Ego Central to Machinima Filmmaker Ken Thain

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Valve Unveils 64-Bit Source Game Engine

Valve, a leading entertainment and technology studio, unveiled a 64-bit version of its Source game engine technology today. The first 64-bit Valve games released will be native 64-bit versions of Half-Life 2 and Lost Coast, and have been developed to take advantage of AMD Athlon™ 64 FX processor-based systems - the ultimate 64-bit gaming platform for PC enthusiasts.
Machinima has now possibility in 64bits of dimensional goodness. All the more power to process you with my dear.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

CG Retrospective 2005

Its that time of the year again when everybody looks back over the year to see whats what. CGSociety has posted their top 20 choices in CG based events over the last year.
With the help of the CGSociety community, we compiled a comprehensive list of events that were related to CG in 2005. The criteria for selection, is that the event had to be innovative, landmark or extremely cool. We're interested in anything related to the CG industry - software releases, movies, short films, games, products, or anything that had a profound effect on the CG industry in 2005. Over 17,000 people viewed the threads related to the CG Retrospective 2005 and offered suggestions to the items that should be on the list. Public voting resulted in the Top 20 CG-related events for 2005!
Interesting palette of events last year in CG. Maybe its time for a top 'N' events in Machinima last year... hmmmmm. What would be your number 1?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Global Machinima

I was checking out the global community of machinima filmmakers over at the machinima frappr page by Google. This is a great page to get an idea of machinima makers on a geographically global level. If you have not added yourself yet, please do. Even if just a machinima advocate you should still present yourself as you never know who else may be close by looking to team up on a film.

Speaking of global, there is opportunity for people all over the world to experience machinima. Drop by Machinima.fr (or as I prefer, translated via babelfish) and click on the projection room menu item (Salle de projection) to see a selection of machinima films that are subtitled and available via streaming media. You need to be registered to see the full selection. I know Xavier over at Machinima.fr is always working toward building the subtitled selection so if you have a film that is, let him know via the contact link at the site!

Machinima LIVE! EP2 now available

I have not heard this ep yet as I've been out of town but looking forward to it. I see the LIVE! guys managed to shorten the second episode by making it 2 minutes longer. :)
Machinima LIVE! Episode 2 - Released! Come and get your copy of episode 2, fresh off the press! http://www.chaotic-realms.com

If you'd like to appear on Machinima LIVE!, download a copy of Skype and send us an email and tell us what you'd like to discuss on Machinima LIVE!
Also on my 'machinima todo' list is to check out EP3 of Bouncers released by LIVE! co-host, Dr. Nemesis over at BinaryPictureShow. Bouncers EP2 started building a good base story so should be interesting to see where EP3 leads us.

Monday, December 19, 2005

FINAL FANTASY XI Fan Movie Contest

From "the major Final Fantasy Event of the year"...
This is your chance to show us your skills and amaze FINAL FANTASY XI fans from around the world with your unique film talents. Send in your greatest creations from sobering dramas to hilarious comedys. We'll plaster them on the big screen at our Fan Festival where a select few choice films will be premiered for a chance at our grand prize!
It looks to me this machinima contest is more in support of the 2006 Final Fantasy XI Fan Festival. Although I think machinima contests/displays are becoming quite common to any game specific event. And if fame among your FFXI peers is not enough, maybe the grand prize of "Gaming merchandise" with "Approximate Retail Value" of $300 will get you motivated. Although I'm not really sure what type of tools or advantages FFXI has toward machinima production.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

So you want to be in pictures?

Perhaps you've had your fill of the latest Hollywood blockbusters. No matter; you can settle down in front of your computer and make a masterpiece of your own.

But you'll have to compete with amateur film directors from around the world.
Mainly focused on the game, 'The Movies' the Boston Globe introduces their readers to machinima.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Stop the Presses! Biggest Machinima Contest Ever?

