Rebranding Fiction Science

Meet Joe-Bot, my new mascot. Still working on finding a good balance of logo, text and color, so this is temporary. I like this little guy, and want to make it my new logo, and build my new website based on this kind of iconography. I’m going to build a whole story around this little robot and look forward to refining and rebranding my company.

Half-Life 3?

Okay, I admit it. I’m a huge Half-Life 2 fan. I think Valve’s games are the best, most intelligent and immersive games. The worlds they create feel very real. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in the series. This is my own fan-based image, created from photos I took in one of the bleaker parts of the city. I combined them in Photoshop with various elements from screenshots, including a shot of one of my own prop guns. This character is obviously in a bad spot, with a train bearing down on him and two striders on the way. He’d better run…

A note about 3D

Roger Ebert posted  an interesting article based on a letter he received from the great editor Walter Murch. ( Buried among the 500-odd comments is my two cents:

One of the main reasons I feel that mainstream movies do not need 3D goes way back to the beginnings of cinema. Eisenstein’s definition of film is “a succession of images juxtaposed so that the contrast between these images move the story forward in the mind of the audience.” This very definition, which describes film beautifully, is summed up in our naming the medium of film as “Motion Pictures.” Moving pictures, affected by the expansion and compression of time through editing. The moment we add depth into this time-based medium we’re in trouble, because we are changing depth in every cut. Notice how the most immersive 3D films were the thrill rides at Universal. No cuts, just one continuous take, and all dependant on a continual forward motion, travelling ever deeper into the scenes.
Not all films are thrill rides, yet those bean-counters who saw the box office of Avatar suddenly saw 3D as the next step in film evolution. It doesn’t help that James Cameron is blowing that horn as well, and that’s troubling. It’s like trying to convince us that picture books are cool, but pop-up books are better. I prefer my succession of pictures viewed without gadgetry.

With eyes almost closed

There are things we see that are almost impossible to reproduce on canvas, or digitally. Things like the patterns behind our eyelids that propagate geometrically when you press on your eyes, or the beautiful prismatic chromatic aberrations from sunlight through your eyelashes as you hold them open ever so slightly. Here are samples from a series of images I’ve been creating called “Eyes Half Closed.” These were created in Photoshop, using photos which I took through polarized mylar sheets and glass marbles. I added things like “floaters,” trying to reproduce the loose blood cells we observe floating inside our eyes. I’ve got quite a few of these which I want to make into an interactive looping slideshow to soothing music. (click to view full size.)

New Lightsabers

I wouldn’t call myself a Star Wars fan, although I love the original three films. I also love the design of the Star wars universe, and enjoy the creative use of found objects that snuck into the prop designs in 1977. Those old photographer’s flash handles were perfect for Darth Vader’s lightsaber. Here a couple that I built using vintage flash handles as well.

More work-in-progress

Well, I started back at work on the film – back to 11-hour days – so not too much time for personal work. Here’s another sketch for the Rocket Patrol poster. I find sometimes when I slow down and get into realistic proportions and poses, it loses some of the design of the original thumbnails. I’m going to try to find a half-way between this sketch and the stylized lady of my first scribble. I also want to give her face that classic American illustration look. Not quite there yet.