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Machinima - Spielbergs with a Joystick 176

Posted by timothy
from the popping-up-everywhere-lately dept.
securitas writes "The Toronto Star's Murray Whyte writes about the growing popularity of machinima as the birth of a new type of filmmaking and artform. The article largely focuses on Red vs. Blue but also discusses Jim Munroe's My Trip To Liberty City, in which 'Munroe adopts the genteel perspective of a Canadian tourist while meandering the seamy, violent streets of the game Grand Theft Auto.' The most interesting comment comes from the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences' Paul Marino who compares machinima to garage bands."
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Machinima - Spielbergs with a Joystick

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  • Record Function? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RexHowland (71795) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:02PM (#8934881)
    In Burns's house in Austin, Tex., they gather to `shoot' the episodes using the game console's record function.

    Is my Xbox missing something, or is this a lovely little piece of misinformation?
    • What are you talking about... Didn't you ever notice the big red button on the side of your xbox...

      It's just records right onto your 8 gig harddrive :)

      And interestingly enough xbox is also able to double as a cappacino machine.

    • Re:Record Function? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by u-238 (515248)
      T.V. output is typically recorded with a video capture card.. much different in the case of computer game movie making, which can very easily be done with an app called fraps [fraps.com], which can capture anything displayed on screen.

      Most games, though, like half-life, have the ability built in (called demo recording, mostly used to catch hackers), and everything can be done software-wise. That's the great advantage, anyone who has a modern computer and a few cooperating friends has the ability to get into this hobby
      • Re:Record Function? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mstra (38238) *
        ...anyone who has a modern computer and a few cooperating friends has the ability to get into this hobby

        Plus, the great thing about doing animation is your cast can have "faces made for radio". That's the downside of live-action filmmaking as a hobby...no matter how indie you are, people still like to look at pretty faces. Or even if they don't...your actors are going to want to make sure they look good on the screen. Especially if you are NOT paying them.

    • by NanoGator (522640) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:16PM (#8935289) Homepage Journal
      "Is my Xbox missing something, or is this a lovely little piece of misinformation?"

      Well I'm not an X-BOX owner, but I'm pretty sure they have a video out.
      • by RexHowland (71795)
        Right, but the point is that the author of the article states that there is some sort of "record function" for the Xbox, which is obviously not true.

        I suppose it's possible if it's a modded Xbox, but, otherwise, I have no idea how they even got that idea. For an article on Machinima, you'd think they'd at least try to be accurate as to how the recording was done.
        • Re:Record Function? (Score:4, Informative)

          by NanoGator (522640) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:37PM (#8935386) Homepage Journal
          "I suppose it's possible if it's a modded Xbox, but, otherwise, I have no idea how they even got that idea. For an article on Machinima, you'd think they'd at least try to be accurate as to how the recording was done."

          *sigh* I tried to be subtle...

          Why is this so difficult to understand? They just hooked up the XBOX to a VCR. Voila! That's all they needed to do! The 'record function' was, in all likelihood, a misunderstanding by the author of the story. I wouldn't normally be so harsh but seeing as how they have to get the video into a computer at some point to edit anyway, I don't see why everybody's got a question mark over their head about the idea of XBOX having a 'record option'. For all we know, it was an inaccurate reference to a game mode you have to put HALO in in order to just sit around and watch the other players.

          If you know how to hook up an XBOX to a TV, then you have all the prerequisite knowledge you need to know in order to make your own machima movie using any tv-based game console ever created, including the Atari 2600.
    • Re:Record Function? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Re-Pawn (764948)
      From the redvsblue faq:
      F.A.Q. [redvsblue.com]
      Q: How do you make the videos?
      A: This is by far the number one question asked in e-mail. We use a video capture suite by a fantastic company, Canopus. The card we use is a Canopus DV Rex M1. We also use a variety of software, including Adobe Premiere and a great (and cheap!)sound editing tool called Cool Edit 2000 (now know as Adobe Audition)...

      So now you know - and knowing is half the battle..
    • or is this a lovely little piece of misinformation?

      Speaking of misinformation... the article states that "Episode 33 debuted this week.". Is there a different redvsblue site that they're looking at, because on the redvsblue [redvsblue.com] site that I'm seeing, it looks like there's only 30 episodes available... :)
  • Paul Marino who compares machinima to garage bands.

