Kudan 'Augmented Reality' Minecraft concept making a stir!

...Well, in two niche camps, anyway - The Minecraft community and the Augmented Reality community. Despite its raw simplicity, this video more than any of the other concepts I produced has made an impression. This is probably because, not only would many people love to see this happen for real, but they can believe that it is possible, and perhaps not even that far off.

With a simple camera move in the real world, a basic alignment of the Minecraft world, and an adequately synchronised step forward in both worlds, you have something that people can relate to the technology. Plus a little bit of wobble and blur to fend off the Hollywoodists and make it believable as a modern, slightly laggy AR engine.

As well as being Tweeted and +1'd by some brainy academics and innovators, this video has been posted by the authors of many leading Augmented Reality news sites, communities and blogs, including Augmented Reality OverviewAugmented ViewsAugmented Reality Layer, and Augmented Times.

Keep this idea in your minds, kids, 'cos there's a bigger splash to be made yet!


Official BlazBlue Continuum Shift trailer online...

Well now! Zen United, the official Western branch of Japanese game studio Arc System Works, have uploaded the official trailer for BlazBlue Continuum Shift 2 - which is coming to Nintendo 3DS and Sony PSP on the 4th of November. I took a 2-week break from Kudan's augmented reality fun to join Zen United (downstairs!) to edit this trailer.

As you can imagine, the most time consuming part was assembling the introduction scene, which involved browsing through Zen United's archive of game sketches and concept art for extended periods, selecting vaguely corresponding character poses and then filling in the gaps with stills from the final character art!

Unfortunately, there was no quick n' clever way to patch up these sketches into a fight scene. With the selected files at hand, I simply assembled them in Photoshop, frame by frame. Even (most of) the characters' slight movements were just down to the placement of the layer in each frame. With the addition of some random, Japanese notes from the sketches flickering around, I had a complete fight scene - totalling around 70 frames.
Exporting these frames as transparent PNGs to After Effects allowed me to do whatever I wanted with them - from changing and animating backgrounds, to masking and moving sections of the animation. Even the titles were just still PNG files knocked up in Photoshop.

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out, considering the short timescale. Safe to say there's loads more that could be done with more time. Before making this, we discussed loads of different options, more ambitious ones. Who knows, maybe Zen United will make more viral stuff soon!...