Sunday, May 11, 2008

Machima Info Barf #11

Post OMFF party.

Previous Info Barfs links are now on their own sidebar (the list was getting too long).


Machinima News:

While some of us were celebrating machinima, some other people were receiving non-takedown notices. A very interesting development (MFD post). I wonder what else they could demand though?
The first every machinima video viewed by a Congressional subcommittee? (Second Life ad video).
Hands Free SL means puppeteering machinima?
Antics3D now works with sketchup. I've been playing with this a lot. Tips and tricks section.
Brief discussion with Gus from RvB down under.
Zach brags about the numbers.
Brief mention of machinima at Nmancer.
NPR talks machinima (around 22 minute mark).
Overman talks about 'machinima'. I will go on record saying I can't stand the term 'anymation'. Period.
The Shisha den talks about machinima.


OMFF Winners Announced (My Post, OMFF Site).
The Make Something Unreal contest includes a machinima section.
Koinup's SL Music Video Contest winners announced.
Iron Man contest (I got my avatar from somewhere). Here.
Overman's pointing out some Bitfilm gems.
Semi-Finalists for Radiohead's Aniboom Contest announced.

Video Game/Virtual World News:

A list of upcoming PC games with screenshots (that's a lot of eye candy).
Second Life Guantánamo Bay.
Oprah launches own reality.
Meet the Scout is another great Valve intro to a TF2 character.
The Escapist talks about Allegiance - which was a damn fine game that is still going strong.
Free Spore creature editor. This is the wave of the future = outsource your content creation to the world.
Learn about reality from a video game.
You are no longer hard core.
Halotography. Wired's how to miniaturize a scene.
Is modding over? I hope not. Modding paved the way for machinima.
Canadians planning virtual music festival in conjunction with real festival. Damn innovative canuckleheads.

Machinima/Video Clips:

Ross Scott releaed Galaxy Gulp (YouTube) which is a tutorial made for Noesis Interactive (the software company that produces the XSI Modeling Tool). That's a boring description for what really is a pretty damn funny vid.
This flip it video is a blast (Squeeze Me - Kraak & Smaak).
Xanatos and the Janus Syndicate made a western in TF2 (Garry's Mod Post).
Beware the Believers (Dawkins Rap Vid).
Quarantine goes viral (ha ha).
Clone Wars Animated Trailer looks pretty dull actually. Can we please go to some other time and place in this universe.
Transforming Robot Battle.
Bitstream Boogie Machinima.
Charlie Rose interviews Charlie Rose (very odd).
Custom animations in TF2.
Bloodspell making of documentary (behind the chaos there was order).
Cult of Sincerity is the first full length film released on YouTube.
Burning water does mocap for breakdancing Gman.
Topography at Vimeo (Vimeo has some great looking videos).
This machine is brilliant.
Presidential Reality. Forget the first African American or first woman President. How soon before we have an avatar for president?
Team Roomba's Meet The Pyro (the same guys who did the TF2 griefing video as detailed at The Escapist).
PEDS season 3 is starting.
What to do when a girl says she has a boyfriend.
Did old media release the first GTA IV machinima (Conan O'Brien)?
When We Two Parted by Strange Company. Controversy ensues.
Ironman vs. Batman (amusing).
Game Over in stop motion.
Instant City in Moviestorm.
Christian Aid ad using disaster footage shot in ?
Can't afford to shoot a video? There's millions of bloody cameras in the UK, so one band decided to make use of the cloud video.
Thirty minute Battlefield machinima (Hatred).

Digital Online Video/Cinema/Imaging:

Hollywood is going 3D and Wired has some history. James Cameron.
The 50 greatest comedy sketches of all time. Too much SNL in the list. Where's my Monty Python.
The 50 greatest commercial parodies of all time. Ditto.
Not sure where I got this link to Carlos Baena's home page, but he has some great links to animation information, clips, shorts, etc.
Art of the Title Sequence.
Resolution vs. Framerate.
Swooping in Google Earth.
The movies that did not win best picture (not including There Will Be Blood which was robbed).
Hi-res YouTube hacks. And another.
Bjorks' Wanderlust in 3D.
Best macro photos at Wired.
Penny Arcade TV. Watch the process of creation. Forget the behind the scenes footage - make it the scene.
We've all heard about We Are The Strange - now a one woman created animation was shown at Tribeca (Sita Sings The Blues - by Nina Paley).
The 50 greatest TV shows of all time (another skewed list).
Free stock photo site.
Insect Sex and Rossellini.


365 Tomorrows has one very short story every day. Some of my recent favorites (Retirement, The Rise and Fall of the First Shi Empire, Hard to Find).
Another interesting legal case mentioned at BoingBoing about the EFF fighting for the rights of 3D modellers.
Schematics of starship interiors. Now all you need is the 3D models.
Trapped in an Elevator. 41 hours changes man's life forever.
Search the web for sounds.
Do it yourself cable organizer.
Soundproof a room.
Have someone read your script for a fee.
All about movies.
Processing ported to javascript.
YouTube comment snob Firefox extension.


