30 December

THE HOBBIT:  The Battle of the Five Armes

The Hobbit:  Production Diaries

Peter Jackson: Playlists

9 December

Industry talk on the concept art behind Wolverine and Maze Runner with Wayne Haag

Starting out using Lift film processes of black and clear for multiple exposures and before photoshop was used, when concept art was called production art.  At the beginning of photoshop there were no layers, only channels and built 3d models were incorporating them into the photoshop works while painting with a mouse.  The model would often need to be modified for the camera and the reality needed to be changed to fit into aspects of the picture such as scale.

Image converted using ifftoany

used to paint the yukon airport in the wolverine


the bi-plane in the sky was used in the opening of raiders of the lost ark

kitbashed models

google sketch up 

Looking at the use of colour and light in compositions and moving into the digital domain.  The subtleties of light such as dropping of the light from a car’s headlights or how we see the snow at night.


Image converted using ifftoany

THE WOLVERINE Concept Art Set Designs

capsule hotel japan

capsule hotel japan

Photographing on an overcast day and using raw, no HDRI images. What is the photographic look, how does it photograph, what does it look like in photographic reality?


love hotel


yeshiva estate

yeshiva estate




There are differences between concept art and matte painting.

The Fifth Element

Started out as 2d matte painting and is now part of the 3d department using software such as maya and

mud box.

Lord of the Rings – Two Towers

Northern Exposure

alien temple

alien temple



Some other artists:

Jim Burns

Ralph McQuarrie,Star Wars

Noah Bradley

1 December

RED GIANT   delivers Production-proven special effects tools for digital video & film professionals. Plug-ins built for Adobe After Effects, Premiere, Avid, Final Cut …

Visual Storytelling Workshop with Simon Walkerwho explored how colour grading techniques are used in film and showed practical applications of how to create moods, suggest genres, and inform the audience of the motivations of on-screen protagonists – all utilising Red Giant’s Color Suite of plug-ins.

He included some practical ways to improve the look of digital video, polish and enhance motion graphics sequences, showcasing strategies for reducing pixelation and noise and production techniques for making your video look as good as possible, as well as how to apply fast After Effects style post-production effects from your editing timeline, using Red Giant’s Universe suite of Plug-ins.

  • Explore how colour grading techniques are used in film
  • Learn how to create moods, suggest genres, and inform the audience of the motivations of on-screen protagonists, using Red Giant’s Color Suite of plug-ins
  • Get practical ways to improve the look of digital video, polish and enhance motion graphics sequences

Why do we tells stories with colour, colour correcting, how are colour grading techniques are used in films, do we need all that dialogue or do we save money shooting at a particular time of day. A shot may be 2 to 4 seconds and it can be shorter with colour telling the story. The audience anticipate what is going on in a particular shot and colour can communicate the story making the shot shorter.

Think about the colour wheel, rgb light and when replacing a colour you move the opposite or complementary colour.

We cannot trust our eyes as our brains reinterpret some of the colour. With complementary colours that work together our eyes are more attracted to the image, more pleasing for the audience.

Visually when we look at a blue dot on white paper for long enough then look at a blank white page we will see the complementary colour.


two circles the same size


surrounding colours change other colours


the brown dots shown are the same colour the shadow and neighbouring colours affects the colour

Colour changes throughout the day, during a story and how it is interpret.

How do our eyes see colour, in low light conditions our eyes see different colours. With the light becoming less and less saturated there is less movement and everything goes black and white. The brain is saying there is not enough light to interpret colour and puts the light into interpreting detail. We need to factor these things into grading to be convincing to the audience.

Colour has different physical wave lengths with blue being shorter than red and green.


Consider orange and teal in movies. In the Matrix where different locations or environments are associated with different colours and temperatures.  There is the real world and the computer world which is more stylised which we get used to over the duration of the film.

What do the colours mean, they are associated with different locations giving more meaning. We make the different colours and manipulate the colour to tell the story. How can it change the story, what are they thinking, communicating with colour. This can change, there are no rules, do you craft every pixel or use presets or somewhere in between.

The Cinematography of “The Matrix” part 3/3 – the colour palette

Magic Bullets Looks

Every frame being designed to have the audience look at a particular thing in the image. Consider increasing highlights and decreasing shadows.

When the contrast is increased the rgb colour space gets a perceived saturated change looking unnatural. Could put the shadows to blue, reduce saturation and use a vignette.

Vignette – cause the audience to look at a particular thing in every frame, attention getting device.

Why is the sky blue? Different wavelengths of light are scattered by the atmosphere and the blue wavelength is shorter than the others and scattered differently. This is the physics of the blue sky and when we look up there is more atmosphere at the horizon it is whiter or lighter.  The blue wavelength and it is scattered differently by the atmosphere, it becomes a gradient.

Images can be enhanced with grading and when it is the wrong colour the audience might not know what it is though they recognise something isn’t quite right.

Distance including city landscapes, the distant buildings have a more blue/purple colour which is an optical illusion. To enhance space or depth in the image, a non-stereosciopie  image, one way to put them in the distance is with more blue with objects in the foreground with less blue.  Warm colours project forward, cool colours recede, the colour of light depends on depth perception. For white balance outside light is slightly blue and inside light is slightly yellow. This also happens in nature.

The physics of the colour of light only changes int he highlights, brightest forms of light. Consider colour correcting or changing in the highlights and when the mid-tones start to change it begins to take on a more stylised mode.

Reduced mid-tones affects the ambient light, could become earlier morning or later in the day as there is less ambient light then.  The colours look saturated when working in rub colour space and maybe increase the contract to reduce the saturation and it becomes more realistic. We see blue more readily as it has a shorter wave length. For the later time of day we see more blue, maybe add some blue into the highlights and make the shadows darker, for it to look more like the evening. Sometimes is it cheaper to shoot during the day, there is more light and introduces less noise in the well lit footage. Then colour grade later for the change of time of day rather than low light conditions

There is the golden hour, in photography, or the magic hour, is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the Sun is higher in the sky. The blue hour, or sweet light is the twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. This effect is caused by the relative diffusability of short blue wavelengths of light versus the longer red wavelengths. During the blue “hour” (typically the period is about 40 minutes in length), red light passes straight into space while blue light is scattered in the atmosphere and therefore reaches the earth’s surface.  When the sun is below the horizon there is less ambient light and changes how the wave lengths are being filtered through the atmosphere.

What colour is snow, how it is changed in the Game of Thrones? 

It is blue, higher contrast and the shadows are darker.

Colour is contextual, dependent on what is happening in a scene and movies use colour for different purposes such as yellow for danger in an environment and blue in the head quarters office which are safe. Different locations have different themes.

