Dance Video Collection

Keone and Mariel Madrid dance to Bob Marley.

Lil Buck w/ Yo Yo Ma

Robot Boys… being robots (thx to Oliver Twist for referring me to this).

La Preuve Par 4 (AKA: Dubstep Dance France), rock it out In a similar style.

Liquid Pop Collective: For something a little more fluid, here’s some liquid demonstrations. I could swear that one of these clips is from DEMF.

Quixotic Fusion is interacting with projections.

Glitch performing Existence

Marquese Scott (aka NONSTOP) is also known as the “dubstep robot” and his performance remains as one of the most out-of-this-word performances I have seen in recent memory. This video also gained him a spot on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Genki Sudo – WORLD ORDER”2012″
Japense synchro-dance in business suits

via Jeff Skelton

TURF FEINZ dancing in the rain might not be a head-turner, but I’m sure it was for the drivers who passed by.

Robert Muraine’s So You Think You Can Dance audition

Phillip Chbeeb’s second audition on So You Think You Can Dance

Here’s a link to his first audition.

Bryan Gaynor (robot boy) on So You Think You Can Dance

After so much popping, I need to mention the quick and light footwork of house dance.

This Moonrunners (Toronto) robot dance video isn’t the best quality, but there’s some slick moves in here that are worth linking to.

Can’t close this without linking to the recently famous “Hottest Dance Battle” video, featuring two pole dancing champions.

Anyone care to add to this list? Please share!!

Thought for Food – Last Day

Ok, this is about the final chapter here. I have about 4 hours till I have to hit the final render button.  Will I make the deadline for the Houdini Cook-Off?

My promises to myself include:

  • Keep the title, “Food for Thought“.
  • Use a brain.
  • Have it be cooked and/or eaten.
  • Create reusable assets.
  • Make sure I’m packed and ready with my desert gear for Burning Man…  TOMORROW???  We still have an RV and trailer to pack.

Progress so far…

  1. I started with a model I couldn’t use, because I didn’t build it, so how do you easily build a brain in Houdini?
  2. I tried to use MRI data to build my own brain geometry… via voxels.  I got something working…  BUT…  I couldn’t make anything solid.  It was very ghostly looking so I tried some nodes in Houdini which allowed me to create geometry, but the input data from an MRI scan is pretty dirty. I knew I need to somehow build a solid brain quickly.  So, I’m stopping this R&D and I’m saving the MRI results for when I get my own personal brain scan next month (no joke). My Wacom isn’t working under windows (I know… weird), so this was helping me avoid 3DCoat for my sculpting.
  3. Starting over, I used a low-res smooth brain-like shaped object and painted on it.  Using some procedural point operations, I created the wrinkle/sausage (gyrus?) things on the brain.
  4. I don’t know Houdini’s shaders well enough to make realistic looking brain bread baking, so my limited time was spent on shaders, and all I’m really looking for is more BANG for my buck. So, I’m setting aside my “baking bread brains” in coffee shops…    for now!  MWAHAHAHA!!!
  5. Serendipity occurred and I ended up filming the Vancouver Zombie Walk from last weekend. While I was there, I ran into an A&W and asked for a paper cup.  I marked it up with “X”s and triangles, thinking, “Hopefully make-up covered actors won’t feel too silly…  eating a paper cup.


the blanket is for half-ass soundproofing

*note: Blanket hanging on chair in attempting to get rid of the echos while recording.

Now, here I am with some undesirables that I’m trying to overcome.

Using Windows, not Linux.

Using a small USB hard drive as my project drive.

Going to be recording my own audio (zombie acting… whaaat?)

Doing my composting in Houdini.

I changed the direction last minute (oh those crazy directors…  hehe).

Vancouver Zombie Walk 2011

On August 20th, 2011, Vancouver was plagued by an army of the undead. I managed to survive the claws of the maggot invested fiends with my recorded footage.

What’s this on my arm? Aw nothin. Just a scratch. *cough* *cough* Really, I’m fine.

Here’s some footage that I put together for fun.

Two Recent Turn-Based Strategy Releases

Despite the great time I have had playing Blipzkrieg, I’ve also invested some time (and $7) on another game.

Frozen Synapse was half-off on Steam this past weekend and I’ve been playing it quite a bit… in between renders. I am certainly digging it, as it feels like a combination of Rainbow Six’s planning stages, X-COM and Jagged Alliance. Games can be completed fairly quickly, unlike most turn-based strategy games, which is a big plus for casual gamers.

