Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tools: Particle Universe

Chess enters the Nuclear Age. 
Now we know what happens when stuff gets obliterated we can start trying to draw it. For that we need a particle system and a rendering environment and this one is pretty cool and free (or at least pretty cheap for commercial use).

Particle Universe by FXpression is a full featured system with a flexible and easy to use editing suite built in that uses the OGRE engine. PU is being used extensively during ongoing MAD development, so far it has proven to be a great design platform with provision for rendering out stills or animations as well as easily and painlessly generating robust particle scripts.

Reference: BOOM!

Humans are dumb.
Designing and scripting effective particle systems is a challenge for the designer, especially when it comes to realistic "next-gen" destruction. Explosions involve some very specific processes, so it helps to understand a little about what exactly is going on when things blow up.

CGSociety is hosting an excellent article by Keiron Helsdon on the anatomy of explosions, everything from a firecracker to a H-Bomb is described in detail and accompanied by a bunch of great reference images. Check it out.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Farewell Niko.

And now the bad news...
Sometimes life is a right bitch.

On this sad day we farewell Nikola Fisher - musician, artist, surfer and pal - now that his long struggle with cancer is finally over.

Niko was the grandson of Schnikelfritz himself - the same Freddie Fisher responsible for the music of Warner Bros. Loony Tunes - and with his father King on the clarinet, Niko carried on the great family tradition of music and farce with aplomb.

I remember an elderly punter at one local gig who was thrilled to have had the opportunity during his life to enjoy 3 generations of Fisher genius. I am not alone in feeling privileged to have shared much happier times with Niko and his family.

Anyways, adios mate. You are sorely missed but I'm sure you are having a good laugh wherever you may find yourself - you never did lose that Niko sense of humour, even if the rest of us struggled to find ours.

Check out for a little of Nikos life and work.