Red: attracting attention, strong, positive, drama

Yellow: happy, highly visible, possessive, good mixed with black such as wasp, call someone yellow

Orange: mix of read and yellow, more friendly, politics, conformist, happy

Blue: opposite to political, conservative, cold, open, emotionally detached, safe, not upset the client, optimistic

Green: nature, calm, relief, evil,nausea, because the wizard of oz was green now all witches are green, traffic light (isn’t red)

Purple: pompous, femininity, mixes with yellow, warmth, romance

Black and White: mixer colours, black neutral, mourning, depression, goes with red

White: sterile

Look at the colour of trailers and see if you can tell what kind of movies they are e.g. blue for sic-fi, green for horror, orange for comedy.

How do some movies use colour?

Skyfall uses warm colours in turkey, yellow in the dangerous environment, the hot location and cool in the head quarters. What is the colour of the coat in the cold location and then the colour of clothing in the head quarters is blue, they are emotional temperatures. They are telling an emotional story and we cannot always tell these are different locations so colours can be used to illustrate this in movies.

In the film ‘House of Cards’, the different locations, the White House is not overly lit, greyish, neutral and two characters have different relationships having general conversations.  In the restaurant the two characters are having another conversation, the background is warm, they have with shirts but is at odds with what they are talking about, they are not the best of friends.


Are the lamps white or yellow, are they best friends?  The set design sets this up, it could be a costume moment. For clinical thinking the lamps are white and the environment is sterile.  What is this information telling the audience?

images-1Increasing contrast as well as saturation it makes it more dynamic, the image is more attractive to look at. If there is low contrast this changes the perception of what is happening.

The low contrast evokes a sense of intimacy, the telling of a specific story, a mystery.  The painter stick to bring our attention to small details will sometimes put small bits of colour flying through, almost irrelevant and attracting our eyes, complementary colour on different corners.

Low contrast and grain for mystery, high contrast is in action movies.

Red Giant Plot Device

Red Giant’s Mojo for colouring effect such as warming up actors skin tones, adding a cool blue to the backgrounds and shadows, adding drama, or smoothing contrast.


Particular films have their colours such as Sci-fi films, the shadows and midtowns are teal/blue. Skin colour or tones have some element of orange giving a contrast of skin to the bluish background. The buildings and gloves are coloured blue with the balancing colours and throw these colours into the shots at certain points

There are no rules, is his skin tone accurate?

Used comic book colours

Why is green bad? At what point in the movie do we know it is a horror film. ‘Drag Me To Hell’ goes from neutral to green in the car park. Do white lights project a green background and skin tones?

This is not only to do with movies, the great artists have done it, Rembrandt and Rubens. The used the strong contrasts of dark and light, chiaroscuro. The detail on the face and hands with the viewer being attracted to the areas they wanted them to look at. There is fine brush detail in these areas with the use of white and the eyes are in shadow. Rembrandt was a humanist and wanted to bring out their story, to make you consider what his is thinking or hiding, using a vignette.

1652 Self-Portrait oil on canvas 112 x 81.5 cm Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


rubens – samson and delilah

The soldiers are lit, there is the use of rich colours of purple and red and the eyes are drawn across the picture. The attention is focused onto different areas.



hopper – nighthawks

Hopper uses texture, a gritty feel and has oranges and greens.

These techniques are hundreds of years old

Red Giant Universe

Teal and Orange – Hollywood, Please Stop the Madness

26 November

Design Centre Enmore; student exhibition

From 6pm graduating students of the Concept Art and 3D Art and Animation courses at Design Centre Enmore, Sydney are showing their reels and portfolios to industry. This year marks 20 years that Design Centre Enmore has been training students to work as designers and commercial artists, not only in the world of 3D/VFX but in areas such as graphic design, interior design, industrial design, jewellery and object design, illustration and live production design. Students from each of those discipline areas are also exhibiting on the night, so please come along to see the reels, portfolios and all of the great stuff the students have been able to produce this year. Food, drinks, music and plenty of familiar and friendly faces await!

5 November

SIGGRAPH: BAFTA & VES nominated VFX Supervisor Paul Butterworth, whose recent credits include: Prometheus, Iron Man 3, Thor¸ X-Men Origins, The Painted Veil and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire spoke about  his work on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Five months of his life in a minute 40.


The creation of a holographic target that has a humanoid form. References, references and references including drawings and sculptures from around the world.  Thinking about seeing the form in motion, could it be a stack of cards to make a form having some game play. Maybe it could be silks and cloths. How would it be made, with lazors. Needs a sense of volume with inertia and mass.  Shatter tests to see how will it break apart, clumping.  The final character is made up of projections that shatters and has internal light.


How would it be lit, internally giving a sense of volume and needing to apply motion capture data to it.  They look good in a dark room, not so good in front of windows.  The location based on a car park 100 years into the future again reference, reference and reference – information napalm.


The arrows and quiver were designed.

Actors are not good at green screen, they are better when there is something to look at, respond to and use their eyeliner. There needs to be a piece of the set.

Working as a group for problem solving, creative jamming,  collective intelligence and capturing accidental moments.


Playing With Fire – Digital Media World

2 November

Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a 2010 3D documentary, the result of Herzog’s exclusive access to the recently discovered Chauvet caves in the South of France, and their truly extraordinary cave paintings, dating back 32,000 years, containing the oldest human-painted images yet discovered.



1 November


As working in industry settles into a rhythm of contract and serial employment for a significant proportion of the workforce, this Masterclass has been designed to nurture the ‘working artist’ for a lifelong career. The sessions will address how to apply for job vacancies, how to represent yourself as an independent artist and how to secure work on an independent/contract basis.

Nick Hore on how to present your work, remember about first visual impressions:

CV – easy to read, no more than 2 pages and do not pad

– contact details: name (all pages), email, phone, skype, address, website (vimeo/web), nationality, objective (career, meaningful and realistic)

– experience: most recent first, role, work history, company name, location, dates, duties, responsibilities, software, project name

– software proficiency

Cover Letter – day date

– about the kind of person that I am, take over from the objective statement in CV.

– current availability

– other commitments

Demo Reel

– best work only, no padding

– no more than 2 – 3 min, 1 min can be enough

– credit others who contributed

– contact details

– plays on all browsers and formats

– avoid ‘drop box’ that require the receiver to download software

– password protect

– music is optional, that compliments and consider lip sync

Discipline Specific Demo Reel

– wireframes for modelling

– turnables for modelling and texturing/surfaces

– before and afters for compositing, root, tracking

– walk, run, fly cycles for animation

Added Extras for Demo Reel

– music

– editing

– wipes and effects

– the hook

Shot Breakdowns

– list your contributions and software used as a shot breakdown, can be a thumbnail of the shot with list and can be supplied as a pdf or on your web site

Shot 1 animation maya

Shot 2 lip sync maya

Shot 3 character fixes maya

Shot 4 facial animation

– number shots rather than timecode

– do not do this:  Shot 1, 4, 9, 23 lip sync

– titles directly on the reel that are subtle and clear

Portfolio and Other Material:  can be on-line e.g. tumbler

– variety of styles

– sketch book and thought processes




The Art of Elsa Chang

James Woodwilson

Other Material – photographs for lighting, sculptures for modelling

Education: qualifications, where, years

Can include group project with what I did, what the experience was like.

