Sunday, June 29, 2008

All About EVE.

You’ve probably already heard, but Pixar has done it yet again. They’ve schooled the competition by releasing another technically superior flick with a story that could go down as one of the best films of the year and perhaps one of the best sci-fi films of all time. The Kyality Kids and I caught WALL•E this weekend and seriously the folks at Pixar have outdone themselves.

WALL•E lives up to the hype with moving drama, silent film storytelling, and in the end a very hope-filled outlook. The design of the characters themselves is easily the most compelling aspect of this feature. Granted you experience some definite Johnny 5-ish moments when watching WALL•E, yet it’s still amazing to realize just how much expression the dudes at Pixar were able to accomplish by limiting themselves to strictly mechanical movements of
WALL•E's head and eyes.

But for me, it’s all about EVE. There’s no way around the fact that EVE is just flat out cool. This Jonathan Ive-inspired droid is fast and furious; she’s shiny and sexy. And let’s face it, you’ve got respect a take-charge-kind-of-woman. WALL•E, I’m with you… EVE’s a hottie and I’d probably stalk her too.

By the way, the inspiration for EVE came from Jony Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple not to be confused with Johnny 5, the sentient robot from 1986’s Short Circuit and 1988’s Short Circuit 2. (Yes, there was in fact a sequel.)

Also, Presto—the Pixar short that precedes WALL•E—is in my opinion their best short film yet. And you designer types out there will for sure dig the letterpressed look of this short’s closing creds.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Laugh It Up, Fuzzball.

So Mrs. Kyality and the Kyality Kids rocked the house down with some killer gifts for Father’s Day this year—especially coming off of such a sweet Christmas present. The F-day gifts included tix to see Jerry Seinfeld live, R.E.M.’s hot new album Accelerate, a Hot Wheels model of the Mach 5, and last but definitely not least… Chewbacca from Hasbro’s new line of wannabe Kidrobot toys called Mighty Muggs.

Mighty Muggs are Hasbro’s take on the urban vinyl movement, but in my opinion, most of the figures look a bit cheesy. But as you can see, the Chewie model is pretty much flawless and awesome.

Once I got my F-day gifts all set up at work. I snapped couple pics of my workstation and uploaded them to a new site called: WHEREWEDOWHATWEDO. You can also see the workstations of fellow Strucker Jeramy and IndieLabs' Matty and Stremph.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

BMW: The Fabric of Our Lives.

I’ve got a problem with hybrids. Yep, that’s right. I especially have a problem with the whole concept of a hybrid SUV. Seriously, give me a break folks. The reason a hybrid is a hybrid is because it has two engines, a combustion and an electric. So tell me this, how does adding more mass to a vehicle mean less of a need for energy? More does not equal less. You can’t add more mass to a car and expect it to require less energy in order to move. It’s called physics. Not to mention there’s energy required to run the additional infrastructure to manufacture a second engine and the mega batteries that hybrids rely on.

Something as got to change. We need to completely rethink exactly what the modern automobile is and luckily the dudes at a little place called Bavarian Motor Works are doing just that. In 1992, American auto designer Chris Bangle became BMW’s Chief of Design. Granted he’s pushed BMW’s design in to a more controversial realm, especially with what’s come to be known as the “Bangle-butt”, BUT the industry has followed suit nevertheless.

Under Bangle’s direction, BMW has just released a vehicle that seriously reduces mass and challenges the very essence of what auto design has become. Enter: the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model Concept Car. Yeah, I know, it’s a mouthful, just watch this clip… trust me.

Talk about reducing mass. You heard that right—this car is wrapped in high-tech fabric. Until automakers start thinking with this level of ingenuity, I’m afraid we’ll merely continue to suffer as energy prices continue to soar. But until then, please hang up the keys to the SUV and pick a vehicle with a little less load to lug.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should.

In 10th grade I some how came across a flawless fedora. So you better believe that for Halloween that year, I also scrapped together an old army satchel, a some khakis, a leather jacket, and of course, a bullwhip. Ever since I can remember, the Harrison Ford amalgamation of Indian Jones / Han Solo has been my iconic hero figure. I worshiped and upheld both Raiders and the Last Crusade as some of the best movies ever. (I never got into that whole Temple of Doom thing.)

So needless to say, I’ve been following the rumored 4th Indy pretty closely. I was right there when M. Night Shyamalan was supposedly writing the script. I checked IMDb one day prior to the release of the title and literally checked back the next day to see “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” squarely in place. And last week, Mrs. Kyality and I polished off Raiders and the Last Crusade in preparation for the weekend when we finally had a babysitter so we could hook up with the Upto12's and check out the newest Indy installment.

First things first, at least the Crystal Skull is better than the Temple of Doom. But if you’ve heard that you’ll need to suspend your disbelief for this one—you heard right. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a massive exercise in the fact that: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Yet, I’ll also be the first to admit, I didn’t not like it.

Without giving anything away, here’s what worked. The whole first half of the movie was good, fun stuff. The time period was dead-on; you definitely get the sense that Indy is older. Shia Labeouf is actually pretty awesome. The twist was good and there’s some decent dialog for sure.

Here’s what didn’t work. Nearly the entire movie seems as though it’s shot on a set. There’s far too much surrealism, I felt like I was watching an installment of The Mummy franchise rather than the Indy series. Indiana Jones flicks are the ultimate stuntman movies, they need to be set somewhat in reality in order to have that how’d-they-do-that impact. And no, tons of special effects and South-American- grave-dwelling-ninjas don’t count. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

That last and most important component that was lacking in this flick is a little thing known as the Spielberg Moment. You know what I mean… a Spielberg Moment is one of pure, true wittiness. It’s Indy cappin’ the swordsman, it’s E.T. motionless in the toy closet, it’s seeing the shark and uttering, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The Crystal Skull tried really, really hard to have that moment and it came close, but time after time fell just short of the mark. But like I said, at least it was better than the Temple of Doom.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My Job Sorta Rocks.

So yesterday I karted B Money and Jeramy down to MINI of Murray, while on the job. Yes, Struck's MINI project with BSSP is in full swing and I arranged for a photo shoot of an '08 Clubman. There’s a major 3D component to our project and we needed to gather gobs of guages and textures to map onto our 3D models—textures like chrome, leather, brushed aluminum and black grill mesh.

To my delight, our friends at MINI of Murray tossed us the keyless entry fob to a Hot Chocolate Cooper S Clubman. So beautiful. We set up and B Money when to town. I covered the action with my iPhone cam. This model sported the wood-trimmed interior, the Hot Chocolate leather/fabric upholstery, and a massive sunroof—which helped immensely with lighting the interior. It was a fun hour’s worth of work, definitely one of those times that makes you think: geez, I can’t believe this is my job.

Here's one of the reference images we shot for our 3D renderings: