Anyone with a taste for sci-fi will find Big Lazy Robot’s (BLR) spec film, Kaloid, a tantalising treat, and all the more so if AIs and mechanized armour are your sort of thing. The film is effectively a high impact trailer for a film that doesn’t exist. The plot, as typically presented by a trailer, is not fully apparent but there are allusions to humanity having installed AIs to keep the world’s population in order, perhaps under the thumb. It seems something has gone wrong, or significant elements of the human population have grown tired of their tyrannical custodians and have decided to revolt.
Keloid from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.
The film spent two years in the making for a completed film of just 3 gripping minutes. The production values are nothing short of AAA, and has purportedly attracted attention for a possible full production. The first thing I thought when I saw the robotics designs was that it looked like some of the design talent from District 9 was somehow involved. This turns out to be true. The guy, as I know now, is Aaron Beck, who is based out of Wellington, New Zealand. In addition to his work on District 9, Beck has also worked on Avatar and Elysium. Beck’s Blogger currently has a modest following and is home to some very inspiring works of cyborgs, androids, and other sci-fi goodies.
However it pans out for Kaloid, BLR, the small Spanish based firm, has made its splash with their production work to date. Just check out their worked on the rather stylish Absolute Vodka ad. Or perhaps more interesting to us 3D enthusiasts, why not check out the fantastic advert they worked on for German electronics retailer, Saturn. For this they made and rigged the models and animated the some of the sequences.
Saturn – Evolution from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.
E-on is well-known for outrageous prices (though that depends who you ask), but they are also known for providing their software for free under their Private Learning Edition licensing. It was unclear at the time of release if there would be a PLE version of The Plant Factory, so many will be very happy to see the software join E-on’s list of PLE software.
Basically, what E-on is doing here is giving away the full featured version of their software for free on the strict condition that the work is non-commercial, and should be used only for personal education, so great for students, enthusiasts, and evaluation for potential commercial purchases. Of course there are some limitations in the software: Renders carry a logo and will be water marked after 30 days; exporting mesh removes 1 in 5 polygons; importing full featured files into Vue is limited to PLE versions, and can’t be exchanged with other users.
But what is The Plant Factory?
Obviously not everyone that stumbles upon this post will know what The Plant Factory (TPF) is, some will not know who E-on is, or have ever have heard of Vue (pushing it there?). I’ll leave the later names and products to the investigation of interested parties, but TPF is a modeling program (stand-alone or plugin for Vue), that allows users to create a huge variety of vegetation. TPF has also been used to create other sorts of objects, but vegetation is by far the primary use. Yep, the name is a dead giveaway.
Plant Factory includes three modeling methods – node based procedural, snap ‘n connect components, and shape painting. The three methods can be combined at any stage. Any variety of plants, from grass, to succulents, shrubs and trees and vines can be created. TPF includes technology to grow plants on objects – especially cool for vines and other climbing plants. Plants can be animated and exported fully rigged and UV mapped in many popular file types for use in just about any 3D program. You can find a list of full features here. Access The Plant Factory Personal Learning Edition here.
To get the DigiSprawl Facebook page up going we’re holding a contest. Like the below post at Facebook and once we reach 150 likes three entrants will receive gift vouchers for DAZ 3D’s web store. So, come and join Party-bot and help us reach 150 likes and blow some cash.
Finally, Dawn (still free) has the game changer she has everyone has been waiting for. Thanks to realityPaint’s Texture Transformer, textures for DAZ 3D’s Victoria 4 can now be converted to work with Dawn. The application comes as a stand-alone product and as a plugin for realityPaint. The plugin is free with RP Pro, but it is unclear if it is included with the standard version. On one page it is stated “Free inside realityPaint-Pro or Standard…”, but on the product purchase page there is no mention of Texture Transformer being included with standard. Most likely the information has not been updated.
The below YouTube video states that the stand-alone Texture Transformer is not yet available (video uploaded on the 11th sep), but the realityPaint Update page clearly states the stand-alone version has been released, so we can safely assume the version at Hivewire, RuntimeDNA, Renderosity, and realityPaint is indeed the stand-alone texture converter.
RealityPaint’s products are currently on special at a 20% discount, but if you just want the standalone texture converter than you can pick it up for $34.95 (limited special) from all the participating vendors. If you’re a Hivewire member with reward points you can knock another $10 off this price.
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