Can be a generalist reel if not sure where my interests are, could be broken down.  Where are my priorities.  Generalists do have an understanding of other areas.

Leadership experience can show an understand of leaders requirements and respond well to a leaders requirements.

Other skills may be relevant e.g. other work history, interests, experience and skills


Patricia Kung on how to present yourself:

Application Process

– follow the instructions of the application process

– avoid sending to multiple people in the same company

– do not send mass e-mails with everyone’s email address

– use the right company’s name

– spell check

– keep professional, not too casual

– balance your ambition with getting your foot in the door

– enthusiasm v harassing

– voicemail and missed calls

How do I want to be represented on Social Media


– who will be at the interview and research them

– bring a copy of CV, reel or portfolio

– be ontime, if late call and apologise

– look presentable

– good hand shake

– acknowledge everyone in the room when enter and leave

– turn off the phone, do not put on silence

– be prepared

– keep answers concise and try not to get sidetracked

– give good, relevant examples

– take your time, if you don’t understand the question ask the interviewer to repeat the question

– if you don’t know say you don’t know

– try not to be negative about people you have worked with

– don’t sware

– ask questions

Questions to ask:

– what do you think are the biggest challenges of the project

– what do you like about working here/on the project

– where do you think I can improve

– how did you get started in the industry

– what software is used

– department structure

– who is the client/studio

– start date/end date


– areas you would like to improve

– most challenging shot/brief

– how long did you spend on a particular shot/concept

– what was the largest team you have worked in

– are you more technical or creative

– long term goal

– talking about personal projects

It is important how this information is conveyed, can ask for feedback and keep in mind my response after the interview.

Murray Debus on freelance contracting and staying in work:

Peter Luschwitz

Annecy Film Festival

Something to stand out from the crowd and indicate that I take this very seriously and they need to too.

Run as a Business

– schedule your time

– learn how to estimate how long it will take you to deliver a particular kind of job

– set aside time each week to do your accounts or business affairs

– invoice correctly and promptly, especially if a new client and break it up into time periods

– keep records, expenses and invoicing, negotiate sign offs during the work

– cash flow and understand profit and loss

– keep money in the bank

– submit BAS and tax on time

– understand GST

– learn about running a small business (don to borrow more than 30% of your assets)

– be prepared to keep learning, professional development is one key to survival

– look after your clients, they are your bread and butter

– don’t burn bridges if at all possible

Legal Agreements and Intellectual Property

– it is important to know the deal you are committing to

– think of what intellectual property as any creative work, copyright has to have some form of expression that can be traded

– seek advice from a media and entertainment lawyer e.g. The Arts Law Centre, Michael Frankel Lawyers

– “work for hire” vs contract on a project

– avoiding the pitfalls e.g. return of material

Tracey Sernack-Chee Quee on how to calculate your charge-out rate and how to build your reputation:

Virtual Tracey SCQ welcomes you!!

– people not paying

– seek professional advice

– need to learn the ropes

– always looking for the next job

– down time will be holiday time

– how good are you, age, experience

– what is a contractor, paid for the results of work and can walk away, free to accept work from other people

– sole trader, abn, register business name and trade mark, technically set up and commercial software licences

How much do I need to earn:

– personal costs

– business costs: administration, soft/hardware, asset insurance, income insurance, communication, transport

– superannuation

– student loans

If earning $80000 will receive $60000 after tax and costs, suggested planning for employment for 10 months per year at 30 hours per week. For $80000, before tax = $70/hour.

Register for GST, 10% on invoices, not a cost for the business

Shilo McClean closing comments –  ‘digital’ doesn’t mean I can fix your computer:

– reliable

– honest

– efficient

– anticipates problems

– find solutions

– take ownership

– make it easy

– has your back

– always figuring things out

– shares knowledge

– pitch in to help

– know when to keep their mouth shut

– know when to say something

– leave ego at the door

– respects and acknowledges the genius in others

– respect and acknowledges others

– quick learner

– deep learner

– self-disciplined

Other things that came up:



Ghibli Studio

Hayao Miyazaki.


24 October

POTTED POTTERtakes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favourite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic!

Created by double Olivier Award Best Entertainment nominees Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, the show is a must-see for Potter addicts and a great introduction to the series for anyone who’s ever wondered what all the fuss is about. Even if you don’t know the difference between a Horcrux and a Hufflepuff, POTTED POTTER will make you roar with laughter.

17 October and 19 October


Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism: Opening Thursday Oct 16, 6 pm and exhibition open until December 14

Walkley Documentary Screenings:  2014 Walkley Documentary Award – Longlisted finalists announced

State Library of NSW Metcalfe Auditorium Macquarie St, Sydney




NIKON-WALKLEY PHOTO OF THE YEAR WINNER: Andrew Quilty, TIME LightBox, “Baby Burn Victim in Boost Hospital”

Andrew Quilty’s striking “Baby Burn Victim in Boost Hospital” has been named the 2014 Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year. The image shot by Quilty in an observation room in the emergency ward at Boost Hospital in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, was the clear stand-out for the judges.

The judges felt Quilty captured a striking and powerfully emotive image that allows the viewer to gauge instantly the full magnitude of the little girl’s injuries. “That her burns are the result of a domestic accident and not military conflict increases the surreal impact – almost that of a fine art picture.”


Five outstanding documentaries long listed for the 2014 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism capturing diverse moments in contemporary life and explore the debates surrounding race, religion and mental illness. They range from the National Black Theatre movement that burgeoned in Redfern in the 1960s and 70s, through to the search for a love marriage in Kabul.

The overall winner will be announced at the 59th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism in Sydney on December 4.


CRONULLA  RIOTS  Northern Pictures and SBS

On December 11, 2005 a riot occurred on Cronulla Beach in Sydney’s south targeting men of ‘Middle Eastern appearance’.  Phrases like “100% Aussie Pride” were scrawled in the sand while slogans such as “We grew here you flew here” became a new source of national shame. In the following days, Lebanese-Australian youth rose up, responding swiftly in a series of retaliations. Leading up to these events, 270,000 text messages were sent and received to mobilise the rioters and those who retaliated.

THE REDFERN STORY  Sue Milliken and Darlene Johnson, Samson Productions

The National Black Theatre movement in Redfern formed at a crucial time in Australian political history, culminating with the setting up of a number of significant Aboriginal organisations.The National Black Theatre has left a lasting legacy on national politics, social welfare and the Australian arts scene.The documentary contains archival footage and interviews with people who were there.

