Sunday, November 11, 2007

Some more pictures

Approaching San Francisco (and about time as well - we'd been airborne for over 10 hours :)


Yeah yeah, I know it's "TimbAland", but it's still funny. :)


The roads were actually pretty horrible, and the people drove like animals.


Yes, the Pixar lunch area is actually named "Cafe Luxo" :)


Yes! We found an old ZAXXON arcade machine in the Pixar offices! :)


STEAM'07 - now in the Bay Area!


Steeler doing Q&A at Industrial Light and Magic.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Hello Europe

After almost 29 hours of travel, three plane-trips and so many airport lobbies I don't want to see one for at least half a year.. I am home. :) Steeler is in Hamburg, and as far as I know, Gargaj is now home in Budapest.

More pictures and stuff will come, but for now .. sleep is needed!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Time to head home

US demomakers - start your engines!

It is now 08:30 here in San Francisco, and after spending the previous eight or nine days either travelling or doing outreach, it will actually be good to set foot on native soil again. For me, that means Norway, for Steeler, it is Germany, and for Gargaj, it is the home of the "Culture Crash" (or Hungary, as some people say :)

It has been an amazing trip, and we have our suitcases filled to the airline allowed limit with ideas, concrete in-the-works initiatives and so much "go get it done!"-spirit that we would probably blow red on a breathalizer. :)

We know that it must be frustrating for some not to be let in on the concrete, hands-on, actual stuff that has come out of this initiative, and for that we apologize. That is just the way it is when you deal with these kinds of businesses. We can however promise you this: you have not heard the last of "Demoscene Outreach Tour 2007". Not by a long shot. :) Things are happening, things are moving, great things (at least we think they are great, you are of course free to disagree when the time comes :) are going to happen in the coming year.

Note! This blog isn't dead - we will post pictures and video when we get back home, as well as news about results from this trip, but probably not as frequent as this last week. :)

Now is also the time to do the most demoscene thing of all: greetings! This trip would not have been possible had it not been for these great people:
  • Rick of Pixar: Thank you so much for inviting us. We know it started as a half-joke, but once we picked it up and started to actually look into it, you were there every step of the way, helping us and supporting us. Also thank you for being a great San Franciscan host!
  • Shiva of Kolor: Your hospitality here in San Francisco has been unrivaled by anything we have experienced. Letting a second German, a Norwegian and a Hungarian basicly take over your appartment for over a week is beyond kindness. Thank you!
  • Josh, Danielle and Marshall of Lucasfilm/ILM: Thank you for setting up our visit to your campus - your hospitality is greatly appreciated, and our presentation for you guys was one of our best we think. :)
  • Temis of NVIDIA: Not only did you support us, but you actually had a plan as well! :) Thank you for having us (twice!), for coming to some of our other presentations, for giving us feedback and tips during this whole thing.. and for driving us places (and taking us out for genuine mexican food (with Government Cheese!)
  • Everyone we met, talked to or presented for during this trip: Thank you for listening, thank you for watching, thank you for engaging in discussions and brainstorming with us! Now your time has come - rise up and DO SOMETHING in the demoscene! :) Consider yourself challenged! (that includes you, the first graphician from LucasArts - you, the artist who wants to code (start with Processing!) - you, the ex-scener who is not making demos any longer - and YOU, the person who is reading this right now!)
..and so, we leave you with this image from a short outing we managed to squeeze into our program - a half day of actual sightseeing in San Francisco - we hope you have enjoyed this little blog as much as we have. Our contact information is listed on this page - use it!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Luxo 4k

"Luxo 4k" - a 4096 bytes Windows executable that displays the Pixar intro animation in realtime.

The people who attended our talk at Pixar got to see this first, but now it is available for you as well. It was our little "special gift" to Rick at Pixar for inviting us in the first place (plus, he just had a birthday as well :) and was show for the very first time at the main cinema in the Pixar Animation Studios in front of somewhere around 50 people (many of them working at Pixar we might add) to great applause. :)

It is a 4k intro (a demo that cannot be bigger than 4096 bytes) that runs on any reasonably new Windows based computer, and you can download it by clicking here. It is, of course, absolutely free!

