The Internets are buzzing with the announcement of Project Natal, a camera for the Xbox 360 which will supposedly offerfull-body motion capture for use in games. It’s very, very early days yet (the video floating around the Internet bears the small note “Product Vision - actual features and functionality may vary”), but they seem pretty confident about their tech. Full-body motion capture at a games console price? We’ll have to wait and see.
Ok, something rather cool today. As you probably know, I’ve recently been extremely impressed with filmmaker and author Chris Jones’ training seminar based on how he got to the Oscar shortlist with a short film. Many of its points are highly relevant to Machinima, and I was really interested to see what Chris would say to Machinima filmmakers directly. Handily, he was as interested in talking to us! So, today we present to you a 45-minute podcast between me and Chris, talking about making the best film you can, whether and how you should approach big-name actors, how to market your film and hook audiences in, and the future of professional and amateur filmmaking now that new technology is eating the old models alive.
Vimeo seem to be the new darlings of the video hosting scene, but they’re looking less and less good to me. Just after the fascinating article on video site terms of service in which they didn’t come out too well, we hear that they’ve deleted the incredibly popular “Craft of War: Blind” (one of our Machinima of the Year 2008 list) from their servers, apparently because “videos depicting people playing the game like walkthroughs, strategies, raids, pvp,etc aren’t allowed”, according to author Percula, second comment down.
There’s a very interesting article available comparing terms of service of the major video hosting sites . Interestingly, current darling of the video hosting world Vimeo doesn’t come out too well, whilst Blip.tv ends up leading the bunch for fair usage.
There’s one question that keeps being asked about the new PS3 Home Machinima tool, and that is - how will users actually capture the video? I’ve heard from a few people now, and it appears that, barring some miraculous tool popping up on release, in order to create any video using this tool, you’ll need to use an exterior capture device to capture the video from the PS3. HDMI capture cards like the Blackmagic Intensity cost about $200 minimum, so that puts a pretty hefty pricetag on using the software at all.
OK, this is very much “just in”, but it appears that Blizzard, makers of World of Warcraft, have just taken the ground-breaking (in a bad way) step of threatening legal action against a fan comic. WoWInsider’s Mike Schramm has posted the news, and he’s following up with Blizzard, so hopefully we’ll have more details soon: First the legal crackdown on fan-made iPhone apps, and now this: German-based webcomic Shakes and Fidget, a longtime sight in our Sunday Morning Funnies column, has apparently been smacked with a cease-and-desist by Blizzard.
I’ve just finished watching one of the best single resources for a filmmaker I’ve ever come across: http://www.gonefishingseminar.com If you’ve been following my Twitter over the last few days, you’ll have seen my stream of tweets as I watched it - I only stopped because I was afraid I was giving away half the seminar! It’s based on the experience of Chris Jones, author of the highly-regarded “Guerilla Filmmaker’s Handbook”, as he tried and very, very nearly succeeded in making a film which would win the short film Oscar.
More details on the Home Machinima tool, plus a (very interesting) video can be found over here - http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/05/06/enormous-update-coming-to-playstation-home/ I’m querying a couple of details - notably how video capture works on the system - and I’ll have more details soon.
This could be extremely interesting - I’ve just heard that Sony are about to launch a Machinima tool within the PS3’s “Home” 3D world. Here’s what I know so far, from Rich Bisso at Loot: “The reason I’m writing is that I thought you guys might be interested in what we’ve been working on. It’s essentially a machinima tool for Playstation Home. Our goal was to try and create something for PSHome users that combined the two aspects of Home we thought were the most interesting: Social Activity and Interactive Experience.
You probably knew this already, but just in case you didn’t - both Johnnie and I (Hugh) are on Twitter, where we regularly post things of Machinima-esque interest. Recently I’ve been posting about reputations systems and mocap stuff, for example, whilst Johnnie tweets all kinds of Open-Source and Moviestormy things. We’re hughhancock and johnnieingram over there - check us out if you’d like more 140-character Machinima goodness.