LOVE  MARRIAGE in KABUL   Pat Fiske and Amin Palangi,Bower Bird Films

‘Love Marriage in Kabul’ follows a passionate and determined Afghani-Australian woman Mahboba Rawi on a working trip to Kabul for her Mahboba’s Promise charity as she also challenges tradition to negotiate a love marriage for Abdul, a graduate of her central orphanage. The power of the film’s subtle observational technique offers a rare insight into an Afghanistan impoverished by decades of war and allowing an intimate experience of the machinations of a love relationship in a place where arranged marriage is the order of the day.

CODE of SILENCE   Dan GoldbergandDanny Ben-Moshe, Mint Pictures, Identity Films and ABC TV

Follow the parallel journeys of an Orthodox Jewish father and his son, after the son breaks the code of silence in Melbourne’s Orthodox community and goes public with his story of being sexually abused as a student.

SONS and MOTHERS  Christopher Houghton and Louise PascalePop Pictures

Sons and Mothers” uses creative techniques to focus on the abilities, rather than disabilities, of its subjects. The judges felt that by allowing those in the film to tell their own stories, the film makers take a difficult subject and turn it into a compelling documentary.

10 October


12 September


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Room 101, Level 5, UTS Building 11, Jones Street, Ultimo

+61 2 9514 9074

Abstracts,  Biographies and my notes.

Eyes on the Street: Re-surfacing digital archives for contemporary urban interfaces

Dr. Sarah Barns is a creative producer, historian & researcher whose work with digital archives re-imagines historical recordings as the substrata of contemporary urban interfaces. This work re-interprets the highly mediated interfaces of urban environs today – whether urban screens, mobile interfaces or geo-location devices – as platforms from which to dig into media histories of place. Using film, television, sound and photographic recordings as trace elements of contemporary mediated spaces, through Esem Projects she works with teams of video makers, animators, sound artists and designers to construct new narratives for contemporary place-making, collaborating closely with communities, historians, local governments, collection managers and site-owners. In this presentation Sarah will present a selection of recent projects which evidence growing opportunities for site writing and historical interpretation using the digital interfaces of today’s urban spaces.

Dr. Sarah Barns is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture & Society at UWS and practices as an cross-platform artist and producer through Esem Projects. She has over ten years experience producing cross-platform digital media projects with a wide variety of organisations including the ABC, the City of Sydney, the National Film & Sound Archive, the Powerhouse Museum, and National ICT Australia. She maintains a blog at sitesandsounds.net.au and collaborates on creative projects through Esem Projects (esemprojects.com).

Sarah spoke about the ideas of digital, places, archives and public places and how the use of digital to tell stories of the street. Using oral history, original photos, movies, visual words, archival and architectural drawings to have a play of vision and experience.  Projections are a way to experience a place and the objective can be convincing and compelling to make a physical experience. Also the idea of digital history being available on a slider through sites like google maps.

historypin – A global community collaborating around history.

Digital Projects:

Sight and Sounds:

– last drinks

– unguarded moments

Esem Projects

Eyes on the Street:  City Evolutions Newcastle 2013

The Last Drinks Project:  2012 

City of Sydney, Statement of Environmental Effects for MLC Centre Activation Project: Castlereagh Street, King Street and Lees Court for Digital Projection and Temporary physical Art Works. 

The Virtual Sydney Rocks Project

The Virtual Sydney Rocks is enhanced time-based Virtual Heritage recreation of the historic Sydney Rocks district from 1788 to 2012. Users set the time and date and can then interactively explore the build environment. A second screen displays the web-based Virtual Sydney Rocks Guidebook which is dynamically linked to the VSR. Users can interact with the VSR via the three different modes of Tour, Game and Explore and they can also view a time-lapse animation by adjusting the speed of time. The VSR is being used to research user preference, engagement and learning in time-based Virtual Heritage.

Kit Devine has been involved in computer graphics since 1984 when she coded her first animation at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design. She then spent nearly 20 years working in Sydney, London and LA as an animator and effects artist for film and tv projects during which she won a number of Australian and international awards. She currently lectures in digital visual effects, digital video and video art at the Australian National University. Prior to joining the ANU she lectured in 3D Animation at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School. She is currently in the final year of a Phd investigating time-based virtual heritage. She is a founder member of the Digital Labourers Federation. (http://www.dlf.org.au).


Time and Navigable Space, what is it all about? What cinema was to the twenty century it maybe for the twenty-first century.  The ability to make your own path, felling like your there, getting involved and the affected experience of being physically immersed with physical realism. It requires user engagement and points of interest by giving people activities.

GTA Virtual Reality had a budget o9f $M265. For Assassin’s Creed Franchise when there was a conflict with history, game play and technology the game play and technology won out.

Time is how we make sense of the world, our place in it and have mental time travel in our imagination, a time lapse view of the changing world. In the virtual world we may have control over how long it takes to get there, how we get there and the interaction of the journey and the destination. Archaeology use time based heritage of the world, a band of time or a particular time and place. The importance of lighting and can have time of day and time of year for the weather, not having a frozen moment. Creating an environment over a time period with time-lapse.

Creating a sense of what it was like, the environment and creating an experience which could be a tour/traditional, a game/behavioural, exploring/discovery or a choice.  Creating a game using the Butchers house, which is next door to Cribb’s house and using three objects including a boning knife found in blocked up well on the dig site.  The objects were  in the glass case giving people a direction connection between the physical object and the virtual world.

Virtual Sydney Rocks with a navigable time and space, 26 Jan 1788 – 2010 and concentrating on the built environment:

– site of fresh water

– could anchor boats

– no sign of current aboriginal occupation, families and structures  at this spot. The rest of the harbour had aboriginal populations, structures and they were fishing in the harbour.

– sex, class and race roles

– settlers, sailors, aboriginals and soldiers

The Rocks:

George Cribb

The Rum Rebellion

Green Bans

Rocks Plague

Burning Down of Garden Palace

The Big Dig:

– 3/4 million artefact

– 42 individual dwelings

– archival research and link people with buildings and artifacts

Whaler’s Arms hotel in Gloucester Street demolished in 1904

– George Cribb

Australian Dictionary of Biography

The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre

Dictionary of Sydney, State Library of NSW 

Heritage and Conservation Register of NSW – Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

Historical Atlas of Sydney

Millers Point and Walsh Bay Heritage Review:   Final Report, 2007

National Register of Historic Places

NSW Environment and Heritage

The Rocks Discovery Museum

Trove:  Digitised Newspapers and more

Virtual Sydney Rocks Guidebook

Jacqueline Lorber Kasunic is a design academic whose research explores the junction between design history and theory, material culture and visual knowledge production. She has a background in visual communication and ethnography, and her recent work is concerned with concepts of visual prose, which attend to the use of visualisation (visual thinking processes) to translate textual and qualitative data into knowledge. Jacqueline is Director of Interdisciplinary Design, in the School of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney

Kate Sweetapple is a design academic with an interest in the intersections between language, literature and design. Her focus is the use of practice-led research methods (thinking through making) to extract and visualise unlikely data sets from written texts. Her research is realised through a variety of practices: designing, curating, writing and teaching.