Ricky Grove said...

Thanks for putting this together. As usual, there's a treasure-trove of links here.

Tom Jantol said...

My god, why in hell you don't stand term "Anymation"?
I understand if you think it is misleading, inadequate, ugly, meaningless, ...something, but "to not stand"... wow.

bllius said...

Lol, so if I had said "I think the term anymation is misleading, inadequate, ugly..." that would have been better?

Tom Jantol said...

Well, yes.
Because then I will try to argue, maybe even explain why you are wrong (well, if you are:)).
Because this will be rational conversation about flows and advantages, maybe even opportunity to improve something in my further explanations about what "Anymation" stands for.
"I can stand" is very passionate sentence, it comes from some place I can't rationalize or recognize. But don't get me wrong, no hard feelings, not at all (I am author of this term but I know I can't act like it is my property, nor I don't want to), I am just curios.

Ricky Grove said...

Ach, I completely missed that statement. Why don't you do a post explaining your reasons for hating "anymation". I find it an excellent term and would love to debate you.

Suhnder said...

i cant stand the word either... ;)

why is it considered some kind of fancy new concept? people have been making films using any and all tools around them since the beginning of film.

this "concept" is already implied in the definition of filmmaking itself, is it not? i dont get what the fuss is about. O_O

bllius said...

I like machinima. It rolls of the tongue. Google search it and you get a lot of hits. Google anymation and you get "did you mean animation". Exactly.

My point has always been to expand the rather loosely defined definition of machinima to more inclusive (just so long as cel shaded animation from Disney is not included).

Ricky Grove said...

Well, I don't consider "anymation" to be included in the definition of "animation'. It's not a "fancy concept" that has suddenly become the rage. It's more like a label to an attitude of certain machinima filmmakers who have moved away from "machinima" (i.e. game based filmmaking") to tools that allow them to own their own work and work outside the models/media contained in games.

Personally, I'm just the opposite of you, bllius, "machinima" might roll of the tongue, but it's a clumsy term. I don't think of my work as having come from a 'machine". And "anymation" does indeed expand on the term "animation" which a traditional term for 2d work (for the most part) dating back to the thirties and beyond. "Anymation" expands on "animation' by allowing 3d and composting and just about any other form of animation BUILT on to machinima.

I think both you and Jason read too much in to the anymation term. It's not a movement or a clique, it's just an idea and a word to represent it. And frankly, I'm surprised that both you find anything to object about the term at all. You can not like the word, but support the concept, surely?

bllius said...

See, this is where we disagree on terminology.

You say:

(i.e. game based filmmaking")

and I say the term machinima is not restricted to that and should in fact include everything you say is in 'anymation'.

I like the clumsiness in the word. It's hard to pronounce, but utterly recognizable.

"it's just an idea and a word to represent it."


Ricky Grove said...

Bllius, from the beginning machinima has been defined as "game based filmmaking". It's only been in the last few years that other non-game programs like Moviestorm, Antics and IClone have come to be figured into the definition of "machinima". You are the one adding the additional meanings. And that's fine, but I'm arguing that "anymation" is a newer (and more appropriate term) to describe animation that uses a real-time engine, but has no association with games. The great majority of people/filmmakers would associate machinima with games.

And as for the actual term "machinime cinema", it's a toss up as to whether its a good term to describe a certain type of animation or not. I choose to interpret it as a bad term. As for it being a memorable term, no, I'm afraid that it's only because it's become a widely accepted term after a decade of usage. Initially, many people hated it as much as i do.

bllius said...

"You are the one adding the additional meanings."

Actually, no, I am not the only one. Go look at all those Moviestorm, iClone, and Antics (and others) videos and see the machinima label. The term is expanding right now and by all the people creating and talking about those videos. Not just me.

"Initially, many people hated it as much as i do."

And I probably would have hated it at the time it was created if I was around at that time.

I think you are not paying attention to the potential repurcussions of bifurcating the 'machinima community' and the downstream effects that will have on discussions, research, festivals, search space, etc.

I want the art historians of the future to note that I explicitly state that I do not see the need for the creation of the term 'Anymation'.

Hello future archaeologist. No, I am not really a keyboard.

Ricky Grove said...

"My point has always been to expand the rather loosely defined definition of machinima to more inclusive (just so long as cel shaded animation from Disney is not included)"

There you have it in black and white; it's you who are interested in expanding the term. Antics, Iclone and Moviestorm grew out of a desire to MARKET an animation tool, not to expand definitions. And if those companies had decided to call the animations created by their software some other term, filmmakers would have used used THAT term. The terminology is market driven know.

I stand by my assertion that it is you who are adding the additional meanings.

"I think you are not paying attention to the potential repurcussions of bifurcating the 'machinima community' and the downstream effects that will have on discussions, research, festivals, search space, etc."

