Very interesting news from the guys at Pixel Eyes Productions - they’ve been trying to enable revenue sharing through ads on YouTube, and they’ve found the following: YouTube won’t let them revenue share until they can prove rights to the video (not too surprising) Valve won’t even respond to emails from them (slightly more surprising, but we’ve seen this before from several games companies - Microsoft being the big exception.
We’re always interested - nay, fascinated - to hear about new Machinima-capable engines here. So: Baron Soosden’s been experimenting with Aion Machinima and has posted a piece about his work so far. We hear from Murray of BloodSpell fame that Uncharted 2 has a Machinima mode, which looks quite complete, although still no word on whether it’s possible to render movies out…
Just in case you’re not thoroughly sick of the sound of our voices by now, machinima blogger and creator Iceaxe (creator of Clockwork and Cloud Angel) interviewed both Johnnie and Hugh at this year’s Cambridge Film Festival. You can listen for free online: Johnnie talks about Moviestorm, machinima.com and the dozens of movies he’s never finished making. Hugh talks about machinima, molecular gastronomy and why all-over bodysuits are the way of the future.
Dopefish links to this fantastic video of direct facial tracking in the Half-Life 2 engine: . Looks to me a lot like proper facial capture using nothing more than a webcam, which admittedly we’ve seen before - but we’ve not seen it in real-time. VERY interesting.
Interesting - John August reveals that he and the rest of the Prince of Persia movie team used a trailer made mostly of Machinima footage from the game to pitch to the studio execs - the pitch that got the movie made. We’ve been saying this is possible for ages - but here’s proof. (Also interesting that a lot of what we’ve talked about in the past has been creating the entire movie in Machinima first.
Having now sold enough copies of Machinima For Dummies to pay for a cup of coffee a day for a week - each! - Hugh and I were delighted to see that the book has become part of the ever-growing library of Google Books. That means you can read Machinima For Dummies for free, online. Well, most of it - as is usually the case with Google Books, a few pages have been deleted seemingly at random.
A couple of exciting developments in WoW Machinima: First up, a new WoW Machinima tool, MachinimaDev has been released in beta. This is pretty exciting stuff - its capabilities go well beyond those of Modelviewer, including export to various 3D packages, limited mouth control, timeline-based shooting, cameras, loading of sets and multiple characters at the same time, and other very cool stuff. I’ve not tested it, but I’ve had an online demo, and it represents a significant advance in WoW Machinima creation.
I’ve come across a couple of interesting pieces of work lately. First up, “Alan Smithee” (aka some Moviestorm director who doesn’t want to be identified) has produced, yes, some Machinima (soft) porn (NSFW, but nothing too shocking): Why’s this interesting? Well, there’s always been a bit of an odd shortage of porn created in Machinima - the occasional bit, but nothing like the flood you’d expect. And this is the first piece of Machinima erotica that actually kinda works.
On the “who knew?” list, it turns out that EA game Skate 2 has a remarkably sophisticated Machinima toolset for recamming (by which I mean adding camerawork to recordings of gameplay). Given the huge “Skate Movie” culture that’s already out there (see Skateperception , it’s an interesting new angle for Machinima. I’d be interested to hear what real skate video creators thought of it. And good to see recamming making a comeback too!
EDIT - Oh, knackers. Looks like this isn’t actually true, just someone’s fantasy (see comments). Cheapest option for Mocap remains Ipisoft. Dammit. Ooh! Looks like a major player’s getting into the cheap mocap game - Adobe have just announced a suite named “Gollum” which will perform mocap using the Project Natal cameras. Cost? $400. Time? No idea.