Visualizing Self and Subjectivity in Art, Health and Medicine

For the past 12 years, George Khut has been exploring methods for facilitating reflection on experiences of self and embodiment – using biosensing technologies and multimedia interactions that visualise interactions between breath, heart rate, emotions and states of attention. The documentation of audience experience has been an important part of this work – in this presentation George will discuss different strategies that he has experimented with –  for facilitating and recording aspects of participant experience, as well as recent research into clinical applications for this work – for managing pain, stress and anxiety.

Dr George Poonkhknin Khut is an artist, academic and interaction-designer at UNSW Art & Design (CoFA), working across the disciplines of fine art, design, health and medicine. His research focuses on ways in which interactive art and design can be used to facilitate reflection on experiences of self, embodiment and agency, and applications for this type of work in health care contexts.

Show Me the HuNI

This presentation will answer the questions: What is HuNI and why would I use it?

HuNI is a new research and discovery platform developed by and for humanities and creative arts scholars.

HuNI combines data from many Australian cultural websites into the biggest humanities and creative arts database ever assembled in Australia. For two years, Deakin University and 13 partner public institutions have been working to pol their resources in order to improve opportunities for Australian research. HuNI data covers all disciplines and brings together information about the people, works, events, organisations and places that make up the Australia’s rich cultural landscape. HuNI also enables researchers to work with and share this large-scale aggregation of cultural information.

Find out how you can use and contribute to HuNI. And don’t forget to bring your laptop or tablet to sweeten the experience.

Deb Verhoeven is Chair and Professor of Media and Communication at Deakin University, Deputy Director of the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation.

She is the Project Director of Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI), a two-year project funded by NeCTAR (National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources).

Writing Rights

Writing Rights visualises the evolution of ideas that inform the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. It provides an opportunity for collaboration between humanities (Stanford University) and design (UTS) in order to better understand the role of visualisation in humanistic inquiry. Part of this collaboration involves developing a critical understanding of visual knowledge production and how digital technologies facilitate this.

Oral History in a Digital Age

In this presentation I will outline and demonstrate the advances we have made in creating the website historyofaboriginalsydney.edu.au.  What does one do with 2000 hours of videotaped interviews with over 300 people.  What is the best use to which  the material can be put?  How would we do it differently, seven years after starting the project?

Peter Read was the director of the ARC/University of Sydney project A History of Aboriginal Sydney.  The author of many books of oral history and Aboriginal History, he is currently Adjunct Professor in the  Australian Centre for Aboriginal History, ANU.

27 August

Australian Effects and Animation Festival  –  AEAF award screening of finalists and winners in each category.

Finalists – link to web site

Winners – link to web site

DCE graduates:


Student SILVER Passion Fashion Tim Strain

StudentSILVER Passion FashionTim Strain

Music Videos  BRONZE  Little Darling  Big Cookie Studios

6 August

SYDNEY ACM SIGGRAPH:  The Lego Movie – Brick by Brick with Miles Green, FX Supervisor and Lead.  Including a large array of behind the scenes videos, images and information.
Lego-Movie-Title-Sequence-600x338The LEGO Movie is Animal Logic’s most successful Animated Feature to date. In this talk Miles discussed a wide range of topics imgres-1giving insights into what went into producing the brick base film, illustrating much of it with previously unseen footage. An overview of how a unique LEGO Movie pipeline was developed for Animal Logics artists to use and how various departments built specific tools and technologies to meet the specific needs of the film
imagesAn automated system for the modelled bricks that could then be used to build sets. Shel Bakes imgresremoving the details that we do not see such as the studs joining the bricks. When the bricks were transparent the bake knew to leave the studs.
Five million bricks per shot
AFOL – Adult Fans of LEGO
A Town Called Panic – Horse’s Nephew (2000)

The Lego Movie Outtakes

 30 July

STRANGERLAND – feature drama featuring Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Joseph Flennes

It is and unnerving mystery drama about a couple whose lives unravel after their two teenagers go missing in the harsh Australian desert.

29 July

Nicole Mather – digital matte painter

Dylan Cole

29 July

Clovelly Beach Field Trip

2 July

ACM  SIGGRAPH:  Lewis Morley, a designer who creates models and props for film and TV. His credits include: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the ClonesStar 

Lewis-Morley-bio-filteredWars: Episode III – Revenge of the SithRed PlanetMission: Impossible IISpirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds;The Time GuardianDark City.

Lewis spoke about his experience with optical effects, how the camera perspective works with miniature models and how they create reality with false perspective, parallax, how they would stop down the camera for depth of field and then needed to increasing the light, miniature ships in films, his love of 1970’s Japanese posters, Thunderbirds and Machine City.

7 June


The Adventures of Prince Achmed  by Lotte Reiniger, the earliest surviving animated feature film, featuring a silhouette animation technique. Reiniger worked alongside experimental German animators Walter Ruttman and Bertold Bartosch to complete her film. Recomposed on Vimeo.

Combining electronic and acoustic instruments, the score will be structured around a pre-recorded score of sampled percussion. Against this, a live band will play, consisting of two electric keyboards, soprano saxophone, & trombone. The music will be through-composed, seasoned with elements of improvisation, and invoke elements of jazz, minimalism and classical music.

Composer Phillip Johnston has been creating new scores for silent films for 25 years, and has performed his work in the United States, Europe and Australia, at venues that include the New York Film Festival, The Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, the Roma Jazz & Image Festival (ITALY), Rote Fabrik (Switzerland), as well as the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, the Sydney Film Festival, and the Sydney Opera House.

Musicians: Phillip Johnston, James Greening, Casey Golden, Gary Daly

4 June

Matt Dignam, Studio Manager at Plastic Wax.  

UnknownA seventeen year industry veteran spanning across CGI, Post Production, VFX and Directing, Matt has played a pivotal role in most cinematic trailers and CG productions since his return to Plastic Wax in 2010. With a focus on production technologies and innovation, Matt is a driving force behind the continual progress and development of the studio.

Plastic Waxis a Sydney based animation studio that creates in-game cinematics and pre-rendered trailers for AAA game titles. Known for their work on game franchises and IP’s such as Warhammer 40,000, Saints Row, Darksiders, Civilisation and DC comics Plastic Wax competes with studios such as Blur, DIGIC and Platige Image (among others) to create some of the best trailers in the industry.