    How do you mean Paul? I didn't realize Machinima animation artists wore trashy clothes, made a lot of teeth-splintering noise, got famous for 6 months to a year, and eventually died of overdose.
  • by AMG (110468) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:08PM (#8934918) Homepage
    As a director, a movie it's a image story you want to tell, this is just another way, but you still need creativity to do it.

    I'ts like making remixes with your old tape deck machine and only one turnable in the early 80's.
  • Quake Movies... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Popularized massively by the quake videos, featured on GameSpotTV on ZDTV.
    • The intro movie featured in the Team Fortress Quake mod was always my favorite.
    • Blahbalicious, Ranger gone plaid..

      Some other one I cant remember the name of that was 4 hours long.. :) I'd love to see an open-source machinima OpenGL engine..
      Then they can just distrib the movie as a little binary with a data file.

      Its always disappointed me that RvB hasn't done a better job with compression and size choices.

      They really need to offer a smaller version for the modem people. Lots of my friends love RvB, but have a modem and can't wait forever to download it.

      All the sound it voice, why di
      • --I have a 56K modem and it takes (on average) about 3 hours to DL a typical RvB Quicktime movie. (shrug) I just let it run late-night/early morning, when I'm not using the computer much; and I have the timeout set to hang up after 12 minutes of no activity. Works for me.
    • The first animation I saw like this was made in Doom or Doom II (can't remember which) around 97. I think it was called "Talk Show" and instead of using a standard map, they made a thier own talk show set with the doom editing tools.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:16PM (#8934972)
    The article largely focuses on Red vs. Blue

    Red Vs. Blue was great. For about the first 'season'. There were a lot of cute inside jokes about Halo, like the limitless amount of ammo, and some amusing stuff about capture the flag in general("You asked for it? Why didn't we try that?")

    However, they then promptly ran out of material. It has now degenerated into a lot of homosexual potty humor(you know, the kind that homophobes make? An entire episode consists of them playing with the android's, um..."switch") and so on. Much of the episodes are just so far out to lunch plot-wise it's like watching a bunch of frat boys trying to do their own version of Whose Line Is It Anyway (which is no great surprise, reading the blog and looking at the author photos. They all seem perpetually stoned). Any clever new ideas have been so severely beaten to death they've long since ceased to be funny.

    Basically- it was great because the early episodes were well written and had purpose. Now, however, the plot sucks. Machinima is a nice way to do animation, but it's not even remotely impressive on its own; not even slightly. Watching some poorly written script that consists mostly of a bunch of identical halo characters talking to each other(and these conversations go on for a half episode sometimes!) is downright boring, and I've gone from a huge fan to "oh, they released a new ep? Hmm, well, I guess I'll download it".

    Instead of just leaving it to their 15 minutes of fame and wandering off to do something else with their lives, or moving on to a new game (there are plenty, after all- imagine what they could do with GTA:VC!), they're just churning out the same stuff, ep after ep.

    • Actually, the later episodes are quite good. It would seem to me that you find them boring because they're not a "Gaming Comic" anymore.

      With no "In jokes" left to get, you have a hard time relating to the episodes.

      BTW, if anyone from Red vs Blue is reading this, I think your stuff is great. "A Message to the Scientific Community" is a personal favorite.
      • That seems to happen too much... RvB was good, but now it sucks because it's no longer a gaming comic, megatokyo sucks because it's no longer a gaming comic, penny arcade is starting to suck because it's not always entirely 100% about gaming...

        Methinks the gamers are just pissed off because they think that the internet should cater to their minority needs, and they don't like it to be pointed out that the world doesn't revolve around them and their (in the eyes of the public) nerdy little hobbies.

    • by mstra (38238) * <matt@stratton.gmail@com> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:05PM (#8935503) Homepage Journal
      I guess it's like anything else. You can remove the barriers to entry, but you still have to know how to tell a story.

      It's great that things like DV and Machima have made it easier for movies to be made without millions of dollars in budget...but as we should all already know - having a lot of gear and money to throw at a bad story doesn't make for a good movie. And you can have the crappiest production values in the world (Clerks), but if the story is compelling, that doesn't matter. If you've got a good story and know how to tell it, you can shoot your film on one of those old Fisher Price camcorders that recorded on audio cassettes.

