Monday, June 28, 2010

Design a Week #1 - Flight Simulator

This is my first stab at doing a quickie Design a Week attraction. I set a due date of each Wed but only had 2 days this first time so I did something purely technical. Let me state for the record that it is a complete coincidence that I chose to start with a simulator ride during the same week that Star Tours closed. For reals. I kind of forgot about that. Weird.

My goal was to try and create a flight simulator that functioned differently from any I’ve personally seen before. I wanted this to move more like an actual aircraft and be more physically thrilling. Instead of an X / Y tilt axis, this simulator has front tilt and 360 degree horizontal roll. Small-scale simulator inversions have been done before but I went for a large scale. This vehicle seats 64. When you look at this, it will be obvious that I’m not an engineer. This is intended to be just a concept mock-up. For example, I realize that the entire vehicle will slide off the tires on tilt but the guide and support assemblies should be assumed.

In the case of a simulator, just about any story will work. However, since this vehicle is capable of inversions and there is no gravity in space, I think a space travel theme would be inappropriate (sorry Star Tours). I thought it would be kind of cool if the theme was simply joy-riding. Maybe while waiting in the load area, the riders could vote on the experiences and locations they are heading to (again, this has been done on a small scale). I placed screens on the ceiling and side walls because I think the barrel rolls would be enhanced by seeing the ground above the riders. Of course, cleaning puke off the ceiling screens might suck a bit too.

That’s week #1. Now I’ll start on something story-oriented and a bit more complicated for week #2.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Design for Fun / Design a Week

Sketchup Practice
Originally uploaded by Mike Brister
I'm going to try a little experiment. I've seen a lot of meme posts where you take a photo or create art or write every day. I've been wanting to try something like that - creativity as an exercise on a schedule. I think I've come up with something that's a good fit for me and will help me use my spare time more productively.

I am going to try and design a themed attraction or something similar each week. Because of the short due date, these won't be polished presentations but my plan is to create enough that the entire concept is clear without me having to explain it in person. I'll post the results each Wed. I'm imposing some guidelines to work by as well:

- Each design must have a story, hopefully a good one.
- I can base designs off stories from other sources (book, TV, movies) but not more than 50% of the time.
- The attraction must contain a unique technical element that I've never seen or heard of before.
- I cannot use any ideas I've heard from other sources. The 10,000 NDAs (and implied NDAs) that I've signed still count.
- I can use parts of old ideas of my own that need a refresh or re-purpose.
- I still have to get all of my regular work done.

I'm going to try to get something finished by this coming Wed but I'm not sure if I can pull it off that quick. Worth a try though.

Projects done so far:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fantasmic Showtechniker

Showtechniker Guy
Originally uploaded by Mike Brister
While doing a boredom search of the web tonight, I came across this weird little blast from my past.  In 2004, Fantasmic's Show Director, Lighting Designer, Special FX Crew Chief, and Show Control Crew Chief (that's me) were interviewed for a German TV show called Disney Filmparade.  This particular episode was a look behind the scenes of Fantasmic at WDW.  Tonight, I discovered that the episode is on Youtube.  I'd never seen it there before.

This show has some really great behind the scenes and running show footage.  If you'd like to hear what I sound like dubbed into German, I first appear at 3:26.  I also have a bunch of good quality screen captures from the episode HERE or by clicking on the picture.

We also did some filming backstage for a Travel Channel HD show that I have never seen anywhere.  Anyone ever see that?  Maybe I'll search for it next.

Wow, this really makes me miss being a Showtechniker...