Yanked from slashdot:
Blizzard Entertainment and Xfire have just announced the largest ever machinima contest with over $10,000 in prizes from AMD, Hypernia, Creative Labs, XFX, D-Link, Corsair, ZBoard and Time Games. The contest involves entrants producing movies using the Blizzard Entertainment MMORPG World of Warcraft game engine to create imaginative movies in the three main categories of Dance, Comedy and Drama. Six prizes will be awarded for each category. An additional Twenty prizes will be awarded in special categories including Best Music, Best Dialog, Best Action Scene, Best Pun or Line, and Best Editing and Special Effects. A special prize from Hypernia will also be awarded to a selected movie. Entries must be submitted by January, 21st 2006.
Largest machinima contest ever is a bold statement, seeing the Make Something Unreal 'Machinima' Finalist got like $25 000 or so. But hype is hype. Sweet pot but not sure its enough for me to jump on WoW machinima making...I'll ponder. ;)

Get the details here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

French film about riots draws applause

Produced in just a week and released Nov. 22, his short film has been hailed as a breakthrough for the obscure technique known as machinima - the use of characters, sets and scenes culled from video games to create an original film.

"There has never been a machinima with such a clear and prominent political message," said Xavier Lardy, founder of the French specialist Web site http://www.machinima.fr/.
This film is still burning its way through the media. Another article on "The French Democracy" over at The Mercury News.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Get yer Machinima podcast here!

Picked up via machinima.com I just listened to a podcast called Machinima LIVE! produced and recorded by two machinima vets digital-phil and Dr. Nemesis on the topic of machinima films and filmmaking. This is the first episode of what I hope to be many more. Much like the rough edges of the first Simpsons short this podcast has potential to mature and find a real niche.

As unique and interesting as this podcast is, Dr. Nemesis has always explored the cutting edge of format and expression in Machinima, such as his recent(ish) release of "News with Lady Mainframe". This machinima piece is worth the watch if you have not see it yet as it demonstrates a news show format that is achieved through all the benefits of machinima production. This is also in line with Dr. Nemesis's unique format and storylines for his productions via Binary Picture Show

Machinimag 7 bustin' loose

All should be aware and have downloaded Machinimag #7. This is a massive 50 page edition thats full of machinima related goodness. Thanks to fiezi for mention of 3dfilmmaker.com. Very nice! As announced:
Issue Seven is the biggest Issue so far, spanning over 50 pages of
machinima related articles and a huge section of pictures of the 2005
Machinima Filmfestival.

The Article "Machinima on the net" leaves a lot of room for feedback and I'd love to encourage you to use the Comments function to tell me about machinima websites you know of, that then get compiled to a Link List to be made available on the site.
Start reading right now!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Film Effects in the Source Engine Videos

Came across this file over at Filerush. I'm still downloading it (368MB via torrent) but already can tell it will be worth it. 'Film effects in a game engine' what can be sweeter than that?
This is the full trailer for the Film Effects demonstration using the Source Engine. The film is set in the backdrop of the dod_donner map, and it uses special effects including colour correction, depth of field, graining and motion blur.
Check it out here. You can also read an article regarding this video here.

Video Games Go to the Movies

Some nice machinima coverage in Business Week Online. Ofcourse prompted by the 'hot underground film' French Democracy but covers other aspects as well.
Although big-time directors such as George Lucas have dabbled in machinima to create special effects, Hollywood hasn't yet embraced the technique. But that could be coming. "One day someone like a Spielberg or a [King Kong director] Peter Jackson will use machinima to make a film," says Evan Shapiro, the general manager of the Independent Film Channel, a Cablevision (CVC) unit that has commissioned and aired machinima films.
Worth a read.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

First Film About French Riots Comes Courtesy Of A Video Game

As mentioned further below, the film "The French Democracy" has been a literal machinima blockbuster as far as media attention. It has really been popping up in a lot of media. I decided to post this MTV.com article because it has a bit more from the filmmaker on the film.
Two months after New Orleans flooded there have been no movies made about it. The CIA leak scandal has yet to become a blockbuster thriller. But the riots that burned through France a month ago are already the subject of a short film.

Though just 13 minutes long, "The French Democracy" provides an unexpected insider's view of the events that set Paris aflame, and it's all thanks to a young Frenchman and a video game.

Machinima surfaces on campus

Good article over at Gamespot on the Ill Clans visit to Stanford.
Stanford University students last weekend were treated to a special performance. Using a format that tread far from the usual lecture format, students were exposed to a unique variation on machinima, the art of making movies using game technologies.
A quick peak at the academic interest in learning about machinima.