8-bit Dark Void


There are a lot of fans of the classics here at Airtight so sometimes someone will whip up a fun little bit of mock art – even our composer. So, seeing as yesterday was April Fool’s Day, Capcom took the opportunity to share this stuff with the rest of you. Follow the link for more 8-bit artwork and an awesome remix of the theme music by Dark Void’s composer: Dark Void’s New Look

Some Refreshing News

In the midst of depressing news like Microsoft laying of 5,000 people and EA cutting 1,000 jobs it great to hear that someone is taking a different approach to relieving financial pressure:Blue Sky has moved it’s studio from New York all the way, um, next door to Connecticut to take advantage of the “Hollywood East” tax breaks offered there. The best part is that instead of huge layoffs, they’re actually expanding and hiring more people. Now I realize this plan was initiated long before the whole US economy collapse thing became big news, but it looks as if some smart planning may have saved some people their jobs, and that’s always a good thing.

Behind the Scenes at Airtight via The Seattle Times

The local newspaper stopped by to take a look around and give a bit of a profile of us last week. If you’re curious, there’s some interesting info about our studio that I don’t think has been made public before. Obviously, with the game still in progress no one can give it a glowing review, but it seems like most people are impressed with it so far and are looking forward to seeing the finished product. This guy doesn’t seem to offer much of an opinion, however, opting to mostly give quotes from people who work here. (Click the picture to read the article)

Exciting New Animation Tools Coming Soon

I’m still using trusty old Maya 7.0 at work, but I must say that for the first time I’m actually excited about a new release of Maya. Maya 2009 will include animation layers, a la Motionbuilder, which is something I’ve wanted since I started animating for games. Just think, if they decide to change a character’s idle pose you can simply slap that pose on a new layer in every other animation that needs to conform to that pose and you’ve got a non-destructively modified animation. Nice. Also helpful if you want to make several variations of similar moves. Other features include improvements to unwrapping UVs and easily rendering in stereoscopic 3D. Go to the Autodesk website to read more about it and watch some demo videos.

Independant R&D company Kickstand has some really impressive and useful deformation tools for Maya coming in the near future that will change the way people model and rig. Too bad you’ll have to shell out more cash for these. Hopefully Autodesk can integrate these features in a later release, but it seems to take them a long time to integrate tools that users have generated a long time ago.

I’m still waiting for Reflex to be released to the public.

Eeee-vah!

Okay, I’m sorry. It’s been a bit long since my last post and I was intending to write about Wall-E as soon as I saw it. Most of you have seen it now so you know it’s great and I don’t have much to add that hasn’t been said. It’s a moving love story with truly endearing characters, beautiful visuals, and lots of pantomime so communicative that it makes you wish more movies would cut down on spoken dialogue. Kung Fu Panda was a great animated movie, but Wall-E is a great movie – animated or otherwise – and it’s still in a few theatres. Obviously I’m a little late in saying so, but if you haven’t seen Wall-E yet…
Then, after you’ve seen it, fire up iTunes and buy Presto, the short film that screened before Wall-E. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard at a cartoon, but what’s even cooler is when you step through it frame-by-frame in Quicktime: crazy distortions, smear frames, extra limbs! Finally, CG that cheats just as well as the old 2D days!

Skidoosh

Kung Fu Panda is an awesome, movie. Way better than any other Dreamworks animated movie to date. The trailer doesn’t quite convey this fact, but check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. The art direction is beautiful (except maybe the Monkey character design) the animation is really organic and entertaining, and the story has a lot of heart and humour. I don’t remember a single pop-culture reference or fart joke, either. Huge props to anyone who worked on this. Hit the picture above for a link to the Google listing and enter your zip code to find the showtimes at your nearest theatre, then go see it. Hurry, because Wall*E comes out in a couple weeks and you should NOT decide to just see one animated movie this month.