      That being said, I have always found the work of ill clan [illclan.com] to be pretty entertaining and well done. Perhaps it's because the creators are all skilled improvisors and know how to tell stories. Or maybe just because I think lumberjacks are inherently funny.

  • by TheLoneDanger (611268) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:19PM (#8934987)
    Has anyone else wondered what will happen when it becomes truly simple for EVERYONE to make movies, games, music etc. ? I mean, what will it be like when absolutely everyone can express what they want as they want it, even without technical skills? That's part of why I love the idea of machinima so much.

    With Machinima, you do still need some technical skills, but you don't need cameras or locations, or a whole lot of photogenic actors. You can create the effects yourself (within the limits of the game engine). I don't think I have any sort of directorial talent, but I still dream of the day when I can just mess around with it, just for fun.

    I imagine that if it ever does become super simple for people to create things like music and games and movies, we'll just get lots of crap. But maybe we'll get some gems. Maybe people will be less frustrated if they can express themselves artistically in some way. (Of course, some will be frustrated when they realize they have no talent and no audience.)

    For an example of one man's vision, you can check out the anime Voices of a Distant Star, which was written, drawn, animated and I think scored by a single crazy guy.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Instead of an unpublished novel, now everyone will have an unpublished movie in their drawer.
    • by black mariah (654971) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:25PM (#8935028)
      what will it be like when absolutely everyone can express what they want as they want it, even without technical skills?
      It'll be just like Livejournal!
    • by S.Lemmon (147743) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:36PM (#8935097) Homepage
      Well, looking at music - people have been able to do that on a PC for a *long* time. Heck, you could consider early Amiga mod file tunes the sonic example of red-vs-blue. It allowed anyone to string together sample and fairly easily make real sounding music.

      So... You ask what happens? What happens is you discover, even with the tools only a handful of people ever made *good* music. For every good one, there's thousands of crap mod files, crap flash animations, and now crap "machinima". Having cheap and easy tools can't make everyone a great animator anymore than the availability of cheap pencils and paper made everyone a great writer.

      It still takes talent, but what it does do is allow people with that talent but without a ton of money to express their skill. What it may possibly hurt is the control large studios currently have over most entertainment.
      • If you want good independent, film, animation, videoclip, go to: zed.cbc.ca

        Some good ones are: this [zed.cbc.ca] this [zed.cbc.ca] very good [zed.cbc.ca] this [zed.cbc.ca] cookie monster [zed.cbc.ca]
        • Ug, that is sophomoric crap. Anyone who complains about generic "consumption" clearly is still living off Mom and Dad and feeling pissed off because they don't have the ability to consume all they way.
        • I tried to watch the first link. It was utter crap. There's a reason why this type of ADD-induced filmmaking isn't mainstream. They couldn't stick to one thing for even a handful of minutes. Making your video seem sexy by quickly moving from location to location seems like a good idea at the lower echelons of filmmaking, but I would much rather see someone online create a professional-looking piece.

          LK
      • by zpok (604055)
        I agree, it brings down the barrier, but doesn't raise people's skills.

        But but but...

        Well, bringing down the barrier is in itself a good thing I think; and...
        Different tools allow for different kinds of talents to surface and to get unexpected results, also a good thing; and...
        There's the fun factor for those involved, not everybody needs to be a Spielberg.

        The downside is of course the amount of crap - but wait... is TV today such a quality medium????

        • There's the fun factor for those involved, not everybody needs to be a Spielberg.

          Exactly. I figure that even if we're no good at it, doesn't everyone have some artform that they wish they could try to play with without all the big restrictions? Yes, everyone can now use a computer or pen and paper to write something (book or script or music etc.) or draw something, but not everyone wants to do those things. If EVERY artform was easily doable, would we all as a whole be happier or more content (because we
        • it brings down the barrier, but doesn't raise people's skills.

          I'd agree that it doesn't raise people's talent, but it does make it possible for everyone, talented or not, to practice the craft. And that will improve their skills.

          The main gain is probably all those really talented people who never would have gotten close to making any movies that now get the chance to develop.
      • So... You ask what happens? What happens is you discover, even with the tools only a handful of people ever made *good* music. For every good one, there's thousands of crap mod files, crap flash animations, and now crap "machinima". Having cheap and easy tools can't make everyone a great animator anymore than the availability of cheap pencils and paper made everyone a great writer.