Credits:
  • Sound: Gargaj / Conspiracy
  • The rest: IQ / RGBA
(if you are really lazy and don't appreciate code magic, you can go to YouTube - but then you are seriously missing the whole point :)

The Big Show

Bent's visitors badge - note the text: "A stranger from the outside!"

The others are out shopping in the Apple store (*shudder*), so I guess I'll fill you in on the happenings of yesterday: We spent the whole day at our primary objective and primary host in San Francisco, Pixar Animation Studios.

After taking a short tour around the campus, we first met up with the R&D team of the company, and gave them a quick rundown on our presentation - essentially a compacted version of what we're talking about, more focusing on the technical stuff than the rest - I was also asked to do a quick showoff of our toolset what we use for 64k content creation. We also met Jekyll / Andromeda here, who we ruthlessly used as an example when it came to things such as group wars.

Jekyll, of the mighty Andromeda, in the Pixar dining/mingle-area.

The second meeting was more an eye-to-eye conversation, centered around possible internship / recruiting programs at Pixar through Scene.org and the likes - hopefully something that doesn't just score some good deals for sceners, but also works the other way around and functions as an outreach towards the demoscene in local universities.

After joining up in the lobby with the rest of Pixar for a beer (or several) at their usual Friday Beer Bash (I kid you not), we eventually proceeded to set our presentation up in the main theater, and started with our showing for the VES at 6:30PM. The show was visited by around 50 people, albeit it was somewhat less buoyant than in other places - but what followed afterwards was really cool: not only did Pyro / Haujobb show up, and again a few people admitted that they in fact did some demo coding "back in the days", but we also found a person by the name of Jeffrey Lim - some might remember him being the creator of Impulse Tracker.

Jeffrey Lim, creator of the famous Impulse Tracker, just showed up out of nowhere. :)

If anything, that was out of the blue. It was also really delighting to see how people interact with each other after these presentations, quite often discussing how they used to do stuff like this - it does kinda feel like the demoscene is, to use a company slogan, "connecting people".

Pictures will follow if Gloom comes back - I was too busy to take any and my camera doesn't really like twilight either.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Debris (live from San Francisco)

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We just had to. Sorry. :)

Tomorrow...

...is pixar time. We're going to meet up with Rick (our host - thanks for setting this up for us!) in the morning, take a tour of the studio and then get started with our meetings. We have booked a couple with the different departments, and later on we will be doing our main presentation.

It will be held in one of the cinema facilities at Pixar and people who work there are invited, in addition to members of the Bay Area faction of the Visual Effects Society (members can read more about our presentation in the Members Area)

The Return of the (NVIDIA) Jedi

The NVIDIA offices were in Santa Clara, about a one hour drive from San Francisco, in the direction of San Jose.

So, as you might remember, our first presentation with NVIDIA went really well, and we were called back for a second meeting. After the Adobe presentation today we headed back to NVIDIA for that..

The on-campus lunch/food/relaxation premises is called the "nStreet café" - now isn't that just the cutest thing ever? :)

The meeting this time around was much more of an official meeting than a presentation/brainstorming thing. We really can't talk that much about it just now, but trust us when we say that there are some really cool ideas being kicked around. The moment we have something concrete to tell you guys, we will.

Gloom couldn't resist the opportunity to mess the NVIDIA whiteboards (located in the cafeteria :)


This is a really internal joke that pretty much just the FMX-guys and XXX / Haujobb will get. :)

Meeting with the Adobe Flash team

The crowd at Adobe, about 20 people came to see our presentation.

Today we had a meeting at Adobe, with their Flash team. The meeting room was packed (people had to sit on the floor actually) and they applauded after the demos which is always really nice to see (especially when we are not the ones who start the applause :)

Same crowd, different angle. :)

We showed a Flash demo as well this time (because it was really relevant to them) and almost immediately the questions began to pile up - we answered as best we could, not being the ones who made that demo). We have been asked what demos we show and that really changes for every place we visit. The tracklist (a short one, since our meeting was not that long) for the Adobe visit was as follows:
One of the slides from our presentation, showing a.D.D.i.c.t 2, the Conspiracy intro tool.

