A couple of days ago, April 3rd, 2013, was a shocking day here at LDAC campus. We’ve seen how LucasArts, the oldest video game company in the industry, and the one that brings many nostalgic memories to people of my generation, was being shut down causing around 150 people to be laid off. Very talented people who I’m sure will be very demanded anywhere else, but who have put a lot of time and effort into the company and its projects. Many of them were fulfilling their dreams of being part of a universe that they were big fans of since they were kids. They all have worked uncountable hours and put all their passion in something they believed in.
Today, it was very sad to see the people who at some point I had the pleasure to work with, saying goodbye. It was very strange looking at the events, like an outsider, but not feeling like one. I honestly didn’t know how to react to that. It will sound cheesy, I know, but fuck it; LucasArts has a very special place in my heart. I’ll always remember the time I spent there and the people who made it so amazing. From the first person who gave me the chance, to the person who strongly believed in me and made the dream of being a part of that to become true. And through all the talented people who helped me, who I learned from, who I laughed with, who bared with me… to all of you, a huge thank you. I really hope we cross paths again.
I can’t help to think how close LucasArts was of being back in the place it was once, and for that, how unfair for developers and fans this feels. There were some amazing projects currently going on at LEC, and I had the privilege of having worked in one of them for quite some time: Star Wars 1313, which even though many of you had the chance to get a taste of it, believe me, it was just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s really sad to think that such amount of brilliant work that these teams put together will never see the light.
So while thinking how much all this sucks, I felt like letting the people who I’ve shared some of the best moments in my career with know how I feel about it. To all of you, who dedicated part of your life to those projects, may the force be with you.
I get excited about these things, so I had to share it. At the end of each show, ILM organizes a celebration where what they consider the best work on different disciplines gets awarded. I’ve been lucky to get a ‘Best Environment’ award for participating, with other people, in building the futuristic San Francisco that you see in the movie. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun seeing the shots I’ve worked on to come together!
Star Wars 1313, a new Star Wars game franchise, was officially announced a few days ago. Today, on SpikeTV and live from E3, some of its first gameplay moments (just a small part of the whole demo) have been finally revealed. All in engine, real time.
I have to say that I feel very lucky to be a part of this project, a close collaboration between LucasArts, ILM, Lucasfilm Animation and Skywalker Sound. I’ve learned a lot during the production of this piece, and there’s a lot more to learn until the end of the project. I can’t wait to keep pushing the limits of technology to get the best possible results, and give all the Starwars fans a game to be remembered.
E3 2012 Demo:
“Cowboys & Aliens” is released today, and there are some reasons that make this to be a very special event to me. I had an amazing experience while participating in the film as a CG Artist at ILM’s Digimatte department, for which I’ve got an ILM internal award to Best Environment, which I’ve received on the same day of my daughter’s first birthday! An talking about birthdays, today… it is my birthday! So there you go, quite a few reasons to feel excited about it :)
I’ve recently been interviewed by Dimension 2.5, a Spanish site about VFX, to share some of the experiences I’ve gone through during the last few years, including my current role as CG Artist in the digimatte department at ILM. Thanks to Miguel Gómez from Dimension 2.5 for making it possible. You can read the interview here [Spanish].
Although the ‘Augmented Reality’ technology must be around 10 years old (not sure though), I’ve been hearing about it quite a bit lately. It seems like a lot of mobile and web applications (and games for some time now, of course) that are using this technology are coming up lately and, well, I’ve always found it pretty cool :). I was curious about it so I wanted to try to find out how it works and play with it a little bit (I’m not a developer or anything like that, but I’m kind of persistent fighting against the code :) ). So I’ve found FLARToolKit, an AS3 ported version of ARToolKit, and what probably is the reason why is becoming kind of popular in web applications since it allows to use this technology with Flash. Using Papervision3D as the 3D engine and a lot of resources and documentation from all around the web to figure this thing out, the result is this small test.
NOTE: There’s some shading problems that I need to solve (I know Papervision3D doesn’t like something about the mesh I’ve used, but I still have check what’s going on), but as soon as I fix it I’ll update this post.
1.- First you need to print the marker where the 3D object is going to stick to, so you need a printer and some paper :) You can download it here
2.- Second, you need a webcam. Once you have the marker, click on the logo below and a small window will open. It will ask you for permission to access to your camera, so you have to click on ‘Allow’. You’ll see where your camera is pointing at on the screen, so now you just have to place the marker right in front of the camera.
Not too long after getting into 3D, I was fascinated by the fact of mixing real elements in a new context to come up with new meanings. A previous example of that is my Hope-Phone clip, which is actually not a phone. Back then, looking for references and inspiration, I’ve found Chema Madoz (actually, a good friend of mine and great artist told me about him), a Spanish photographer who I really admire now. I love his work and his ideas. So, ‘following that path’ is something that I’m very interested in, with the difference of using 3D instead of photography as the way to show those ideas.
This is the first one of several clips that I would like to do, as a tribute to Madoz. It’s based in one of his photos, hence one of his ideas.
This is a short and rough preview to show how a car sequence that I’m working on is coming along. This is just the first test I’ve made and I’m still working on it. A lot of things to finish/fix/change/etc… Trying to find a way to make the motion blur to look good in post without motion vector passes, since the software I’m using doesn’t support them. It obviously doesn’t work very well for this shot in an automatic way, and trying to use tracking markers didn’t help much in this particular case either.
Kind of thinking about ‘The Gumball Rally’ (1976) while developing the shots… we’ll see.
This shot is another test for my animated short film A Robot’s Life, a personal project that I’m working on. The character in this shot is one of the three characters that are part of the story. The background is the exterior part of one of the main locations in the film. It will hopefully be finished after tweaking/fixing a couple of things and render it again in higher size/quality. Character animation by Jordi Girones aka “Giro”.