not put more in the spotlight is beyond me.

The Tumbler has a couple of more trix up its sleeve and that entire sequence where they transport Dent in a armored car (a rather dodgy play btw...) was simpely mindblowingly good. There are some new gadgets that are in tune with the setting but the mobilesonar thing was way out there and missed the realisme mark that Nolan set from before

There is also some big plotholes. I cant remember them all right now but the biggest one is at the party for Dent at Brucies pad. After the joker throws the girl out the window and batman drops all and dives in after her, what happens to the party? Did the joker just leave? I would have thought that getting rid of the batman for a couple of minutes would make it easier for the Jokster to find Dent.

The whole "batmen" sequence (the batman vigilantes ) I though was pretty interesting as it was a throw in the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns way, but sadly this was just left alone. Why where they even there. Isent he doing a good enough work? Would be nice to see him address this issue.

Also this pinning the murders on Batman thing dident quite fly with me...
Why not pin them on The Joker, who is already a proven cop-killer? Why does Batman suddenly need to become public enemy? I get that it kinda gives the movie a "larger then life" star wars episode 4 ending while getting us exited about the third movie, but it came sort of out of the blue and dident feel right

All in all, The Dark Knight is absolutely worth seeing but don't buy the best movie ever hype that seems to be all over the shop, it's not that good. Little subtlety is left to the imagination and this film is more an action flick than a comic book. This "review" migh be seen as nagging on a otherwise great movie but for me Burtons movies is far better.


Ps: Be sure to check out Batman Gothic Knight. The "Animatrix" style animation compilation set between the two films for a better take on the tale. check it out here:


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Smoke City - Underwater Love

Smoke City is a British band. Their music blends modern styles like acid jazz and trip hop, and borrows a lot from Brazilian styles like samba and bossa nova. They are best known for their single "Underwater Love", which was a major hit in 1996. The video to that song is notable for predating The Matrix in its use of bullet time motion. (!!!)

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Remote desktop with ease...

How many times has this happened to you.. You rush of to work. Huffing and puffing you show up at work and ready to give that lecture you stayed up all night inorder to finish. you have managed to transfer it to the USB stick, BUT its still hooked up to your home computer. Ohh noes! Now you can`t put forth that final treatment about the desctruction of a new breed of red spotted orangutangs that need to be saved! Anyhoo bad example but you`ve been there.

Well, now thanks to a company called Logmein ( log me in ) that poor orangutang family and the whole tribe can rest assured and have a banana. What you do is create a account (30 days trial or buy pro) and you can acces your computer from anywhere in the world! Only hitch is that you have to remeber your passwords and that the client computer is on. But most of us leave the darn thing for months at a time.

You simply access the computer by going to and if you have installed a client and fixed the settings on it, you can enter it and surf, clean or drag and drop files that you need or whatever you do with your computer. (Drag and drop only comes with the pro version) but its still quite a timesaver and its all done in your IE/safari/opera/firefox/netscape/google chrome window.

If its safe or not I dont know. You can stream music trough it but not movies. That you can just drag and drop. You can set up this "link" between 5 computers. More computer then that cost an additional fee.

So check it out at


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