The next wave in Filmmaking?
July 12, 2002 7:21 AM   Subscribe

The next wave in Filmmaking? This summer, the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences, along with NVIDIA, will hold the world's first Machinima Film Festival on August 17th in Mesquite, Texas.

Machinima is, simply stated, filmmaking within a real-time virtual 3D environment. In an expanded definition, it is the convergence of filmmaking, animation & game development. Machinima is a very cost- & time-efficient way to produce films.
posted by lilboo (11 comments total)
Any examples of Machinima on the web that we can look at for free?
posted by ColdChef at 7:28 AM on July 12, 2002

I think most films are linked from the site, but you have to click around. I recommend Apartment 'Huntin.
posted by lilboo at 7:40 AM on July 12, 2002

Or try this. (& Download from the mirror site.)
posted by lilboo at 7:43 AM on July 12, 2002

Arrgh. Thanks, lilboo, but I'll have to try to see this from home. The Man doesn't want me to watch cartoons.
posted by ColdChef at 8:03 AM on July 12, 2002

It must be cost- and time-efficient because the quality sucks. I watched "Hardly Workin'" -- it's hardly worth watching.
posted by uftheory at 8:45 AM on July 12, 2002

So uh, you still have to make the figures and scenery in a complex 3D program and then use them in machinima? Is it Machinima that keeps the models down to a polygon count rivaling a 5 year old video game, or is it the user inability to produce good 3D models?

What's the industry standard for animating 3D models? I would think once you have the models done, the animation would be pretty easy.
posted by geoff. at 9:23 AM on July 12, 2002

I would think once you have the models done, the animation would be pretty easy


Ahem. I wish. Good 3d animators are rare, and highly prized. Not only do you need technical nouse, but talent, and support.

Also, they're not generally creating new animation data, rather using existing animations, and models, like making a music piece entirely out of samples.

But then this isn't supposed to be high quality stuff, it's all done by enthusiastic, amateurs with free tools, and a $30 game.

Sure you can do better with professional animators (plus modellers, and techs), and $5,000 dollar software packages, but that's not really the point.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 9:55 AM on July 12, 2002

What's the industry standard for animating 3D models?

Maya ($1999), Max ($3495), Lightwave ($1595). Maya (which we use) used to be a lot more, but they cut prices recently.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:05 AM on July 12, 2002

The Sci-Fi Channel had a movie festival in New York last year where they showed a movie made with the Quake engine. It was like watching milk curdle in slow motion. Painfully boring. Without any sort of lip synching, it just seems like you're watching somebody else play a video game while people are talking.

I admire their efforts to make an independant movie on their own for cheap, but their efforts would be better put to use doing a radio show or regular animation.
posted by destro at 11:52 AM on July 12, 2002

Machinima isn't just still in diapers, they haven't even cut the umbilical cord yet. I'll admit it, the scripts are weak, the timing is off, and the rendering is fuzzy at best, but it's nice to see people creating new stuff with the technology, rather than just buying game after game to work on their eye-hand coordination.

This is an example of, dare I say, a punk rock, DIY, open-source approach applied to creating animated films. As these guys get better, new tools will be created that will let more talented people get involved and just possibly make the experience better for everyone else. (hell think of the first web site you saw back in 1994 - I bet THAT was pretty crappy too).

Remember pong? You gotta start somewhere.
posted by lilboo at 1:17 PM on July 12, 2002

Pfft. If these guys want it to be an art form, they'd use Blender and make real films. It's free. This is like making little animations on a TI-83, using obsolete tech to do something cool.

inpHilltr8r: Max isn't industry standard, LW is barely hanging on, and you forgot to mention XSI and Houdini. Also, if you must lump the IMPORTANT people in a CGI crew into one big ball, call us artists, not "techs". Finally, animators have about as much "technical nous" as a rabid loris.
posted by fnord_prefect at 3:27 AM on July 13, 2002

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