        Sure, there's lots of drek, but there's also an increase in the amount of good quality stuff.

        You brought the example of

      • "So... You ask what happens? What happens is you discover, even with the tools only a handful of people ever made *good* music. For every good one, there's thousands of crap mod files, crap flash animations, and now crap "machinima". Having cheap and easy tools can't make everyone a great animator anymore than the availability of cheap pencils and paper made everyone a great writer." Ah but I have 20 megs of midi files :) They teh leet. I'm a bit depressed about how difficult it is to find well written fre
    • Has anyone else wondered what will happen when it becomes truly simple for EVERYONE to make movies, games, music etc. ? I mean, what will it be like when absolutely everyone can express what they want as they want it, even without technical skills? That's part of why I love the idea of machinima so much.

      Probably about the same for book-writing, I would think. Anyone can slap together some sentences and pump it out as a book (or as a post on Slashdot... oh, wait) but how many of those grab your attention?
    • I've wondered.

      People will log on to p2p movie nets to contribute their best characters and best lines in realtime, some will specialise in effects like weather, mist, etc. Clans will form, you've got a guy who's wicked with facial gestures, another who bangs out the perfect tunes at just the right time.

      Movies will become dynamic, there's no reason the same story should unfold the same way more than once. Themes and plots will evolve with every viewing.

      I hope movies become interactive events, an expe

      • Interesting idea.

        I think it could make an interesting production. I'd hate to see it replace movies, though. I don't think an interactive production could ever hold the depth of a well-crafted film or book.
    • Has anyone else wondered what will happen when it becomes truly simple for EVERYONE to make movies, games, music etc?

      The RIAA and MPAA will demand royalties from everyone from what they will call their 'creative expression patent'
    • You're assuming that the status quo for creative endeaavors will remain the same. The day it's becomes easy for anyone to create the entertainment you enjoy today, the entire entertainment industry will have moved well beyond what's going on now. Look at the state of games these days compared to just a couple years ago. Movies have progressed quite a bit from ten years ago as well, partially because they are becoming more accurate (WWII movies for instance), partially because they are improving the craft
    • by AndroidCat (229562) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:05PM (#8935244) Homepage
      Rewind to 1987.

      Has anyone else wondered what will happen when it becomes truly simple for EVERYONE to do professional-quality desktop publishing? I mean, what will it be like when absolutely everyone can express on paper what they want as they want it, even without technical skills? Using whatever font they want, different point sizes, 300 DPI, right-justification, kerning, possibly even with pictures included with the text?

    • Has anyone else wondered what will happen when it becomes truly simple for EVERYONE to make movies, games, music etc. ?

      Sure, frequently. What would happen is that movies, games, and music would become fundamental units of expression, on par with sentences made of words. Written words make up novels, which are analogous to movies or albums, but think of what would be analogous to email and handwritten notes and memos or whatever.

      But that probably would be a long ways off, because the fundamental buildin


    • I cant' wait until that engine becomes available and you can make movies with it... :P
    • The thing about the release of a product or a method which allows a larger audience to participate in creation is, that product is available to everyone, including the people who excelled at similar work with the previous methods. They can then take advantage of these tools, and have the experience of the past, and the ease/accessibility of the new product. Talented musicians for example, will always be talented - sure, they might grow slightly in number, but for the most part, talent lies within the pers
    • i think its somewhat fallacious to assume that distribution of these personal and custom arts will fit into the framework of widely-known works

      yeah probably a good portion of it will be subpar
      but i also think its likely it will be created for a much smaller and more personal audience
      i imagine that this is how things like homestarrunner and red vs blue started and only gained a wider audience through word of mouth
      after being created and shown to a close network of friends those friends showed it to
    • Has anyone else wondered what will happen when it becomes truly simple for EVERYONE to make movies, games, music etc. ?

      Mostly, it will suck.

      For two decades, places like Artist's Television Access [atasite.org] have made that possible. Yet almost all the output is crap. I've sat through a few film festivals of that stuff. It's like listening to garage bands audition for clubs.