It’s also worth mentioning that they’ve demoed some Jagged Alliance Online footage on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Great game and I remember running into one of the developers while snowboarding in Vancouver

Enjoying the Process w/ SUPAKITCH & KORALIE

and a little more behind the scenes…

North By Northeast Festival

I was unaware of what was going on, till it was almost over. This past week was the annual North By Northeast Music & Film Festival…    and Conference.

On Thursday I went to a show that started at midnight and ended at a 4am?  A friend of mine recommended I join her to see Noah Pred, who did not disappoint. There’s plenty of music being labeled, “Tech House”… and I’m really liking the sound of much of what I’ve heard…  especially when it stays tribal and funky.  I’m tempted to call it “Minimal House”.

On Saturday I was taking a rail car  into downtown and disembarked when we hit a diversion point.  I soon walked past a huge line of Lady Gaga fans who were waiting for hear arrival. In Dundas Square, I was with thousands watching Devo playing on a big screen.  Large, free (with donation) bottles of energy drink were being consumed by many.  Even ran into , complete with illuminated logo t-shirts. Plus, all week long, many venues received a special alteration to their liquor licenses…    they could serve till 4am???

On a different, but similar note…  Sunday night was my first experience of Cherry Beach. Other than Tuesday night’s in Whistler, BC…  I haven’t seen this many people rock it out on a School Night in a long time.  What?  You say this is EVERY Sunday?  Oooh boy.

Minecraft Mod Will Twist Your World

I try to avoid posting random video game videos, unless there’s something be learned… but this was too trippy to pass up. It’s amazing what you can do with a procedurally built world. The bigger the monitor you have, the more immersive the experience. If, at first you are not impressed, give it a minute… even if you’re not much of a gamer.

Daft Punk Visual Mashup

In a style similar to Girl Talk, this mash-up moves through 23 Daft Punk tracks and uses HTML5 and CSS3 in order to visualize all the layers, cuts and waveforms in real time.

You can use the timeline on the bottom to skip around. It would have been neat to be able to toggle each track on and off, but I haven’t found anything in here that allows for that…  yet.

The most impressive part is that no Flash was used to create this! Awesome. There is hope for the future of the internet.

“The Man In Blue” also has a link in the upper right to download the mix as an MP3.

Two Victories for the Empire

Empire Kills Terrorist

Vader Announces Death of Rebel Terrorist

According to the Galactic Empire Times:

CORUSCANT — Obi-Wan Kenobi, the mastermind of some of the most devastating attacks on the Galactic Empire and the most hunted man in the galaxy, was killed in a firefight with Imperial forces near Alderaan, Darth Vader announced on Sunday.

Suspected Rebel “Jer” Detained

In a related victory for the galaxy, another rebel was apprehended by a squadron in the Toronto region. The unsuspecting terrorist was taken without incident. Identified as “Jer“, the rebel was armed with a concealed hot dog wrapped in paper towel and a bag full of independently financed comic books.

He was also in possession of a 20oz bottle of Coca Cola, though he denies that he was the owner. He was recorded saying, “It’s not mine!! I’m hypoglycemic!.

He is currently being detained at an undisclosed location and undergoing “questioning” in order to determine the whereabouts of other potential rebel terrorist cells.

With two historic victories in less than a single solar cycle, citizens of the Empire have reason to be proud.

World War Z

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A commentary of the societies around the globe. What happens when our systems are stress tested? How would we survive and reconstruct after a zombie apocalypse?

If you’re curious, this is a must read. If you don’t really care, then read it anyway!

View all my reviews

Richard Williams – Animator / Director

Working in the animation industry, it’s almost impossible to not have heard of Richard Williams. His Animator’s Survival Kit is a bible for most character animators. Every studio that I have worked at, had at least a half dozen copied floating around. A few years ago, Richard also made his live lectures available on DVD. The price is now down to just under $1000 USD. Wiki says that this animator/director was born in Toronto, Canada in 1933.

Richard Williams is best known as the director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Apparently, Williams had also directed 3/4 of the Raggedy Ann & Andy, “A Musical Adventure“. Here’s a great clip of the iconic dolls floating around in a living lake of sugar, via Scribble Junkies.

According to the Scribble Junkies thread, the primary animator for this shot was Emery Hawkins.