Flashflash - and you're dazzled

We just woke up and we are getting ready to present at Adobe today. To be more precise we are going to the ex-macromedia Flash team which is located in San Francisco while the Adobe HQ is in San Jose. Nevertheless as you might know Shiva of Kolor just joined the Flash dev-team to help them getting things done into the right direction ;) I don't know really how much I can tell you but it seems like the flashers are getting something interesting started...

At our presentation we will also show some Flash demos as well.

By the way: Shiva is also our host in Frisco. THANK YOU SO MUCH DUDE, we really appreciate this!

Long bridge, short clip

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The Bay Bridge at night. Big shiny city, long bridge, DV camera with night vision. Yay!

Lucasfilm videoreport

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Steeler and Gargaj in the park at the Letterman Digital Arts Centre.

This short video was shot after our presentation at Lucasfilm / Industrial Light and Magic today. Be sure to take a look at the website for the campus as well - it was really, really nice! (the website shows a picture of a theatre - that was actually the one we held our presentation in :)

Now it's time to sleep, as we will hit Adobe tomorrow before lunch, and then head out to NVIDIA in Santa Clara some time later in the day.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Industrial Light and Demoscene

Gargaj, Gloom and Steeler outside the ILM/Lucasfilms Studio B entrance.

So we just got back from our presentation (and AWESOME tour) at ILM/Lucasfilms. The presentation went really well, with around 50 people turning up. It was well-rounded crowd, and almost all of them stuck around for the whole thing, even lunch afterwards. :)

We met AND there, and even a guy that used to be in nooon (yes, really!) and we got to pose with both Yoda and Darth Vader, so all in all a really good day I'd say. :)

We have some more pictures but before we can post them they need to be run by the PR execs over there first.. and now we are going to a Halloween party! :)

We're going back to NVIDIA

Follow-up: so apparently things went really well yesterday. So well in fact, that we are going back to NVIDIA on thursday, after our presentation at Adobe. To be serious for a moment: we really feel that NVIDIA "gets" us and the demoscene. We already have a lot of cool ideas (spawned by both parties, it was not just us telling them what we would like - it was really a two-way conversation).

The whole team that we met with were honestly the nicest set of people you could imagine, and we are really looking forward to cultivating some of the ideas that came out of that first meeting.

..and now, by popular demand, a picture of Temis - our host at NVIDIA and San Francisco-inviter extraordinairé:

Temis and Steeler enjoying a typical american lunch (typical in our eyes anyway :)


It doesn't really show on the picutre I guess, but that .. was one BIG burger!

Earthquake!

The outreach gang at the NVIDIA offices.

Okay, so we are nearing the end of our presentation at NVIDIA - everything is going well and the spirits are high.. and then..? Earthquake! We kid you not. 5.6 on the Richter scale. :) Read more about it at CNN.com:
"My God, I felt like running because the roof might come down on my head," she told the AP. "I've never felt anything like this in 16 years in the United States."
We felt it pretty well too. People looked kind of scared and started heading for the exits. Unfortunately we weren't quick enough with the camera, but here is a short post-quake clip (recorded around 10 seconds after it stopped - the roof-lights were still moving):
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(Ed.note: The guy who wishes us "Welcome to California!" is
Rob Csongor, the VP of Corporate Marketing @ NVIDIA)


..and here are some images from our day at NVIDIA (which was actually close to a full day - we got there at around 16:00 and just got back to the appartment, like, thirty minutes ago :)

"Is everybody in? Is everybody in? The presentation is about to begin.." (Which demo is that from? :)


"The Popular Demo" is always a crowdpleaser.

