Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

Cogswell Student’s Artwork Featured On Kotaku!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Matt Bard

Dungeonesque Walls

One of our students, Matt “Bardler” Bard, had his polycount rock formation featured on Kotaku as, “A rather magnificent-looking, somewhat dungeonesque wall from Bardler”

Clicker here for the article!

Awesome job, Matt!

What If…?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

What if Creativity really is meant to be the central theme of education, social progress, global sustainability, innovation and human brain development? If so, what would we possibly risk losing if everywhere across the country, everyone participated in a weeklong scheme to engage their own creative ideas from how they will reuse their trash and natural resources, to how they might sanitize and decorate their town’s streets and buildings, or cultivate empty land, or implement devices for example, that would support electricity poles to withstand tornadoes and hurricanes, and even be impervious to the effects of flooding?

In the workplace employees can unleash ideas they’ve been harboring, such as how paper can be reconstituted over and over again without ever going to the recycle plant, or refurbish an office’s interior with greenery for a stress free working atmosphere, or how beneficial it might be to plant fruit trees on building tops to provide free treats for all in-house workers. What if an atmosphere of creativity actually contributed to more efficient workers and citizens?

What if all schools threw out the tyranny of a curriculum for a week? What if boards of education gave teachers the liberty of exercising creative control in the classroom for the subject they are responsible to teach their students – just for a week? What if students were allowed to help design lesson plans and each take a turn to be responsible for administering a lesson in their own creative ways? What if students who believed they were dispossessed of any creative elements were creatively stirred to at least try a new way of learning and studying?

Would the country fall into chaos and disorganization? Would students suddenly and dramatically fall behind and be academically damaged for life? If such an endeavor proved to be completely fruitless and useless, well we could just go back to doing things the way we’d always done them, and never again entertain the idea of letting creativity be so rampantly unleashed.

But what if this scheme churned out unimaginably brilliant ideas from all corners of the country, from folks in both low and high places, from the famous as much as from the infamous – would we be able to cope with that, or would it be too much of a leap for us?

Would we suddenly become frightened of our own creative potential, or would we realize how creative thinking really is the venue for advancing human progress, igniting innovation and solving problems? What if we just did everything completely different for a week – would that still count as a pursuit in creativity? What harm could really come from allowing creativity to flourish for a week?

Read the full, thought-provoking post at:

http://www.creativitypost.com/education/what_if

Jackson’s Slave to the Rhythm “Hologram” Isn’t a Hologram

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The media is a-buzz with headlines highlighting the revival of deceased King of Pop Michael Jackson at the recent Billboard Awards. Jackson’s estate released his new single “Slave to the Rhythm”, which debuted as a holographic performance of the star moon-walking across the stage. The problem is, the hologram, isn’t technically a hologram. It’s an illusion that has been around for centuries.
It’s an old technique known as Pepper’s Ghost. It’s frequently used in theater, magic tricks, and dark rides (like Disney’s Haunted Mansion). The technique utilizes glass, certain angles, and special lighting methods, creating the illusion of objects seeming to appear and disappear on command.


In her article “What’s Holography’s Future” for DigitalCinemaReport.com, Linda Law explains the phenomenon in regards to another recent “holographic” performance of deceased rapper Tupac Shikour at the 2012 Cochella Music Festival. “This [updated technique] alone did not make Tupac revive. It required shooting in very high resolution, some amazing CG work using a body double, and the mapping of Tupac’s head to the body as well as very powerful projectors that make the projected image look quite real. The fact that he moves around showing different parts of himself helps the illusion but it is still 2D… These may be quite effective and engaging and for all who have not seen an actual hologram, quite believable as holograms. I do think that with clever use of this medium many creative and engaging productions will be made.”


The Tupac “hologram” reportedly cost over $400k to create, and with other stars like Janelle Monae and M.I.A incorporating “holograms” into their performances, this new niche form of entertainment has lots of potential for future growth, especially in the digital art field, utilizing CGI and the updated “Pepper’s Ghost” illusion to bring back the some of our favorite artists from the dead.
Would you pay to see your favorite artist perform as a “hologram”? Do you think the Michael Jackson “hologram” was creepy or cool? Let us know in the comments.

Sources:
Article: http://www.digitalcinemareport.com/article/what-holography’s-future#.U35CW9xboeE
Images: http://www.controlbooth.com/threads/peppers-ghost-projection-surface.30412/

http://music-mix.ew.com/2012/04/16/tupac-hologram-coachella-video/

Disney Turns to Digital Technology to Fuse Animated 1959 with Live-Action 2014 Maleficent

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

On May 30th Disney fans will get a first look at the live-action retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty from the point-of-view of the story’s renowned villain Maleficent, played by Angelina Jolie. Producers were posed with the challenge of sticking true to Walt Disney’s original 1959 animated version of the villainess, while introducing her in live-action to a 2014 audience that demands high-tech illusionary entertainment.

Digital art and animation teams worked to produce cartoon-like aspects while keeping the “real-life” feel. In the trailer we see Maleficent engulfed in what has been deemed by bloggers as “cartoony” green flames, harking back to the original animated signature evil powers. We also see computer-generated pixies, tree creatures, ravens and the infamous fire-breathing dragon, all adding to the live-but-animated feel.