‘Deconstructing Cinematics’ takes a rare inside look at the production of trailers from concept, storyboards, asset creation and motion capture through to animation, VFX as well as lighting and compositing Matt focused on some of Plastic Wax’s latest cinematics as well as including a secret peek under the hood of some exciting real-time projects we’ve been working on.

images-1Matt spoke about the process from the design to polymesh to UV textures for colour and surface properties for a fully shaded model.  They generally use textures size of 4096 x 4096 , 1920 x 1080 HD images which are 4K and sometimes to 8K for extreme close up shots making sure that when blown up the textures are not stretched.  They use texture maps of 4K resolution, occlusion maps for things like surface dust and normal maps that bend surface qualities in relation to light to create the shaders for the characters bone, skin, hair, leather and other surfaces with the intention to plan the use of shaders efficiently. Live action shots are included as part of the reference with images of characters, clothing, objects and environments.

The skin’s colour and qualities are dependent on the lighting, at first considering even lighting to see how it looks and what the model is going to look like when it is lit. Test are done for the reflectivity pass, displacement mapping again to see how they look.

When animating the characters actions, facial expressions and dialogue they use both key frame and motion capture of the action. The motion capture is applied to the rigs and it was amazing to see the facial expressions and dialogue on the model.

images-2I enjoyed seeing how they used around 20 light passes to dial in the information in compositing to create different moods and effects. If that was not enough after being introduced to Nuke passes in today’s class there was a practical example of utility passes using a point position pass or simple point pass showing motion blur fast action of the character across the screen.

To round the evening off Matt showed a sequence where the character stomped on an object and it squashed. The action was taken from motion capture and stamping on the object was not working, it was really only squashing it and had no feeling of force. Then he showed how the object instead of squashing, shattered into peaces and reacted to the character’s action. Then I realised something important, it was not only about the character’s action it was also about how the object being stomped on reacted to the action. They belonged together to create the moment.

17 May 

SIGGRAPH– David Willimas, Animal Logic senior animator and award-winnering filmmaker spoke about how the animation style for The LEGO® Movie was developed and implemented, the concept and the creative process behind the unique animation style. 

It was interesting hearing about the popularity of block style animation, how this became a part of the research and style for the film and was integrating into how the film was made.  The use of easily available materials that are part of these black animations were included as part of the story telling.

There were challenges, like how would the hands function, how would the legs walk and the joints move.  I’d never seen the animation series ‘A Town Called Panic’, the characters and roughness of movement showed how important the research was to how the animation was approached and the final style of the film.  These limitations becoming the advantages of the film.

I remember noticing and looking for particular moves that were unique to the characters when I watched the film and found it interesting hearing about how unique and differentiating character’s moves were such a conscious decision.

I liked seeing how the rigs were broken over fast movements and fascinated to see how the brick shapes were used for continuos motion.

11 April

ARTEXPRESS at the Armory – exemplary bodies of work created by students from the 2013 New South Wales Higher School Certificate.

The theme of this year’s exhibition is Transition. This exhibition features students’ bodies of work that highlight the concept of a transformation, of passing from one state, place or subject matter to another. Some students reflected on an inner world where dreams and surreal ideas merge with reality. Other students questioned their place in a consumer society increasingly dominated by technology.

Around the exhibition the words Balance, Transition, Impact, Awareness, Influence, Process Metropolis and Traces were written boldly on the walls. The  works were striking, different and totally captivating. Here is a selection of some aspects I enjoyed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ARTEXPRESS Education Resource

26 March

Yellow Jeff exhibition opening at Alpha House

Yellowjeff,Taiwanese and Yellow is his Chinese family name. Yellowjeff’s foray  into art came to a dramatic halt when he was a child after his school teacher   found  a portrait he had drawn of him and slapped him hard across the face. It wasn’t until he attended university that he undertook life drawing lessons, as he studied communication design in Shih Chien University in Taiwan.

Yellowjeff’s work has been influenced by Ken Done, Egon Schiele, Andy Warhol  and Expressionism. He mixes traditional drawing materials that create a  symbiotic result in application. Oil paint mixed with crayon and watercolours are applied together through different techniques, that mesh and drip whilst taking on different aspects of his friends and celebrities personalities. He achieves vividness that is inspired by surroundings of his new city, Sydney.

22 March

Symphony in the Park, Sydney Symphony Orchestrain Parramatta Parkwith Pinchas Steinberg conductor and Karen Gomyo Violin.

Antonin Dvorak(1841-1880):  Carnival Overture

Henryk Wieniawski(1835-1880):  Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22

Allegro moderato, Romance (Andante non troppo), (à la Zingara)

Ludwig van Beethoven(1770-1827): Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67

Allegro con brio, Andante con moto, Allegro

5 March

SIGGRAPH Andrew Silke

‘What’s it all about: Back by popular demand and with the support of Framestore, we have a fantastic opportunity to hear Andrew talk about the work he has done.  Andrew Silke is an award winning animator and 3d generalist whose credits include: Avatar, the Harry Potter films and theHappy Feet movies. An AFI nominee and the creator of the short films Cane-Toad and Samurice, both which featured in the SIGGRAPH Electronic Theatre, Andrew was the founder of the not-for-profit 3D training web videos, GuerrillaCG and is highly regarded for his work as an educator and mentor to fellow CG professionals, many of whom rely on his animation rigs and videos that are used by thousands of animators around the world.


Youtube channel for beta courses…
Some interesting things to consider from his talk were:
– storyboards give you the opportunity for better framing
– give the camera a reason to move
– do you change the action or the camera
– the shot was set up for the lights including the sun to give reflections and highlights from the rim.
– how do you keep the shot dynamic
– sometimes the audience is ahead of the acting and sometimes the acting is ahead of the audience
– it is all about the audience’s emotions

1 March  


The Art Month guided bus tour of Marrickville’s thriving independent arts scene is the perfect opportunity to engage with local artists, view works in progress and purchase art at studio prices.  Presented in association with Marrickville Council as part of the Marrickville Open Studio Trail (MOST).

SNO Contemporary Art Projects:  Non Objective Art, contemporary investigation into non-objective, concrete and abstract art in general reflecting a wide variety of approaches to the plastic arts, new media or any abstract art in general. Usually the work is its colour, shapes, brushstrokes, size, scale and in some cases its process. DSCN1142

Artists were there speaking about their work:

DSCN1138Suzie Idiens doing something completely different with her work Passage.

Kelley Stapleton with  Two Lines and a Jump Ropeand Oscillate

Sophia Egarchos piece Step Into You

 AirSpace Projects:  The Democracy of Drawing 1. Focusing in the work of a selection of over seventyDSCN1143visual artists from Sydney, Interstate and overseas, both emerging and established. For some, drawing forms the focus of their artistic practice while for others, drawing sits on the periphery of their practice as an ever-present possibility.  The Democracy of Drawing 1 and The Democracy of Drawing 2 comes in a phenomenal range of forms from charcoal, thread, tape, icing sugar, found materials, sound, performance, digital imaging, text, holograms and the reliance on ants and bees, to communicate very human concerns around identity, formalism, culture, politics, gender, science, technologies and history.

SquarePeg Studios:  A contemporary jewellery workshop and the home of contemporary jewellers.

