(Source: stuff.co.nz) Film giant Peter Jackson has spoken out about the “fragile state” of the industry after confirming that his much-anticipated The Hobbit is yet to gain financial backing.

Jackson, who spoke at the 40th annual Comic-Con on California the largest comic book and popular arts convention late last week, said changing technology meant fewer people watched films on the big screen.

“The film industry is in this weird state of falling box office, or so the studios feel; DVDs are down, internet piracy, and it’s in a fragile state,” Jackson said.

(Source: CGSociety) When Christopher Horvath bounced back to Industrial Light & Magic after working on ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘King Kong’ at Weta, the studio didn’t exactly have a title that fit the work he’d be doing. “I feel like I’m essentially performing a mad scientist role,” he says. “Fortunately, we have a cover-all title now.”

That title is ‘digital artist,’ but mad scientist better suits this CG artist, programmer, compositor, Birkham yoga instructor, painter, and breaks/electrohouse DJ. Take, for example, the two feature films released this year that he worked on: ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ and ‘Harry Potter: The Half-Blood Prince.’

(Source: TheEscapist) Think the Wii Balance Board was silly? Nintendo’s patented Wii Horseback Riding Saddle gives it a run for its money.

Siliconera has unearthed a patent filed by Nintendo for – get this – an inflatable “horse” saddle peripheral for the Wii. The device (essentially, half of one of those exercise balls) would have a pocket for the Wii Remote, and the player would hold the Nunchuck to simulate holding the reins of their mighty steed.

What could they ever do with this? Well, according to the patent:

“For example, the Wii main unit can display the back of a horse’s head and background of a trail, a field, a battlefield or other environment the virtual horse is being ridden through (see Figure 1A). The image may change in response to detected motion of the user.”

Boy, that really sounds thrilling, huh? But wait a moment! We’ve just been thinking about horses (and ponies) but we may have failed to see the true potential of this thing. Not only will you be able to use the controller to simulate riding a horse … but you can use it to simulate riding other animals as well?

The patent lists some of the possibilities – normal animals such as “bulls, camels, elephants, burros, dolphins, whales,” mythological creatures like “dragons, griffons, unicorns, giant eagles,” or even things that aren’t animals at all – “hang gliders or other aircraft, a magic carpet, a motorcycle, a jet-ski, a land or sea exploration vehicles.”

Giddy-yap, Epona.

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