      One group in SF used to have a gong show for aspiring filmmakers. Bring anything you want to show, and after 2 minutes, they sound a bell

  • by Have Blue (616) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:19PM (#8934991) Homepage
    The most amazing thing about RVB is not anything about it being machinima. It's the exact opposite- the fact that it's filmed in a game is utterly irrelevant. They have good writing, good acting, and good direction, and that's why it's good. They could have done it in Halo or Quake or a 3D modeling program or a 2D animation program or with live actors. Machinima is not different from normal moviemaking at all, there's no difference in the skills and talents you need. It's just cheaper than production-quality CG, and it lowers the barrier to entry to the world of film, which is otherwise unchanged by its presence.
    • ... if you think base potty humor is the epitomy of a laugh, and community theater is the height of complexity.

      For what it is (a good chuckle), it's pretty good. For anything more... well, go read a book, watch some shorts... even watch an x86 demo! The writing may be entertaining for awhile, but it's the same thing over and over, and it never evolved.
    • by javert (265031)
      I agree totally about the good script & acting. I have all the RvB eps on my work terminal, and I enjoy playing them with video out plugin set to null and just listen with my headphones (so the boss suspects nothing hahahaha). The visuals are just optional, really.

      It does get suspicious when I just have a dumb grin on my face when I am just staring at a C program.
  • by sssmashy (612587) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:19PM (#8934995)
    RED ONE: You know what really pisses me off about these melee battles?
    RED TWO: No, what's that?
    RED ONE: Our life expectancy is about 60 seconds.
    RED TWO: Yes, it kind of makes the dental plan seem irrelevant.
    RED ONE: (gets fragged)
    RED THREE: Hi, I'm here to replace Red Two. I'm Steve, what's your name?
    RED TWO: Does it really matter?
    RED THREE: Guess not. Incoming!
    RED TWO: (Dies)
    RED THREE: (Dies)
  • Remake LOTR... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jasno (124830) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:29PM (#8935058) Journal
    The cool thing about machinima is that it helps lower the barriers to entry for creating a movie. It looks a bit kitschy now, but with advanced HW acceleration coming down in price I think 10 years down the road we'll see some very interesting work.

    Now what would be great is applying the open source model to work on larger productions. I'd love to see a faithful movie version of LOTR. Done by fans, so no one has to watch Legolas shield-surfing or pointless changes to fit it into a 9 hour trilogy.

    Actually, I suppose you could start now as long as you picked open formats for storing the movie elements(dialog, movement, models, etc). Then you can change the renderer over time as things get better.

    Imagine a machinima Gutenberg project - producing free versions of all the classic stories Disney ripped off.
    • Re:Remake LOTR... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xzzy (111297)
      You can do this now for the most part. It's a technically demanding task though, not to mention the time investment.

      Blender for the modelling, and it now supports two renderers (internal, and yafray) to output with.

      There's no reason the open source tools available now can't output production quality movies.
    • Imagine a machinima Gutenberg project - producing free versions of all the classic stories Disney ripped off. Imagine a horde of angry Disney lawyers on your ass...
    • Imagine a machinima Gutenberg project - producing free versions of all the classic stories Disney ripped off.

      At deep-discount stores you can get almost-free ripoffs of the classic Disney ripoffs of the classic public-domain stories (e.g., Aladdin). Uhh ... does that count? ;-)

  • It isn't that new (Score:4, Informative)

    by Neko-kun (750955) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:50PM (#8935166) Journal
    Well, it just so happens that one of my friends goes to the California Institute of the Arts [calarts.edu] where there's a professor by the name of Eddo Stern who has been doing this since the early 90's...he then cofounded C-Level [c-level.cc] in 2001.

    (oh, and here's the link [calarts.edu] to the page with the date of his latest lecture at CalArts, just search for his name...)
  • See me scrolling through those pages, watch the flames appear as I type them...
  • God, that is awful. 4 people standing around moving their heads up and down. It's reminded me a lot of "Stimpy's Cartoon." If that's the state of the art, the art has a long way to go.
  • Dunno if anyone remembers this, but when I was younger I used to watch Blahbalicious [planetquake.com], which is one of the most hilarious things I've seen in a long time. It's a feature movie made in Quake, and it's incredibly funny.

    (no, I didn't make it)
  • 'Anna' by Katherin Anna Kang (afaik, the wife of John Carmack) and Fountainhead Entertainment is great. It's a short story, and an opposite of most of the work out there : full of symbolism, and quite devoid of any testosteron driven 'kill kill kill'.