Sound design took a different spin to create a more modern and gothic feel for the remake. The famous Disney classic “Once Upon a Dream” was recomposed as a haunting rendition by singer Lana Del Rey. The trailer also reveals the use of strategic sound bytes, mystical swoops, swishes and swacks all fashioned by digital audio designers. Dark crows and caw sounds add to the gothic haunt factor, all the while harking back to Maleficent’s original 1959 pet raven Diablo, recast as a shape shifter named Diaval in the live-action remake.

Will you be seeing this early summer blockbuster? Do you think the digital art and animation effects will be enough to allude to the original? Does Lana Del Rey’s rendition give you the creeps? Let us know in the comments!

Images Credit: Disneywikia.com

Links:

http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/File:Stand_Back_you_fools_-_Maleficent_-_kmp.PNG

http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Maleficent?file=Maleficent-%25282014%2529-54.jpg

Godzilla vs. Smaug: Who Wins This Dragon Duel?

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Godzilla has fought many a monster — from giant moths to massive robots to smog incarnate to even King Kong — and he’s lived to roar about it.

But what would happen if the King of the Monsters faced down the dragon Smaug from J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic “The Hobbit”?  With a new “Godzilla” stomping to theaters next week, and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” recently out on home video and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” on the way in December, we thought it would be fun to pit these two behemoths — one a Japanese kaiju, or “strange creature,” and an avatar of the Nuclear Age; the other a fire-drake from the North in Tolkien’s mythical Middle-earth — against each other.

To break down the matchup, Speakeasy enlisted two experts: In Godzilla’s corner, we have Chris Picard, owner and editor of the Godzilla-movies.com fansite, citing contributions from staffer Gregory Hudgens. Representing Smaug’s side is “Demosthenes,” the news editor of TheOneRing.net, a popular fansite dedicated to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works and the films based on them.

To see the argument category by category, visit the full article here.

25 Years of Game Boy

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Raise your hand if you’ve owned a Game Boy (Hand raised)!

The Game Boy, Nintendo’s first full-sized handheld device, was released in Japan on April 21, 1989. It featured a green LCD screen, a directional pad, A, B, and start and select buttons. It was released in America in August of the same year for $89.99. Over the next decade and a half, the original Game Boy and its upgrades like Game Boy Color would sell 118 million units worldwide.

Take a look at this Mashable article for Every Game Boy Model from the Past 25 Years.

11 Times ‘The Simpsons’ Predicted the Future of Technology

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

With 25 season of comedy under its belt, American’s favorite TV family has poked fun of and spoofed almost everything related to pop culture. They’ve even predicted some of today’s technological advancements.

From heavy hinting at potential NSA snooping to goofier predictions of future video phones, Mashable has rounded up 11 times that The Simpsons imagined the digital future with eerie accuracy. Have you seen the scenes referenced?

Cogswell’s Project-Based Learning Receives Praise from Visiting Students

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

On Thursday, April 10th; 20 students from Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), an Entrepreneurial School in Austria, came to visit Cogswell.  Most of the visiting students are studying Art & Entrepreneurship, and were fascinated with Cogswell’s Project-Based Learning classes and studios.

The MCI students were amazed with the work they were able to see, and that it was all “made from scratch”.  From character sketches & 3D models made from clay, to digitally rendered creations brought to life; the MCI students were completely in awe. They also got the opportunity to learn about the process that a piece of art will go through to become part of an animated film or game. Cogswell’s own Digital Audio Technology students then add music to the digital projects to create a completed work of art done entirely by students.

Cogswell’s Project-Based Learning classes are the foundation of the education provided here; they help to create strong, T-shaped individuals that are prepared for careers in a variety of industries.

Top 10 Games we’d Love to Play in Virtual Reality

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The next chapter of gaming and entertainment is almost here; virtual reality. As Sony prepares ‘Project Morpheus’, a virtual reality prototype for the PS4; the realism that virtual reality games will be taken from concept to completion is approaching quickly. This new technology will deliver a sense of presence, where you as the player actually feel like you’re inside the game and your emotions feel that much more real.

With the knowledge that this will soon be available to the masses, CraveOnline made a list of the Top 10 Games We’d Love to Play in Virtual Reality. Although we think that practically any game in existence would be insanely cool to experience through virtual reality; this list really gets the imagination going at the idea of experiencing these games in a seemingly real environment. Take a look at their list and see for yourself!

What games would you love to experience through virtual reality? Comment below!

‘Old’ Movies Whose Special Effects Still Hold up Today

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Some of the movies we grew up on are great for so many reasons; and a big part of that was the special effects that went into them. Remember how real the dinosaurs in ‘Jurassic Park’ looked? Or how jaw dropping it was when the White House was obliterated in ‘Independence Day’? While we may laugh at some of the effects in past movies compared to the insanely real visuals in today’s movies; some can still be classified as ‘Awesome’! Visit this article for a list of 8 ‘Old’ Movies Whose Special Effects Still Hold up Today, as well as the most notable parts in the movie (complete with video)!

Which major flicks did they leave off the list?