Piece of history – a lesson to be learned?

Recently a friend pointed out to me that there is a site on the internet that keeps track of web pages and archives snapshots of them.
This thing is called “The way-back-machine” .

I went ahead and checked out several websites of things I was involved with. One thing I would like to post here is the page of my dear friend and business Partner Dan Mapes who had this up in 2001: Virtual Camera (Be warned: Takes a while to load)

Sometimes I wonder if the Cameron’s of this world get their inspiration from way-back.

P.S. Here is the full article on the system.

LEGO Research Showreel 1995 – 1998

This is where it all started…

This video is from the time at LEGO (1995 to 1998) and shows work Dan and I were involved in during this time. It documents what was happening in respect to human interaction in 3D space at LEGO and goes all the way to real time movie making with digital LEGO. It visualizes the vision we carry when we create a product like Xaelander for Motion4U.

The very first bit of the video shows an early prototype that was realized in collaboration with David Small which was at MIT at this point. As soon as the gentlemen in the yellow suit pops up you’re looking at Scott from Multigen that uses SmartScene. In the second part of the video there is footage from the castle demo of the WIZard group at SPU Darwin (actual name of the demo was “Batlord’s Castle”). In there you will also see Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen the owner of the LEGO Group (gentleman in the blue-shirt with tie and the VR headset).

So if you’re in for the short read, watch the vid, follow the links above and check out what you can get out of this today. If you care about background, history and tech-babble … keep on reading 🙂

LEGO - RealTime Movie Making

Continue reading LEGO Research Showreel 1995 – 1998

LEGO – squash and stretch to the ugly…

I wrote up an article one day because I am constantly getting annoyed by the ignorance of producers and animators towards the legacy of Godtfred Kirk Christiansen the son of the founder of the LEGO Group. To me the LEGO figure is molded with rigid plastic. Bringing those figures to live by deforming them destroys the look and feel. Read it here…

Now this Intro page to the upcoming LEGO 3D Digital Universe is probably the worst I have ever seen. Watch the mini figure in red dancing and bowing, errrmm… hitting his head to the floor. And mind the broken geometry on the arm when he’s waving…

Here’s a screencapture (1.8 MB QuickTime movie) of  the LEGO Universe Intro (In case it changed…)

Here’s a more elaborate 3rd party article on the LEGO Universe followed by a very good comment written by a fellow co-worker at SPU Darwin and a dear friend of mine Christian Greuel. (NOTE: This is coming from the web archive website. Please be patient, it will load for a while.)

P.S. This text, nor any text on this web site are related, recognized or endorsed by/to the Company “LEGO® Group”. LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies.

LEGO – RubberDuck (8299) CD-ROM

In 1995 we started drafting a production plan for the first LEGO box that would come out with a CD-ROM. The main concept was to do 3D animated building instructions of the two main models. There were many more 3D animated building instructions and a lot of basic to advanced explanatory LEGO Technic concepts and much more In the final product. I would like to mention Claude Aebersold, Bjarne Tveskov and Christopher Yavelow, Michael Lawson and Juray Highdway, without them the 3D content would still be rendering 🙂 .

The production was finished right before Siggraph that year. The CD-ROM won the “Danish Design Centre “ID98″ Prize” and the “Best Scandinavian CD-ROM” Awards.

Here’s a very small excerpt of the building instructions for the Main model: The “Little Sub”.

LEGO – Little Sub Buildinginstructions from Alex Furer on Vimeo.

Animagica – The LEGO Movie

The Lego movie is the result of the hard work of 4 – 5 partially Swiss individuals that was sold to LEGO for an undisclosed amount of money and started a $6 million feasibility phase made out of six people at the LEGO corporation which later enabled a department of 168 employees from 11 nations with nearly $50 million of budget to create the first generation of digital LEGO toys…

Logbook, The captain, “Monday, 4am, finally the last frame of the 41 layer composit rendered to QuickTime no compression on our 64 MB ram, 33 Mhz Macintosh Quadrd 950 PowerHorse. We never thought it would take an end AND we didn’t miss Frodo’s birthday either.”

LEGO – The Movie from Alex Furer on Vimeo.