All in all it was a great day, albeit long. :) Tomorrow it's time for Industrial Light and Magic and Lucasfilm.. but now.. nighty night - sleep tight - don't let the "post-earthquake" bugs bite!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Our schedule

Some people have asked us what our schedule looks like, and even though not everything is 100% decided, the days are as follows:
  • Tuesday (today): NVIDIA
  • Wednesday (31.10): Industrial Light and Magic / Lucasfilm
  • Thursday (01.11): Adobe
  • Friday (02.11): Pixar and Bay Area Visual Effect Society
Our plan is to keep you updated here both before and after our visits, so keep coming back for more. Now that Gloom has tackled the first use of iMovie HD on his Mac there will probable be a bit more videos as well (you said you wanted them - who are we to disregard public opinion? :)

Nevertheless right now we are waiting for the NVIDIA guy to go to Santa Clara in some minutes. So heading off now ;) Bye!

Steeler reports from the front line

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This video was recorded yesterday - just a short report from Steeler. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Working..

We actually do work as well. Preparing for the first of our presentations, taking place tomorrow (at NVIDIA). The foundation of the Bay Bridge is barely visible through the window.

Early morning walk in SF

We're in the US allright. :)

We woke up early today and decided to walk around a bit in the area around where we are staying. It was quite foggy then (though now it has cleared up and the sky is blue and the sun is shining :) and quite damp and cold. We took some picures though, and here they are (courtesy of Gargaj).


Foggy morning. High tower. Looks like something directly out of "City 17" :)

Skyscrapers everywhere!


Steeler and Gloom found their new favourite delivery van. :)


Palmtrees and the Bay Bridge going across to Treasure Island (which is, apparently, completely devoid of treasure :)

Finally arrived

Gargaj took this picture of the sunset from San Francisco Int'l Airport.

After being on the road since 05:00, we finally arrived in San Francisco yesterday (it's now 08:27 over here). We met Sebastian (Shiva of Kolor), who works at Adobe, and has kindly let us stay in his apartment. After we picked up the rented car we had to spend some time on an american freeway (which was eerie and scary at the same time :) we arrived downtown and settled in to Sebastians apartment.

Some chilling later, we went shopping for food and boy.. there are some weird stuff available here! More later today.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The long wait .. for the longer flight

We're currently at Heathrow airport in London, waiting. Steeler is filling up his PSP with music for the 11.5 hour long flight (!) to San Francisco. Gargaj is creating music of his own (from where I sit, it sounds sweet :) and Gloom .. well, he's writing this. :)

Let's start by filling you in on some of the things that happened yesterday. Boring, yet not as boring that it didn't deserve being photographed.

"Heavy" - yeah, no shit. I have a pain in my right arm to prove it as well.


Steeler picked up me and Gargaj at the airport in the cleanest car in the world!


Gargaj - the cuddliest of the sceners (New! Version 1.2 with a goate!)


The cuddly scener brought me "Culture Crash" from Budapest! (Editors note: "Culture Crash" is my name for this baked dessert. It's actually called "Kürtöskalács" but come on - who can pronounce that?)


Proof that the UK is turning more and more Orwellian with each passing day - the sign says "This is a manual air condition that turns off automatically. The button needs to be pushed every 20 minutes for continued operation." or something to that effect. "Holy mind-numbing indoctrination, Batman!"

There were some more pictures, but for some reason Blogger doesn't seem to want to play with The Cloud WiFi hotspot right now. As the old Monthy Python saying goes: "Oh well, can't be helped, can't be helped.."

What-the-duck?!

Hello everyone. This page is about a noble (not to be confused with Nobel) effort to spread the word (and joy) of the demoscene to the other side of the globe - from Europe to The United States of America (and we don't mean that one member of Farbrausch :).

The trip began on the 27th of October, when Gloom and Gargaj traveled to Hamburg, Germany, to meet up with Steeler and leave for San Francisco the following day (today - we're waiting at the airport in London for our connecting flight, that's why we're writing this right now).

On our trip we will visit (and hold presentations for) among others; Pixar Animation Studio (link), Industrial Light and Magic (link) and Lucas Films (link), NVIDIA (link) and the San Francisco chapter of The Visual Effects Society (link).

We will try to update it as often as possible. In the meantime, stay tuned .. to demoscene.tv! :)