ESP Gallery: supporting independent art in Sydney.  Slightly biased to the Inner West, small art happenings, artist run initative and a not for profit run by artists for artists.


Newsagency Gallery –  exhibition Art Prints Asia

34_Arwin Hidayat webIs an exhibition by 4 artist-run silk screen studios from Asia including; Sticky Fingers Art Print Cambodia, Idle Beats Shanghai, Survive Garage and Krack Studio from Indonesia. The silkscreen and graphic art studios are based in Shanghai, Phnom Penh and Yogyakarta. Artists include Bayu Widodo, Julien Poulson, Visal Heng, Nini Sum, Gregor Koerting. Malcolm Smith, Moki Prihatmoko and more. All well-known contemporary artists working and collaborating in the thriving art scenes of crowded Asian cities. They will show limited edition prints that are drawn, designed and hand printed on quality art paper by the artists. I found the 3D prints interesting with offset red and blue lines and when viewed through 3D glasses a black line is created.

Tortuga Studios: A collaborative artists warehouse space, gallery, shared resource and production environment.DSCN1161DSCN1156

Peter Strong-Vectorpunk

Chris Fox


DSCN1163girl300Alpha Gallery: Flora Mavrommati, Alwy Fadhel, Gina Roberts, Paola Talbert, Meghan Rheynolds, James Stephenson, Chris Rochester, Caqtherine Hourihan, Jonathan McBrunie, Zoe Walford, Zio Ledeux and Ganbold Lundaa.

Photos of things that interested me along the way.

10 – 15 February

Tearing-the-MaskTearing the Mask, NIDA – An exploration of Japanese Performance introduced by Richaqrd Emmert and Jeff Janisheski.

A unique beauty of the Japanese artforms Noh, Butoh and Kabuki with rarely seen films and documentaries.  Screened on a traditional Noh stage set in the Parade Atrium which is a covered outdoor amphitheatre. I was able to see some of these films.

‘Seami and the Noh  Theatre’  1991

‘Noh drama is one of the world’s great classical theatre genres. Although often compared to ancient Greek theatre for its use of masks, chorus and music, Noh theatre is unique.

Handed down over the centuries, it remains a vital performing art to this day. Its present form, which is a combination of two earlier types of performance known as ‘Sarugaku’ and ‘Dengaku’, was realised by Kannami in the 14th century. But it was his son, Zeami, who honed and perfected it into the highly refined structure it achieved and has retained up to the present.

Zeami’s life was a long and eventful one. It was a life that ranged from early, dazzling success at court to lonely exile in old age. Yet through it all he continued to write – not only plays that are popular and still performed, but essays and treatises on the art and concept of Noh drama itself.

Featured in this film are highlights from five representative Noh plays. Reflecting the very essence of Noh are the stately warrior play ‘Kiyotsune’ by Zeami; the moving ‘Jinen Koji’ by Kannami, his father; and the elegant ‘Izutsu’, the sad ‘Kinuta’ and the dynamic ‘Toru’, all also by Zeami.

Noh theatre reflects the pathos and depth of the human condition and mirrors the sorrows and aspirations of us all.’

‘The Noh Mask ‘ 1987

Outstanding Noh masks have played a major part in the perfection of Noh, a form of theatre that describes the world of the mind. This film shows the beauty of the masks and the role they play during performances, when the expressions they convey reflect delicate shades of emotion.

The Noh play ‘Aoi-no-Ue’ is introduced, which portrays the intense jealousy suffered by a woman. The deigan mask, used in the first half, depicts dignity struggling against anguish; the hannya (demon) mask, used in the second half, depicts anger and sadness.

The film shows different types of masks, and commentary is given on dramatic presentation and the choice of masks for specific roles.’

Noh Dōjōji [The Dōjōji Temple – A Noh Play]

‘This film shows the full performance of Dōjōji, one of the most dramatic plays in the classical Japanese Noh repertory, bookended by highlights from two other performances of the same piece.

A legend tells of a yamabushi mountain priest who, during his travels, often visited the home of a man who had a young daughter. The father once jokingly told his daughter that when she grew up she would marry a priest, and she innocently believed him. Time passed, and the priest visited several years later. The daughter, now being older, chided him for not claiming her as his wife. The priest rejected her, and when she became enraged, he ran away to Dōjōji Temple and asked to be hidden from her. The priests lowered a huge temple bell and hid him in it. The girl followed him, but was caught at the flooding Hidaka River without a boat to cross over. Jealous rage transformed her into a serpent. The serpent swam across the river, found the lowered bell at the temple and lashed itself around it. The bronze bell grew hot and the priest was roasted alive inside.

The Noh play begins many years later. The above incident has been almost forgotten and the temple is at last dedicating a new bell to replace the one destroyed many years before. Though ordered by the chief priest not to let any women into the temple for the ceremony, the temple servants allow a shirabyōshi dancer to enter since such performers typically perform dressed as men. The dancer promises to dedicate a dance for the new temple bell. The woman is in fact the jealous spirit of the serpent-woman. After her long dance, she leaps into the new bell, bringing it down. The chief priest is informed and he relates the old story of the serpent-woman demoness. As she appears from under the bell in her true form, the priests confront her with prayers by rubbing their rosaries until she is finally subdued.

This is a special play in the Noh repertory in that it is considered the ‘graduation ceremony’ of a professional Noh actor. Participation in this play generally leads to acceptance as a full member in the Noh-performing world.’

‘Traditional Japanese Culture: Kabuki’ 1997

‘The Edo Stage: Kabuki and Bunraku’ 1982

‘Like the theatre of other cultures, Kabuki and Bunraku reflect the society in which they were born – its morality, dreams and changes. In the case of Japan, the mid-to-late Edo period was a time of deep-seated dissatisfaction with feudal morality, and Kabuki and Bunraku plays echo the growing power and consciousness of the common people.

This film features extracts from two plays, ‘Sukeroku yukari no Edozakura’, a Kabuki comedy, and ‘Sonezaki shinju’, a tragedy written for Bunraku by the great playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon. These plays reflect both the laughter and tears of Edo-period Japan.’

The Lovers’ Exile: The Bunraku Puppet Theatre of Japan 1980

The Lovers’ Exile features the incomparable Bunraku Theatre of Japan: the world’s most sophisticated puppet theatre. For those unfamiliar with Bunraku, the spectacular staging and emotive power of the puppet handling, music and narrative will be a revelation.The Lovers’ Exile is an adaptation of ‘Meido no Hikyaku (The Courier for Hell)’ by Chikamatsu Monzaemon.