    You can find more info, and a download link, right here : http://www.machinima.com/displayarticle2.php?artic le=411

  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:50PM (#8935714) Journal
    Does anybody remember the old (early 90s) DOS game, Stunt Island [ksu.edu]? Essentially, the game provided an island full of a number of different sets, such as a city, an oil rig, a canyon, and so forth. The player could position cameras and props around these sets, and create event triggers for things like camera pans and object movement. The game also had an editing mode where you could splice together taped footage and insert sound effects. The game had a bias towards airplane stunts, but could be used to film virtually any sort of movie. Back in middle school my friend and I actually used it to create a short documentary about battles from World War II. Stunt Island was greatly loved by those who used it, and it still has somewhat of a cult following [yahoo.com].

    My question is, why hasn't anybody created something like this more recently? Although FPS game engines work for this, they certainly aren't designed for it, and there's quite a bit of roughness involved when one actually tries to create a movie. 3D animation modelers can also be used, but generally someone creating a movie has to focus on too many low-level details.

    I'm actually considering starting up an open-source project this summer to try to create such a movie-creating tool, making heavy use of pre-existing graphics libraries like OGRE [ogre3d.org]. Would anyone else be interested in helping out with such an endeavour?
  • by rush22 (772737)
    I watched it for a while, thought it was funny, and they made some good jokes about how Halo is stupid, and fps games in general... but after watching a lot of episodes I just couldnt stop thinking "when are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?!" And then they never got there.

    (the quote's milhouse watching the itchy and scratchy and poochy show in the simpsons), also Halo really is stupid.
  • by PetoskeyGuy (648788) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:32PM (#8935913)
    The first few episodes are awesome, but once the intial burst of creativity is gone they just keep making more episodes.
  • Not a new Medium (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @12:30AM (#8936128)
    While using video games instead of 3D CGI software like Blender, Maya, et al. is kind of innovative, but the first season of Red Vs. Blue also was well written. The dialogue was funny and there were several inside jokes about gamers and the game itself. My favorite line is still, "Stay here....Tank....Stay here....Tank. Ah Screw it!".

    However there has been a lot of really well done low budget fan films over the past few years. In fact I know someone that made videos from Battlefield 1942 from in game where the graphics are boardering on good high quality CGI work.

    And I think that trend will continue. We used an Application called FRAPS in windows to pull video from games and save to a file on the Harddrive as we were making a music video using Rogue Spear: Black Thorn for a broadcast class once and then switched to Macs and added sound and such in iMovie.

    I think the major thing here, is that the technology has increased to the point where its become easier and cheaper for creative people to share their ideas. But still, it takes quality writing and acting skills to pull these things off, otherwise it is no different than anyother form of eye candy that Hollywood puts out.

  • Have a Google for this (and Quake 2 Done Quick and Quake III Arena Done Quick - which is the single player levels with bots). Basically they're beautifully recammed recordings of the game played as fast as possible on Nightmare/Hard+ difficulty.
  • Lot's of people, including me, would like to make 'films' of this kind...we all have favorite cartoon shows, for example, that we would like to give a different ending or improve according to our tastes...or to make crossover 'films' where heros from different and diverse series are put against its other. For example, lot's of people would like to do Star Trek vs Star Wars, or Mr T vs Batman etc.

    So, if anyone has the guts, here is a killer app for you: a 3d 'film' making application, where the user inputs
  • Good OSS opportunity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 0x0d0a (568518) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @09:02AM (#8937865) Journal
    I wonder how much longer it will be until someone produced a dedicated app just for doing machinima. The engine has to look good, and be easy to use, but realtime requirements don't really exist.

    Currently, our 3d modelling and animation programs have interfaces that are designed around extreme control, but take *forever* to actually model something. If someone can produce an effective visual side to an animation with nothing more than some people walking around (but can't draw worth a damn or act well), having tools to suit them would be quite useful.

    This could actually make an interesting open source project, maybe using something like Crystal Space. Tradtionally , games have not done well in the open source world because of the way games work. Until a game is about 90% complete, it's generally not much fun to play. Open source generally needs interested people using a piece of software and identifying features that they'd like to have -- and implementing those features. In a game, this unbalances things. In a game engine used for machinima, it's possible to later on add in a "flying" feature and still benefit from the existing software that doesn't have such a feature. In a game, adding "flying" would severely unbalance the game.

    Crystal Space [sourceforge.net] might be a good base for this.

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