Sunday, December 17, 2006

Halo Movie

At the risk of becoming a one-trick pony before finishing up my first official month of blogging - here's another Halo related post.

Recently, there has been a few minor news items concerning the making of a movie based on the Halo games. Apparently, some good preliminary work was being done, but then there were some disagreements amongst the studios and producers, etc. so the project was put "on hold".

Since it is probably inevitable that a movie will get made at some time, I am wondering if, with the recent releases of some great Halo trailers, Halo isn't a great fit for an entirely CGI movie? It's been 5 years since the last big-budget CGI movie: Final Fantasy. And while that movie is largely considered a flop due to it's poor showing at the box office, I believe that the problems were related to 2 primary things that a Halo movie could avoid:

  1. Weak and confusing plot.
  2. Too many "human" characters.

The first point is pretty self-explanatory (I hope), but the second point may deserve some further explanation. You see, I remember when the Final Fantasy movie came out there was a lot of talk about how realistic the characters would look (I seem to recall something about the animators modeling all of the female, main character's hair strands individually, in order to make it move more naturally). While the results were amazing, I still think that were not good enough to not distract the viewer during the movie. Additionally, it seemed like the quality of the character modeling varied with the level of importance of the characters - i.e. the main character looked more "real" and natural than some of the less important human characters.

With the Halo movie however, this would be far less of an issue. Part of the Halo mystique is the fact that the main character (the Master Chief) doesn't ever remove his helmet - and therefore we never see him. I am no CGI artist but I am pretty sure that the amount of effort required to create a character who is basically covered from head to toe in some fancy armoured jumpsuit is a lot less than the work to model human facial expressions and individual hair movements.

Also, since the Halo world is occupied by a large variety of alien species, you know that there is going to need to be a large amount of CGI work done for the movie anyway, so doesn't it make things a lot easier - especially for visual continuity - for the entire movie to be rendered inside a computer-generated environment?

On the good side, at least the news for Halo isn't related at all to Uwe Boll being the director ;)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stunning Halo Trailers

I am a sucker for both movie and video-game previews. I think that it's the sheer intensity that the creators manage to cram into such a short clip. Inevitably, the full version of the move/game can not realistically live up to my expectations, mostly because you can't keep up that same level of intensity for more than a couple of minutes.

Even with all that being said, I am still drooling over the latest Halo 3 trailer. (Make sure to download and watch the hi-def version).


Bonus - Another cool video from the Halo universe is the trailer for an upcoming real-time strategy game called Halo Wars.


Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has a great personal blog where he writes about all sorts of things that enter into his mind. I got a real kick out of his recent tips on "Acting Smarter Than You Are".

It's funny because it's true.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Trying Windows Live Writer with Blogger

It didn't take long for me to get annoyed with the web-based authoring provided by Blogger (more on that in a future post). I looked around a bit for a simple desktop blogging application. Many of the more polished looking apps that can work with Blogger are not free, so my choice was limited. It's not that I am (overly) cheap, it's just that I am not a professional blogger so it doesn't really make sense for me to pay money to write my posts.

Since my primary home computer is a Windows PC (please no religious flame wars over that), I decided to give Windows Live Writer a try. The installation was quick and painless: I just needed to enter my blog URL and login information along the way. If you see this post, then I guess things went smoothly.

Monday, December 4, 2006

No Zune in Canada?

I was thinking about getting my wife a new MP3 player for Christmas (she doesn't read my blog so the secret is safe). I had been reading lots of interesting stuff about the new Zune from Microsoft as a reasonable alternative to an iPod. So I went to the usual Canadian online sources Future Shop and Best Buy. The result: nothing. I thought that was kind of weird, so I did a quick search on Google and found out that the Zune isn't available in Canada. Apparently it has something to do with the availability of the companion online music store for Canadian customers.

Oh well, I guess that my Christmas shopping got a little bit easier.