If you liked that, I recommend checking out Michael Sporn’s blog, where you can find pages and pages of behind the scene materials, including the original timing sheets. There is also a “The Animated Raggedy Ann and Andy: An Intimate Look at the Art of Animation Its History, Techniques, and Artists” book, that sounds like a good collector’s item.

Finally, it’s difficult to talk about Richard Williams without mentioning his film, The Thief and the Cobbler. If you appreciate his work, I recommend taking 2 hours to see the mostly finished Recobbled Cut“, which is available, in it’s entirety on Youtube.

Zombies Ruin Vacation

Zombies chomping (and being chopped) in reverse, for Zombie Island trailer. Houdini was used for rigging, animation, effects and rendering. A nice score for Toronto based SideFX software!

Read the VFX breakdown here.

Music Video Collaboration

A friend of mine recently posted this Ted Talk video of Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir of 2,000 voices. The beginning of the first song presented sent chills up my spine. I find it eerie and beautiful how there can be so many voices, singing in unison, yet none of them have ever met face-to-face (for the most part).

Click here for the uncut version of the choir (1.0).

It reminded me of these two other videos.

The first video contains clips that were hand picked from Youtube, and put together into a melody.

This music video doesn’t contain musical collaboration like the previous two videos, but the clever use of video (Brady Bunch style) pushed me to mention it here. Similar enough for me!

Dear internet, you truly are an endless glass of liquid potential.

Novation Music Controllers

I hear that combined with Ableton, the Novation Launchpad is killer.

Searching around for prices, I noticed that Novation also has a DJ controller coming out called Twitch. This device includes a touch strip, instead of the plastic discs we typically see on these kinds of controllers. This controller uses Serato’s ITCH software via USB and can also connect via MIDI.

Brain Farm Cinema

Production house specializing in aerial cinematography.

PILLOW FIGHT!! Toronto 2011

On Saturday, April 2nd @ 8 PM
Yonge-Dundas Square

Newmindspace hosted their first nighttime pillow fight in downtown Toronto. The event was kicked off by a group playing out some tribal rhythms, which continued through all the pillow bashing. I recommend for those that are in a creative slump, to just pull out the camera, and capture the world around you. If inspired, take that footage, edit it together and SHARE IT!! When money isn’t involved, there is so much freedom. Explore it.

Filmed on a Canon 60D and edited with Super Loiloscope.

Pixelated in 3D

If you haven’t already seen Pixels by Patrick Jean, I highly recommend sitting back for a few minutes to see the short that inspired Adam Sandler to invest.

Someone has even build a digital asset that you can download, for free, which allows you to accomplish some of the effects found in this short. It’s called “pixelizeME” and you can find it at the Houdini Exchange.

Here’s an example created by Damien LM.

Have a Reservation? Goodnight!

Last night we set out to check out a place called “Goodnight!“. It’s your classic, loungey, little back alley drinking hole that requires an invite/reservation. New York Times has labeled one of the “coolest” places in Toronto.

Upon entering, we were asked to keep our cameras put away, as not to disturb the special guests. We didn’t recognize any of the other patrons present, though we had heard that celebs (such as Dan Aykroyd) visit often. The small room used wooden pallets as walls and the long but narrow wooden shelf contained all the high-end booze you could ask for, including 1oz shots of scotch for $140. Our host opted for the $20/oz scotch.

We didn’t stay too long before we decided to change the atmosphere and visit another friend.

The next establishment was a place called Cream. Though this lounge was larger, it also required a knock at a locked door. Cream has only been open for a few months, but the decor felt otherwise. These photos don’t do it justice, as it was too dark for my phone camera. The lighting was was similar to that found in a Stanley Kubrick film. As for the design work… walking through the doors made me feel as if I was walking onto the set of Marie Antoinette. We were greeted by the owner and casually ushered to a short table surrounded by antique couches.

Everything felt authentic.  The hand upholstered couches, curtains, chandeliers and…  real silverware? I had one glass of red wine , that I gently sipped, while eating a filet mignon and watching a live performance of Amy Winehouse projected over a curtained wall.  I’ve never been in such a stylish place, yet felt so comfortable. The owner was a great host who joined us for the last half of our meal. I could get used to this.  We all agreed to return… soon.

What’s It Like Working in the Video Game Industry?

An 8 year game industry veteran’s opinion accurately describes my own game industry experience and why I’m hesitant to return.

[thx Mike Rhone]

Rendezvous – Ferrari Through Streets of Paris

I’ve been trying to hunt this video down for years. Luckily someone has taken it from the original VHS and posted it online.

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