The Lovers’ Exile was filmed in 1979 at Daiei Uzumasa Studios, Kyoto, on a specially constructed Bunraku stage, and performed by all the major Bunraku masters of the day, many of whom were National Treasures, or who obtained such designation later. Appearing are Takemoto Koshijdayu, Takemoto Mojitayu (now Sumitayu), Takemoto Oritayu (now Tsunatayu), Tsuruzawa Enza (5th), Tsuruzawa Seiji, Nozawa Kinshi (4th), Yoshida Tamao, Yoshida Minosuke, Yoshida Bunjaku and Kiritake Kanjuro (2nd) – the greatest Bunraku stars of the Showa era.’

‘Butoh: Piercing the Mask’ 1991

‘In the early 1960s Butoh dance exploded onto the Japanese stage. The shockwaves ripped the Japanese dance community apart and shattered stereotypical images of the Japanese people. Sexy, violent, humorous and nihilistic, Butoh confronted Japanese society, ridiculing and mocking traditional conventions of beauty and behaviour. This documentary pierces the mystery and mystique of a dance movement adored by the West and largely ignored by the Japanese. It uses archival and modern footage of leading Butoh performers – Dairakudakan, Hakutobo, Kazuo Ono – and interviews with Butoh specialists to throw light on the essential Butoh themes of darkness, violence and eroticism to get to the core of the nature of Butoh.

Going beyond its examination of Butoh as dance, Butoh: Piercing the Mask, delves into the relationship between culture and society. It portrays Butoh as a primal scream, uttered at a time when the post-war invasion of Japan by Western cultural and social conventions forced artists to re-invent their own identity. It raises questions about the Japanese people by revealing connections between some of the darker aspects of Butoh and Japanese culture. It examines Butoh’s relationship to contemporary life against the backdrop of modern Tokyo.’

‘Butoh: body on the Edge of Crisis’ 1990

‘Although Butoh is often viewed as Japan’s equivalent of modern dance, in actuality it has little to do with the rational principles of modernism. Butoh is a theatre of improvisation which places the personal experiences of the dancer on center-stage. The dancer is used as a medium to his or her inner life, but not for the portrayal of day to day existence. A Dionysian dance of nudity, eroticism, and sexuality, Butoh’s scale of expression ranges from meditative tenderness to excessive grotesqueness. By re-establishing the ancient Japanese connection of dance, music, and masks, and by recalling the Buddhist death dances of rural Japan, Butoh incorporates much traditional theatre. At the same time, it is a movement of resistance against the abandonment of traditional culture to a highly organized consumer-oriented society. An alliance of tradition and rebellion, Butoh is one of the most fascinating underground dance movements. Butoh: Body on the Edge of Crisis is a visually striking film portrait shot on location in Japan with the participation of the major Butoh choreographers and their companies.’

Talks and Demonstrations

Lynne Williams, Director/CEO, NIDA
Jeff Janisheski, Head of Acting, NIDA
Richard Emmert, Professor of Asian Performing Arts, Musashino University, Japan
Yukio Waguri, Artistic Director, Kohzensha Butoh Company, Japan
Allan Marett, Emeritus Professor of Musicology, University of Sydney

above copy from NIDA web site

7 February


Gold and the Incas.The Lost Worlds of Peru.  Exhibition until 21 April.

One of my favourite pieces, the Quipu.

from National Gallery of Australia website

from National Gallery of Australia website

‘INCA culture1400 – 1533 AD

Quipu1400-1533 ADcotton
65.0 (h) x 106.0 (w) cmMuseo Larco, LimaPhotograph: Daniel Giannoni

Quipus, made from knotted cords of cotton or wool, were used to record amounts of goods and numbers of people in the bureaucratic and centralised Inca Empire. Computations were decimal, the highest row of knots standing for one, the next for ten and so on. Different colours, lengths of cords, types of knots and number of plies all changed the meaning. The use of quipus was widespread in Andean civilisations such as the Huari, but the Incans often claimed earlier inventions and discoveries.’
from the National Gallery of Australia website

5 February

Sydney ACM SIGGRAPH – VFX on set, 3D scanning and modelling, rendering and compositing. Lidar scanning, HDR colour space, spectral response of sensors and everything else you need to know to get it right.

Speaker: Mike Seymour, Director & VFx Supervisor, Co-founder fxphd

Mike was one of the first Red Camera experts and has been a key figure in documenting its production pathways and standards. He is a leading educator and writer on VFX and works internationally as a consultant to productions and as a VFX Supervisor. His credits include: The CaptainBearRed DwarfMiracle FishI love Sarah JaneSpiderHunt AngelsLuckyFarscape — The Peacekeeper Wars.

VFX needs accurate geometry and lighting for reconstruction. Some of the ideas spoken about were lidar scans, point clouds, identifies for multiple scans, still shots of the scene on set to include camera and lighting details, extra footage after the take can be helpful for reference such as tilt up or extra pan or pulling out, draw stuff, is the camera’s pivot point its optical centre and where is it placed on the tripod, camera image sensor and colour separation, use exposure on time, need the image to be deep not necessarily high res, lots of bit depth and can be small dpi, raw as the gamma is not baked as it is in jpeg, what is white light, colour temperature, spectral response, accurate colour, take light out of HDR.

For vfx lighting sampling and reconstruction an established lighting references is that the Macbeth ColorChecker. These boards are not always accurate and seeing many examples of inaccurate colour samples it was up to the vfx 18% grey ball for the job. Why is it a ball, a sphere in face and it is good from any angle.

LED lights which are being used more and more have this big blue spike on the spectral response graph.


fx guide

Tom Gleeson, ACS & fxPHD’s Mike Seymour on the microRemote: “An Amazing Value”

vfphd with Mike Seymore – free eBooks and tutorials

Mike Seymore on Vimeo

Scott Metzger – special build of The Foundry’s MARI tool to project HDR set-captured environment data onto geometry.

2 February

Oopsatoreum, Power House Museum

7 December 2013 – 6 October 2014
Free with museum entr

‘The Oopsatoreum: a fiction by Shaun Tan and friends is an unpredictable and charming exhibition for families where inventors arise from their inventions and creative makings abound.’

‘The ‘inventions’ you will see are from the Powerhouse Museum collection, but the stories that accompany them were made up by Shaun and some bright young minds from the Sydney Children’s Choir. The exhibition is a reminder that all inventions, no matter how successful, begin as a daring act of imagination.’

Images and text from the PHM web site.

There was a wonderful wall where people could put up the ideas of their inventions which Gerald and I enjoyed reading.

One of our favourites was:

‘An automatic door powered by frustrated stomping.’

We laughed and laughed then looking at the bottom of the drawing it was by Ruth, 27.

We were not sure what to make of the one that said:

‘A new wife’, the wife’s reply was ‘You get what you pay for.’

Photos : © Gerald Yi-Cherng Lee

Thanks Gerald, another of your wonderful ideas to go exploring for interesting things to enjoy. I found it a real inspiration for my imagination.

Afterwards we enjoyed the atmosphere with the preparations for the Chinese New Year parade in the city, the year of the horse.

12 January

The Sound of Mumbai

11 January

Charles and Ray Eames



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