I think this is the core of my debate with you. There will be no repercussions if a handful of people like myself, Tom and Phil Rice decide to use the term "anymation". Your are exaggerating the use of this term by a small group of people who are for the most part outside of mainstrem machinima. Do you really think that the idea of anymation is as divisive as that? I mean, come on, WoW machinima alone dwarfs the combined output of all three of us and I'll bet if you asked a dozen WoW machinima filmmakers if they'd heard of the term anymation, the would have no idea what you are talking about. Add Blizzard, Halo, Sims2 and you can see that the term Machinima (and it's communities) are in zero danger of becoming "bifurcated".

Once again, it's not the term that makes any difference to me (and I suspect Tom or Phil either), it's the CONCEPT. I don't like the term machinima as applied to my work anymore.

"Anymation" fits my work. Let all future animation historians know, I intend to use it despite bringing down the entire edifice that is machinima.

Overman said...

Good discussion. Apart from citing "Google hits" as a reason anymation isn't a credible term. That's just extraordinarily silly.

Anymation is simply a term for an attitude that calls into question the importance of restrictive categories, a refusal to be subservient to them. It is a recognition of the human tendency toward "ruts", and a deliberate choice to avoid them. It is saying, let the idea I'm trying to communicate be subjugated to no other higher value.

To say that the introduction of this word runs a risk of bifurcating the machinima community is to wholly misunderstand the word. Anymation is not a subset of machinima; quite the opposite. It's like saying that the identification and naming of the word "fruit" is endangering the identity of "cherries" or "nectarines." It's just nonsense. For more info on this, read the 'manifesto', for lack of a better word:

Per that same treatise, Anymation is not new and never makes the claim to be new. It IS however different from a traditional machinima perspective, in that it's not really a machinima perspective at all. That's not new to the history of filmmaking, but it is different to the history of machinima.

Consider the problem (or challenge) that machinima faces, something which has been looming larger on its horizon for some time now. What is "machinima", exactly? And why is this important? Why does it keep coming up? Because if you're going to hold festivals or contests or exhibitions of "machinima" films then you damn well better make sure you know what qualifies. The definition which seems to have endured from the MUCH more restrictive early days is, "real-time" rendered. But is machinima even serious about that one definitive point? "Edge of Remorse" wasn't rendered in real-time. iClone / Moviestorm / Antics all let you develop your film in a real time environment, but they are NOT rendered in real time. If you use the native exporter from The Sims 2 instead of Fraps, then The Sims 2 is not rendered in real-time. Lionhead's The Movies, not real-time rendered.

So if machinima isn't just game movies, but all real-time rendered movies... how many films called "machinima" actually meet the definition? Not as many as you'd think.

So what do we say... PART of the film must be rendered in real-time? That's machinima?

What if I take a real-time rendered clip of a figure from Second Life, and I chroma-key that into a 2d motion graphics presentation? Or what if I mix some real-time rendered footage with a regular 3D CGI movie. Part of my film was unquestionably rendered in real-time... so is it machinima?

This is a question which must be answered ONLY IF the task of categorization is considered important. And when determining festival and contest entry criteria, that task IS important.

Machinima is not the only genre facing the challenge. Go to the Indy Mogul forum and try to make the case that computer animation is "filmmaking". Film purists there will decry that it's simply not the case... and by the purist definition, they are RIGHT. Try talking to a hardcore CGI guy about machinima as a type of animation, and see what reaction you get.

Anymation is a conscious choice to devalue that task of categorization for the sake of making the film you want to make.

Do you know who is the leading pioneer in Anymation right now? He's made up his own word for it. A guy named M. Dot Strange. You've seen "We Are The Strange"... now categorize its type of animation. Get the feeling that he didn't give a crap about old categories and rules when he made it? That's the spirit Anymation attempts to capture.

It does not attempt to remake or redefine or split machinima; it let's machinima be whatever the hell someone will one day decide for sure that it is.

Suhnder said...

I kinda went overboard with my comment, so I blogged it up:

bllius said...

Well, this topic has splintered onto several places now, so I hope that the discussions continue there instead of being stuck in the comments section of what is just a large link list.

I think I agree with pretty much everything here.

Antics has a post:

Pointing to a post at Z-studios forum:

That was the original manifesto.

One last point since it directly relates to me.

1. "Good discussion. Apart from citing "Google hits" as a reason anymation isn't a credible term. That's just extraordinarily silly."

No, not silly at all. Not even close. Those of us who work in information space realize that search and retrieval are vitally important in the information age.

Overman said...

What did the search engine results on "machinima" in the year 2000 tell the professionals at that time about how valuable the term was?

No sense of perspective at all in the statement, making it almost exactly the opposite of the well established SK standard.

Everything starts somewhere.

Dxvid said...

I'm wondering if the idea of "Anymation" came about through a misunderstanding, or at least overlooking, of what is already contained in the definitions of machinima? Yes "machinima" was originally coined to describe game-movies, e.g. Quake demos. But that definition was expanded by A.M.A.S.

"Machinima is filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual environment, often using 3D video-game technologies."

The "often" implies that machinima is not always game based and allows for the non-game methods we have today.

And if Anymation literally means "Any" form of animation that does beg the question - what is the difference between "anymation" and "animation"?